Dining Out

Dulce Luna Viennoiserie

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang

I was fortunate enough to be asked along to the pre-launch of Dulce Luna, a new Viennoiserie in Sydney, on the corner or York and King Street. On arrival I saw a sign letting people know of the upcoming opening and specials to be had on the opening day Wednesday 5th December, including free dulce lunas. I also saw people already interested in trying out these yummy pastries. If you’d like to read more about the launch, check out this post by Jeroxie.

Dulce Luna means Sweet Moon in Spanish, and it is quite hard to describe these lovely pastries. Gus, the founder of the store, describes it as the combination of a croissant, cornetti and brioche. Having only tried croissants, I would describe it as not as flaky, with a more sweet and slightly softer filling. As it is hard to describe, it’s probably a good idea to try them 🙂

The cute store was beautifully decorated with white and black features, sayings about pastries, chandeliers and matching wall lights. The entrance featured a two piece band, close to the glass cabinets filled with dulce lunas. Following this was a large coffee machine across from some stools, this then flows straight into the kitchen which had a lovely long bench and some very special machinery – including one large “fridge” which could be set to change from fridge settings to warming settings, depending on what was required for the dough or the rolled pastries.

Nick loved the coffee

You could sense the excitement of everyone involved with the store, and their passion for making quality pastries and coffee was clearly evident. I was told that whilst trying to perfect the recipe for their dulce lunas they didn’t even allow family and friends to try the ones that weren’t quite perfect – something I think my family just wouldn’t have allowed.

Gus and Herve sharing their passion for dulce lunas with us

We chatted with the founder Gus, head Chef Herve and manager Cory, and were delighted by their stories of how the product was perfected and how everyone contributed to overcoming the challenges of opening a new cafe. We discovered that there is certainly a possibility that more Viennoiseries will be opened around Sydney and Melbourne (I have fingers crossed for one in Darlinghurst, as I can imagine eating this for breakfast, morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea at work).

Gus Mendez told us how the idea for this cafe started and the process leading up to the launch. “The whole idea about dulce luna popped into my head about 15 years ago, when I was on honeymoon and having breakfast with my wife and had these amazing pastries in Buenos Aires, Argentina.” He thought they would be perfect for home, Australia, and just wanted to eat more of the pastries.

“After 15 years in finance, I sold my business 2 years ago and thought I would revisit that idea and start discovering a bit about pastries. I was lucky enough to visit Paris, New York, and then go back to Buenos Aires and also to sample a lot of product here in Australia, and thought there is definitely a gap in the market, for something that’s a bit different.” Gus baked for months on end in his kitchen, then showed Herve what he envisaged would be their product, which then resulted in more cooking and trialing of recipes. “We believe it’s an Australian product, because it is quite unique, and brings a lot out of each of those products.”

Head Chef Herve Boutin has been in Australia for more than 20 years and completed the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), which took 3 years of preparation, before coming to Australia. He met Gus 6 months ago and loved the idea. “We put our passion and knowledge into the product…This product can only be home made.” Herve sums it up nicely: “It’s a great story of passionate people.”

When the food was on its way out, I was glad Nick was there (he was also very happy I brought him along), as this meant I got to try all the dulce lunas available. I tried the traditional one to begin with to try and taste the difference between this and a croissant. It had a beautiful, light texture with a very slight vanilla glaze on top. Next came the raspberry dulce luna which had both an amazing raspberry jam and raspberries on top, and due to my love of raspberries, this would have to be one of my favourites. The pistachio was also a big favourite of mine. The freshly ground pistachio flavour works beautifully with the pasty.

Raspberry Dulce Lunas

The almond dulce luna came out, and it was lovely, especially as it was made fresh and not with day old croissants which is what is usually done at most bakeries. The chocolate dulce luna was also a big hit – the chocolate was of great quality and being so fresh, it melted in your mouth. The quality and amount of chocolate in these is far better than your average chocolate croissant.

Pistachio and Almond Dulce Lunas

Two “dessert” dulce lunas also came out, luckily after some of the less rich ones (as otherwise I might not have managed to try them all). The first was the crème patisserie one, which had a beautiful vanilla custard-like filling, and the dulce de leche – well that can speak for itself, if you love caramel – you will love this

Dulce de leche and Creme Patisserie Dulce Lunas

For those with a less sweet tooth, some savoury options are available and would be great for breakfast or lunch – including the ham, cheese and béchamel sauce, and the spinach and feta.

