Wendy Hargreaves: Five of Melbourne’s best desserts
By WENDY HARGREAVES
Everything is good for you in moderation, right?
When I choose to splurge on something sweet, a servo chocolate bar just won’t cut it. If I’m going to blow my weekly sugar/fat budget on a single treat, it had better be something special.
Here are five of my favourite places to do it in Melbourne.
The answer is yes… the intricate Black Forest Cake croissant that sent MasterChef contestants into conniptions really does taste as good as it looks. Lune’s Kate Reid came up with the double-baked extravaganza especially for the show, and you can taste it for yourself at her Fitzroy and city venues. Priced at $15.50, this a feat of engineering with rich chocolate mousse, whipped cream and house-made cherry jam, garnished with tempered chocolate and maraschino cherries.
Fabulous croissants and pastries can also be found at Agathe Patisserie at the South Melbourne Market, along with a little hole-in-the-wall shop in the Royal Arcade in the city.
A restaurant devoted to desserts? Yes please. Om Nom’s executive pastry chef Jo Ward creates pieces of art on every plate, with so many intricate parts it’s hard to know where to start. My favourite is one of the simplest, the a cigar box containing two Valrhona Caramelia chocolate and rosemary infused cigars ($26), complete with paper wrapper, a raspberry vinaigrette gel and a smoked chocolate ash. If you can’t choose one dessert from her menu, go for a degustation and pick three ($49pp).
Enjoy one of the best views in town while scoffing freshly-made doughnuts filled with Nutella. And they only cost $3 each or 6 for $16. Grab a cocktail or a coffee and watch the world go by from the 55th floor.
The made-to-order hot jam doughnuts at the Queen Vic Market’s American Doughnut Kitchen also deserve a mention (and the people watching can be just as good as the high-rise view).
The Cavallaro family has served old-school crispy cannoli in the same Footscray shop for more than 6o years. Delicate pastry shells are piped on the spot with perfect crème patissiere or fresh ricotta, so they don’t go soggy. This is more than a family business. It’s tradition, and it’s delicious.
If chef Andrew McConnell ever removed the peanut butter parfait from his menu, customers would riot at his popular pan-Asian diner. Smooth and crunchy at the same time, this PB parfait has lashings of salted caramel, a scoop of soft chocolate ganache and crunchy roasted peanuts scattered all over ($15). Supernormal is open every day from 11am until late, giving you plenty of time to get your PB craving sorted.