Burch & Purchese, South Yarra
As soon as we stepped through the doorway, I thought: This place is PINK! Pink ribbons, pink love hearts and staff members in frilly pink aprons, one of whom smiled as she offered us a taste of a banana dessert – melt-in-the-mouth, light and fluffy.
The shop was all decked out for Christmas, the centrepiece a spectacular chocolate tree decorated with B&P handcrafted white chocolate Christmas baubles flavoured with freeze dried mint and strawberry. There were lots of Christmassy lollipops – Frosty the Snowman, made of Belgian white chocolate with a popcorn nose; Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, made from milk, white and dark chocolate. On the counter, B&P Christmas mince pies, filled with year-long soaked fruit and nut mix.
I couldn’t help it – visions of Homer Simpson’s Land of Chocolate played over in my head.
There was, of course, so much more than chocolate. Everything was beautiful, exquisite and extravagant, from the cakes and tarts in the display case to the tower of pale pink and yellow meringues. Even the tubs of B&P ice cream looked elegant in the fridge. Cakes that caught my eye in particular were the Explosive Raspberry Milk Chocolate (explosive due to chocolate popping candy) and the Lamington Eclair, with chocolate choux pastry, raspberry jam and jelly, chocolate cream and coconut raspberry marshmallow. Seriously indulgent creations.
We’d be doing a lot more walking and then were off to Tasmania the next day, so whatever we bought needed to be travel-friendly or eaten and finished quickly – and having just eaten brunch, everything looked dauntingly rich. The B&P store suffers a similar inconvenience to the Adriano Zumbo patisseries I’ve been to – gorgeous desserts, the majority of which look unlikely to travel well, especially if you’re on foot, taking public transport or carrying cabin luggage. There are several tables and chairs under an awning out the front of the B&P store, but it was another scorcher that day and we didn’t fancy sitting there melting on the pavement.
In the end, Jac bought a bag of orange malted quinoa crumble – lightly puffed quinoa combined with butter, sugar, malt and orange – a crunchy, magical mixture which we’ve since enjoyed at home sprinkled on vanilla ice cream. Me, I walked out with something small but decadent: the Christmas Chocopop, a crisp milk chocolate shell disguised as a mini Christmas pudding, and the best part – thick, gooey salted caramel filling.
I’m sure I’ll be back again.
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
647 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Telephone:(03) 9827 7060
As mentioned, we were at B&P in the lead-up to Christmas. Some of the sweets pictured won’t currently be available.
See the current B&P cake list.
About this series
In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – Melbourne (3 nights), then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with a couple of friends), and finally, Hobart, where we spent Christmas (6 nights). This trip was not sponsored in any way.
The complete set of Melbourne posts
Not bad for three nights’ ‘work’, eh? Hope you’ve enjoyed the series.
- Cumulus Inc, Melbourne
- Queen Victoria Wednesday Night Market, Melbourne
- MoVida, Melbourne
- Orient East, Melbourne
- LuxBite, South Yarra
- China Red, Chinatown
- N2 Extreme Gelato, Fitzroy
- Cafe Gaia, South Yarra
- Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, South Yarra – this post
- Steer Bar & Grill, South Yarra
- Brunetti at Myer Melbourne and Lygon Street, Carlton
For a preview of some of the stories to come, see Holiday sneak peek. There’s still more to come from Melbourne.