INTERVIEW: ANNIKA BAILLIE OF TANTRUM DOUGHNUTS

Tantrum Doughtnuts on Old Dumbarton Road in the West End of Glasgow specialises in making delicious and inventive hand-rolled brioche doughnuts and serving them with rich hot chocolate (with the added option of toasted homemade marshmallows), milkshakes & fresh coffee.

The brainchild of husband and wife team Iain and Annika Baillie, Tantrum Doughnuts opened at number 35 Old Dumbarton Road in December 2016, after a series of very successful pop-ups.

Iain & Annika Baillie

They recently moved their front of house operation down a couple of doors, to number 27, turning 35 into a production bakery. This is obviously great news for us, as it means they can make even more doughnuts!

27 Old Dumbarton Road, Glasgow

Iain Baillie’s credentials as a pastry chef – The Fat Duck, One Devonshire Gardens and Ox and Finch – speak for themselves. Together with Annika’s background being front of house, they make excellent team. The name of the business came about over a bottle of wine and it stuck! Speaking to Annika about how it all began, she said, “Iain and I spoke multiple times about doing something together, opening up our own place. Iain wanted to concentrate on the pastry side, whereas I was happy to stay front of house as I’d been doing that for years. We wanted to do something a bit different, keeping it creative and fun but also keeping the quality really high.

After a lot of brainstorming and discussion we thought ‘let’s do really good doughnuts’. There weren’t any other places concentrating solely on doughnuts, so we thought ‘let’s do it!’. We did a few pop-ups to guage the public’s interest and we sold out most of the time. The feedback on social media was brilliant and within a few months, we opened up our shop at 35 Old Dumbarton Road!”

What sets these doughnuts apart from the competition is the brioche dough. Think resplendently rich, springy, greaseless doughnuts that still manage to taste light and well-balanced, as it is the inventive glazes and fillings that do them such remarkable justice.

“Brioche is a great pastry to work with. It is so buttery and light. We use high quality ingredients and we prove the dough for about 20 hours so the flavour really develops in that time. We make them fresh every morning – Iain is in at 2am every day, rolling the dough by hand – its proved again, then fried and filled by hand. We make all our fillings from scratch…jams, custards, glazes, toppings, crumbles, everything is made in-house.”

Clearly, they’re onto a winner. On a weekday, Tantrum sell about 400 doughnuts, at the weekends they sell out, having sold 900-1000 doughnuts each day. Their crème brûlée doughnut is their best seller by far (below left), and the pistachio and hibiscus is also very popular.(below right). “Pistachio is an ingredient that is very popular so whenever that goes into something, we know it will sell well.”

Annika and Iain are always looking for inspiration. “Since starting Tantrum we look at everything differetly. Every time we eat out or go into a shop, we taste and look at things differently. We go to the pub with our chefs and our staff and brainstorm ideas, then we go into the kitchen and try them out. Some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t, its trial and error.”

Tantrum is one of the most instagrammable places in Glasgow and as such, they take it very seriously. “Social media is very impotant to us. We post and engage every day. We get a lot of people coming in saying they came in because of something they saw on instagram.

Hollywood actor & producer Christian Slater was filming in Glasgow a few months ago and popped in and tried nearly every doughnut and posted on his instagram too.”

“When we opened, people thought we were crazy to just sell doughnuts but it has worked! Now that we have moved into 27, number 35 can be a fully functioining production kitchen and we can increase our production. We can currently make 900-1000 with just one fryer, one prover and hand-rolling everything. Once we get more equipment we can make a lot more.”

Of course, you can’t walk out of Tantrum without buying a few to take away with you so that day’s haul was Yuzu Meringue, Honey-glaze ring with buttered almonds and Maple-candied bacon & pork crackling.  All amazing.

The sharp zestiness of the yuzu inside was offset beautifully by the sweetness of the sugar coating and meringue topping. The honey and buttered almond doughnut is probably one of the best doughnuts this addict has ever tasted. Soft, pillowy, rich, buttery, sweet and crunchy. Sublime. And of course, the salty sweetness of the candied bacon and crackling doughnut was like a party in the mouth!

Tantrum is a fantastic addition to the Glasgow food scene. Its very clear that Annika and Iain run their business with passion and enthusiasm for their product, and make their doughnuts with love. Their constantly changing menu, gives you a good excuse to keep going back for more! To keep up to date with their new flavours, follow them on Instagram and Twitter and make sure to head down to 35 Old Dumbarton Road, in between Finnieston and Partick for your sweet fix. And if you feel like indulging, make sure to get a hot chocolate topped with a homemade toasted marshmallow. They’re awesome. (As is the pistachio custard doughnut!)

Tantrum is open Tue-Fri: 9-6, Sat: 10-6 & Sun: 10-5. Closed on Mondays.

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