During Spring Break, my family took a trip to Australia in search of beaches, gastro pubs, and great wine. My hidden agenda was to eat as much of my favorite dessert, Pavlova, in any way shape or form. Pavlova is named after a famous Russian ballerina from the 1920’s. It combines the crunch of a meringue base with creaminess in the center topped with fresh fruits or sorbets. While there is much debate between Aussies and Kiwis over who created it, many pastry chefs create their own delicious spin on it worldwide.
While hunting for Pavlovas, I was inspired by some of the best desserts Down Under. If you are going to Oz, then take note, as these are the places that made a 30 day cleanse necessary after arriving back home to San Diego.
We had an unforgettable garden to table lunch at Chiswick in Woollahra where all of the vegetable dishes prepared are from their property. Although we were full, I saw Pavlova on their menu, and it was possibly the best one I have ever had.
We took the ferry to visit friends in Manly and stumbled across a place with OMG “Berry Pavlova Gelato”. Lucky for you, they have locations throughout the Sydney area.
Lorraine Godsmark was the head pastry chef for uber Aussie chef, Neil Perry, at his landmark restaurant, Rockpool, for 10 years before going on her own. This small and open kitchen creates truly beautiful cakes, tarts, and pastries.
While I couldn’t part with the Raspberry Pecan Cake, which was like a buttery, French Financier, my husband and daughter wrestled over the Chocolate Macadamia Salted Caramel Tart and the Strawberry Mascarpone Cake.
Though their website has a gorgeous Pavlova that drove me there, a whole one must be ordered 24 hours in advance. Too many other choices to be disappointed by that, it was easy to try other desserts.
Black Star is the brain child of pastry chef, Christopher Thé, and the baked goods are contemporary, creative, and styled to perfection.
The Strawberry Watermelon Cake with rose scented cream was a standout, but the three of us agreed that the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel Jelly was lick the plate WOW! The Sticky Toffee Bread Pudding with Warm Vanilla Sauce was equally as good the next day cold as a to-go leftover.
Nadine Ingram learned at some of Sydney’s best restaurants and bakeries including MG Garage, Bourke Street Bakery, and La Gavroche. Her quaint bakery is a wonderful place to stop in for a few treats and a cup of cappuccino if you are in Woolloomooloo. The desserts are simple, perfectly moist and fresh out of the oven.
This chocolate store in Darlinghurst is on par with any Parisian Chocolatier. Hot chocolates, ice cream sandwiches, caramels, chocolate bars, and best of all, bags of raspberry swirled meringues. Ooh la la.
Mornington Peninsula proved to be over-the-top for wine and food but no Pavlovas. We did find the Famous Vanilla Slice at Just Fine Food in Sorrento. It can be described as an ultra-thick, vanilla custard Napoleon and I will admit that it elevated our picnic spread.
Our last stop was in Tasmania. There were no notches left on our belts, and this Pavlova did not disappoint.
I’m working on accruing enough miles to head back down and explore Lamington’s and Violet Crumble desserts.
Hopefully, I’ve excited you about Pavlova’s and you can come in to try ours.