I love being back in Sydney. There are so many amazing bakeries to explore. I’ve been back in Sydney for almost 6 months but I’ve hardly explored outside of my suburb, mostly because the most amazing bakeries are at least one hour away from me (or at least the ones I know about are!). On a recent trip to the library to borrow a back issue of delicious. magazine (November 2009) I found a photo reference to Sweetness The Patisserie at Epping. I instantly perked up because Epping is not far away from me at all. A few days later, I was standing inside of Sweetness The Patisserie with my 2-year-old son, trying to make a decision on what to buy from this beautiful shop.
The shop is indeed beautiful. I wasn’t brave enough to ask if I could take a photo inside the shop, so all you get is this sideways shot of the outside! The inside of the shop is loaded with sweet treats of all kinds, including macarons, marshmallows, fudge, toffee, truffles, or, easier yet, let’s just say that if it’s sweet, it’s in this shop!
I was a little overwhelmed. I couldn’t choose what to get. I had a brief look behind the counter, where a handful of people were handmaking the treats – that’s right, everything in this shop is handmade, right in the shop itself. It’d be neat to spend a day behind the counter to see what it’s like to handmake all these treats.
There were tiny samples of a lot of the treats and my son and I took advantage of most of them. The fudge was amazing! Now that I think about it, I’m sorry I didn’t purchase any of the fudge! But I could see that I could easily lose track of my spending in this shop, so I had to pass on a lot of things.
They also had a bag that they themselves had filled with their favorite and best treats. Inside the bag was a generous block of hazelnut and cranberry nougat (in the style of Montelimar), a big block of rocky road that was chock full of their own handmade marshmallows and pate de fruit, a beautiful large shard of English toffee, and 4 soft, squishy, cloud-like marshmallows. This bag of treats, $18.50, was what I chose first.
I never liked nougat, and even though I hoped that I would like the nougat from Sweetness, I didn’t! This has nothing to do with the quality of this particular block of nougat, I just simply don’t like nougat, and now I know that I don’t, once and for all!
The rocky road and the toffee were my absolute favorites of everything that I purchased. The rocky road was full of Sweetness’ own handmade signature marshmallows – in the block that I got, I believe I had a mix of raspberry and mango flavors. Definitely the best rocky road I have ever eaten. The toffee was not rock hard, as I expected, but had a lovely crunch instead. And again, it was the best English toffee I have ever eaten.
Separately, the nougat is $8 for 150g; the rocky road is $4 for 100g; the toffee is $5 for 100g; the marshmallows are $2.50 for 2 squares, or $8 for 9 squares.
Sweetness’ marshmallows. Oh, where do I begin. If you think you’ve already eaten the best, most fluffiest, most squishiest marshmallows, you would be wrong. You haven’t eaten anything like a marshmallow from Sweetness. I could not believe how soft and squishy these were, like eating a cloud. They also use real vanilla beans in their vanilla marshmallows, and they looked beautiful with the speckle of those beans throughout the marshmallow. They even tasted like what they were supposed to taste like, and the passionfruit one was the strongest smelling one in the package that I got!
What I also loved about Sweetness was that they had a lot of their treats under glass domes. They looked so pretty. Under one of these domes were a variety of macarons. I couldn’t tell what flavors they were just by looking, but I chose a chocolate one and a banana one.
Okay, so I have to be honest, after all, I’m writing a review, right? I didn’t like the macarons. They were stunningly gorgeous, sitting their under that glass dome in the shop, it took my breath away, it really did. But I just wasn’t pleased with the taste. The best macarons I have tasted so far were my very own chocolate and peanut butter ones, just FYI. The chocolate didn’t really taste chocolatey, and there wasn’t enough filling, in my opinion, but I liked how there was a sprinkling of cocao nibs on top (I didn’t get a photo of these, unfortunately). The banana one had a subtle banana taste, and was filled with chocolate, but just not enough. What surprised me the most about these macarons? Look at the photo below:
My first bite showed me a huge pocket of air inside the top macaron shell! I didn’t think macarons were supposed to have a pocket of air inside, although I’m not a macaron expert, but it didn’t make me feel so bad when I discovered some pockets of air inside my own macarons that I have baked. But look at all that gooey inside the Sweetness macaron! The shell on these babies were perfect. The shells on my macarons that I have baked never came anywhere close to the shells on these from Sweetness. These were my first official macarons from an official patisserie, and even though I wasn’t happy with the way they tasted, I enjoyed every second of eating them. If that makes any sense!
The macarons were $3 each, or $33.00 for one dozen.
My last choice from Sweetness was the dark chocolate shortbread (seen in the third photo up from here). You’d think I would have chosen some truffles, or fudge, instead of a simple shortbread, but I’ve never tried chocolate shortbread before. And they did look very nice. These were under a glass dome as well. They have a coating of dark chocolate on the bottom, as well as a zig-zag of dark chocolate across the top. This shortbread cookie just simply melted in my mouth, what an amazing experience. They were sooo scrumptious. $2.00 each or $20.00 for one dozen.
After we left Sweetness, we went to Pablo and Rusty’s Espresso Bar, who gave me a great cappuccino. I loved this little place and will definitely return if I find myself near one of their espresso bars again.
My visit to Sweetness was definitely worth it; it even made up for my nearly panicking on Epping station’s skyscraping elevator! I would highly recommend Sweetness The Patisserie if you’re looking for treats for a party, or even just to treat yourself. A lot of their products are gluten-free, as well. So go ahead – indulge!