Ham, Cheese and Bechamel, and Spinach and Feta Dulce Lunas

After trying all the flavours, everyone shared their favourite flavours. Some preferred the ham and cheese, others the raspberry and many the dulce de leche. One of the things I found most enjoyable with all the dulce lunas we tried was their freshness and the natural flavours that came through, nothing tasted artificial – because nothing like that is added. We were told of how every day the product will be made fresh and is best eaten within about 8 hours of baking. If you don’t get a chance though, a quick reheat in the microwave will work a treat, which is what we did with our take-home sample package.

There are also going to be certain featured flavours only available for a week at a time, including lemon curd and Nutella.

Lastly, we got to see the production of the dulce lunas, with dough that had been proving overnight. The proving process helps to develop a lot of the flavour. The dough then gets laminated with butter to form the working dough, which gets cut into triangles and rolled to the traditional moon shape. The filled lunas have to be done a bit more carefully to ensure the filling doesn’t come out.

The professional ones are on the right hand side - with our attempts making the rest...

I would like to thank both Nuffnang and Dulce Luna for this opportunity – attending the pre-launch was lovely, and it was great to meet so many vibrant and passionate people… and of course trying such amazing food. I am sure that customers will have a similar admiration when they try these quality, tasty dulce lunas, and meet the people who work in the store.

The ones we got to take home - and had for breakfast :)

Now… Nick – when will you have a chance to pick me up another box of them?

For updates or offers by Dulce Luna, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook members & Twitter followers of Dulce Luna can get these discounts for a limited time:
$12.50 for mixed half dozen box ($2.50 discount or over 15%)
$24.00 for mixed dozen ($5.00 discount or over 15%) till 31st Mar 2013

Dulce Luna
Sydney CBD Shop 2C,
66 King St (corner York St)
http://dulceluna.com.au/index.html

Taste of Sydney – March 2012

Saturday, March 10th, 2012


After huge amounts of rain on Thursday in Sydney, it made a lot of sense that the Taste of Sydney‘s opening Thursday night was cancelled. When I went after work on Friday night, there were still ponds around trees in Centennial Park – and these ponds were under seating and benches, so we knew they weren’t meant to be there, but that didn’t stop the ducks from paddling their feet there.

Arriving at 6.30pm, there was not much room to park at all, although this meant we had a nice walk through park on our way to the festival (it also meant it was a dark walk back – which I used my iphone torch to help guide our way, so we didn’t get caught in any puddles).

I went straight to buy Crowns (the currency of the Taste of Sydney), pick up my free Gourmet Traveller magazine, and then on to buy the entrees.

For my entree, I purchased the Barbarossa Ravioli – Ravioli of Sliced Pickled Beetroot with Goats Curd, Pistachio and Horseradish from Otto Ristorante. It was beautifully presented – people even came up and asked what it was and where they could get it – and the taste was lovely too. I only wish there was more 🙂

Nick had the Charcuterie Tasting Plate with Cornichons and Mustard Fruits from The Cut Bar and Grill. The flavours of the meat were certainly a great starter for the night.

For the main I had the Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Polenta and Green Sauce from The Montpellier Public House. The Lamb fell off the bone and was lovely and flavoursome. I wish there had been more meat, as there was a lot of bone and fat left over.

Next to try was the Roast Suckling Pig, Coleslaw, Onion Rings and Hot Sauce from Four in Hand. The pig fell apart beautifully had a good flavour, Nick enjoyed this.

On to dessert, I decided to try the Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Sandwich from Quarter Twenty One, and found the honeycomb and chocolate worked very nicely. I didn’t think preserved citrus that was paired with it worked well, so I ate the ice cream sandwich by itself.

The other dessert we tried was the Cremino al Cioccolato: Amedei gianduia chocolate crema, salty caramel gelato, Italian meringue from A Tavola. This dessert came in a little coffee cup, and the combination of flavours worked well, with chocolate at the bottom, caramel and soft Italian meringue on top.

