Movenpick Box Hill

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On Groupon we found an offer for discounted vouchers basically e.g spend $20, receive $30 worth so we thought it was a good incentive to give Movenpick in Box Hill a try. The Movenpick brand of Ice cream I believe originated from Switzerland and I recall the first time coming across a Movenpick store was in Harbour Town, Docklands. However, that store has since been closed and I never did get a chance to try their ice creams, however tempting it was.

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Now with the vouchers, we wanted something of a snack and so we ordered the waffles with chocolate flakes and syrup. One of my better experiences having waffles was in Theobroma Chocolate Lounge at Spencer St and those were beautifully crispy but so light and fluffy inside with the sweet, chocolately goodness on top. Unfortunately, the waffles made (?) here are soft and possible frozen and reheated or just not cooked long enough to give it a crunch. It is very soft and almost doughy, and if it didn’t have the amount of syrup and chocolate flakes I don’t think it would have gone down all that well to be honest.

The ice creams were also a little lacklustre, the Espresso Coffee one was actually quite nice with a strong coffee hit but it was extremely sweet. The Maple Walnut scoop on the other hand was just overall very average but I guess the plus was the walnuts as that added crunch however for what seems like a premium Ice creams store, the ice cream flavours that we ordered didn’t really leave a good impression at all and I don’t have that high of expectations for ice cream in general.

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The Green Tea Smoothie I found was actually very nice, sweet but the matcha flavour comes through exceptionally well. I quite enjoyed the smoothie but it is rich and very sweet.

Impressions

Unfortunately, I found Movenpick to be underwhelming and considering it is a dessert store, the desserts really weren’t that great all things considered and I’d probably even just go to a Wendy’s if I had to choose based on value for money. A bit of a shame.

Movenpick Boxhill on Urbanspoon

Movenpick Box Hill

Shop 53A
1 Main St Box Hill, VIC 3128
(Near the Commonwealth Bank Box Hill branch)

Raspberry Soufflé (Vincent Gadan Recipe)

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On French Food Safari on SBS, Vincent Gadan made this amazing looking soufflé. Looked light and fluffy, and the host Maeve O’Meara seemed overly pleased with it too. Having only attempted a Chocolate Soufflé previously, I thought it was a fantastic idea to use raspberries instead of the incredibly rich chocolate or cheese for a soufflé. Have a look below!

Raspberry Soufflé (Vincent Gadan Recipe)
Serves 4

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Cooking Time
25 minutes

Ingredients
softened butter
freeze-dried raspberry powder (see Note)
2-3 punnets of raspberries (I used frozen raspberries but for decoration fresh is preferable)
1 tbsp water
50 g caster sugar
1 tsp (heaped) cornflour
1 lemon, juiced
4 egg whites (125 g)
icing sugar, to dust
rose petals, to serve

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Instructions

1. Butter 4 individual soufflé dishes, coating well. Add a generous sprinkle of freeze-dried raspberry powder (or just caster sugar) to each dish and tilt the dishes until the powder covers the butter.

2. Reserve 12 fresh raspberries for decorating the soufflés. Put the rest in a blender and blend to a purée. Sieve the purée and measure out 170 g.

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3. Put the water and 30 g of the sugar in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Mix the cornflour with the lemon juice in a small bowl and add to the sugar syrup along with 170 g of raspberry purée. Bring to the boil and cook for around 30 seconds, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

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4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Start whisking the egg whites – either by hand or with an electric mixer. Whisk to soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar and keep whisking to a firm meringue.

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5. Whisk a spoonful of the egg whites through the cooled raspberry mixture until thoroughly combined. Use a spatula to gently fold the raspberry mixture through the bowl of remaining egg whites until there is no egg white visible.

6. Spoon the mixture into the dishes, filling right to the top. Tap the dishes gently to remove any air pockets, and smooth the tops.

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7. Place the soufflés in a deep dish and fill with cold water to halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes, until well risen and lightly golden on top.

8. Immediately dust the soufflés with icing sugar and decorate the tops with the reserved fresh raspberries and a rose petal on each. Serve with the remaining raspberry purée, breaking the surface of your soufflé to pour it in.

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Impressions

The time consuming part was sieving the purée to get rid of all the seeds because I didn’t have a particularly good sieve, however I think it managed to come together in the end. My only concern was that the soufflé was very sour! The raspberries were extremely tart, so the 50g of sugar probably wasn’t enough in my situation. I’d probably have gone with 150g caster sugar as to be honest I couldn’t really find much sweetness in it. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, I’m not too sure but I’d prefer some sweetness to come through at the very least.

