Becasse Bakery, Sydney

You can walk past a shop an end­less num­ber of times and know it’s sup­posed to be ‘great’, and yet nev­er vis­it. Becasse Bakery is one of those places. It opened as part of the Westfield Sydney renov­a­tions some years ago. Owned by celebrity chef Justin North, it was widely hyped by food­ies and food blogs after its open­ing. At the time, though, I was more inter­ested in the newly opened gelato place at the oth­er end of the food court. After the hype sub­sided, things went down­hill for the place and I lost any interest as the cab­in­ets nev­er enticed all the times I walked past.

I was reminded of Becasse Bakery after see­ing Justin North on Masterchef Australia 2015. Despite its earli­er troubles, Becasse Bakery was still alive and kick­ing. They must be doing some­thing right, right? So I paid it a couple of vis­its, finally, and the offer­ing was much more promising.

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This is the Rose and Lychee Mousse ($6.50) — a rose and lychee mousse sur­round­ing a sponge on a bis­cuit base, enrobed in a rose fla­voured white chocol­ate shell, and gar­nished with gold leaf.

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This cake is more aptly called a rose mousse — while the fla­vours of rose were evid­ent, and beau­ti­fully so, I detec­ted no hint of lychee what­so­ever, which was disappointing.

As a rose mousse though, this cake is right on the mark. The mousse is infused with rose, which is most evid­ent upon the first bite. The tart­ness of the yoghurt-based mousse, though, over­whelms the sub­tlety of the rose fla­vours as you con­tin­ue eat­ing the mousse. That’s where the rose chocol­ate enrob­ing the mousse comes in — the sweet­ness of the rose chocol­ate hap­pily ‘resets’ your pal­ate between bites, so that you keep get­ting the ini­tial hit of rose in the mousse with each bite. Even so, the mousse becomes a bit over­whelm­ing mid way through. I’d have appre­ci­ated more than just a square of sponge for a change in tex­tures and to cut through the heav­i­ness of the mousse — per­haps a freeze dried lychee or a rose pet­al for gar­nish instead?

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This is the Chocolate & Raspberry Kronut ($8.50), a cronut filled with chocol­ate creme patis­siere, adorned with rasp­berry powder, rasp­berry icing, and a macar­on with a rasp­berry centre.

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The cronut was soft and flaky, with a shat­ter-crisp out­side and tender inside and a hint of salt­i­ness — all signs of a good crois­sant and I’d expec­ted no less from Becasse. The rasp­berry squiggle and rasp­berry powder atop the cronut added a tart­ness to each bite, although I did find pip­ing of the squiggle a bit crude, which deflec­ted from its visu­al appear­ance. The chocol­ate creme patis­siere was smooth, although it was a bit bland and could have been either a bit sweeter or dark­er to make it stand out against the but­tery pastry and tart rasp­berry flavour.

The macar­on was sur­pris­ingly too light — the cook­ie shell crumbled in my mouth — and not even the slight­est bit chewy, which I’d come to expect from a good macar­on. That said, the tart­ness of the rasp­berry came through against the sweet­ness of the macaron.

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This is the Salted Caramel Kronut ($8.50), a cronut filled with salted car­a­mel creme patis­siere, adorned with salt crys­tals, chocol­ate icing and a salted car­a­mel macaron.

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This was the per­fect crois­sant — the same soft and flaky tex­tures of the one above — and cronut — the height was even through out. The sprink­ling of salt crys­tals added pops of salt­i­ness with each bite — not too salty, though, but just enough to make it clear that this was a salted car­a­mel cronut. The piped squiggle was plain chocol­ate, though, which I found a little bit dis­ap­point­ing, but it works visu­ally. The salted car­a­mel creme patis­siere was a very light car­a­mel com­ple­men­ted well with the fluffy and tender lay­ers of pastry. Overall, I found the fla­vours of this cronut more bal­anced and pre­ferred it to the chocol­ate and raspberry.

The macar­on was also too light like the rasp­berry macar­on. But tex­tures aside, the first bite into the bis­cuit hits you with a salty kick that mel­lows out once you reach the cream. It’s a very pleas­ant taste.

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And then finally, I went back for their Lemon Curd Tart ($6.80).

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N had praised the tangy and smooth curd in the pas­sion­fruit tart, so I had high hopes for this one. As one expects of a good tart base, it was thin and gave some good res­ist­ance to the blade of the knife/​fork when cut­ting through. The lem­on curd, though, lacked the cus­tard like con­sist­ency I love. It was much too eggy, which gave the curd the con­sist­ency of pud­ding and the taste of egg, which interefered with the oth­er­wise tangy lem­on. The top of the tart also had a very thick (both in terms of con­sist­ency and thick­ness) glaze that had hardened and made the tart look irres­ist­ibly shiny, but did not com­ple­ment the tex­ture of lem­on curd, eggy or otherwise.

There are hits and misses at Becasse Bakery, and I’ll be sure to be back to unearth more hits!

Becasse Bakery is loc­ated at Level 5 Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.