As we ate quite soon after arriving, we managed to get a good spot on the picnic rugs and tables provided by LilyDale which were located in the middle of the festival, and also surrounding some wonderful entertainment provided at the Argyle Bandstand. On Friday night, Fantine was playing – and she was fantastic! A wonderful singer and entertainer.

We then walked around looking for some free trials of foods, and of course City Tattersalls Club did not disappoint, with drinks and Greek Doughnuts on offer. We also tried frozen yoghurt from Foxy’s Premium Frozen Yoghurt, breakfast juice from Nudie Foods, jams from the Jam Lady Jam, mango and chilli biltong from Springbok Delights, and soft creamy feta from Yarra Valley Dairy. We bought a few foods to take home and will keep an eye out for any recipes that are posted from this year’s event.

Anita received 3 tickets for the Taste of Sydney from Stella Concepts.

French Food Safari

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

I was grateful to receive a Gourmet Safaris voucher from some lovely friends recently. You can choose either a bus tour or a walking tour, and I decided a bus tour would be nice (even though a bit of walking whilst eating is a good idea). I love French food, and seeing as the earliest one I could make was on a Wednesday, I decided a break in the middle of the work week would be nice.

We had one of the smallest groups our host Marie had taken, and at 18 people it was a nice number being not too big.

We started our day with a visit to Ganache Patisserie in Castlecrag, where the owner and chefs showed us how they make croissants and other pastries and the techniques they use to decorate their cakes. It was a very interesting process where you watch as the cake is transformed. Each addition makes it looks more complete, until the finishing touches are added and the cake is complete.

After the demonstration, Garanche Patisserie served us a French breakfast, or by this time for me, it was morning tea. We were given a large bowl of hot chocolate or coffee (or whatever you wanted to order), with a basket of cut baguettes, chocolate croissant and another croissant type pastry served with butter and apricot jam. I never buy or eat apricot jam as I can’t stand any that I have tried – until now, this was amazing jam – so amazing I had to buy some and take it home. The baguettes were the best I have tried. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and they worked perfectly with the butter and jam. We were unfortunately too late (at 10.30am) for me to try an almond croissant (a favourite of mine), as they had sold out. I would have loved to have tried it. Perhaps I will have to go back on my own sometime.

Next we went to a butcher that was nothing like anything I had ever seen – Victor Churchill in Woollahra. The display in the front window looked like it was from a jewellery store. With a Valentines theme, different types of meat were placed on ingredients they were “made for”. Beautiful meats were visible in the cold-rooms behind glass, while the experienced butchers prepared meat in front of the customers behind the glassed preparation areas. They had their own drying and salting room, which had glass walls, except for the one at the back which was made of salt “bricks” which help remove the moisture for the meat as they hang and age for 28 days. We were able to try some of their prosciutto and pork rigullettes, which were both gorgeous.


The Essential ingredient in Rozelle was next, and for most of us foodies was somewhere we had been before. To begin with there was a demonstration of some of their French items, which would be good for someone who is in need of some new items, although many of the brands were just too expensive for me. I was lucky to get a Le Creuset pot for Christmas which I am very grateful for, so I didn’t really need to buy any more cookware. I did stock up on a few other items for my pantry though and a few nice serving-ware pieces.

For lunch we went to La Grande Bouffe, just down the road from the Essential Ingredient. The staff and chef were friendly and very attentive. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and baguette. The Chef came and described what we were having for lunch and was happy to answer any questions. We were served a Gruyere cheese soufflé to start with, which had a beautiful in texture and taste. Next came the main with white or red wine. The main was salmon with pesto, caper, olive, capsicum salad. Everything was cooked beautifully and the wine kept coming.

After lunch came chocolate (the chocolate only came before cheese due to the locations of the places we were visiting). We visited Belle Fleur Chocolates in Petersham and met Jan Ter Heerdt who is a very experienced chocolatier and owner of Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates.

Jan went through how chocolate is made, with samples of the cocoa bean, 99% cocoa chocolate, single origin chocolate, 66% cocoa chocolate and an amazing 4 or so flavoured and hand made chocolates from their range. One of these was my absolute favourite, which is what Jan called a traditional Belgium chocolate. It was dark chocolate encasing caramel, cream and a milk chocolate cream topping. It was lovely.