This raspberry soufflé is also different to the chocolate soufflé which I found to be like a light cake of sorts. The raspberry soufflé on the other hand is wetter in texture, and while the outside will be firm, inside it’s moist and almost pudding like in terms of texture. Worth a try though, hey.

The Booth (via Menulog)

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I’ve always been wanting to try The Booth but have always seemed to pick another restaurant in Box Hill, either by familiarity or just routine. On this occasion though, having been offered by Menulog to try their online ordering services, I thought it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Menulog is currently the number 1 Australian website for online take-away and with over 3,500 restaurants on the website around Australia, it certainly makes a name for itself.

My locality is in Blackburn so the restaurants offering pick up or delivery will vary. However, if you’re in the Blackburn area, you can check out the link to check out other restaurants using Menulog for convenient online ordering (Blackburn Take-away Restaurants). I find it’s a great away to find some restaurants that you may not have come across before, you visit Menulog and type in your suburb to check out the restaurants using Menulog in your area.

Menulog is convenient and very straight forward to use, and for those tied to their smartphones (like myself), there is an app you can use too for iOS and Android (Link). But of course, the website and even their mobile website work well and easy enough to just pick what you want and order.

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As you can see from the screenshots, delivery isn’t too much for the sake of convenience but restaurants also do offer pick up too. Once you’ve chosen and paid for, you can schedule it for a preferred delivery time (or pick up) or “now”. Then all you need to do wait for the SMS confirmation and either pick it up at the scheduled time or await delivery. Real simple.

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The Booth

The food arrived on time and we were even provided with complimentary drinks, which is a definite winner in terms of service I must say. The food overall was still hot and no microwaving necessary.

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 The Pan-Fried Pork dumplings were still hot and even a little crispy still, even with the steam softening some of it up as it would in a take-away container. The dumplings are probably one of the better ones I’ve tried in Box Hill, it has just enough filling and the pork, ginger flavour comes through well.

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The Black Pepper Beef Noodles is fantastic too, the meal comes in two with the noodles in one container and the black pepper beef and sauce in another, all you need to do is mix it together. If you love pepper and beef, this dish is for you. The black pepper here is so flavourful, and the amount of pepper gives it a very nice spicy pepper kick. Pleasantly surprised.

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The Spicy and Sour Noodle Soup may not be for everyone, it is an acquired taste but since I have some familiarity with the sour and spicy soup, I quite enjoyed it. It’s a bit difficult to describe but if you have tasted Chinese Hot/Spicy and Sour soup before you’ll instantly know this, and I believe the sourness comes from Chinese vinegar that they add. Tasty dish but I could do without the abundance of mushrooms.

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The Booth’s Sweet Soya Bean Curd with Mango, Sago & Coconut Milk is really wonderful. I would have preferred if it were a cold dessert as it was only slightly cold/room temperature but I guess I could always add ice to it or chill it for a few hours. The dessert is quite similar to a Tofu Fah/Dau Fu Fa in texture but with the Soy Bean curd isn’t as smooth as tofu is but alas with the coconut milk and mango, sago makes for a really tasty dessert. The creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweetness of the mango gives it life. Would definitely order this again.

Impressions

I’m very glad to have ordered from The Booth, from it’s great service and tasty food I think you can definitely rely on them for a great take-away night. Overall, I couldn’t really fault the dishes other than its generous use of oil. I recommend giving it a try in-restaurant or ordering from Menulog as if you’re local it’s only $5 to Blackburn which I found to be very reasonable, and the food at The Booth certainly won’t break the bank either.

The Booth on Urbanspoon

The Booth (Order via Menulog)
612 Station St
Box Hill VIC 3128

Cantaloupe Ice Cream (Ben & Jerry’s Recipe)

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My love for ice cream knows no bounds. Being able to create my own ice cream from ingredients I’m familiar with is something I’ve always wanted to do as I love making things from scratch (if it isn’t too troublesome that is). Last year, I purchased the KitchenAid Ice-Cream maker attachment and have been giddy with excitement waiting for Summer to come to test it out. Having also bought the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, it was a good time to give it a go.

