Standing in one corner of the market is the store The Essential Ingredient, overflowing with wonderful cookbooks, kitchenware and food. I spent a fair amount of time wandering around dreamily, but most people in the store were doing the same thing. It was here that I came across the 'Zumbarons' book by Adriano Zumbo.
At the point of purchase I'd never had a Zumbaron, but plenty of macarons. Before I went away I got really 'into' macarons and made a few batches, with success, which never made it to the blog.
The recipes in the book range from the standard chocolate mayonnaise macaron, to the bizarre idea of a vegemite macaron. Well set out, with plenty of pictures and lots of explaining, the recipes seem easy enough to follow but for one aspect; they require fussy specialist ingredients. You can't just wake up and make these babies, they demand prior planning and preparation, and a nearby specialist store. Once I've worked out where mine is, I'm definitely keen to have a go and will post my results online, before I've eaten them...
No purchase of said book would be complete without a little tasting trip to an Adriano Zumbo patisserie in Sydney. I popped over to visit the Manly store, on Sydney's north shore. It took me a while to find it tucked away down a side street, with only the teeny sign above the door to tell you where it was. I think I was expecting trumpets, banners and huge signposts....
The store itself was dinky but with plenty of flavours of zumbarons to choose from, as well as various other creations I didn't pay much attention to thanks to the friendly staff who picked up on my pommy accent straight away. I chose salted popcorn and candy cane zumbarons and happily walked off, box in hand.
The candy cane was filled with a minty, jelly-like frosting. I suspect some fancy fiddling ingredients were used to make it. Needless to say it was delicious, but not what I expected when I bit in which was a little confusing!
The popcorn macaron tasted exactly like it should - like popcorn! But not just any popcorn; this was as delicious as the Coles organic sweet and salted popcorn that I've been known to eat by the bag.
I will almost definitely be googling where to get my fussy ingredients so I can have a go at creating some zumbarons of my own as soon as I can!