Last but not least we visited Simon Johnson in Alexandria for our cheese fill for the day. We arrived to be greeted by a very large amount of cheese to sample. I was more than happy to have a past bad experience with goats cheese now corrected. My two favourites (and the most mildest) were the goat’s milk cheese: Caridoux and the cow’s milk Fromage de Meaux.

The day complete, we left with cheese, jam, chocolate and some serving-ware. I just wish I had bought a baguette earlier in the day – like most of the other people on the tour did…

I really enjoyed the tour, and have seen quite a few others on the Gourmet Safaris website that I would love to go on.

Aria

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

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I was lucky enough to be taken to Aria for a Christmas lunch!

Mango - cheese cake with ginger crumble, lime jelly and roasted pineapple sorbet

Mango - cheese cake with ginger crumble, lime jelly and roasted pineapple sorbet

Sydney city looked spectacular on the bright sunny day we went out for lunch, with views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Pity I didn’t take photos of them, too concerned about the food perhaps? (truly obsessed with food I am)

Coffee - warm coffee cake with espresso ice cream, coconut sorbet and passionfruit

Coffee - warm coffee cake with espresso ice cream, coconut sorbet and passionfruit

Everything was lovely at Aria, the room, the staff, Matt Moran – yes, we did see Matt Moran, and a good friend was nice enough to go and ask if he’d mind having a photo with me 🙂

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There was a very good range on the menu (as we had a group booking), with 5 choices per course. I couldn’t go past the pork belly for the entrée and when it came out, I was glad with my choice. All portions were very generous, the pork belly was gorgeous and rich with a beautiful crispy skin on top. There was a large amount of fat under the skin, which I’m sure most people would have enjoyed, although I don’t eat much fat at all, and had to remove some of this. The pork had a fantastic pork croquette and beautiful pear chutney accompanying it, along with a paradise pear which worked surprisingly well.

Pork Belly - Kurobuta sweet pork belly with pork croquette, paradise pears and pear chutney

Pork Belly - Kurobuta sweet pork belly with pork croquette, paradise pears and pear chutney

I tried a small amount of the Kingfish with some octopus carpaccio and am starting to think – I may actually like a bit of seafood (in the past I have had quite badly cooked seafood, but am coming to realise it’s not all that bad).

Kingfish - sashimi and cerviche with octopus carpaccio, cucumber and citrus

Kingfish - sashimi and cerviche with octopus carpaccio, cucumber and citrus

For the main I chose the lamb, which was perfectly cooked and again, generous in size. The plate looked like an artwork, with everything perfectly placed, baby artichokes and lovely sauce for the lamb.

Lamb - basil scented fillet with red capsicum, baby artichokes and green olive and lavender sauce

Lamb - basil scented fillet with red capsicum, baby artichokes and green olive and lavender sauce

Trevalla - roasted with glazed witlof, chesnut mushrooms, white beans and chicken jus

Trevalla - roasted with glazed witlof, chesnut mushrooms, white beans and chicken jus

Now to dessert, and I always leave room for dessert. It was moderately hard to choose the dessert. Don’t get me wrong, everything sounded amazing (and looked absolutely fabulous when they arrived), but I was choosing between the strawberry dessert and the chocolate tasting plate (remember I tried to make that one?). I heard the strawberry dessert was fantastic. Everything from the creamy panna cotta to the wonderful sorbet. I would love to try this.

Valrhona Chocolate - rich chocolate delice with chocolate sorbet

Valrhona Chocolate - rich chocolate delice with chocolate sorbet

Strawberry - poached strawberries with panna cotta, clotted cream and shortbread

Strawberry - poached strawberries with panna cotta, clotted cream and shortbread

I wasn’t sure whether the chocolate plate would be similar at all to the one I made in presentation or taste. When it came out it looked gorgeous. Everything was perfectly positioned, nothing was melting (like mine) and the chocolate had the signature snap to it. The macaron was actually my favourite on the plate, as it was lovely and sweet. I think I have to come to terms that I can’t deal with too much bitterness. Although every part of the dessert was lovely, I couldn’t finish it. I can think of several 85% -99% cocoa chocolate lovers who would have adored this dessert, but I’m still struggling with that high percentage of cocoa. I need the sugar and the milk, so unfortunately couldn’t appreciate and finish this dish like I would have hoped.

