Black Star Pastry
Black Star is a cult Sydney patisserie (now a fast-growing chain) that’s become renowned for creating some of Australia’s most photogenic cakes. Now, they’ve come to Melbourne. This is only a temporary residency, but it’s already becoming a fixture in the area. Almost everybody who visits is after the cake that earned Black Star its fandom – the Strawberry Watermelon Cake.
It was dubbed “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert” by the the New York Times, and rose to prominence largely thanks to the popularity of Instagram in 2012. Over a million slices of the gluten-free cake – which consists of delicate layers of almond dacquoise (meringue cake), rose-scented cream, fresh watermelon and strawberries, and a sprinkling of pistachio – are sold each year.
In contrast to the freshness and bright colours of the Strawberry Watermelon, the Japanese Black Forest Cake is dramatic and indulgent, with layers of hojicha (green tea) sponge between cream that's infused with umeshu (a sweet-sour liqueur) and dotted with pieces of confit plum cooked in choya (plum brandy). Other cakes on the menu include the Pistachio Lemon Zen Cake (pistachio dacquoise, pistachio ganache, white-chocolate mousse and lemon curd) and a Raspberry Lychee Cake (chocolate-biscuit base, raspberry marshmallows set into vanilla cream, and fresh lychees and berries on top).
Aside from cakes, there are plain croissants (some of Sydney’s best), yuzu-sesame danishes, chocolate florentines and gingerbread ninjas, plus new savoury pastries: a vegetarian danish with ratatouille, and a spicy asparagus and ‘nduja tart with goat’s cheese.