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Perfect Puddings with Ruth Pretty, Olivo Olive Oil & Lavenders Green

Perfect Puddings at Match Wine Bar

Last week we headed out of Martinborough to attend the Perfect Puddings event at Match wine bar. Part of the Wellington on a plate annual food festival, this event was a collaboration between well known Wellington caterer Ruth Pretty, Helen Meehan of Olivo Olive Oil & Mary Biggs of Lavenders Green.

The goal to create perfectly delicious puddings using Ruth's expertise as a chef, Olivo's infused olive oils & Lavenders Green preserved lemons. "Not a tall order" says Ruth who is experienced, slick & relaxed as she cooks while chatting...we're clearly in for a treat!

On arrival we were welcomed with the first dish...... Smoked chilli infused olive oil & preserved lemon chocolate chip cookies, the hint of chilli superb against the smooth chocolate & spicy lemon. Ruth starts her cooking demonstration while we watch & learn

Delish spice & chocolate cookies on arrival!

Ruth's hint:
"When putting biscuits into a container, DON'T add a paper towel as it draws out the fat, making the biscuits soft"

Ruth Pretty - New Zealanders love dessert!

Ruth's Perfect Puddings demonstration was interactive, engaging & entertaining. "In New Zealand people love dessert" she tells us, going on to describe how food has eras & Ruth has seen many changes in her 30 years as a chef. The most popular trend currently is the dessert bar, Ruth says these are popular at weddings & functions. "A buffet of 5-6 dessert options, there's small dishes & less sweetness now. Salted caramel is a popular dessert trend, lemon is the perfect antidote to sweetness so this is where the infused olive oils & preseved lemons come into play".

"Theres also a great predominance of special dietary requirements", says Ruth....."a different name for people wanting to eat differently, not necessarily for allergy reasons but just because different diets suit different tastes". Ruth says this has been challenging as a chef, she has had to adjust her recipes accordingly, using ingredients she never thought she'd use, such as "no egg powder" for the likes of gluten free & vegan diets (as an example). This challenge is one Ruth has taken on with gusto....we get the feeling no order is too tall for this talented & clever chef!
While Ruth continues her cake baking demonstration we snack on the next delicious dish!

Yoghurt, herb & preserved lemon dip w smoked paprika infused olive oil crisps

The dip is superb with Ruth's special recipie crackers...the pita crackers are an easy option (look for Ruth's recipie in the Dominion Post) but Ruth warns that trying to make your own crackers at home "could drive you to drink!"

Mary Biggs said she could have devoured gallons of this dip! "The lemons preserved in salt, smoked paprika & chilli enhance the infused olive oil perfectly!" she tells us.

We agree...this dip was perfect & every last mouthful consumed by the guests.....onto the next dish!

Chocolate orange infused olive oil cupcakes with dark chocolate & preserved lemon pistachio praline

Ruth promises the cupcakes will take us into another zone! Gluten free & vegan we watch in awe as Ruth & Ronnie whip up perfect ganache & praline right before us.
Ruth pulls out a bulk bag of Whittakers chocolate pips (aka nibs). "Now I'd like you all to write a letter to Whittakers asking for a retail size of the pips! They're the perfect size to snack on while you cook!"

The praline is a work of art, Ruth smashes it to a perfect crumble with her trusty rolling pin, "I hate him, I hate him, I hate him" she jokes while smashing! Ever entertaining we adore Ruth's sense of humour, the entire event packed full of quotes & jokes!

We watch as ganache is magically poured & praline crumbled over these delectable cupcakes...... & yes they taste just as amazing as they look!

Olivo orange infused oil, Lavender's Green preserved lemons - perfect complements

Vanilla infused Olive Oil & Preserved Lemon Ginger & Raisin Cake w whipped cream

Ruth tells us cake should be "worth the calories" & should be moist as well as tasty, she also loves syrup on cakes. "Preserved lemon drizzle will make the cake beautiful", says Ruth. We also find out that rum works as a preservative in cakes. This is a "chuck together cake" she tells us, "the best kind"

"It's a lovely thing to go out for coffee & cake", Ruth tells us & of course we agree, that's whey we are here today....enjoying every moment of the Perfect Puddings event.

Ruth's hint:
"when using a springform pan place the rim down, this prevents the mix from leaking, also place pan on a tray in the oven to bake"

White Chocolate, Preserved Lemon & Fennel infused Olive Oil Mousse with Salted Lemon Crisps

Ruth tells us desserts should have a bit of "get up & go". This mousse certainly has that, smooth & light with the contrast of the salted lemon crisps a perfect end to the day.

Ruth's hint:

"When melting white chocolate use a low heat to avoid clumping, add the olive oil slowly"

Palliser Estate bubbles, Loopline Riesling & Margrain Chenin Blanc

The wines chosen for today's event were the Palliser Estate bubbles, Loopline Riesling & Margrain Chenin Blanc.
The perfect match with the dessert menu dished up by Ruth & team.

Ruth with her assistant Ronnie, cooking up a storm!

We totally enjoyed Ruth's demonstration, never a dull moment, loads of handy hints & tips along with some memorable quotes. The main quote of the day:

"Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die"

A philosophy Ruth applies to her cooking, in particular the many "special dietary" requests she is now dealing with as a chef........ we love this quote & Ruth had us all chanting it in unison by the end of the day. Lots's of laughter, good food, conversation & fine wine.

A huge thankyou to Ruth Pretty, Helen Meehan & Mary Biggs for a wonderful event, we thoroughly enjoyed "Perfect Puddings" & we're already looking forward to next year!
A nice surprise at the end of the day was a gift from Ruth for all guests, a voucher for coffee & cake at her Te Horo kitchen. We will definitely be taking up this offer.....in Ruth's words:

"It's a lovely thing to go out for coffee & cake!"

Click these links for more on Ruth Pretty, Olivo Olive Oil & Lavender's Green:
Ruth Pretty Catering
Olivo Olive Oil
Lavender's Green
Trish Higginson & Karina Hailwood
Creative Directors
Martinborough Village
"Let us show you the magic of our town"

Copyright MV 2015
enquiries to karina@martinborough-village.co.nz