Thursday, 14 July 2011

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

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Multicultural Cuisine of... Desserts

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
647 Chapel St,
South Yarra
(03) 9827 7060
Visit Website

"OH MY GOD! We're on Chapel Street!"
"Umm... yeah....??!"
"Chapel Street!!! Do you know what's here?!"
"Umm... the Jam Factory? Where we're going to the movies? That's why we're here, yeah??"
"Yeah, but now that we're here, I can finally go to Burch and Purchese!!!! I totally forgot it was so close to the Jam Factory! Oh my God!! Please can we go and get some cake?! It'll be amazing! Seriously! I won't even get popcorn at the movies, I just want cake! Yes? Yeah?! Let's go, come on!"

This was the conversation that occurred between Sous-Jeff and I, two grown adults, not a child and a parent as it may suggest. I had a rare Sunday off work, and we had absolutely not a thing planned, other than a sleep in and some gluten free, buckwheat pancakes covered in fresh strawberries and a little vanilla sugar for breakfast (delicious, by the way!). We loooove a trip to the movies, and realised that not only had we still not seen the new X-Men, but we also actually had 2 free movie tickets sitting on the fridge! Time to get out and use them! The only Sunday day time session of X-Men was at the Jam Factory, so off we went.

A few months ago, I'd heard for the first time all about Ian Burch and Darren Purchese on another blog (I can't remember which one unfortunately...), which led me to the Burch and Purchese blog, and their magnificent dessert abilities. Not long later, I saw Darren's appearance on MasterChef, with one of the most magnificent cakes I've ever seen. I knew I had to get to their studio, but hadn't had the chance, until this fateful day, when, standing out the front of the Como centre crossing the road, I realised my close proximity to sugar land!

Bless him, Sous-Jeff knows he can't win an argument with me when there's cake involved, and on my side was the fact that he too had seen the cake appearance on MasterChef, and wanted to get involved in this delicious phenomenon. So, with an hour to kill before the movie, off we went!

It didn't look like much from the outside, but I had a feeling that we wouldn't be disappointed. "Aren't you meant to be gluten free at the moment? Pretty sure that means no cake..." I shrugged my shoulders and decided that a quick break in the diet wouldn't kill me, already resigned to the cakey fate awaiting me through the door..

... and I walked into my dream. Wow. It was all soooo pretty... and look, home made jams and chocolates for sale!

And, ... WOW!!!! An entire wall lined with little glass jars, containing ingredients such as coconut ash, sugared rose petals, and 24 carat gold leaf... ohhh imagine the cakes I could create with this as my pantry!

The kitchen was even open, with two young ladies cooking their way around. What I wouldn't have given to get in there are have a turn...

I hear a laugh, and turn around to see one of the lovely shop assistants giggling at me, standing in front of the glass jars, mouth wide open and eyes darting about in wonder. Sous-Jeff is laughing along with her, shaking his head and probably wondering why he agreed to this outing.

Back to the glass display cases at the front of the store, Sous-Jeff tried to hurry me on to choosing a cake for myself. He already know what he wants, but I'm torn between basically everything there. With a little more begging and pleading, and the promise that I'll let him taste mine, I talk my way up from one cake, to two, plus whichever Sous-Jeff wants. The art of compromise is essential in marriage.

With our three pieces of heaven chosen and delicately placed into a box, with their descriptions sticky taped inside, I carefully clutch my delicious package in my cold hands, and make my way to the door. "Would you like a few spoons in case they don't make it home?" the shop assistant asks with a giggle as we make our way out? "Yes, definitely," is Sous-Jeff's reply, and with cake and spoons in hand, we head back to the Jam Factory for our movie.

"Ok, open the box up, let's go."
"Excuse me?!"
"Yeah, we'll just eat them while we walk back so we're not late for the movie."
"Just give me the cake!"
"I'm sorry, I don't think you understand. You do not just eat cakes like this on the run. No. Just no. Honestly."

