Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let them eat cake

So, Melbourne. Let's start with the cake.
Monday afternoon: we're flagging after our very early morning start (3.10 am in my case), so I lead my friend R. to Koko Black in the Royal Arcade off Bourke Street. Inside it's exactly like a classy Belgian chocolatier, everything is brown.

We divide the little $5 chocolate platter (I remember it from last time I was here): two small shortbreads trimmed with chocolate, a neat little mound of chocolate mousse, and a small chocolate cake. The hot chocolate is incredibly rich and smooth. We've scoffed everything before I think of taking a photo. Sorry.

Tuesday morning: It's fine, so we catch the free tram to Fitzroy and stop at Hudson's Famous Catering in Gertrude Street for coffee and a little something.

R. is more tolerant than me, but I can't help noticing that no one seems to be able to make a proper flat white like the ones back home. But as for the yoyo...mmm.

Wednesday morning: Damp, windy and cold, perfect for the art exhibition that's the excuse for our trip, but the gallery doesn't open till 10. Brunetti's is in exactly the right place for morning coffee. Not the glorious big one in Carlton, just the little one in City Square off Swanston St. R. has a modest biscuit, I have a sort of Italian cream horn, only it's filled with ricotta studded with lemon peel, not sweet at all, just right.

Wednesday, 5 pm: Grumpy after a fruitless trawl through Myers and David Jones (unlike R., I am not size 14), I go through The Causeway, the lane our hotel is named after, into Little Collins St, and on the corner I discover the glorious Laurent... and its macaroons.

Unlike the other cakes, they're only $2.20, and they're only little. Slightly crunchy outside and softly chewy inside, around the cream filling, with intensely pure flavour. Raspberry, vanilla, chocolate, mango and passionfruit... I take coffee and lemon back for afternoon tea. R. doesn't want any. Something tells me to save the lemon one for dessert that night. (See the next post...)

Thursday morning: Our last day. I cunningly inveigle R. to Laurent for morning coffee. It's too early for macaroons. So she has a passionfruit curd tart, and I have a raspberry frangipane.

Thursday afternoon: It's 2.45 and our shuttle is coming at 3.30. But Laurent is almost opposite our hotel (another really good reason for staying there). Time for one last afternoon tea, with macaroons. Very hard to decide, but I choose orange and lime. I don't regret this. Maybe I can learn how to make them...


Lisa said...

That Cream horn looks amazing! I wish I had a trip to melbourne :/

Rosa said...

Oh, it all looks fabulous! We're hoping to have a week in Melbourne next year so I will have to add Koko Black and Laurent to our itinerary.

You could definitely master macarons - and I have to tell you, even the "failures" are delicious so you don't need to worry too much! :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmm, that looks very yummy Anne - I'm pretty much eating your blog for breakfast this morning!

have a great day full of lovely surprises!

AnneE said...

I'm pleased you all enjoyed this! I've now looked up how to make macaroons and it does seem quite complicated - but some time soon I intend to have a go...if anyone has a recipe that works please pass it on!