Home Matt Cross, Mosgiel

Matt Cross, Mosgiel

The Tart Tin

If you ever find yourself in Mosgiel enjoying a great home afternoon tea and are so impressed with the offerings you ask for the recipes and receive less than a forthcoming response - it could be that the "home baking" from the battered, worn tin is actually from The Tart Tin in Dunedin. Master baker/chef Matt Cross says he knows there are a couple of Mosgiel ladies (identity withheld) who like to say it's their baking, but it's not!

When you ask professional chef, surfer, male model and genuinely nice guy Matt why he bakes, the answer comes quickly. "I love to make people smile, make them happy and remember their childhood, and in particular all those Edmonds delights." The Edmonds Cookery Book was his go-to as a young baker. "They (Edmonds) have nailed it with that cookbook, it's a classic and when it comes to technique, all that sifting, folding and emphasis on quality ingredients and tools - those recipes have produced top baking for years.......great grass roots cooking!"

Matt started his business in 2007 and for the past ten years Matt has been in his caravan at the Otago Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Lines of customers bring along their cake tins and he serves everything from donuts and brownies, to cupcakes and macarons. The big new popular trend? "Cakes - real cakes with plenty of butter and cream - lots of toppings and more - we don't hold back" says Matt. As well as the market, Matt has recently opened up a bakery/café open Wednesdays in the city and has a vigorous cake order business, from wedding cakes to birthday cakes.

Matt's favourite Edmond's recipe 

"Fudge, it's a classic and add your own bits to make it your own. As a young baker I used to make Edmond's fudge and sell it at my mother's work for fundraising and extra pocket money - an entrepreneur at a young age" he says with a laugh.

More baking tips from Matt

  • Don't forget to lick the spoon.
  • Bring your personality into the baking - "Once you have mastered the basics - like the fudge cake - add mint or rum & raisin - just make it yours - bring your soul into it. We usually add more things and more icing."
  • Always use good quality raw ingredients, good free-range room temperature eggs, good quality flour like Edmonds, good quality butter (usually slightly softened - except for pastry and scones).
  • Give yourself time - don't rush the baking process.
  • Don't expect your baking to look just like the picture in the cook book. Don't expect too much - enjoy the process.
  • When mixing your cakes, turn the bowl and use big but gentle movements. Avoid over-mixing or the results will be tougher.
  • A soft silicon spatula is ideal - be gentle.
  • Matt uses soft butter to grease the baking tins and baking paper for easy removing from tin.
  • Bake cakes in the middle of the oven.
  • If using metal trays for baking cupcakes, take them out of the trays soon after they come out of the oven so they don't continue to cook.
  • Egg whites hate fat and love acid. If your bowl has any butter or egg yolk residue on it, the egg whites will not stiffen properly. Wiping the bowl with a lemon half ensures there is no residue.

matt cross