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Cantaloupe Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart (~946ml)

Ingredients
1 large or 2 small cantaloupes (very ripe)
Juice of 1 lemon
Sweet Cream Base (below)

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Method
1. Cut the cantaloupe in half and clean out the seeds. Scoop the fruit into a mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, and mash until the fruit is pureed. Drain the juice into another bowl and reserve. Cover the melon puree and refrigerate

2. Prepare the Sweet Cream Base and whisk in the fruit juice

3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze  following the manufacturer’s instructions

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4. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the cantaloupe. If more juice has accumulated, do not pout it in because it will water down the ice cream. Continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Sweet Cream Base

Makes 1 quart (~946ml)

Ingredients
2 Large eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
2 cups Heavy or whipping cream
1 cup Milk

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Method
1. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

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2. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.

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3. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend

Impressions

The recipe is a little vague in the quantity of cantaloupe to include, if you’re unsure add a bit less (much less than my pictured cantaloupe puree actually). Even our small cantaloupes here result in a great deal of puree so add a bit at a time to ensure the cream base stiffens when it’s churning otherwise you may end up with a mixture too soft to become ice-cream. Mine didn’t set too firm when churning unfortunately, but still flavourwise it’s delectably rich, yet full of cantaloupe flavour. A great recipe that just needs more specific quantities to make it work 100% of the time.

 

Gelato Messina – Fitzroy

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Gelato Messina in Fitzroy is another popular Ice Cream and Gelato shop in Melbourne. Originally from Sydney, they have opened their doors down in Melbourne in outer rim of Melbourne’s CBD. What attracts people here is of course their interesting selection of ice creams but having a great depth of flavour as well.

One of my highlights was their Lychee and Coconut gelato. The Lychee flavour is fruity, flavourful and not artificial like you’re eating Lychee essence. The dessicated coconut that weaves through the ice cream, gives it added texture and complements the Lychee well. Tastes fresh, rich and yet not overwhelming with sweetness as some ice creams would be.

Their Hazelnut ice cream is similar to most other gelato stores such as Il Dolce. I would have preferred a bit more nuttiness with chopped hazelnuts, but the flavour of it was quite good.

The interesting other flavour was their Yoghurt & Berry which I’ve never had previously, with poached raspberry and blueberry coulee. The actual ice cream is more milder in flavour but with the berries which bring the sweetness and a tad of tartness, it does make for a great combination.

Their signature flavours (from the website) are listed below:
(G) Contains Gluten, (N) Contains Nuts, (E) Contains Egg, (A) Contains Alcohol

Gelato
Apple Pie (G)(E) – real apple gelato with our own house made apple pie throughout
Banana Split (N) – caramel and banana gelato with chopped peanuts and whipped cream
Bounty – coconut milk gelato with desiccated coconut and choc chip
Caramelised White Chocolate
Choc Mint – real fresh mint gelato with chocolate chip
Milk Chocolate with Choc Peanut Fudge (N)
Chocolate Fondant (N) – a rich decadent dark chocolate (contains traces of nuts)
Chocolate Chip – light cocoa gelato with chocolate chips
Coconut & Lychee – coconut milk gelato with lychee fruit
Coffee – made with real espresso coffee (seriously)
Dulce De Leche – an Argentinean caramel made by reducing milk until it becomes a sweet jam.
Gianduia Bianca (N) – white chocolate & hazelnut gelato with hazelnut praline
Gianduia (N) – chocolate & hazelnut
Hazelnut (N) – made with fresh roasted hazelnuts from Cortemilia in Italy
Italian Nougat (N)(E) (A-traces) – honey based gelato with roasted nuts, egg whites and Italian nougat
Pear & Rhubarb – fresh pear gelato with our own poached spiced rhubarb
Pistachio (N) – made with freshly ground roasted pistachios from Bronte in Italy
Poached Figs in Marsala (A)(E) – baby figs poached in Marsala (a fortified Italian cooking wine)
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate – salted caramel gelato with white chocolate chip (our biggest seller!)
Tiramisu (G)(A)(E) – egg, marsala and mascarpone gelato with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee.
Vanilla (E) – made from fresh Jersey Milk
Pannacotta with Fig Jam and Amaretti Biscuit (G)(N)(E)(A-traces) – pannacotta gelato base.
Yoghurt & Berry – yoghurt gelato with poached raspberry and blueberry coulee
Yoghurt & Caramel – yoghurt gelato with dulce de leche

Sorbets (all dairy free)
Salted Coconut and Mango Salsa
Blood Orange
Chocolate Sorbet
Lemon
Lychee Martini
Mango
Pandan & Coconut – Pandan is a green asian leaf used in asian cooking.
Passionfruit
Raspberry
Strawberry

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Impressions
They have a plenitude of flavours to choose from, and in addition to their specials that change regularly. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try when you’re out about in Melbourne, or in Sydney for that matter.

