9 Hughes Pl, East Lindfield
It’s been a long time between vanilla slices, due to a combination of the COVID pandemic, and me being busy with new work. But today I took a short drive with Mrs Snot Block & Roll and Canine Snot Block & Roll for some afternoon tea to a new bakery that we hadn’t visited before.
I was wondering if they would have some vanilla slices, and lo! They did!
It’s an interesting bakery, with a small counter displaying just a few sweet treats, with a view behind to the working area with racks and machinery for baking bread. There didn’t appear to be a lot of bread available, probably because it was getting close to closing time. But they did have an interesting Lego version of the very shop I was standing in on the counter.
The 20-something Italian man behind the counter said that the Lego figures sitting on the benches outside the shop (which you can see for real in the first photo above) were likenesses of actual customers who frequented the bakery! It also appears that this bakery makes pizzas at some time, and they sell chilli oil. It definitely had a bit of an Italian air about it.
But I was here for the vanilla slice. I ordered one and took it out to eat on a bench in the deep shade of a large tree, since the day was over 30°C and very humid. I braved the sun to take a photo.
The slice is of a small to middling size, not the smallest I’ve had, but definitely not approaching the most generous. It has a single custard layer sandwiched between pastry layers that contain dozens of paper-thin sheets, the whole dusted with icing sugar. It looks pretty good, though it tapers to a thinner layer of custard at one end, which is apparently the edge of the slab that was sliced up to make the individual slices.
It’s easy to pick up and get a mouth around. However the first bite reveals that the pastry is very soft, not crunchy or crispy at all. I don’t know if it’s always like this, or if it has gone soggy from several hours sitting in the counter waiting to be served. Disappointing.
But that’s the only bad thing about it. Despite being soft, the pastry tastes good, with a nice brown caramelisation, and it’s light and separates into layers, rather than being stodgy. The custard is really good. It’s delicious, mouth-coatingly smooth and creamy, and has a decent hit of vanilla flavour, not too sweet. The whole thing is actually really enjoyable, despite the soft pastry.
I’m giving this a good score, and it would have easily made 9/10 if only that pastry had been crispy.
Vanilla slice: 7/10