This week we bring you the first instalment in our Guild Guide to North Melbourne! We're particularly excited about this little project. While Guild aims to foster neighbourhood interaction, artist experimentation and a love of the handmade within our bricks and mortar shop and online store, we're also about growing the community feels in our urban pocket. And what better way to nurture new friendships than over some homely eats, and perhaps a cheeky wine (or two!). Each month we'll be teaming up with a favourite food provedore from our humble suburb, plating up some of their delicious edibles on the handmade wares of our makers. Naturally we've kicked off this collaborative project with our saccharine neighbours Beatrix!
Having Beatrix next door was the icing on the cake (sorry, not sorry!) when we first came across the shop space on Queensberry, not only because that meant we had access to endless cups of coffee and sweet treats when working in-store, but also because we just ultimately love what the team at Beatrix does.
On any given day, the counter at Beatrix may host a melange of baked goods from brûléed lemon tarts and beestings to brown butter and coconut monte carlos and chocolate sour cream buttercakes. The daily selection that owner and pastry chef Nat Paull whips up moves with the seasons, sourcing from local and ethically minded producers and even making use of oversupplies of locals' backyard-grown fruit.
From a glance, the tower of cakes, pies, tarts and biscuits that greet you upon entering the tiny space appear nostalgic and comforting, assembled with the patience, love and care reminiscent of grandma's kitchen. While some flavours pairings are those time-tested classics, others bring a whole new meaning to renegade baking like the potato brioche doughnuts with lemon sour cream glaze, walnut maple bourbon pie and the elvis cupcakes with banana buttercake, peanut butter buttercream and bacon candy.
Above you'll see Beatrix's rosewater meringue, red velvet layer cake with white chocolate cream cheese buttercream, and the return of summer favourite the cocoa meringue roulade with lashings of pure cream and vinocotto strawberries. We thought these pink-hued beauties were a perfect match to Brooke Thorn's pastel bowls and platters, accompanied by the organic shapings of Niamh Minogue's sieve (aka strawberry holder) with Tortoise's Nerikomi square mug cradling green tea. Top off your perfect Spring picnic wearing Primoeza's linen Vera dress and one of Campbell Charlotte's dreamy scarves.
Take it from us, eating cake has never tasted more decadent than with Kat Relish's one-of-a-kind copper spoons.
Thank you to Nat Paull for sharing her recipe below!
COCOA MERINGUE ROULADE w/ pure cream and strawberries
MAKES 1 ROULADE 30 cm x 40 cm
- 180 g egg whites – about 6
- pinch cream of tartar
- 300 g castor sugar
- 50 g dutch cocoa
- 5 g vanilla essence or paste
- pinch salt
For the filling
- 400 g pure (45%) cream – I like the Bulla brand. Whip cream and vanilla to soft, supple peaks.
- 5 g vanilla essence or paste
- 1 punnet of favourite berries/figs/poached pears – ideally crushed with a little vincotto and sugar
- Preheat oven to 150˚C.
- Line a 30cm x 40cm tray with canola spray and baking paper.
- Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the KitchenAid bowl, attach the whisk and put the machine onto a medium-high speed.
- Whisk the whites until they reach firm peaks but are not chunky – they should still look creamy.
- Add half a cup of the sugar gradually – a scant tablespoon at a time to start, then two at a time as the mix gets glossy and firm.
- Add the vanilla.
- Sift the cocoa, salt and remaining sugar together and add all at once to the meringue – I add this with the machine off, then wrap a tea towel around the mixer when I first turn the machine on again as the cocoa can go everywhere!
- Scrape the mix out into the prepared tray and smooth out with an offset spatula leaving a margin as the meringue will puff and spread when baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top feels crunchy but not hard – like a crunchy pillow!
- Cool the meringue completely. To fill, turn the meringue out onto a sheet of gladwrap dusted with cocoa
- Flip the meringue onto the gladwrap so the top becomes the inside and the longest side is closest to you. Trim the sides a little
- Spread the cream out starting from the side closest to you and leave an un-creamed 2cm strip at the top.
- Pop the crushed berries over the cream. Start the roll by moving along the roulade with your fingers – just tucking the first bit. Using the gladwrap, lift and roll the roulade until the seam is on the bottom – roll onto a platter and eat!
Photos by Linsey Rendell