Once you do give it a try, you can see why it remains popular to this day. With queues even during the evening.

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina
237 Smith St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

Opening Hours
Sunday to Thursday: 12pm to 11.00pm
Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 11.30pm

Passionflower

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Passionflower is one of those places you come across and ask why is this place so popular. Located on Bourke Street, this little store has quite a following serving Melburnians with sugary Asian influenced delights. Most of their menu is at least $12+ but I guess that is the price you pay for in these dessert boutiques.

Pictured above is Passionflower’s Chocolate Waffles. The waffles are sweet and crunchy. The thickness of the waffles creates this airiness within the waffles and complements the outer crunchiness. With the waffles it comes with two scoops of ice cream (vanilla and chocolate) along with a warm and rich chocolate sauce. The ice cream is nothing to write home about and the chocolate sauce is almost tooth numbingly sweet but you really can’t go wrong with chocolate waffles. Well, apart from the ice cream which was oddly lacking in creaminess.

IMG_0420This dessert (the name forgets me) is one of their iced desserts with sweet red beans, black jelly, strawberries, ice cream and this ridiculously sweet red sugar syrup. I would say this dessert was a letdown, nothing out of the ordinary and for the price (which I believe was like $18) is quite frankly poor value for money. The sugar syrup is unnecessary and the shaved ice isn’t fine enough. It feels like all these separate ingredients are just thrown into this  one dessert but nothing tying them together. Disappointment

Impressions

While the waffles were nice, I really can’t say I would ever come back for them. You can easily find better waffles desserts elsewhere in Melbourne. The exorbitant prices are the killer here and without great tasting desserts to back it up, I really can’t see how it’s justified.

Passionflower on Urbanspoon

Passionflower

Shop 2, 168 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Espresso Coffee Syrup and Toffee

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 Wanting to make a Panna Cotta but without the trouble of pureeing fruits like mangos to make the Panna Cotta, I found this white chocolate recipe on Taste.com.au. The addition of the coffee syrup intrigued me as it seemed too delicious not to give it a try. I’ve made this a couple times already and have made a few changes to the recipe to my liking. As something extra, I tried to add some toffee on top just to make it look nicer.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Espresso Coffee Syrup (Taste.com.au)

Equipment
You will need eight 150ml capacity dariole moulds for this recipe. If you like to serve it in bowls, just any small bowls will do.

Ingredients
Panna Cotta
600ml thickened cream
1 x 180g pkt white chocolate, broken into small pieces
160ml (2/3 cup) milk (can use light milk)
70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
2 tbs boiling water
3 tsp powdered gelatine

Coffee Syrup (Version 1)
100ml freshly brewed strong espresso coffee or 3 Nespresso capsules using the espresso function
3 or 4 tsp white sugar

Coffee Syrup (Version 2)
100ml freshly brewed espresso coffee (3 Nespresso capsules using the espresso function – froth skimmed off)
100g raw sugar/caster sugar

Toffee (Taste.com.au)
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) water

Panna Cotta
Method
1. Heat water in a small saucepan over medium/high heat until it starts to boil. In a separate heat-proof bowl place the cream, chocolate, milk and caster sugar in the bowl and over the saucepan over medium/low heat.   Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
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2. Place the boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle with gelatine and whisk with a fork to remove any lumps. Set aside for 3 minutes or until gelatine dissolves. (I also just place the bowl of gelatine on top of my bowl of boiling water which helps keep it warm/dissolve any extra gelatine powder)
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3. Add gelatine to cream mixture and whisk to combine.

4. Pour among eight 150ml capacity dariole moulds. Place on a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours to set. Or overnight. Make sure the plastic wrap is tight as some of the heat from the mixture may create water droplets and affect the consistency on the top layer of the panna cotta (Although not an issue if using dariole moulds and turning them upside down)

5. Dip moulds, 1 at a time, into hot water for 1-2 seconds, then turn onto serving plates. Drizzle with coffee syrup (steps below) to serve.

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Coffee Syrup (Version 1)

1. Place the coffee and white sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

Note: You may not even need to heat it over a saucepan if you can dissolve the sugar in the hot coffee/espresso. If using Nespresso capsules, just skim off the froth before serving.

