My favourite part of the “Zumbo” book (compiled by a great contemporary pâtissier Adriano Zumbo) is the one called “Gateaux de voyage”. There this Australian pastry chef gives the recipes of bar-shaped cakes which as he claims are very popular in his shop in
. He calls them “traveller cakes” because they are easy to transport and can be brought as a gift when going to somebody’s house to visit. All of these cakes are astonishing (well, as all of Zumbo’s creations, of course!) so it was very hard to decide which cake I should make first. The dilemma was solved when I had to open a can of blueberries (for my signature “Blueberry cosmopolitan’ cocktail) – it became obvious that the following day I would be able to make a pear and blueberry cake from the book. The girl (who helped me to finish my Cosmo) expressed the desire to taste it and I promised to send her a piece. Sydney
However, as I started to make the cake, I became overwhelmed with doubts and hesitations. For me, it seemed to be way too much. First, there’s a coconut caramel (I love coconut milk and cook a lot with it but I hate coconut cream which goes into the caramel!). Second, the pears are poached in saffron syrup (I don’t have anything against saffron, but it imparts its strong aroma to the food, doesn’t it?). Last, the cake batter itself is made with jaggery and contains my not-so-beloved coconut cream and a big heap of grated coconut. Wait, there should have been lavender sugar in it as well (that’s why the cake has such a name) but since I didn’t have any I substituted it with vanilla sugar (made in the same way – combining freeze-dried powder with normal sugar) – for me, even without the lavender, there were too many flavours in the cake already. My husband suggested that we should first try this doubtful cake ourselves before sharing it with anybody.
When the cake was finally cut, we didn’t have to solve the problem “to share or not to share” any more: we simply couldn’t stop eating it! It came out to be so unbelievably good, with all the flavours complementing each other, that my poor friend didn’t have a chance to get even a small piece of it! I guess, I will have to make up for it – with some more Cosmos and a new cake from Adriano Zumbo!
The recipe can be found in the book "Zumbo" by Adriano Zumbo