From the cronut to the cupcake, American desserts are not-so-slowly taking over Australia. Joe Dunn of Love Dem Apples is hoping caramel apples will be no different, following the opening of his bright new shopfront on Cleveland Street, aptly named Love Dem Apples.
For the uninitiated, a caramel apple is a Granny Smith dipped in soft caramel before being coated in toppings and flavours. Not to be mistaken for a toffee apple – a similar dessert enjoyed around Halloween time in the US – Dunn’s caramel apples are more dense in flavour and often sliced up for easy eating. Popular flavours include picnic, chopped pretzel, a crumbly apple pie, crushed Tim-Tams, Oreos and cheesecake.
Apples are dipped into a large kettle cooker full of caramel, and then toppings are layered onto the apples after they have been washed and skewered. “We make about 90 per day, which is a smaller batch than what others do in the States,” says Dunn. The entire process takes about four to five hours.
After opening around a month ago with the help of his mum, Kiwi-born Dunn already had a following for the crunchy treats from his stalls at Bondi and Glebe markets.
Dunn was passing through Miami, Florida, in 2009 when he first spotted a caramel apple in a shop there, but they hadn't quite caught on in Australia, until now. “The reaction has been, 'what is this all about?' and lots of people are quite taken aback because they've never seen it before,” says Dunn. “That was the first impression I had when I saw them in the States – what the hell is that thing?
“I really want to open a store in Melbourne,” he says, “and maybe another one in Sydney on the North Shore.”