THE RESULTS ARE IN!
I’ve always had a sweet tooth. In fact, I have a whole mouth full of sweet teeth. Inspired by Sharking for Chips and Drinks brilliant post on Melbourne’s Top 5 Dishes of 2011, I’ve decided to compile what I believe are Melbourne’s best desserts. Hand selected from both fine dining and casual eateries, these desserts vary in cuisine, flavour and levels of creativity. Without any further ado, may I introduce to you Melbourne’s Top 5 Desserts of the Year, in descending order:
5. 'Supersized Love' at LuxBite:
The name of this dessert instantly appealed to my 18-year-old brother… or maybe he ordered it because it was the biggest, most chocolatey choice. I can tease all I want, but I had serious food envy after trying it. The description on the label in the enticing cabinet simply read, "Tastes almost like the golden ball" and is a reference to Ferrero Rocher chocolates. While it looks like a giant chocolate macaron with a rich chocolate filling (which LuxBite also do oh-so-well), this creation revealed something else entirely when cut. Be prepared for an oozing hazelnut filling surrounded by a fudgy chocolate gânache. You can practically feel it clogging your arteries.
4. Stick ice creams at Burch & Purchese:
We sampled two varieties when we visited this Aladdin’s cave of sweets. Biting through the chocolate shell of the first revealed a smooth raspberry ice cream filling. But the highlight was definitely the freeze dried raspberry powder and popping candy on the outside. My personal favourite was the '647', named after the shop street number. It starred a vanilla ice cream centre peppered with specks of vanilla bean and was coated with caramelised white chocolate. Sprinkled with roasted macadamia nuts, I could have eaten the entire supply. I’m still keen to try the spicy roast pumpkin and butterscotch popcorn ice cream.
Desserts here are consistently delicious, but this one was my favourite. It had the consistency of fluffy cheesecake and arrived with honey biscuit shards and sultanas on top. Drizzled with a green tea reduction and served on a blue-grey Japanese plate, it was truly a work of art.
2. Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel and soft chocolate at Golden Fields:
If you have spoken to anyone who has dined at Golden Fields, you will know that this dessert always seems to be the favourite. Served in a smooth black bowl, the flavour of the dainty cube of peanut butter parfait was not too overpowering. Salted caramel sauce draped over the edges of the parfait, punctuated with roasted, crushed peanuts. The mixture collected in a decadent pool at the bottom of the bowl and a quenelle of rich chocolate mousse crowned the heavenly dessert.
AND THE WINNER IS...
1. Sour cream, pumpkin and salted caramel at The Estelle:
While it may not be as pretty as other desserts, this one gets extra points for the genius combination of flavours. It was this creativity that ultimately took it to first place in Melbourne's Top 5 Desserts. The body of the dish was a light vanilla and olive oil sponge, topped with a scoop of crème fresh ice cream. Pumpkin seeds provided crunch and a mix of spices added sweet, sour and bitter notes. Worms of salted caramel wriggled around the other ingredients and nearly resulted in plate licking. An interesting mix that was undeniably harmonious.
Birdman Eating's honeycomb (first pictured) gets a special mention. Covered in dark, couverture chocolate, it had an airy, melt-in-the-mouth consistency. You can actually feel the honey oozing out as it dissolves on the tongue. At $3 a pop, it's a cheap, sweet treat. Perfect with a coffee.
What are your favourite desserts in Melbourne? I need to keep my sweet teeth occupied, so please share your secrets!
*Please note the above desserts were all available at the time this was posted.