“Eatable Marshmallow Pillows. Lickable Wallpaper for Nurseries. Hot Ice Creams for Cold Days. Cows that give Chocolate Milk. Fizzy Lifting Drinks. Square Sweets that look Round.”― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Who wouldn’t want to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? Even better, without that strange and unstable Wonka around, playing tricks and turning people into blueberries…


Minus that shudder-worthy creepiness, Adriano Zumbo has to be the closest thing to Wonka the real world has to offer. I’ve been, ahem, a bit obsessed with his work for a while now. Anyone who knows me knows I love me a macaron but I am very difficult to please. They have to be perfect, really perfect and I’ve tasted every classic flavour under the sun. Pistachio, chocolate, vanilla, rose… The genius of Zumbo is that he creates flavours that are not only new are inventions you hadn’t even imagined in a macaron before: Salt & Vinegar, Malted Milkshake, Cinnamon doughnut, for example. His store, at The Star in Pyrmont, Sydney, is an adventure too – neon, vibrant, featuring a dessert train (!) and unlike any patisserie you’ve ever been into. A bathtub full of biscuits, emergency glass cabinets of chocolate bunnies. And, as a little research uncovers, the design was inspired by none other than Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Aha!

Let me take you inside with me…





The goodies that came home with me were four little macarons: Raspberry lamington, Hot Cross Bun (Happy Easter!), Caramel (for Matt) and Gingernut, plus a cake called Wunderbar.


The cake got a little smashed around in the car ride home but the flavours reminded me of trifle – cream, sweet, sticky fruit, biscuit. I am a biiiiiiiiiig trifle fan. It has a restraining order out on me so I can’t get within 200 yards of a bowl of it. I’ve only ever tried Zumbo’s macarons before so the cake was a real treat especially the textures – creamy, crunchy, juicy pineapple bits, velvety raspberries. Drooling yet? And, of the macarons my favourite , by a country mile, was the raspberry lamington: rich chocolate flavoured, sprinkled with toasted coconut and featuring a sweet, gooey raspberry jam centre. Hmmmm-mmmm.

Zumbo has just started producing “bake-at-home kits” for a couple of his macaron flavours. I know I should be interested in trying one but truthfully, I’m not. There is something fairy-tale, something Dahl, about venturing into one of his stores and seeing the treats on display. It’s a visual feast and a surprise every time. I don’t want to know Zumbo’s secrets the same way I don’t want to know Wonka’s and know I could never write like Roald Dahl. Nope, I’m not keen on DIY in this case. The way both the author and the chef weave everything with fantasy, mischief and delight, that’s the pleasure of it for me.

Of course my only disappointment is that I couldn’t take you with me to this “Wonka-land”. Although, if I could, would you ever leave?

HUGS, Hannah x