In the few short weeks since Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie opened in Alexandria, its apple crumble has emerged a firm favourite.
Setting Instagram feeds alight with its picture-perfect dome, the glossy, green confection is a clever blend of poached cinnamon apple and apple custard mousse on a base of Speculoos (spiced biscuit) crumble.
It is exemplary of Textbook’s approach to the art of patisserie. Pastry chef John Ralley is committed to recreating classics but with a distinctive modern twist. His Jaffa cake is a sophisticated take on the classic dessert of biscuit with milk-chocolate mousse and sponge spiked with mandarin. His lemon meringue is enlivened by a raspberry compote.
When coming up with his new range, Ralley was adamant he did not want to have a signature dessert, preferring instead for the entire selection to shine. But the apple crumble certainly appears to be the people’s favourite so far.
The viennoiserie selection of croissants and pain au chocolat is more traditional.
Bread is an equally important part of the business, with baker Steve Anderson creating baguettes à la française with a crackled crust and light-as-a-cloud centre. All-important sourdough is also available.
The pair trained together in the Southern Highlands before going their separate ways. But after a number of years working on various other projects, they both yearned to set up on their own and decided their complementary skills could be put to good use on this new project.
Alexandria was chosen as the location because of its reputation as a food destination, but it took around a year for them to find a suitable premise. When the site on bustling Botany Road became available, they snapped it up.
Although it only seats 20 inside at the moment, with a handful of tables outside, there are plans to expand its outdoor seating into the neighbouring courtyard so more can enjoy this corner of France in Sydney.
Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie
274 Botany Road, Alexandria
(02) 9699 6156
Tue to Sat 7am–4.30pm