We are spoilt for choice in Sydney when it comes to sweet treats. They reflect both the wonderful multi-cultural environment we live in, and a commitment to quality. Here are a few of my picks, or ones I read about and had to try. I don’t really eat chocolate desserts, so I’m sure there are a few iconic chocolate treats missing from the list! I also have to go on a new hunt for Sydney’s best cannoli. My favourite have always been the cannoli at Sulfaro Pasticceria at Haberfield. No one has been able to match the crunch, flavour and thinness of their casings. But I recently learned that they have sadly closed down….so need to find some new ones. Blue Star at Five Dock is pretty good and Marineve, also at Five Dock, has been recommended so I will have to try those. (See my subsequent searches here and here)
Ricotta Cake at Pasticceria Papa, Haberfield
This one has stood the test of time. I’ve been eating this for years, and each time I do I remember why I love it so much. The recipe is more closely guarded than Colonel Sanders’ KFC 11 herbs and prices, or the formula for Coca Cola. Many have tried to replicate it, and failed. Just head on over to Haberfield and be transported to ricotta cake bliss.
Pasticceria Papa, 145 Ramsay St, Haberfield, Ph (02) 9798 6894 http://ppapa.com.au/
Ginger tart at Bourke Street Bakery
How something so small can hold so much delicious is a feat in itself. And at $5.00, its a steal of a dessert.
Bourke Street Bakery – Surry Hills, Alexandria, Neutral Bay, Potts Point http://bourkestreetbakery.com.au/
Lamingtons at Flour at Stone, Wooloomoolloo
I’m going to say something really Unaustralian. I can’t stand lamingtons. There’s something about dessicated coconut that disturbs me (also don’t bring Cherry Ripe or Bounty anywhere near me. Shudder.). But there has been so much talk of Flour and Stone’s lamingtons that I thought I might be converted. I’ll have to defer to the verdict of Lamington Lovers United on this. I still don’t like them. But the apple tart there – now that was devine.
Flour and Stone, 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo, Ph (02) 8068 8818 http://www.flourandstone.com.au
Watermelon Cake at Black Star Pastry
Like Flour and Stone’s lamingtons, this is another cake that seems to have a cult following. But this one I understand. The layer of cream, the cake, and then the freshness of watermelon. Winning. Black Star Pastry, 277 Australia St, Newtown, Ph (02) 9557 8656 http://www.blackstarpastry.com.au
Hazelnut cake at Kraving K, Sydney
For hazelnut lovers, a delightful mixture of hazelnut and chocolate from this up and coming Sydney patissiere. A crunchy base, layers of hazelnut with vanilla hazelnut cream and hazelnut chocolate dacquoise, with a glossy chocolate finish on top. Her chiffon cakes are gaining quite a following too. By special order from Kraving K http://www.kravingk.com
Pistachio and Rosewater Cupcake at Ghermez, Sydney (now closed)
This little parcel of Persian influenced deliciousness has a silky smooth buttercream over a moist cupcake with pistachio texture. The amount of rosewater is just right – a sweet hint without overpowering everything else. Its my favourite of all Ghermez’s cupcakes, with the Dulce de Leche a close second. Ghermez- Alexandria, Chippendale, Sydney www.ghermez.com.au
Vanilla Slice at The Cake Man, Lane Cove
Is there a quintessential vanilla slice in Sydney? The Cake Man, in a nondescript arcade in Lane Cove, has a pretty good go at it. Flaky pastry, oozy custard, and not too sweet. Get there before lunch or you won’t find any. The Cake Man, 5a/23-25 Burns Bay Rd, Lane Cove Ph (02) 8021 6195
Sfogliatelle at Pasticceria Tamborrino, Five Dock
The best sfogliatelle I ever had were in a tiny, out of the way shop in a back street of Venice. I spent over an hour the next day trying to find it again to buy some more. In the absence of that, come to Tamborrino in Five Dock. Endless layers of crisp, light pastry with a ricotta and orange peel filling. Gorgeous. The rum baba here are pretty good too. Pasticceria Tamborrino, 75 Great North Road, Five Dock Ph (02) 9712 1461 http://www.pasticceriatamborrino.com.au/
Date Tart at Lorraine’s Patisserie, Sydney
The date tart that Lorraine Godsmark put on the Rockpool menu in 1984 – and continues to be so – is now made by Lorraine in her Palings Lane bakery. This means you don’t have to shell out a princely sum for an entire Rockpool meal to get to the tart at the end. It doesn’t come cheap though, at $15 a takeaway slice, and with a reserve list to boot. Lorraine herself makes it a couple of times a week. The pastry is amazing, the custard silky, and there’s a fine layer of cake on top. Lorraine’s Patisserie, Shop 5, Palings Ln, Sydney, Ph (02) 9254 8009 http://www.merivale.com.au/lorraines-patisserie/
Kurtosh at Kurtosh Bakery
For something a little different, give these traditional Hungarian “chimney cakes” a whirl. They are made to order, a flaky and not too sweet pastry, and flavoured with pistachio nuts, nutella or cinnamon. They also sell a variety of slab cakes which you can buy by weight.
Kurtosh – Crows Nest, Darlinghurst, Randwick and Surry Hills
If there are any other great signature cakes out there, please share them!