Some pastries of different ilk—cronuts, macarons, cupcakes—get their moment in the sun, but a really intriguing dessert that we recently encountered is the pavlova. Laura Forer, of Waltzing Matilda’s Australian Bakery, makes delicacies from Down Under, including this beautiful dessert. Its provenance? Aussies and Kiwis both lay claim to it, but where there’s no doubt is how delicious it is.
A meringue base—crispy on the outside, soft on the inside—is topped by whipped cream and festooned with slices of strawberry, kiwi, and passionfruit (when in season). It’s beautiful to behold, which lends itself well to dignified luncheons, but a mess to eat, which adds some fun to those same dignified luncheons. Waltzing Matilda’s pavlovas come in a 9-inch size ($32, serves 6–8) as well as bite-sized.
Forer has to adjust constantly to keep the meringue’s texture just right, between summer’s humidity and winter’s dryness, and in-between seasons. Pavlovas are also gluten-free.
The online bakery is a godsend for expats from Australia and New Zealand. “It’s stuff your mom would have made in Australia.”
British influences abound—the Lamington ($4), a moist sponge cake that some like to dunk in coffee, resembles a sponge cake, has British roots. But it’s also rolled in fine coconut shreds, which is particular to its Pacific location. In Australia, rather than cookie bake sales, parents all over hold Lamington drives.
Other sweets include the popular salted caramel slices ($12, 12 slices), with sprinkled sea salt; ANZAC biscuits ($12 for 12), whose history goes back to World War I, when they were baked and sent soldiers in the Australia New Zealand Army Corps; and gluten-free passionfruit cheesecake.
Waltzing Matilda operates as an online bakery and delivers as well as caters across the city. Some confections are also available at Treehaus, Thirsty Koala, Hotbread Almacen, and Bluestone Lane Coffee.