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Anyone who has ever watched Masterchef would probably know of the name Zumbo. Known for his intricate and complex desserts and in particular the V8 cake and the Zumbo Macarons Tower, he has certainly made a name for himself all across Australia.

Zumbo Patisserie has finally reached Melbourne, and it picks a hot spot too in South Yarra. Conveniently located minutes walk from the South Yarra railway station and in between newly develop(ing) apartments and Toorak Road. South Yarra has become the dessert place to be with the likes of LuxBite and Burch & Purchese.

The Zumbo store is smaller than I expected, and yet they manage to showcase a variety of their larger cakes, mini cakes and desserts, macarons and pastries.

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 From top left: V8 (8″), Apple Fields (8″), Non Che Nudo Ka, Lemon Meringue, Secret Carrot’s Business

From bottom left: V8 (6″), Dr Dot, Apple Fields (6″)

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 From left: Orange & Coconut, Decorated Fondant, Mylo Sacher Cyrus, Capsicum & Peanut

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From left: (Minis) Dr Dot, Secret Carrot’s Business, The Annoying Orange Cake, Non Che Nudo Ka

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From left: Lemon Meringue Tart, Tart Aux Fruits De La Passion

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Macaron Flavours on the day (Subject to change): Pandan & Sticky Rice Pudding, Yoghurt & Passionfruit, Francesco Brownie, Salted Butter Caramel Toast, Toasted Marshmallow, Ghana Milk Chocolate, Blueberry Pancake, Caramel, Apple Pie,  Fingerbun, Passionfruit & Basil, Meat Pie (Movember)

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During November, all the Macaron boxes were in support for Movember as well as the very interesting Meat Pie which I didn’t have a chance to try.

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Assortment of pastries and the Zonuts

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I managed to (barely) bring back a few cakes and macarons. You can see they are a little bit travelled. We have here the Annoying Orange Cake, Apple Fields and Dr Dot as well as the macarons with the flavours listed below.

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Macarons

From left to right we have Apple Pie, Salted butter caramel on toast, Salted butter popcorn, Blueberry pancake, Fingerbun (fruit bread like), Pandan & sticky rice.

The Pandan & sticky rice macarons was something I was very keen to try. I found the pandan flavour to be too mild, very subtle. The texture of the slightly hard sticky rice makes it interesting to eat but with the pandan flavour lacking it didn’t really work as well as I hoped it would. It also goes without saying for all the six macarons that the shells are some of the best in Melbourne. Just enough bite to shell and still moist with the almond meal inside but not too much air in the shells’.

The Salted butter caramel on toast was also superb, the salty caramel filling that is just salted enough to complement the sweetness of the caramel and the slightly viscous nature of the caramel both sticky yet still retaining enough bite was just perfection.

Salted butter popcorn was, unfortunately, a bit of a letdown. You can see it very much looks like popcorn, but the flavour of the filling just tasted like whipped butter. The flavour of just popped buttered popcorn was almost non existent.

The Apple Pie was quite the delight to eat, packed full of flavour in the filling. It really does remind you of eating a apple danish of some sort. Excellent in every way, the freshness of the apple filling really makes it top notch.

The Fingerbun wasn’t something I was very familiar with but after trying this it definitely reminded me of a fruit cake. I checked what the Fingerbuns were and my assessment of what it was (sweet bread with sultanas and icing) seemed to be roughly on point. Flavourwise, I liked it but not being much of a fruit cake/bread fan it’s not something I’d immediately order again.

Lucky last was the Blueberry pancake macaron. Again, a milder tasting blueberry flavour but enough sweetness and slightly tart.

Overall the macarons I found weren’t overly sweet but with macarons they are basically packed full of sugar so that’s expected.

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The annoying orange cake is made of flourless chocolate cake, orange caramel, olive sable, chocolate & clove mousse, orange & white chocolate jam. It reminded me of the Jaffa lollies because of the chocolate and oranges. The chocolate cake was very light and the orange flavoured caramel, and jam complemented the cake well. The orange zest also gave it a boost of orange which I found to be very pleasant on the palette.

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The Apple Fields cake made of  malt shortbread, sunflower praline crunch, honey cremeaux,sunflower chiffon cake, roasted apple jelly compote, apple mousse, was delicious. The apple flavour just oozed out of the compote (jelly) along with the mousse. Very distinct layers all complementing each other well, with none overpowering one over the other. Soft, sweet and bursting full of apples. Lovely

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The Dr. Dot is made of chocolate sable, white nougat, roasted cocoa hib, creme brulee, raspberry vinegar jelly, gianduja mousse, dark chocolate glaze all in their distinct layers surrounded by the mousse and glaze. I absolutely adored this cake, probably because of the chocolate and raspberry working stupendously well together. I love a good raspberry jelly and this was one of them. Smooth but still retaining the essence and texture of raspberries and the nutty nougat gives it a bit of crunch. I thought it had hazelnut flavour in it too, but that seems not to be the case. The mousse is super smooth and ridiculously light. Even looking at the photos again makes me want to taste it again.

Impressions

Although the impressions of many Melburnians seemed to have mixed feelings about the quality of the food here, I still think it has earned its place. Not everything hits the mark, and the prices lean on the more expensive side of things but for special occasions I think it’s reasonable.

The very complex V8 cakes were surprisingly expensive but after much thought realised of how much work would go into these cakes (the 6″ is $70, 8″ is $125) with all the different layers.

LuxBite and Le Petit Gateau does cakes and macarons well as well and I found them to be on average cheaper for what you get. More variety of patisseries the better I’d say though!

