I still remember the day one of these coveted little treasure boxes of serendipitous sound came rushing into my proud and much proclaimed possession. It was on the final track of the final little CD that I first heard the Tonite Reprise. It's an acoustic and mellowed version of the operatically urgent Mellon Collie favourite, Tonight, Tonight. There are approximately 4 sublime seconds in the song's introduction that Stopped me. 4 seconds of seraphic beauty, pinioned somewhere between silence and sound, Just Before, and Just As Corgan begins to strum out the fraught and fumbling opening notes...it's a hard feeling to describe, but if the vibrations of those 4 seconds could undergo an alchemy that could result in tangibility, and if you could then take that tangible thing and bring it up to your lips, to the silent, breathless threshold of your trembling mouth, for just one taste... then that taste would best describe a Bourke Street Bakery Strawberry and Vanilla Creme Brulee Tart.
I think they're going to diagnose me with some kind of mental illness one day, if you haven't already, but an attack of seriously good tart brings out the verbose wanker in me. Every. Single. Time. I have always had a relationship with The Chocolate (above) + Ginger Creme Brulee Tarts that can be described as amiably alimentary. The idea of creme brulee in tart form was enough to recommend the Ginger to me before I had even tried it. When desserts make cameos inside other desserts, it's a pretty exciting moment for tragic cake fiends.
On two recent trips I went to get Dan a treat and discovered they had a newish flavour star in the Clan Creme Brulee, Strawberry and Vanilla. Oooh. I like Strawberry. I like Vanilla. Odds were I was going to be pleased about their Creme Brulee'd Tarty Union. Needless to say I was, Danny loves this tart, Dad and Mum as well. I accordingly now have to take a little box every time I go to visit my parents, they're pretty cute about stuff like that. I've already done a piece on the crammed corner delight that is Bourke Street Bakery (just a waddle around the corner from my house), but I wanted to do a sweet little something on this gorgeous and gooey little addition.
Cakes, dessert, and every other beautiful thing brings out the wicked little girl in me that likes to destroy things, making this creme brulee tart the perfect victim for my wanton ways. The, scarred, burnt toffee membrane that encases the fragrant cream beneath is the kind of thing I find deeply moving about life on earth. It's what I imagine heterosexual males feel about an elaborate, lacy black bra - with killer hooks that they have to struggle to get off. You have to CRACK and RUPTURE the PlayingHardToGetBurntSugarCasing really HARD with a good JAB of a fork (alas, no knife) to sever the unsuspecting surface. When you break on through to the other side, i've got to tell you, it simply lights your fire. Jesus.
Texture heaven. I like a treat that fights back, that makes me work for its delicious, delicate, ecstatic essence (I was going to use innards instead of essence, but thought that was a bit too gross - proof of restraint). Oh Lord, once you're inside...Sweet, delicate, dancing, vanillaed, baby breath, decadent dreams. Perfumed and luscious, TongueVelvet, so gooey and lickable, and offset by little shards of the burnt sugar crown, like gorgeous jewels of candied crunch throughout, they splinter into the creaminess and add sharp, little intense flickers of a beautifully burnt taste that lingers languidly into the rich, vanilla creaminess.
And beneath, the Tart makes a lovely little mess of itself. Waiting to ooze out and infuse the willing ivory cream, is a little secret strawberry pulp/syrupish stash, once your fork breaks through the hardened envelope, pinkness erupts, but gradually, and stains the pureness of the cream with little blushes of strawberried pink. [insert groan]. SO GOOD! And it seems the pastry is far better than the last time I tried it, it used to be a little loose and flakeish, now it's denser and seems more well cooked, much more commanding to bite into. A perfect perimeter of punishing goodness.
The Strawberry + Vanilla Creme Brulee Tart at Bourke Street Bakery + the way I love it: Sad, but true. Grab a tart and disarm it with a smile and then it cut it like it wants you to. Go onnnn, do it! The original Bakery piece: here.
Bourke St Bakery, at the Cnr of Devonshire + Bourke.
It's Tart imitating Life.