Apart from our flourishing coffee culture, Australia’s diverse culinary scene is also what makes our country different. From bizarre drinks to unusual delicacies such as Vegemite and Crocodile meat, we have it all. Even our local bakeries have their own sets of unique offerings, making us one of the go-to places for dessert lovers looking for the next big thing. Today, we'll look into some of the most bizarre baked treats offered by our very own bakery venues. Ready?
BLACK STAR PASTRY: GLOWNUTS
Meet the doughnuts that glow in the dark! This “Glownut” creation that took over Instagram was invented by Christopher Thé, a world-renowned pastry chef and the owner of the Sydney-based bakery Black Star Pastry, and was originally created for a lights festival in the city called 'Vivid Sydney' that lasted for 23 days.
According to Christopher, he got the inspiration for the bizarre treat while walking around the Vivid Sydney festival in 2016. “I was thinking hard about a way to tie in food with lights. And glow-in-the-dark popped in my head,” he said. “Just the thought of people eating glow-in-the-dark food at the world famous Vivid festival of light was an amazing challenge we just couldn't resist!”
So, how does the $7 Glownut glow?
The doughnut’s yuzu glaze icing is created by adding Riboflavin (or Vitamin B) to the sugar mix, which gives it a bright yellow colour when it’s dark. The Riboflavin is a natural ingredient and is safe to eat. Thé says they would never create any food product that was unnatural, even if it was a brilliant idea. "Black Star is all about great techniques and real cooking; we never add dyes or additives to any of our products” he pointed out. “We strictly adhered to this principle in order to make the glow in the dark doughnut happen."
Christopher mentioned that it took him almost a year to perfect the Glownut. Now, his invention has joined the ranks of popular desserts such as galaxy cakes and glow-in-the-dark cotton candy.
BUTTERBING: COOKIE SANDWICHES
Butterbing’s cookie sandwiches are undeniably famous in Melbourne. But did you know that this unique baked treat started as a home recipe?
Founder Simone Clark began her baking business at the comfort of her own home kitchen in Fitzroy with a standard kitchen mixer, a few bowls, and some ingredients from her local supermarket. She said she would bake different biscuits and slices and then deliver them personally to local cafes. After several months, Clark created what she calls the “brownie kisses” which are brownie-cookie sandwiches filled with delicious buttercream. They became an instant hit, and hence - the birth of the famous Butterbing cookie sandwiches!
“It quickly took over everything,” Clark says. “I decided to stop making other products and focused [on this].”
Butterbing’s cookie sandwiches come in different flavours. From salted caramel and vanilla bean to mint and peanut butter. Though for Clark, her current favourite flavour is the Almond Crunch. “We favour nut based flavours because it’s a really popular and classic combination with chocolate,” she says. “I have a bit of a weak spot for browned butter so we decided to combine toasted almonds with browned butter in the form of a butter cream.”
AZUKI: WASABI SAUSAGE ROLL
Shunsuke Hashimoto has always wanted to introduce Japanese cuisine to other countries, hence - he opened the Japanese-inspired bakery, Azuki, in Enmore Road in Newtown together with his fiancée Yumi Ota. But we didn’t expect their baked goods to be this crazy!
Azuki is the home to the legendary snack: the wasabi sausage roll. The unusual creation is a buttery pastry filled with seriously juicy pork and wasabi, and topped with either wasabi mayo or wasabi soy.
“It came up when I was talking to my friend here in Australia,” Hashimoto says of their popular baked good with a Japanese twist. “I said, ‘I’m going to open up a bakery and it’s going to be a Japanese-European fusion’. And we did some brainstorming and came up with a few ideas.”
Aside from the wasabi sausage roll, Azuki also serves other unique baked goods, such as the matcha croissant, Mentaiko (cod roe) baguette, green tea lamingtons, matcha Mont Blancs, sesame tiramisu, and the yuzu cheesecake. The bizarre charcoal black sesame sourdough can also be bought at their bakery in Enmore Road.
These three products are just some of the most bizarre and unusual baked treats Australia has to offer. If you know other unique bakery goods available down under, feel free to share them in the comments section below!
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