Claudine and Dominiek, bakers in Oostkamp
What do you do in your daily life?
We are the odd ones out in the Belgian bakery profession. I’m a baker and Claudine is specialised in the finishing and decoration of cakes for all sorts of occasions. We run a bakery together, but we don’t have a shop.
Our bread, which we bake daily, is sold through vending machines, in and around Oostkamp. It’s our way of offering our customers a service outside working hours. We stock the vending machines a first time at 6.30 a.m. in the morning. Then we restock them around 5.30 p.m.
In the weekend we operate like an ordinary bakery, selling all the usual products, like bread rolls, baguettes and pastries. In addition to the ordered items we also make a few extras of everything. People pop in throughout the day, sometimes they are in luck, and pleasantly surprised by our range of products.
We also sell traditional and contemporary cakes, which we make to order. We have a fixed selection of cakes and adapt the recipe to suit the customer’s needs (for example in the case of allergies or food intolerances). But people mainly order celebration and special occasion cakes from us. We specialise in children’s cakes, decorated with Raffinerie Tirlemontoise’s roll-out icing, called Covapaste.
How long have you been working with the products of Raffinerie Tirlemontoise and in what way?
I am a third-generation baker and for as long as I can remember our family has been using Raffinerie Tirlemontoise’s sugar. Over the years I have seen almost all of the packaging of "Tiense Suiker", which are on display in the Sugar Museum in Tienen.
So I come from a long line of bakers and as our name "Heritage & Tradition" indicates, I still work in the traditional way. I don’t believe in using semi-finished products or ready-made pastry creams. Every day I prepare all the dough, the sponges and the fillings myself.
I try to use the right product of Raffinerie Tirlemontoise for every recipe that requires sugar. This can be granulated sugar, icing sugar or another type of sugar. Covapaste is the perfect alternative to marzipan for our youngest customers, and also for adults.
Which products do you use?
We mainly use granulated sugar and pearl sugar for sweet dough and sugar bread. Obviously we wouldn’t be able to make our pastries without icing sugar. I also use Trimoline, a soft paste, in my pastries and cakes.
We mainly use S2 granulated sugar in the bakery and we make our own vanilla sugar with the ultra-fine granulated sugar. Other products we use are the chocolate and caramel pastes to flavour the pastry cream or we use it in combination with Covapaste.
Without Covapaste we would never have been able to decorate our unique special occasion cakes in the way we do now. Every baker should try it! It is easier and faster to roll out than marzipan and the possibilities are endless!
What is your favourite Sugar of Tirlemont?
We each have our own favourites. I myself like to work with all the products of Raffinerie Tirlemontoise. What’s more, the company has a specific product for every application, which really makes my life easier. Claudine can’t live without her Covapaste for finishing and decorating cakes. She feels this product is far superior compared to other, similar products that are available on the market.