Adriano Zumbo’s popularity has taken off since his appearance on Masterchef Australia in 2010. Funnily enough, I stopped visiting following his ‘debut’ as his cakes became less modern-take-on-a-classic and more experimental. With that, their flavours blurred into different takes on a generic fruity sweetness, which stopped me, but not increasing numbers of Sydneysiders, flocking to his store in Balmain or his expansion to a further six locations. Six years on, I gave his cakes another try, hoping to be re-impressed.
This is Dr Apple and Nurse Pear ($9.50) with ‘pistachio dacquoise, apple and pear jelly, apple and pear milk curd, caramelised apples and pears, apple and pear mousse, apple and pear glacage’.
With so much apple and pear in the description, I expected the flavours to hit me in the face from the start. Unfortunately, there were only very faint hints of cooked pear and apple in the mousse, with the rest of the elements taking on the familiar generic sweetness that could remind one of cooked apple and pears, but without the defining tart and crisp flavours that define the fresh fruit that would’ve made this cake enjoyable.
And this is the Passionfruit and Coconut Zonut ($5), a cronut filled with a coconut whipped ganache, topped with a disc of passionfruit gel and coconut flakes.
The passionfruit in this zonut is everything I wished the apple and pear was: the tangy tropical flavour hits you in the face with every single bite, right from start to finish. Indeed, the gel is so intensely tart with the flavour of passionfruit that I would’ve liked some relief from a sweeter coconut ganache, although D — who enjoys sour foods — appreciated it thoroughly. Flavour aside, the oily taste of the cronut came through in the background of every bite, and made us reminisce fondly of the fluffier, lighter, non-greasy cronuts from Mister Donut in Japan.
Zumbo Patisserie is located at Level 3 (outside Woolworths), Macquarie Centre, Cnr Waterloo & Herring Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113.