The irony of our blazing F&B industry, is that we get an amazing variety of quality food all around the world, yet the turnover rates for these establishments are so fast that a lot of times good ones get squeezed out. Such is the case, with great dessert and entremet cafés like Canelé, Bonheur Patisserie, and Jewels Artisan closing their doors. It is very much depressing.
On the bright side, it means new establishments are continuously joining the block, bringing us fresh - and hopefully better - food. The Adacious Cakery is one such establishment. Located in another hipster café enclave that's Everton Park, they are one of the few dessert cafés still serving beautiful entremets and have been raging quite a storm with their innovative flavours and intricate cakes.
Unfortunately the prettiest of cakes aren't always the most delicious.
*Apologies for the bad photos, the lighting was horrible that day
A stunning display of entremets, tarts, and cupcackes greets you when enterring the store. I didn't manage to get a shot of the cupcakes, but they looked amazing, and judging from the number of people walking in to order them in bulk I suspect they aren't too shabby.
Decorated in whites and woods, the shop feels very warm and welcoming, while maintaining that minimalist-chic design. I can see how easy it'd be to spend an entire afternoon there, with a cuppa tea and cakes as company.
Perk Me Up ($8.80) - Coffee, marsala wine and mascarpone on a speculoos cookie base
A simple basic cake, the tiramisu is usually a pretty good indicator of standards. TAC's take featured a very pleasant coffee mascarpone mousse that was the lightest out of all we tasted, with strong hints of chocolate. A pity there was no hint of that marsala wine promised, and the speculoos cookie base was overly hard and lacked any of that spiced, buttery speculoos fragrance. I had a lot of speculoos cookie-flavoured desserts in my time in France; so this was a sore disappointment.
Kuri ($9.80) - Chestnut mousse, chestnut bits, whisky, salted caramel and coffee mousse on Valrhona chocolate sponge
When eating an entremet, it's both important to eat the entire cake in one bite, and to taste the components separately to see how accurately executed they are and how each contribute to the whole. The Kuri tasted good on the first bite: strong chestnut flavours and sandy textures, light crunch from the gold-dusted cornflakes. Only issue was the mousse which had too much gelatin, and formed a skin on the outside. That made it slightly harder to cut into the cake, and was fairly unpleasant to eat too.
On tasting the individual components, I realised that the promised flavours could not be properly identified. I couldn't differentiate between the salted caramel, coffee, or chestnut mousse. They all tasted like chestnut! And try as I might I couldn't find the whisky, anywhere.
Faith ($6.80) - Japanese green tea and fragrant black sesame mousse on a green tea sponge
Faith saw the same problems: amazing green tea and black sesame flavours, with their unique sandy texture, layered with the occasional sponge. A decent first bite if not for the heavily gelatinized mousse which once again formed a pronounced skin, which was so bad we had to scrape the top layer off.
Yet close inspection tore it apart again. I couldn't distinguish between the green tea and black sesame mousse, with the latter being the stronger, more distinct flavour. It was so confusing I concluded both flavours may have been put within the same mousse. And for delicate entremets, that's a no-no.
Foret Noir ($9.80) - Valrhona dark chocolate mousse, Kirsh soaked cherries and Kirsh cream on a dark Valrhona chocolate genoise
If you pay attention to the cross section of the Foret Noir on the right, the chocolate coating isn't smooth enough to meld in with the rest of the cake, instead tearing out at different angles when I sliced the cake. What seems to be the overall trend with TAC's cakes, the chocolate coating hardened and formed a separate layer, so much that I could lift up the coating and remove it from the entire cake with my fork.
I'm not a fan of blackforest so I didn't have a lot of this; but my first bite was pretty good. Creamy chocolate mousse, with a slightly alcoholic Kirsch cream (TAC spelt it wrongly as "Kirsh"; yet another huge no-no), specked with Kirsch cherries. Finally a cake that has the flavours it promises. Then again it's pretty hard to screw up simple chocolate and alcoholic cherries.
Zacharie ($7.80) - Mango passionfruit cheese mousse with a mango passionfruit centre on a ginger biscuit base
This was my favourite because of it's simplicity. Light, airy, citrus cheese mousse, with a crunchy biscuit base. Simple and spot-on. If only the other cakes could be like this. Only gripe here again was the skin formed on the mousse. Seriously a major turn-off.
Lemon Meringue Tart ($5.80) - Luscious tangy lemon tart made with French churned butter on a biscuit base
TAC's tarts fared better than their cakes I thought. The Lemon Meringue was amazing. Strong, sour and tart lemon curd, with a buttery, crunchy tart base. Absolutely delicious. I had the Chocolate Soufflé ($6.80) for takeaway, which I thought was marvelous. TAC recommended for it to be heated up, so I blasted it in the microwave for a bit before eating. The result was a gooey, melty, dark chocolate centre that was oh-so-sinful. The dark chocolate was really intense, and may not be for the light hearted. The tart base was quite soggy due to the heating up though; so I may try it simply chilled next round.
I admire the passion, ideas, and drive behind TAC. While there are misses here and there, TAC's cakes taste much better than the average novice entremets we get out there. To achieve such visually appealing cakes also requires a lot of skill, that of which TAC has.
Yet TAC has to manage their lofty ambitions and ensure they produce what's promised. That means fine tuning their execution till each described entremet component is nailed. One of the biggest issue is their mousse which has too much gelatin in it, resulting in a more springy, jelly-like texture. Technical errors aside, the strong flavours require a lighter mousse to balance it all out. And I absolutely cannot stand the skin that forms on the surface of its cakes. TAC has a lot going on in one entremet; which is great if they can pull it off, but disastrous if they can't. And from what I've tasted TAC doesn't seem to be able to walk the talk. Some times it's important to know that simple, fuss-free cakes, skillfully executed, are enough.
I'll definitely head back to try their cupcakes, and maybe a few other entremets. But for now, Kki will more than suffice when the dessert craving strikes.
The Audacious Cakery
2 Everton Park #01-61
Mondays to Saturdays: 10am-7pm