The first post in our new section, Specialty Stores, where we aim to share our favourite and most interesting places to get your foodie fix in Melbourne and beyond, is fittingly dedicated to the masterstroke that is Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio!
It’s located on Chapel Street, South Yarra, next to the funky Olsen hotel, and across the road from the new Vogue shopping center / apartment complex. Among the fabulous looking cake displays, it also houses the semi-open kitchen where you can see Ian Burch and Darren Purchese (and their helpers) showing off their sweet-making techniques from the early hours of the morning through to the late hours of the evening.
I first visited B&P Sweet Studio back when it was a pop-up studio on Flinders Street in March this year, and was thoroughly impressed with just how beautiful and thoughtful the cakes and other sweet treats they were making looked. Given that both Ian Burch and Darren Purchese are veteran pastry chefs – Ian was most recently stationed at No 35 (incidentally, we hated the desserts we had there – sorry Ian!!), while Darren has recently been working at The Press Club – the quality is not surprising.
Ritsy’s birthday provided the perfect excuse to spend $48 on a cake – yes this may sound expensive for a cake, but an ordinary cake this is not. With a selection of four different cakes to choose from, there was one in particular that seemed to be made from all of Ritsy’s favourite things – the Raspberry, Champagne, Lychee, and White Chocolate cake.
It included layers, toppings, sprays, and garnishes such as Champagne Jelly, Raspberry Champagne Mousse, Hibiscus Champagne Jam, Yoghurt and White Chocolate Sponge, Exaggerated Raspberry Cream, Choc Coated Puffed Wheat, and their signature White Chocolate Velvet Spray. It was, and still is, far and away the best cake Ritsy and I have ever eaten!
We finally got around to visiting the lovely staff at the fully fledged B&P Sweet Studio on the weekend, and couldn’t resist buying a couple of tasty treats! To make things difficult, it’s not all about cakes at B&P Sweet Studio – they also have things like Salted Caramel and Hazelnut Spreads, Chocolate Gold Ingots, Edible Birthday Cards, and Honeycomb!
I couldn’t go past the Caramelised White Chocolate, Banana, Macadamia, Passionfruit cake ($9) – it was fantastic, and so rich that Ritsy could not finish the half I shared with her! The list of components were Caramelised White Chocolate & Vanilla Mousse, Crunchy Macadamia Meringue, Caramelised Banana Cream, Passionfruit Jelly, and Caramelised White Chocolate Velvet Spray. It, like the Raspberry, Champagne, Lychee & White Chocolate cake, had a great texture and five or six different layers inside the cake.
Ritsy chose the free standing Coconut, Passionfruit, Ginger, Mint ($9), which consisted of Coconut Mousse, Passionfruit Curd, Coconut Caviar, Passionfruit Jelly, Salted Oat & Ginger Crumble, White Chocolate Mint Wafer, Ginger Macaroon, and Brilliant White Chocolate Spray. Again, this was an awesome dessert treat, but the one comment we both had was that there wasn’t quite enough coconut flavour in the mousse.
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio is well worth a visit. It’s located at 647 Chapel Street, South Yarra. They are currently open from 10.00am to 6.30pm Tuesday – Sunday.