Celebrations that require cake are most likely the thing of a Coeliac’s nightmare. This is especially true if you aren’t a fan of baking. If you are like some people in my life you could ruin even a foolproof cake mix too. Additionally, since gluten free ready made cakes aren’t a big thing at the moment, where are you to turn? Thankfully we have a few amazing gluten free bakers and bakeries in Melbourne and if you haven’t yet heard of Belle Patisserie then you’re missing out.
Belle Patisserie is based out of Woodend, a small town to the North West of Melbourne, near the Macedon ranges. The owner Cat knows our struggles first hand, having Coeliac Disease herself. So she creates cakes that focus on ‘mouthwatering flavour, moisture texture…and natural beauty.’ In her cake creations, Cat embraces the areas local produce and seasonal ingredients. Offering artisan cakes, all gluten free with a dairy free or vegan option. With cakes for special occasions, parties or intimate gatherings, you can choose between a stand alone cake or smaller treats. In the offerings you can find something for everyone.
Currently the flavours include the likes of, Caramel Sticky Date and Carrot with Fresh Ginger. For a full list of flavours you can check out the website. Of course ordering a cake for that special occasion can be tricky too. That’s why it is great to be able to head down to the Woodend Farmers Market to try out some flavours before placing your order. Which is exactly where I was on this first Saturday of the month. The stall was easy to see, a bright purple marquee that was desperately trying to keep away the summer heat. There were four cakes on offer with Almond Biscotti as well. Over on the Belle Patisserie facebook during the week, she announced what’d be on sale. I’d definitely recommend following the page, as we were also given the opportunity to reduce waste and save by providing our own Tupperware.
I purchased one of each cake, as well as the almond biscotti to sample the range of her talents. Available on Saturday were the Caramel Sticky Date, Spiced Carrot, Gooey Chocolate and Lemon Curd Tart.
Brody was a big fan of the biscotti and I let him take the lead on this since I’ve never had a ‘normal’ biscotti before. He thought it was pretty much perfect. The flavours were spot on, is there really too much to expect from an almond cookie? The texture he thought was a little on the softer side, this may have been because of the heat though. The crunchy almond slithers definitely helped add texture and crunch. Finally a little powdered sugar on top added a little bit of sweetness to the almond flavour.
Lemon Curd Tart
If you are after a refreshing smack in the face then this Lemon Curd Tart is the way to go. There is a well balanced burst of bitter and sweet from the lemon curd. The crust melts into the rest of the tart adding a touch of crunch. The overall texture though is smooth and almost creamy. I can almost imagine enjoying this with some iced tea on a hot day.
Caramel Sticky Date Cake
This was another big winner for me. It was moist but not as rich as the chocolate cake. I didn’t get a lot of date flavour, which I didn’t mind as the caramel flavour was intense. The gooey icing was just sweet enough without being overpowering. The icing complimented the cakes texture and taste well. It felt like a celebration cake more than just something you have a slice of for morning tea. Definitely one that i’d purchase again.
Spiced Carrot Cake
The Spiced Carrot Cake suffered in the heat unfortunately. The cream cheese frosting did not like the drive back to my house but thankfully we managed to save enough for a taste. Like the others it had a moist texture, however this one was a little bit lighter. It was packed full of solid flavour and diverted slightly from your traditional carrot cake with the addition of pepita. The cream cheese frosting was well balanced from what I tasted and the toasted coconut added a little crunch. I’d love to sit down and enjoy a slice of this fresh to appreciate the full flavours.
Gooey Chocolate Cake
This was probably my favourite. The slice of cake was deep and rich in chocolate flavour. The cake lived up to its name with a moist and fudgy texture. The cocoa powder on top added a contrasting bitter note that helped to cut through the richness. The cake itself was probably the most fragile out of the lot. However, despite the fact it crumbled it was definitely not dry. If you are a chocolate lover then this would be my recommendation. I’m even thinking I might need one for my birthday this year.
If you thought these all looked amazing then you should definitely check out the Enchanted Wood Cake. This cake is designed with kids in mind – perhaps even the grown up ones. It is spectacular with edible chocolate bark, meringue mushrooms and ganache stones. Under all that edible wonder is a base cake of chocolate brownie.
With all consultations and pick ups by appointment only, be sure to get in touch to take the stress out of your next occasion.
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Until Next Time;
Ashlee; The Aussie Coeliac.