Sydney’s patisserie industry is changing. Ingredients typically only found in Asian desserts are finding ways into traditional French pastries, cakes and entirely new recipes. At the same time patisserie and bakeries are offering better coffee, tea and cafe-like environments. Following Black Star Pastry, Miam, Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie and Oratnek, Burwood’s Dulcet Cakes and Sweets is the latest cafe-patisserie to join the new wave.

Dulcet is doing something a bit different to Sydney’s other innovators – focusing on health. “We've reduced the sugar as much as we can. I like to say even if it's dessert, it's healthy,” says Vivienne Li, one of Dulcet’s pastry chefs and co-owners.

A black-sesame mousse with a matcha and red-bean centre is nutty and tahini-like due to freshly ground black-sesame paste. “Aside from some [berry] purees, we make everything ourselves. All the almond meal, the red-bean paste, everything.” says Li. The matcha-sponge roll uses high-grade Marukyu Koyamaen green-tea powder and is far from cloying – it’s delicately bitter, earthy and fluffy. The latter seems to be a theme here, with many cakes lacking any crumble, crunch or snap in favour of pure softness. Dulcet’s signature creation is a good example – a 20-layer crepe cake (literally 20 layers of crepes and chocolate-caramel sauce). The idea for it, and most of the smaller treats, comes from Dulcet’s other half, ex-Quay pastry chef Juno Zhu.

Li focuses on the bigger cakes, those towering wedding celebrations you see in the window. Most orders for those are done by consultation, Li says. “I like to sit down and talk with each client about ideas and do a tasting. It’s always better to talk over a coffee.”

Dulcet is Li and Zhu’s first venue. Like many of Sydney’s other new patisserie-cafes, it has also put a lot of care into the in-store experience. Coffee uses Little Marionette beans and the tea from Sydney tea-maker Tippity. The store fit-out is soft and clean with floral-inspired feature walls and some equally colourful handcrafted Chinese plates.

Dulcet Cakes and Sweets
31 Belmore Street, Burwood

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