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Coffee Syrup (Version 2)
1. Place the coffee and sugar in a small saucepan over medium/high heat until it starts to boil. Reduce down to a medium/low heat and stir until the syrup coats the back of the spoon or until the consistency desired. Please note that if you place the syrup in the fridge (or when cooled down) the syrup will be slightly more thicker and viscous than when it was cooking. Set aside to cool and then place into the fridge if you prefer it to be a thicker consistency.

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Toffee
1. Stir water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Don’t bring it to the boil until all the sugar is dissolved.
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2. Increase heat to high. To dissolve any sugar left on the side of the pan, brush down with a wet pastry brush. Bring to boil.
3. Cook until the mixture is a rich golden colour – don’t let it burn. Remove from heat – the residual heat continues to colour toffee.

4. Allow to cool and break into pieces to decorate. Please only add the toffee when wanting to serve, otherwise the moisture from the panna cotta will result in the toffee to turn to liquid.
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Notes:

  • Toffee troubleshooting: A common problem when making toffee is crystallisation. The sugar clumps together into a white and grainy syrup that turns into a messy solid mass. To avoid starting again, try these tips.
  • Dissolve the sugar completely before increasing the heat and bringing the mixture to the boil. You’ll know when it’s dissolved – there won’t be any crystals on your spoon.
  • Brush any sugar crystals from the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush during the toffee-making process. Undissolved sugar on the side of the pan causes crystallisation.
  • Don’t stir the toffee mixture once it comes to the boil – this also leads to crystallisation.

Impressions

I reduced the sugar from the original recipe as I find the white chocolate already adds a significant amount of sugar to the panna cotta. The panna cotta here is smooth and creamy but slightly denser due to the larger quantity of thickened cream used. Some may prefer a lighter panna cotta (I actually do) but due to the amount of cream used and in the white chocolate too, it really can’t be helped. I’m not sure if increasing the milk quantity and lowering the cream would result in a panna cotta that sets properly but certainly I’ll keep you updated to see if that does work.

The coffee syrup (Number 1) is a more liquid syrup with less sugar. It allows the bitterness and strong espresso flavour to come out and since the panna cotta has enough sweetness, the contrast makes an excellent combination.

Version 2 of the coffee syrup is sweeter due to the requirement to make it more viscous and thicker. You don’t know how many times I tried reducing the first version into a thicker syrup when it couldn’t possibly do so with the minimal sugar added. The consistency of version 2 is lovely though.

As mentioned above, the toffee should only be added at the very last minute, as it will start to turn to liquid when either in contact with the panna cotta or coffee syrup slowly.

This recipe was a crowd pleaser so I definitely can recommend giving it a try and it’s very easy to make as well.

 

Zumbo Patisserie Melbourne

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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

Tanner’s Swiss Patisserie

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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

Juliette et Chocolat – Montreal Series

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On our last day to Montreal, we didn’t really know where to go so we just walked around. After a couple of hours exploring, we found Juliette & Chocolat. It wasn’t even near lunch time, but this place seemed so inviting for morning tea cocoa. Juliette et Chocolat specialises in all things chocolate, and they certainly do it well and with flair.

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Being Montreal, we had to try some crepes, and with chocolate, bananas and peanut butter, this sounded like a dream come true.

The crepes were very thin and light, with the creaminess of the peanut butter and rich chocolate. It was simply fantastic. The slightly sweet bananas gave it a freshness and well it doesn’t cut through the richness, but it certainly doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed by the sweetness. I loved it.

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I had to order the Passionfruit  petit pot, I was thinking about the Hazelnut pot but I really do love the blend of passionfruit and chocolate. It’s simply amazing. As you can see it’s multi layered, with the passionfruit layer on top, then a layer of cocoa ganache, and at the bottom a dark chocolate and passionfruit mousse. It’s so light and just melts in your mouth. Fantastic mousse. The passionfruit coulis was sweet as expected but the flavour of it just works so well with the mousse and ganache. Ah, it was chocolate heaven.

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As a drink, we ordered one of the warm hot chocolates with whipped cream. It was definitely creamy and rich but oh so chocolately. I think after this we had an overdose of chocolate but very satisfied in the end.

Impressions

Juliette et Chocolat was definitely a highlight for places to try in Montreal. It does chocolate very well, their crepes, desserts and drinks. It really is fantastic for chocolate lovers. I’d definitely make time to try other things on the menu if I ever go back to Montreal.

Juliette et Chocolat on Urbanspoon

Juliette et Chocolat

3600 Boulevard Saint Laurent
Montreal QC H2X2V4