In Australia, there is a TV program airing nationally, called “Zumbo’s Just Desserts”. This program features acclaimed baker of delicious sweets, Adriano Zumbo, and a group of aspiring bakers / pastry chefs etc that must emulate his creations and take part in challenges.
Zumbo has his own patisseries in Melbourne and Sydney, and to coincide with the TV show there have been some special releases of some of the cakes and desserts shown. Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase the rare “Frankenzumbo” cake. This cake was only available for 3 days, and I had to repetitively visit the bakery one morning to ensure I could have a mini “Frankenzumbo” cake of my own! The concept of the “Frankenzumbo” cake is similar to that of the savoury ‘ Turducken’ (a chicken stuffed inside a duck, which is then stuffed inside a Turkey)…but in a sweet cake form. The “Frankenzumbo” cake was a mini donut, sitting atop a lemon tart which was above a chocolate brownie, all encased in meringue with a mini pavlova topping!!!
I must admit that I marvelled at how this creation was constructed. As I sliced the cake in half to reveal all the glorious layers, I was impressed how everything was held together in a delicate meringue shell. I did share a portion of this cake with a work colleague, but then the rest of the cake became unstable so I promptly devoured the remainder. Each layer tasted as it should – the chocolate brownie was rich, the lemon tart had a tang, the pavlova layer was sublime- however the doughnut layer was the weakest (taste wise). It did taste like a donut, but the texture and placement didn’t match the rest of cake. I would have preferred a ‘wagon wheel’ type layer with jam and marshmallow…or even an ‘iced vovo’ inspired layer.
Even though the cake was small(ish) once my belly was full of cake, it felt like I had eaten 4 cakes in one. I was full for the entire morning and only had a small lunch that day. It was the highlight of my day. Fifteen minutes after purchase, the layered cake was out of my life, as quickly as it had entered.
Over a week later, and I’m still telling all manner of friends and people about this cake. I wish more people had the chance to experience and enjoy it.