(At this point, the lady walking along behind us starts to laugh, and backs me up that they are indeed beyond amazing and should be enjoyed properly. She's carrying two B&P boxes... lucky duck.)

We continue to argue like this for the remainder of the walk back, and settle on yet another compromise - we can't take them home as the chocolate on top is starting to melt, and we will not be eating on the run, so we settle down in the food court in the Jam Factory, and eat them there, where I can still eat with my eyes (and take some photo evidence for you before they're destroyed!).

The first piece of heaven to be taken from the box is the Vanilla|Pistachio|Lemon|Green Tea cake, comprising of:
White chocolate and vanilla mousse, pistachio cream, crunchy green tea meringue, lemon cream, pistachio cake, green tea macaroon and a brilliant white chocolate spray.

The macaroon is the first victim, and is absolutely gorgeous. The little bits of crunchy merigue follow... just as good! Next comes a spoonful..

... Oh wow... words cannot describe this... the most incredible, silky, smooth flavour of the white chocolate and vanilla mousse, just melting away in your mouth, hits you first. Then, a bit of punch from the lemon cream, perfectly citrusy and tangy, but also super sweet and almost creamy. Last to hit me was the pistachio cake, soft and crumbly, with a perfect pistachio flavour. Perfection in a cake!

Next cab off the rank was the Chocolate|Mandarin|Salted Caramel cake, which was made up of Kendari 60% chocolate mousse, Murray River salted caramel, burnt mandarin cream, St Clements marmalade, aerated chocolate shortbread and chocolate mirror glaze.

The gorgeous little painted chocolate square and mandarin candy on top looked too cute to eat... Sous-Jeff however didn't really care too much and swiftly plucked them both off and took a bite, before handing what was left to me.

In fairness, I did get the first bite - I dug my spoon into the centre of the little cake, and was met with this:

Layers of silky smooth chocolate mousse and mandarin cream, with an absolutely perfect chocolate shortbread base. The saltiness was very subtle and perfectly balanced out the incredibly rich chocolate mousse. Really, really yummy.

Last out was the Dark Chocolate|Pear|Hazelnut cake, made up of Tarakan 75% chocolate and vanilla mousse, caramelised pear, hazelnut cream, B&P "Nutella," chocolate hazelnut brownie, pear jelly, dark chocolate velvet spray and a chocolate twig on top with a little nut crumble. Unfortunately, by the time my camera got to this cake, the twig had kinda melted...

The little ball of pear jelly was first down the hatch, and it had a really interesting, almost grainy texture - very pear-y and sweet, but not too much so. Further we dug, to reveal...

The chocolate vanilla mousse, "Nutella," and hazelnut cream were perfect together, very rich and sweet, and that brownie was just amazing! To my great delight, I discovered you could actually buy the little brownie bases from the store - yay! Upon further digging into this lovely little cake, I also discovered...

... little bits of caramelised pear!!! Yum!! 

With our cakes devoured and my photos taken, we realise we're now running late for the movie! We silently shuffle into our seats just as the lights are dimmed and the previews begin and settle in to our movie as the sugar coma beings to kick in. Although the flavour combinations weren't overly experimental or spectacularly different, the actual taste was beautiful, they were presented flawlessly, and I can't recommend highly enough that you get in there are give them a try!! 

Would rate it 9 out of 10.

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the great ideas! I can't wait to do something special.

  2. I was the lady behind you I think hahaha...I told you my favorite was the pistachio one lol... This was last sunday right (the rainy grey day). Glad you enjoyed the cakes! They are indeed beyond amazing!!! xx

  3. Hehe no way!!! Apologies for my husband's lack of respect for the cakes! And you were right about the pistachio one - by far my favourite, cannot wait to go back for more!!!

  4. I'm so sad that I missed on visiting it the last time I was in Melbourne! Everything looks so damn scrumptious! And I loved your conversation about eating it on the run-we have conversations like that all the time lol :P

  5. how much were they? i'd like to come and visit the next time im in south yarra