23 Feb 2010

It's the Simple Things...

Posted by PastryPrincess at 04:01
Last week my two friends and I wanted to take the ferry to Manly Beach and lie on the beach but then the weather didn't cooperate...
So instead we walked aimlessly around the suburbs Surrey Hills & Darling Hurst. I can't say there was anything particularly interesting to see at all but we ended up checking out all these lovely food speciality shops which was nice. Food shops always make me happy, I could visit every single bakery, food shop and deli around Sydney and would have a jolly good time! I'm easy to please like that.

Even before we went there I had heard of and had been told about the Bourke Street Bakery and yes, you guessed right, it's on Bourke Street! Taa-daa, big surprise there! It's well-known around here and apparently people cue along the street on weekends but that might also be because the corner shop is teeny-tiny. They even have their own cook book with all the recipes for their breads and buns which you can buy everywhere.
We eventually got there in the afternoon which means that most of the stuff had already been sold and there was not an awful big selection left. It was still super hard to choose all the same. Maybe it was a good thing they didn't have much left though or it would have taken me even longer to pick my chocolate-raspberry tart than it already did and I would have still been standing there, looking at the display at closing time! The staff there are apparently used to it, people commonly seem to have the problem of choice and I'm the biggest sucker for indecisiveness! I don't think they sell any proper cakes there but rather small bits and pieces like muffins and small tarts apart from all the breads and buns. There really is an abundance of the latter and also many savoury little snacks like a scrumptious-looking chorizo pastry and little quiches. 
I wanted something sweet to go with my cappucino and although I would have certainly enjoyed the ginger crème brûlée tart, I went for the classic and delicious combo of chocolate and raspberry. You just can't go wrong with it! The coffee was nice too and they also offer freshly squeezed orange juice which my friend opted for and it was lovely and refreshingly cool from the fridge. My other friend went for the lemon tart and we took our seats outside in the sun. There arent many seats and tables as this is a tiny place but sitting in the window inside really looked like a cosy spot to read your newspaper and nibble on a bun. Some other time guys.
My tart was nice and yummy. Yes, it was. But not amaaaaazing. Amazing in a way that you would expect from such an uuhhh-oohh kinda place. That's the thing with these "famous" places, expectations build up and then they're not actually met. Wich is a shame because it is, in fact, a cosy and good little shop. If not a little over-hyped if you ask me. Which is the downfall of places with this kind of reputation, sometimes it can get a little bit out of hand. Anyway, let's get back to basics.
The shell of my tart was lovely crisp and flaky and I was positively surprised when I discovered it was not filled with a chocolate cream but with a mousse, hmm. Chocolate mousse is always a good idea! It was topped with something chocolatey ( I think...) and crumbly, maybe some kind of streusel which added a nice texture. What I was a little disappointed by was how little the amount of raspberry was. Okay, so it looked like fresh raspberry puree which can be praised as such but there was so little of it you could hardly taste it at all. The chocolate was over-powering and that's not really the point of a chocolate-raspberry tart, right? Maybe it's just me but I love raspberries and I would have liked to be able to get to enjoy their flavour a bit more. Especially considering the great produce Australia has to offer when it comes to fruit and veggies!
I also tried my friend's lemon tart and once again it was lovely but nothing surprising there. You order a lemon tart, you get a lemon tart. Delicious but not special. What am I even complaining about you may ask. I'm not complaining friends, just pointing out!

As the selection was pretty much irresistable we ended up buying two loafs of bread to take home. Way too much bread for 2 girls who hardly ever eat any! It's a week later and I still have about 2/3 of the bread left and no, I haven't thrown it out yet. Come on, it's still edible and I nibble on it every now and again. Really, I do. Sometimes at least, erm.... Ah okay so, maybe it's time to put it out of its misery, hahaha.
Why did I not devour the bread in one sitting, it was Apple Cinnamon Sourdough after all?! Weeeeeeell, let's just say it was a bit of a let-down... Maybe I had wrong expectations. Possibly. The thing is I LOVE cinnamon and apple, it's a classic and a whole bread of it - genius! It could have been amazing. For breakfast. Toasted. With butter. Hmmmmmm. Made me think of a breakfast muffin. It was nothing like that though. It was bread. Sourdough bread. And that's what it tasted like, reminding me of farmhouse bread, wholesome and healthy. 
I couldn't taste the cinnamon, boo-hoo, but I could actually see it. Weird. There was hardly any apple in it either and it was not exactly flavourful. I don't know, maybe it's just me but when I think of apple cinnamon bread I think of something slightly sweet, like other fruity breads but it wasn't in the slightest which was probably because it was a sourdough. Sourdough is ooommpphh. This bread definitely had ooommpphh. I didn't want ooommpphh... I wanted cinnamony-apply hhhmmm-ness.
I basically made my friend buy the other bread I would have picked had I not gone for Ooommpphh. It was a white, ciabatta-like bread with olives and rosemary. What a beauty. My friend doesn't even like olives! I luuuurve them, oh yes. This baby was gooood! Totally delivered. I had bread envy. At least I got to try some and yep, in this case I could have eaten the whole thing in one go. Delish.
It was light and with a good amount of dark olives and fresh rosemary. Fragrant. Hmmm. I put olive oil on it and it tasted like a holiday in Italy but in your mouth. You can't beat the simplicity of it. Pure foodgasm! More-ish. Even my not-so-much-into-olives friend really liked it. She had it with fresh tomatoes as a side to fish the other day and rolled her eyes it was that good. It's the simple things that taste best. Now she's bought a basil plant and you can imagine how good it would be with some of that now... Oh boy.
Simplicity is best. It can't be hyped.
Simplicity versus hype. I know what I'd pick.
A boulangerie is simple - Don't go and destroy it by overly hyping it... They have some good bread there after all!

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