Ok I gave you a teaser of Adriano Zumbo’s summer range and your appetites are running hot. Well foreplay’s over…..let’s get into it!
As a food blogger, albeit a virgin one, it’s a travesty that I’ve never set foot in his Balmain patisserie up until now. My shame made even more evident by the sheer exposure and rave reviews by my fellow Sydney bloggers and Zumbo addicts in the last few months.
Adriano Zumbo should have a special place in his heart for the plethora of food blogger groupies who frequent his patisserie and café chocolat (very recognisable by their wide eyed demeanours, the tiny glint of drool at the corner of their mouths and the gentle trembling of their hands as they clutch their cameras). I even noticed a gentle swoon of the female bloggers on Sunday who were privilieged to have a few words with him (and a photo). Myself included. He really is as humble as he is talented which only adds to his appeal.
Of course meeting all the people behind your favourite food blogs wasn’t the order of the day. We were there for one important reason – the new range of cakes! The summer range entitled Please, sir can I have some more is available from November 22nd to May 22nd 2009 from his patisserie. This was culinary haute couture at its finest! The display of his new cakes in a case awash with a heavenly white light reduced many foodies to a quivering mess. The colours, the bold aethestics, the quirky finishes – they looked like they belonged in a museum of Modern Art. And their offbeat, almost nonsensical names were more proof that these were more than mere desserts.
Framboise Millefeuille: raspberry coulis, biscuit jaconde, raspberry crème marscapone and caramelised puff pastry – $7.50
But then again Adriano Zumbo is no mere patissier. Rulebooks out of the window, here is a man who was not lacking any imagination by any means. This was a man with the cahonas to mix in a vegemite (!) bavaroise with peanut butter, or combine an olive oil mousse with rhubarb apple. Amazingly it works – and that’s the crux of his talent. My contribution to the communal taste-tests were the Miss Marple Cheesecake, Tarte Aux Fruits de la Passion and the Cassius. I also ordered a large milkshake and a latte. Mr S. glowed over his coffee while my chocolate milkshake was sinfully thick and rich – the perfect 1-2 sugar hit to accompany the array of desserts I was picking off.
But enough talk! Here are the visuals…
Miss Marple Cheesecake: orange cheesecake with an orange strawberry compote,cream cheese créme legere with a crepe and maple glaze – $7.50
Tarte Aux Fruits de la Passion:pate sable, passionfruit créme – $5.50
Pure unadulterated pleasure. The vivid orange of the tart was visual pornography while the balance between the subtle sweetness of the pastry with the delightfully tart passionfruit prompted one of the loudest of moans.
Cassius: chocolate biscuit macaron, blackcurrant compote cremeaux, chocolate plates with sea salt, dark chocolate chantillly – $7.80
On the Lounge with Zumbo: mango financier, raspberry & liquorice jelly, fresh mango slices, liquorice mousse, mango caramel glacage – $7.50
Have a chat Kai!: coconut dacquoise, lychee jelly, coconut mousse, coconut crunch, fresh strawberries and lychees (gluten-free) – $7.80
Dr. Apple: Pistachio dacquoise, apple cider jelly, vanilla creme chantilly, calvados cooked apples, green apple mousse (gluten-free) – $7.70
Craigie Bam!: chocolate dacquoise, chocolate sabayon with salted caramel debris, chocolate caramel creameaux, caramel mousse (gluten-free) – $7.50
Where’s the f*%#@^ cheese?: blue cheese mousse, fig, raisin & pear creameaux, pear & vanilla bavaroise, walnut biscuit – $7.60
Zumbo the Kid: vegemite bavaroise, peanut butter créme legere, raspberry jelly, chocolate peanut glacage, peanut feullitine, flourless chocolate biscuit – $7.50
Past Jobs (on the left): kaffir lime & ginger pannacotta, black sticky rice pudding, exotic fruit jelly, palm sugar marscapone (gluten-free) – $7.50
Charles du Jour: tart pate sucree, vanilla ganache, vanilla crème chantilly, vanilla water bursts, vanilla glacage – $7.60
This was a 4-way vanilla assault on all my senses and then some! I could literally feel my every pore exploding into a sugar-induced haze. If there was ever a culinary equivalent of an acid trip, this one takes the cake (pun intended!).
Wheely Wildly Wendy: fresh roasted peach in a tonka bean crème legere and sandwiched between two almond dacquoise disks & rolled in almond crumble (gluten-free) – $ 7.60
Woo Hoo: pate sable, rasberry coulis, pistachio ganache, pistachio nougatine – $6.20
UZC: biscuit macaron, sweet corn jelly, saffron bavaroise (gluten-free) – $7.80
Sunny Cloud: Pate sable, lime jelly, yoghurt creme fraiche, lime curd and Italian meringue – $7.00
Also from the patisserie…
One by one each food blogger left until there were five – perfect for a debrief and a slightly more intimate chat (and a few laughs) while we picked off any remaining crumbs. A day or so later I’m still dreaming of the Tarte aux fruits de la passion (available from the patisserie) and the Paris – La Vie En Rose (available from the cafe).
Oh Zumbo….you and us food bloggers really go hand in hand.
A big thanks to the lovely people at the café for putting up with us and kindly plating up all our desserts bought from the patisserie (for presentation’s sake of course!).
Check out Part 1: A Preview
Adriano Zumbo Patissier
296 Darling Street
Balmain, NSW, 2041
(02 9810 7318)