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What a lovely lunch.

ARIA Restaurant Sydney
1 Macquarie Street, East Circular Quay
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9252 2555

Quay

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

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For my recent birthday I was treated to dinner at Quay.

After deciding 6 months ago that I wanted to experience Quay, I asked to go there for my birthday, and couldn’t be happier with the choice.

Unfortunately our view of the Opera House was shielded for most of the night, as the Star Princess was docked and only left towards the end of the night. It was quite nice watching the ship leave and seeing everyone waving goodbye as they went on their holidays though.

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There is nothing to fault Quay on, except that I couldn’t afford to go there other than very occasionally. When you see the beautiful location with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in full view, the friendly attentive staff and of course, the exquisite creations designed by Peter Gilmore and created by chefs on the night, you understand the prices charged. ($155 for four courses, $210 for seven courses – the signature menu).

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Nick and I decided to go with the four course menu, figuring we would try 8 different meals between us (although most were from Peter’s signature menu).

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The bread with butter came out after a lovely appetizer (sashimi tuna, with tapioca and creamed-cheese – I think) with the favourite bread being the malted sourdough. Nick almost wanted to just eat bread all night :).

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The first entrees came out. I chose the mud crab congee, which was lightly and beautifully flavoured, with nice pieces of crab and a very nice rice porridge which went surprisingly well in the congee.

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Nick chose the signature sea pearls for his first entrée (I really wanted to see them, but don’t like most sea food). They look amazing and we are both very intrigued how they are made to be (almost) perfectly spherical. Nick enjoyed most of the sea pearls, they contained sashimi tuna, aquaculture caviar, sea scallop, smoked eel, octopus, mud crab and abalone.

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The second entrée came and it was difficult to choose who was going to have what, as we were both choosing between the same items. I got the crispy pork belly, with tofu. The pork belly was perfectly cooked, with a crispy top and the fat underneath being well rendered, and the meat was lovely and soft. It worked fantastically with the tofu, which was quite creamy, and the Japenese mushrooms.

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The other second entrée was the partridge-breast, which was delicately flavoured, although it did seem a bit on the rare side. Having never eaten partridge before we weren’t sure how it was meant to be cooked, but the flavours and textures were pleasant.

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For the mains, we were also both choosing between the 24 hour slow cooked lamb and the special for the evening which was a slow roasted wagyu beef. I was very happy when the lamb was placed down in front of me. The meat fell apart with little force and was beautifully flavoured throughout, marrying well with the baby carrots and sheep’s milk fromage on the plate.

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The Wagyu beef was also cooked perfectly, medium rare and with great accompaniments. The sauces and Shitake mushrooms worked beautifully with the beef.

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Now to dessert, and I did leave room for dessert 🙂 . Having chosen the 8 textured chocolate cake for dessert, I thought it best not filling up on the delicious bread to begin with, but rather waiting to savour dessert. The cake came out with a flat top, but when the waiter spooned on the 8th texture, a warm chocolate ganache, a well was formed in the cake. I’m not sure whether this is done by having some of the middle layers in donut shapes, with the chocolate on top being a disk which would melt with the heat of the chocolate ganache. Not sure and don’t care particularly, as this question only stayed in my thoughts until I had the first bite, then all I could think of was how great the cake was. I was especially loving the chocolate biscuits-type bits in the cake.

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Nick chose the custard apple snow egg with jackfruit granita for his dessert, as we were both intrigued by what this would be like. The snow egg had a reasonably hard, thin toffee shell, which after cracking showed a well-made replica of an egg, with a white marshmallow next to the shell and a custard in the middle. The dessert as a whole worked very well together, and showed, along with the other meals, the dedication, time and thought that goes into these pieces of food-art.

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What could top off the night better than a few fireworks 🙂

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P.S. I am waiting patiently for Peter Gilmore’s cookbook…

Sydney Daring Bakers Meet-up at NewsCaf

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

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I really enjoyed meeting up with a group of the Daring Bakers in Sydney a couple weekends ago. Audax organised a lunch, which was attended by many bloggers, many of whom I hadn’t met and some that I had. All the bloggers were friendly and knowledgeable, and we shared many stories about baking, the Daring Bakers challenges we’ve had in the past and ones we expect might arise in the future. We also discussed books, restaurants and who the lucky people are who get all the lovely food we make for the challenges and our blogs. It was great talking with like-minded baking enthusiasts, and I would love to meet up again.

