While waiting for the new Zumbo cake range to hit the shelves, I did something
traitorous different and visited some alternative cakeshops...
Firstly, Black Star Pastry in Newtown:
Black Star Pastry (277 Australia St, Newtown, NSW. Open Tue-Sun 7am-5pm) is a tiny patisserie/cafe with some seating outside on the footpath and a nice selection of cakes, pastries and pies inside the shop.
The ginger ninja is the famed gingerbread guy that comes with or without a chocolate ninja suit - the countergirl said that the chocolate ninja was better, which is why I got two - neither lasted the trip home, with some damage to the ninja's nether regions being done while waiting at Newtown Station...
The gingerbread ninjas (about $4 each) were sublime, with a soft, almost creamy texture, and a 'just right' hit of ginger.
Also purchased and consumed were two canelles and a little Persian fig cake with quince and pistachios (approx $4). The canelles (approx $3 each) were only alright, as they were a bit too cooked for my liking. The Persian cake, on the other hand, tasted as sweetly inviting as it looked.
Not much later, I ventured into the Cupcake Factory:
This Cupcake Factory outlet is just inside Balmain Mall (298 Darling St, Balmain, NSW), and right next door to the Adriano Zumbo Cafe Chocolat. I'd imagine it is ideally located to get some of the overflow from the Zumbo cafe though on the times I've walked past, it's been mainly empty.
But how are the cupcakes? Are we over cupcakes yet?? Not if they're as good as these!
The store is filled with mini cupcakes ($1 each) and normal cupcakes ($3.50 each), on cupcake holders and in a cabinet. I like the thoughtful tissue-lined carrybox, too.
I bought the strawberry cupcake because its head of strawberry chocolate curls reminded me of Mrs Thurston Howell III's bathing cap. The caramel cupcake was topped with lovely caramel-flavoured buttercream and a jersey caramel. Both cakes, incidentally, are moist and vanilla-flavoured, which counteracts the sweetness of the icing.
There are lots of other flavours to try, and it's an ideal place to grab a well-priced snack if you couldn't be bothered with the queues at Zumbo's.
Speaking of which, I haven't been backward in sampling the latest Adriano Zumbo (Winter 2010) range. And here is something to whet your appetite:
This is Mandarin and Rose.
Others that I've had (and enjoyed very much) are:
What a great pear of... (aka Pear Perfection from Junior MasterChef finale)
I will be updating my tumblr site with more Zumbo cakes as I try them.
Please try and keep up!