There are a million jobs to do when preparing to entertain a crowd, so sometimes you just have to outsource a few tasks. If baking isn’t one of your strong points, ordering it online can be an excellent way to lighten the load.
You know someone is serious about brownies when it’s all they make. Hannah Airey from Badass Brownies badassbrownies.co.nz has brownies that are, well, badass, and lucky Christchurch folk get to enjoy them. Her lush line-up features Sensationally Plain Chocolate, Kickin Coffee, Orange & Chilli, Extra Spicy Orange & Chilli, and Cranberry & White Choc, and you can get a whole slab delivered if you’re local.
Hannah takes care with her ingredients, using free-range eggs, locally sourced gluten-free flour (all the brownies are gluten-free) and ethical packaging to boot. You can pick up, get local delivery or buy them at the always-buzzing Christchurch Farmers’ Market in Riccarton.
Further up the island, Fresh Bake freshbake.co.nz in Brightwater, Nelson turns out doughnuts, cakes and slices that can be picked up or delivered locally – but as luck would have it, the delicious brownie slabs can be delivered around Aotearoa. Fresh Bake keep it simple with two types: Traditional or Salted Caramel (or choose half and half). Plus, there are colourful cookie slabs showered in M&Ms.
For a chef’s approach, check out Lashings lashingsfood.com in Wellington. Pastry chef Jackie Lee Morrison has done time in top-notch London restaurants so she’s not playing around and her ingredients are key. Lashings True Brownies use single-origin Dominican Republic 70% chocolate, produced in Wellington, and flavours include Fix & Fogg PB & Raspberry Jam; Vegemite (it’s all about the umami!) and Vegan Coconut Salted Caramel made with black beans.
Made in small batches, Lashings artisan brownies aren’t sent out in a slab, rather each box has four or six beautifully (and sustainably) packaged pieces that can be delivered nationally. If you’re in the capital, check out her HQ on Dixon St, upstairs from the food lovers’ destination, Hannahs Laneway. There you’ll find a boutique Brownie Bar, and Jackie is open to using the lovely space for events, such as a Build Your Own Brownie class (we love that idea for a bachelorette or birthday activity).
Rocket Kitchen rocketkitchen.co.nz is a longtime stalwart of the Auckland scene and is known for everything from takeout meals (fresh or frozen) to elegant frozen desserts they can deliver for a party or gathering (such as beautifully crafted blueberry mascarpone torte, or French lemon or chocolate tart).
Rocket does a 1kg slab of dark, luscious brownie studded with choc chips that can be delivered in Auckland. There are also slabs of chocolate caramel slice, lemon crumble slice and ginger crunch, meaning you can have all the sweet-tooth bases covered at your event.
So play to your strengths, we reckon. If baking isn’t your thing, or if you’re pushed for time, consider calling in the experts before you find yourself panicking, elbow-deep in brownie dough for 40 people.
By Sarah Nicholson