We went to NewsCaf in Newtown for a hearty lunch. I had been contemplating having a croissant for lunch, but after seeing pancakes on the menu (I do love my pancakes), my decision was made. I was also looking forward to some pear nectar, as I thought that would be nice and refreshing, although there was none available. So I decided on the Wildberry Frappe. The frappe was nice and fruity, with a slightly sweet flavour and overall strong berry flavour.

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When my pancakes came out, I was impressed with the generosity of toppings. The two pancakes were covered in a mound of blueberries, strawberries, banana, ricotta and maple syrup. The flavours worked very well together. I love ricotta with pancakes, and the bananas and tartness of the berries complemented the sweet maple syrup well. The only thing I could have asked for to improve it, may have been a touch more maple syrup – I tend to have quite a bit on pancakes.

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Everyone else’s meals also looked very generous. Bacon and egg rolls, croissants, eggs benedict’s and French toast were some of the other meals ordered.

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Thanks again to Audax for organising the meet up. It was great to finally meet you and many other enthusiastic Daring Bakers.

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Here’s a list of the Daring Bakers who attended:

Audax @ Audax Artifex

Karen @ Citrus and Candy

Steph @ Raspberri Cupcakes

Lucy @ Lucy Cooks

Lexi and Biff @ Fat Little Dumplings

Lisa @ Spicy Ice cream

Kim @ All Consuming Food

Trissa @ Trissalicious

NewsCaf
267 King St
Newtown 2042 NSW
Phone: (02) 9565 1951

Adriano Zumbo – 40 Days and Nights in Paris

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

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I have been so excited about going to see Adriano Zumbo’s new collection of cakes and macarons since I heard about the launch 3 weeks ago and got even more excited when I saw a sneak peak preview on Not Quite Nigella!!! Lucky Lorraine!! (I’m secretly [or not so secretly] very jealous! 😉 ).

“…….” - Hazelnut meringue, anzac moisture, mint chocolate disc, vanilla apple tatin chantilly, apple tatine compote, isomalt caramel.

“…….” - Hazelnut meringue, anzac moisture, mint chocolate disc, vanilla apple tatin chantilly, apple tatine compote, isomalt caramel.

I have never been to Zumbo’s before and have been reading great reviews about it for the past year. This is also my first time in meeting some fellow food bloggers and my first review of a café. A big thanks to Reem for organising this lovely get together, it was great to finally meet everyone: Reem, Lili, Steph, Chris and Tim, Belle, Trina, Simon, Karen and Susan.

I not only love cakes, biscuits, chocolate, macarons, cream and all other things sweet, but I also love when people present their dishes in a gorgeous way, so I was in for a treat!

“!” - Smoked rice orange brulee, violet curd, pate sable with mandarin and ruby grapefruit segments.

“!” - Smoked rice orange brulee, violet curd, pate sable with mandarin and ruby grapefruit segments.

After seeing the preview I had an idea of definite cakes to try, the chocolate ‘popcorn’ stack and the Mille Feuille … and don’t forget the lovely range of macarons.

“Escape from a Colombia Rainforest” - flourless chocolate sponge, dark chocolate fizzy disc, cherry cola jelly, cherry cola slurp, chocolate sabayon mousse.

“Escape from a Colombia Rainforest” - flourless chocolate sponge, dark chocolate fizzy disc, cherry cola jelly, cherry cola slurp, chocolate sabayon mousse.

“P” - Mandarin mousse, tonka bean brulee, pain d’epice, sour cream jelly, almond ginger crunch disc.

“P” - Mandarin mousse, tonka bean brulee, pain d’epice, sour cream jelly, almond ginger crunch disc.

Adriano, Rachel and the other lovely staff at the café had a spread of the new collection of cakes out for us to photograph and after choosing a few to buy and take home, we were able to share the remaining cakes there.

“6/11/81″ - Milk passion caramel mousse, lime creme, passionfruit marshmallow, coconut crunch and brownie.

