Christophe The may have sold Black Star Pastry in 2019, but the fame of his creations lives on. From the Asian-influenced Black Sesame and Yuzu Cake to “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert”, the stunning Strawberry Watermelon Cake, Black Star Pastry is so much more than a mere cake shop.
Location: 1/325 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042 Ph: (02) 9557 8656 Also at: Sydney CBD, Rosebery & Moore Park in NSW, St. Kilda & Chadstone in VIC and soon Shanghai, China.
There are cake shops, and then there’s Black Star Pastry.
Opened by Christopher The in 2008 after working in such illustrious kitchens as Bel Mondo, Claude’s and Peter Gilmore’s lauded Quay, the patisserie soon earned cult-status. What began as a small cake shop off the main drag in Newtown NSW, evolved into a mini dessert empire with other branches popping up in Sydney and even an outpost in Melbourne.
Christopher The sold a chunk his bakery business to the Jackalope Group in 2018 and then got out completely in 2019. And whilst he moves forward with new ventures, his legacy lives on in the cake shop that he started.
The big drawcard was – and still is – the glorious Strawberry Watermelon Cake. It’s a confection that has spawned a thousand imitators. No sooner had it hit the Blackstar Pastry display counter than suddenly, watermelon cake in various forms began to appear in bakeries across Australia and Asia.
So how come this layered, strawberry and petal-strewn wonder has become so well-known?
It’s thanks to it arguably looking even better than it tastes (which is divine) and the power of social media. Specifically, Instagram. When a cake not only ticks all the boxes flavour and texture-wise, but it also incredibly photogenic, it tends to fly off the shelves.
The icing on the cake came when The New York Times called the Strawberry Watermelon Cake “Australia’s most Instagrammed Dessert”. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Even now, if you visit a Black Star Pastry shop, you’ll find customers taking photos of all of the beautiful cakes and pastries – but the Strawberry Watermelon Cake is still the must-have shot.
Want an easy dessert to whip up at home? See our Toblerone Cheesecake Recipe
Lastly, those with dietary restrictions may well find something that suits their requirements at Black Star Pastry. A number of their spectacular creations – including the Strawberry Watermelon Cake, The Lemon Pistachio Cake and the Raspberry Lychee Cake are Gluten Free. However, the bakery is quick to point out that though there are no gluten-based ingredients in these cakes, they are not prepared in a GF environment.
On top of this, further cakes are vegetarian – we love the Ume Forest Cake. And some are even vegan – hello to the fabulously chocolatey Vegan Flower Cupcake.
If you fancy baking something gluten-free that everyone will love, check out our Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mousse Recipes
Black Star Pastry – The Cakes
We’ve yet to make it to the Black Star Pastry Newtown store. However, we recently raided the one in the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne.
Needless to say, we had a try a few of their cakes!
If you want to take your cake baking (and decorating!) up a level, you need a great Icing Set. Featuring piping bags and dozens of piping tips, this kit will launch you in the right direction.
Strawberry Watermelon Cake
Of course, the fear with food that is famous partly because it photographs well is that it’s a let down when you eat it.
Well, not so with the Strawberry Watermelon Cake.
The most striking thing about this cake – apart from its obvious beauty – is that is smells simply wonderful. Apart from the sliced strawberries garnishing the top and central layer of watermelon, there’s rose-scented cream. The result, is an aroma reminiscent of a fresh fruit salad, enjoyed at a picnic on a summer’s day in a rose garden. It’s magically evocative.
Cleverly, everything is topped and tailed with chewy almond dacquiose rather than a squishy sponge.
It’s light and incredibly easy – and delightful – to eat.
Read about the Best Cakes in Sydney here. And yes. Our list includes the Strawberry Watermelon Cake.
Launch yourself on your own baking odyssey with the help of the MasterClass Smart Space 7 Piece Non-Stick Stackable Bakeware Set. It has everything you need to start baking.
I love everything about this cake, from it’s clever aesthetic to it’s unique flavours.
Based on the design of a Japanese rock garden, the think wedge of candied sesame cheesecake that form the top section has a ‘raked’ top – just like the meditation gardens you find in Japan.
And just as Japanese cuisine is known for balance and harmony, this cake is a perfect marriage of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft. There’s sweeten mascarpone, but also salted miso, and there’s bite from chocolate feuilletine that counteracts the giving cheesecake layer. Yum!
Talking of all things cheesecake, our Easy No Bake Lemon Cheesecake is delicious
Not for the fainted-hearted!
This is a serious cocoa hit of flourless chocolate sponge, moreish chocolate mousse, shards of hazelnut and luscious dark chocolate cremeux. Fortunately, there’s also a vein of brilliantly salty caramel in there somewhere to cut the richness. Even so, this is definitely a rich and chocoholics treat!
It’s pure indulgence and absolutely blissful. And yes – it’s also gluten free.
Check out our Guide to Sydney’s Best Chocolate Shops
Oh the drama! And oh so pretty.
Black Star Pastry takes the classic baked slice and pimps it to movie star status.
The result is a fragrant, colourful concoction of pineapple vanilla cream, pomegranate jelly on a buttery biscuit base, all toped with iridescent slivers of dragon fruit.
It’s like the best exotic vanilla slice imaginable.
Read our recommendations for the Best Cake Shops, Cake Delivery and Takeaway Cakes in Melbourne
Although Black Star Pastry Chadstone is little more than a kiosk, the cakes and slices are stellar.
If you are in Melbourne, brave the shopping frenzy and head over there for some of the most exquisite desserts in town.
Alternatively, pop in to one of Black Star Pastry’s other outlets and indulge yourself.