Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in South Yarra recently.
This is your ultimate cake shop, with sweet delicacies the likes of which I've rarely seen. Each of about fifteen different cakes/desserts on display contained too many different components for me to remember, with combinations of flavours you just couldn't predict. Dustings of this, macarons of that, fillings of something else, fondants of yummy . . . All so very special and amazing. Spectacularly so.
The Sweet Studio sells its cakes in large sizes for entertaining (either standard or bespoke), plus individual portions that are perfect for sampling. From memory, the individual cakes cost $9.50; considering all the work that goes into them, I think this is very reasonable.
It does not, however, sell anything else, other than a few sweet condiments in jars, so all cakes are take-away only. This thwarted our original plans for cake and coffee, so we had to go find another South Yarra cafe in which to have an early lunch (it's a hard life) and then enjoyed our treat in the foyer of the Como Centre, which is across the road from the Sweet Studio. (B&P do provide plastic spoons for those who are desperate enough!)
My chosen dessert was as follows:
CHOCOLATE, MANDARIN, SALTED CARAMEL
Kendari 60% chocolate mousse/Murray River salted caramel/burnt mandarin cream/St Clements marmalade/aerated chocolate shortbread/chocolate mirror glaze
(They stuck a label containing the above information on the inside of the box.)
Needless to say, it tasted rich and delicious, with the citrus flavours complementing the chocolate beautifully. I think I tasted all the different components . . . And it wasn't too big either, allowing it to be appreciated without that feeling of over-indulgence. Will need to get back there soon to try something else . . .
These cakes/desserts would be a seriously good option for an elegant dinner party. Just make sure you get a bigger one than you need, so there's some left over.