Patience makes the perfect Christmas!

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“It’s all about simple things done well,” says baker and Christmas cake maker extraordinaire Andrew Fearnside. Andrew, the owner and artisan baker of Wild Wheat Bakery is a perfectionist and the secret of his perfect Christmas cake and authentic festive stollen is summed up by one word, “patience!”

Andrew’s passion for artisan baked products took him by surprise when he was working as a chef inLondon. When given the opportunity to work at the highly regarded in-house bakery of Le Pont de la Tour he realised he was in for a career change.

Andrew started Wild Wheat in 1999, opening his first shop inAuckland’sMount Eden Road where he began baking his now famous sourdough artisan breads. Using the age-old sourdough process of fermentation based on a natural fermented apple starter, Andrew was able to generate natural yeasts to bake his breads. And this was when his patience began to ferment too. The time it takes to make one sourdough loaf from start to finish is around 36 hours.

So it’s no surprise, when Andrew decides to bake Christmas cakes, it’s not a quick affair; he starts months before Christmas, soaking the fruit in a heady mix of rum and brandy before mixing in chocolate, almonds and a selection of spices. Once made he gives them all a hearty tipple of rum and brandy every day for three weeks before topping with toasted almonds and a rich marmalade glaze. Wild Wheat’s combination of patient technique and the best ingredients results in a moist, dark Christmas cake with exceptional flavour and keeping qualities. But buyers beware: it’s a case of first come first served. Like all true artists, there is no mass-production. Only 80 Wild Wheat Christmas cakes are made a year so be in quick with your order!

If you miss out on a cake, you might just be lucky enough to get hold of one of Wild Wheat’s Christmas Stollen. A yeasty festive loaf of German origin, the stollen has become increasingly popular inNew Zealand over recent years.

With the same attention to detail, Wild Wheat’s  stollen is bursting with rum-soaked fruit, mixed peel, red cherries and spicy flavour. Andrew’s special ingredient is the marzipan, he makes it himself and enhances it with a shot of Amaretto liqueur. Andrew says he never tires of eating the stollen. No wonder! Wild Wheat bakes its sourdough stollen right up until December 24th so there’s still time to get your order in.

Wild Wheat Handmade Christmas Cake 1.5 kg $50 and Wild Wheat Christmas Stollen 400gm $9.50 Available from Wild Wheat Bakeries in Mount Eden, Belmont and Howick. For orders phone 09 5775164 or visit the website


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