Adriano Zumbo’s Australia Day pop-up

One of my favourite memories of childhood in Australia was the occasional pastry treat from the school tuckshop.

I don’t think that the same pastries are available in today’s healthy school canteens. Instead of yoghurt and carrot sticks with hummus, back in my day our tuckshop was stocked with deliciousness in the form of beloved Australian treats like finger buns (a sweet, sultana-dotted bun topped with pink icing, preferably slathered with butter inside), lamingtons (cubes of soft sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled through desiccated coconut), and custard tarts (with the mandatory sprinkle of nutmeg).

Zumbo Australia Day popup

For Australia Day, select Adriano Zumbo stores have turned into Fluffy’s Aussie Bakery popups. Zumbo has given our favourite treats his own twist. Gone is the bright yellow, firm custard of the vanilla slices of yesterday, and hello creamy, proper vanilla custard ($6).

Adriano Zumbo Australia Day popup - vanilla slice

There are also a few twists on the traditional lamington, including a double chocolate lamington and a salted caramel one, which was more like a cube of caramel mud cake with caramel fudge rather than the light as air sponge that I remember ($4).

Adriano Zumbo Australia Day popup - salted caramel lamington

There are also other goodies such as neenish tarts, cream buns, pavlova, jam rolls, and hamburger pies. Fluffy’s Aussie Bakery popup is at Zumbo’s Rozelle and Waverley patisseries until Australia Day, the 26th of January.

Adriano Zumbo Fluffy's Aussie Bakery popup

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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Cronuts – the new pastry craze

Sydney is a long way from New York, where Dominique Ansel started the cronut craze. His bakery in Soho has pastry fiends queuing at dawn for a sample of the half-croissant, half-donut creation.

A few high profile outlets here in Australia have brought out their own interpretations, including Adriano Zumbo’s zonut and Movida’s dossant. Although I’ve been curious about the hype, I clearly wasn’t curious enough to make a special effort to try either of these.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I stumbled across cronuts at Pierre’s Patisserie & Cafe in Turramurra.

I first tried their cronut a few weeks back and, in an instant, I was in bliss. Layers of light, flaky, crisp, golden pastry, with a creamy, vanilla custard sandwiched in the middle, dusted with icing sugar – as soon as the White Russian arrived at the cafe, I demanded he get one straight away because, damn, he didn’t know what he was missing!

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Today, on our way up the coast, we made a pit stop at the cafe to satisfy our cronut urges. The memory of our first cronut experience had been relived many times over during the last few weeks and we could not wait to indulge in another.

Perhaps that first experience will forever remain hard to beat, kind of like your first ever kiss, but today’s cronut was not as good. The pastry was still golden and flaky, but there was a heavier, greasier taste this time.

Despite this slight disappointment, it’s still a worthwhile trip to get a taste of this latest craze.