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie

12 -14 Claremont St
South Yarra VIC 3141

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I discovered Tanner’s Swiss Patisserie whilst heading for lunch on Blackburn Road. Apparently Tanner’s has been there for decades, and it has this lovely wooden cabin exterior which is so visibly different from the shops around it that you’ll be instantly drawn to it. It’s a small shop but never quiet. The Patisserie sells cakes, tarts, pastries and bread and of course coffee.

Their mini pastries, cakes, and tarts looked delightful so we had to try a few. The pastry pictured above is filled with Hazelnut cream. I’m not quite sure of the advertised name but we bought this because she mentioned hazelnut. Its like a light cookie crumb with a layer of hazelnut cream inside. I found it very sweet overall, and a bit lacking in hazelnut flavour to be honest. It looked fantastic though.

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Tanner’s Pecan Pie is as it looks, rich but definitely oozing in flavour.The pecans are still crunchy, with a dark and rich sweet hardened filling. Even though it’s sweet, I found it to be more well rounded in its flavour. The pastry is nice, short and crispy. With a lovely butter texture to it. A real treat.

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Their Linzertorte, which is basically a jam filled cinnamon and clove flavoured butter pastry. The tart is perfect, again short, crispy with that rich buttery taste. The ground cinnamon and cloves give the pastry an extra kick and usually with Linzertorte, the pastry is also made with ground almonds that give it a softer texture than most shortcrust pastries. I find that the jams or berry preserves used in Linzertortes to be overly sweet and the ratio between pastry and jam leans too far in the favour of the jam. A very thin layer is all that’s needed in my humble opinion, or a reduction in sweetness in the jam but I think that’s the more difficult option to produce since a lot of sugar is required to give it that texture and consistently.

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Tanner’s Apricot Almond Tart is also very tasty. The pastry again is top notch, buttery and crisp.  The tart is glazed with sugar to give it that glistening shine. Using ground almonds gives the tart a moist texture to it and definitely one of the better tarts I’ve tasted.

Impressions

Tanner’s Swiss Patisserie has wonderful pastries and tarts but like most patisseries their sweet delights are a tad too sweet for my liking. A small bite is all I need to be satisfied and these little tarts will do that just fine.

Tanner's Swiss Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Tanner’s Swiss Patisserie

232 Blackburn Road
Glen Waverley VIC 3150

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This Apple Tart is really quite delicious, I’ve taken it from this recipe book called Patisserie by Leonard J Hanneman. The shortcrust pastry is actually quite easy to make and comes out great too. The recipe is broken into three parts but all are manageable and not out of anyone’s experience.  I recommend baking the shortcrust pastry first, then Apple Saute, and lastly the almond filling because the filling doesn’t require it to be cooled to room temperature.

Checkout the recipe I’ve used below: (The changes I made to the recipe are in brackets and italics)

Sweet Shortcrust Dough (123 Pastry)
Yield: 650 g pastry

Ingredients
200 g unsalted butter
100 g caster sugar (50 g sugar)
50 g egg (1 x 55 g egg)
300 g plain flour
pinch of salt

Method
1. Cream the butter and sugar lightly, using the paddle attachment.
2. Add the egg and continue creaming until absorbed.
3. Carefully fold in the flour and salt, mixing only until combined. The dough will be very sticky, and more like a biscuit paste. Wrap in plastic and chill prior to use.
4. Cut the chilled dough into manageable sized pieces, knead lightly first to soften, then roll out using dusting flour.

How to Blind Bake
1. Take a chilled pastry case. For a quicker chill, the freezer works wonders.
2. Place a piece of non-stick baking paper into the pastry case, then line it with foil, pressing the foil flush with the base of the pastry case and up the sides.
3. Fill with baking weights of beans, ensuring that the weights press up along the sides to support the walls. There can be fewer weights over the centre of the pastry. It is important to have sufficient weights to support the sides as it is the sides that will slump as the pastry heats during the baking process.
4. Blind bake the pastry at 170°C for 30 to 60 minutes depending on the thickness and the size of the cases.

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Here is the apple tart recipe below (and a slice of the tart above):

Sauté Apple Tart

Yield: 1 x 28 cm tart lined with 123 pastry, prebaked

Ingredients
6 apples, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious
60 g unsalted butter (Cooking margarine)
1 x 28 x 2cm or 2 x 16 x 2cm tart cases lined with sweet shortcrust and blind baked
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract)
60 g sugar (30 g sugar)
almond filling (below)

Method
1. Peel and core the apples; cut into 8 wedges
2. Melt the unsalted butter and add the vanilla pod (or cinnamon). Over high heat saute the apples in the butter and sprinkle over the sugar. Toss as they cook to a golden brown, though still firm. Do not overcook. Set aside to cool.

Almond Filling

Ingredients
80 g unsalted butter
60 g sugar (30 g)
120 g almond meal
100 g egg (2 x 55 g eggs)

Method
1. Cream the butter, sugar and almond meal, add the eggs and continue mixing until absorbed and the mixture is light and pale.
2. Spread the almond filling into the pre-baked and cold shortcrust shell/s.
3. Nestle the cool saute apples into the almond filling, wedges facing upward rather than fanned, to create height.
4. Bake at 170C for 50 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Impressions

I like this recipe because the shortcrust is nicely short and has a nice bite to it but overall it melts in your mouth like it should. The almond meal adds this grainy texture to the overall tart, however if you don’t like this more ‘whole wheat’ kinda taste then you can try food processing the almond meal a few times, and maybe sieve it as well so it comes out much finer.

Overall it’s a good recipe that is easy enough to make, the only trouble you may have is with rolling out the pastry dough in a warm environment. It can get soft and unmanageable very easily. So if it does become too soft when you start rolling it flat and trying to place it into the case, either place it in the fridge or freezer to let it harden up a bit and try again.

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