Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pastry chef shortage or chocolate cover up?

Casually scouring other people's pics, I came across images of Swissotel's Sugar Hit offering for 2009.

The Sydney International Food Festival's listing describes Crossroads Bar's offering:
Indulge with a sweet variety of white chocolate and rasperry layered mousse, champagne glazed poached here

I think it's best to be forthcoming around my history and affiliations (or past affiliations). I have worked for the original Lindt Chocolat Cafe for over two years (early 2006 to late 2008). I also used to "plate up" desserts for Ribs and Rumps in Gordon, which is now called something else and has probably changed ownership. To this day I will sing you the praises of Swiss chocolate-making and the joys of conching, and I'll leave it up to you to judge my bias.

Now that is out in the open, I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the cake offered by Swissotel and the White Chocolate Framboise (1.5MB) which I always thought was 'sold exclusively at the Lindt Cafe'.

Blog pics:
One Bite More, posted 20 October 2009
I am a pink flying elephant, posted 20 October 2009
(I've also seen pics on facebook but won't post unless i have permission from their owners)

I also called Swissotel this evening and they politely confirmed that yes, it is the same cake.

I feel betrayed and a little uneasy that the Swissotel has not disclosed the origins of the cake, allowing diners to assume that it was made in their kitchens.

IMO (and this should not detract from anyone's good experience), the little triangle of cake provided by Crossroads at Swissotel with a single chocolate and a glass of wine doesn't really reflect a fair price at $20. The Grande sized cake sells for $330 and from memory its 40x70cm size should serve in excess of 100 people. Do the math.

Lastly, as a pedant and lover of fine chocolate, the biggest heartache is really that the raspberry has soaked through and stained the white chocolate mousse - This can mean two things, neither of which are particularly appetising to me:
1. The cake is clearly over 24 hours old, and/or
2. The cake has not been stored properly



  1. Oh, that's so dodgy! Why bother doing a Sugar Hit when you don't want to make the effort. For the $$ I suppose?

  2. Exactly! I guess there's free publicity, and people will forgive and forget when it's only once a year...