“6/11/81″ - Milk passion caramel mousse, lime creme, passionfruit marshmallow, coconut crunch and brownie.

At Adriano’s I tried a beautiful lime and passionfruit marshmallow cake. There were two sections to this cake, one with a slightly crunchy coconut layer on the outside, with layers of marshmallow and cake and the other covered in luscious mousse. I would have this again – and have been craving it since! 🙂

Smoked toasted marshmallow & chocolate cake, Carrot and seaweed teacake  and Gianduja ganache with caramel in a pate sable shell

Smoked toasted marshmallow & chocolate cake, Carrot and seaweed teacake and Gianduja ganache with caramel in a pate sable shell

Adriano also bought out a few different cakes that were sliced up on the spot. A carrot cake wrapped in seaweed along with a marshmallow cake which had marshmallow in the top of the cake, with a distinctly smoky flavoured cake and glaze, which was topped with marshmallow and ‘coal’-like pieces on top.

“S” - Tea and passionfruit soaked pears & savarin, lavender saffron mascarpone creme, crumble, raspberry jelly, coconut rehydration pipette.

“S” - Tea and passionfruit soaked pears & savarin, lavender saffron mascarpone creme, crumble, raspberry jelly, coconut rehydration pipette.

“W” - Chocolate pop rock & popcorn disc, vanilla almond chantilly, dulce de leche, flourless chocolate sponge, almond feulletine.

“W” - Chocolate pop rock & popcorn disc, vanilla almond chantilly, dulce de leche, flourless chocolate sponge, almond feulletine.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try the chocolate popcorn stack, but heard it was lovely, this means I’ll have to travel back there 😉 Anyone interested?

‘X' - Pine nut gianduja mousse, dark chocolate crème, pate feulletage caramelise, sacher sponge

‘X' - Pine nut gianduja mousse, dark chocolate crème, pate feulletage caramelise, sacher sponge

I decided to buy two cakes to take home for my family to try. One was the Mille Feuille, which consisted of layers of pine nut mousse, fresh and cripsy puff pastry and chocolate crème. There were a few flavours I couldn’t pick in this dish and most people enjoyed this one.

(It fell while I took in on trek home), but it didn't change how much I love it. “V” - Macadamia praline mousse, macadamia dacquoise, vanilla chantilly, pear tatine palette, macadamia feulletine.

(It fell over while I took it on the trek home), but it didn't change how much I loved it. “V” - Macadamia praline mousse, macadamia dacquoise, vanilla chantilly, pear tatine palette, macadamia feulletine.

I really enjoyed ‘V’. After hearing the numerous amounts of ways macadamia were incorporated into this dish and seeing its gorgeous presentation, I thought both my family and I would certainly enjoy this tremendously. It was certainly one of the favourites with the vanilla chantilly working wonders with the macadamia layers, and the pear tatine cutting some of the creaminess in the dish.

Macaron flavours, clockwise from back left: Baklava, Rice Pudding, Toffe Apple, Dark Chocolate

(These also got a bit broken on the way home). 🙁 Macaron flavours, clockwise from back left: Baklava, Rice Pudding, Toffe Apple, Dark Chocolate

I took four macarons home to try as well. The rice pudding was my favourite with a lovely vanilla flavour and rice texture. The chocolate macaron was lovely, slightly bitter with rich dark chocolate. The baklava macaron had a big hit of what I thought was cardamon? But I’m never good at picking flavours and the toffee apple had a hard and (beware for those with loose fillings) chewy outside toffee shell, with a soft apple interior.

The Man himself - Adriano being inundated by bloggers wanting photos

The Man himself - Adriano being inundated by bloggers wanting photos

Thanks again to both Adriano and Rachael at the café for all the hard work they put into making sure the food bloggers had a great range of cakes to try. They were both lovely, friendly and very helpful. Thanks again and I look forward to my next visit. Thanks also to all the food bloggers!! 😉

Adriano Zumbo
Café Chocolat
Shop 5, 308 Darling St Balmain
Ph 02 9555 1199
Open from 8 to 4 Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 on Saturdays and 9 to 5 Sundays

Pâtisserie
296 Darling St Balmain
Ph 02 9810 7318
Open 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and 8 to 4 on Sundays

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