Upon first hearing from N about a cake using lychee at La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie, I knew it was time to make my way across the City. Past experience has proven than La Renaissance can execute a flavour not only accurately, but with flair.
This beauty is the Monet ($9.50).
The Monet is white chocolate and vanilla bavaroise on a base of coconut and almond meringue, layered with fresh raspberries, a center of lychee jelly on pain de gene, and finished with a white chocolate glaze.
This is the lightest cake, with the centre of lychee jelly barely sweet but flavoured with authentic mellow notes of fresh lychee that carry through each bite with the other elements of the cake. Any stronger, and the flavour of lychee would have veered into artificiality. The denser texture of the lychee jelly contrasts with the softness of the rest of the cake, with the layer of fresh raspberries adding to the refreshing flavour without being overly tart to overwhelm the subtlety of the lychee notes. The coconut and almond meringue base was soft enough to hold the layers without making its presence too obvious either in texture or flavour.
The cake is topped with a freeze dried lychee, a fresh raspberry and blueberry, and pistachio crumb. I love the intensity of flavour in freeze-dried fruits, and while this lychee wasn’t crispy but chewy, it still packed a good lychee flavour. The raspberry was quite tart in contrast to the layer inside the cake, while the white chocolate glaze was very sticky and held all the toppings (almost too securely) to the cake.
Overall, the Monet is an impressively light, refreshing and balanced cake, bringing out both the flavour of lychee and raspberry without either flavour overwhelming or competing with the other.
One of the incredible joys of having T with N and me when we have lunch is that we get to choose his dessert for him. Invariably, it’s our second choice on the offering that we’d otherwise have left behind for our first choice. And this is Goya ($9.50).
The Goya is a raspberry mousse cake, encasing a passionfruit cremeux centre, crunchy almond nougatine and an almond sponge base.
Raspberry is focus here with the mousse having a smooth texture and a punchy sweet raspberry flavour in stark contrast to the subdued notes in the Monet. The passionfruit cremeux pleasantly cuts through the sweetness of the raspberry with its intense tangy flavour, while the almond nougatine provides some welcome crunch to the softness of the cake. Again, the sponge base carries the cake without making it’s presence obvious.
Fresh berries, a macaron shell, and a disc of white chocolate decorate the gold speckled top. The acidity from the fresh berries also cut through the sweetness of the mousse, while the macaron shell provides a chewy crispness along with the white chocolate.
As I’ve come to expect from La Renaissance, the Goya showcases the flavours of raspberry and passionfruit with careful consideration as to complementing and contrasting textures and flavours.
La Renaissance Cafe Patisserie is located at 47 Argyle St, The Rocks NSW 2000.