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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dispatches from Sydney - Flour & Stone Bakery

I can't make it less than 2 km to get to Flour & Chocolate Bakery at Morningside but I can make it 932 km to Woolloomooloo to visit Flour & Stone Bakery.  Famous for their artisan bread and amazing bakery items, I had originally planned to do a breakfast.  Always a risky proposition on a Saturday when it comes to crowds, so I was extremely pleased when a slot opened up in my hectic schedule meaning I could visit on Friday afternoon for coffee.

Flour & Chocolate is a small shop front just off the main drag up to the Coke sign in Kings Cross.  There are a few small tables and some window seating inside as well as a couple of stools outside.  I arrive at exactly the right time, just before the afternoon tea rush so I could take my time choosing and had a choice of tables.  To one side, there's a variety of breads made earlier in the day and in the display cabinet, an array of sweet treats.  They all look so attractive and rustic with little brown bubbles where the sugar has caramelised and lots of quirky imperfections.


There's a large selection on offer and it rotates day to day based to some extent on what's available or seasonal and also on popular trends.  As you can imagine, Salted Caramel Tart is big right now.  If you're interested in knowing what's available, the website is updated daily with a 'What we're baking today' section.  Though I normally wouldn't choose a chocolate dessert, the Manjari Fudge Cake nearly sucks me in.  There are some good looking if slightly too healthy bran muffins with big chunks of fresh fruit cooked in as well as some Zucchini & Gruyere Buns.  A bit of this and a bit of that would make an excellent impromptu picnic in Hyde Park, only a stone's throw away.


As I try to decide, I spy a newly arrived Pear & Quince Tarte Tatin and the deal is sealed.  I order a slice, a coffee and a take home treat for later.  The tarte has a slightly creamy texture with pieces of mellow pear and chunks of grainy pink quince throughout and a thin, crumbly layer on top.  It reminds me a little of an impossible pie and is not overly sweet so would appeal to those who don't have a sweet tooth (which actually isn't me) or who want something that's not too filling, mid afternoon (which is me, as I have a big night ahead).


One reason Flour & Stone have such a devoted following is their re-invention of sweet treats such as Almond Rocher, re-imagined as fist sized clusters of nougatine and almonds.  Their Panna Cotta Lamington is legendary and spoken about with much reverence in food circles.  A giant slab of sponge, soaked in some kind of liquid (possibly alcoholic) to create a moist panna cotta, layered with a divine raspberry 'jam', lacquered in chocolate ganache and coated in coconut flakes.  It's so big that it comes in it's own badged takeaway box.  This one sells out quickly on weekends so get in early.


I leave with my sturdy Lamington takeaway box in hand and wander back through the park to my hotel, satisfied that I'm ahead of schedule on my dining checklist and that I've secured one of the famed Lamingtons.  I will get to Flour & Chocolate eventually because one of their specialities are doughnuts and that, my friend, is a whole different blog post.


Flour & Stone Bakery
53 Riley St
Woolloomoolloo   NSW   2011
http://www.flourandstone.com.au/index.html
@flourandstone

Visited:  Friday 31 May 2013 - afternoon tea service

Flour and Stone on Urbanspoon

I took some great photos at Flour & Stone but alas, Blogger continues to frustrate me.  Portrait photos are not loading properly so I'm trying to sort this out.  Annoyingly, the problem is not consistent so difficult to track.

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