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Friday, 21 September 2018 07:51 pm

New cakery in Johnsonville makes diet friendly desserts

May 15th, 2018 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

At Johnsonville’s Humble Cakery you can have your allergy and eat cake  too.

The cakery has been in business for six weeks and specialises in made-to-order cakes and cupcakes.

Anna Pugmire, who works as a contract medical receptionist, says the business began as a fun little start-up.

Humble Cakery owner Anna Pugmire.

“I was making cakes for friends and family and decided to expand it a bit.”

She didn’t intend to go into allergy free baking, but most of the messages she receives via the business’s Facebook page are inquiries about gluten free, vegan, or allergy friendly desserts.

Pugmire says one of the first wedding cakes she made was vegan, gluten and coconut free, and word spread.

“I like messing around with recipes and options everyone can have,” she says.

“It’s nice to be able to do it for people who might not be able to enjoy it all the time.”

According to the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation’s website, about 1% of adults and less than 10% of children are ‘at risk’ of allergic reactions to foods.

A small number of foods are responsible for around 90% of food allergies – including shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans.

Peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are the foods which most commonly cause allergic reactions in adults.

Pugmire, who trained as a chef in 2013, takes dietary requirements seriously.

“I’m pretty flexible with what people want. Basically, if they have specific needs, I work out how the risk level is – can the person go into shock or just get an upset stomach.”

Pugmire, who bakes from her home, has a separate baking space for the allergy free cakes and keeps ingredients in separate drawers to lessen the risk of contamination.

She has a food safety certificate and says at present she doesn’t need to register as a commercial kitchen due to the size of her operation.

She says one of the challenges to allergy free baking is creating cakes that still taste good.

“I read lots of recipes and practice and adjust and see if we can come up with flavours that still taste like cake.”

Pugmire says she spends time tasting her concoctions to make sure she would want to eat them.

Her friends and co-workers are also valuable test subjects.

Gluten free foods can often be dense or chewy, and Pugmire says it’s finding the right balance of flours to create texture without compromising taste.

She mainly works with coconut, rice, almond, or combinations of flours depending on the customer’s needs.

Children’s cakes can be a challenge.

She recently baked a boy’s football themed birthday cake that was vegan, nut free, and popular with party guests.

Pugmire says her favourite part of baking is the artistic part of decorating.

One of her favourite creations was hand-made sugar flowers on a wedding cake.

So she has to be a bit more creative finding decorations that work for diet friendly confectionaries.

“Coconut cream makes a great gnash,” Pugmire says.

As for the future, Pugmire says she would like to start reviewing recipes online

And, of course, creating more cakes.

Visit the Humble Cakery at facebook.comthehumblecakery or Instagram @thehumblecakery

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