7 May 2015

Best of Canberra - Vanilla slice

| Amy M
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vanilla slice

When it comes to vanilla slice, there seems to be no middle ground. You either love them enough to travel to the other side of Canberra for a good one, or you think the nickname ‘snot blocks’ is entirely reasonable.

While I’ll agree that a bad vanilla slice – the kind with bright yellow, rubbery custard and cheap cardboard pastry that they serve prepackaged at school canteens and takeaway shops – may be deserving of the moniker, a good vanilla slice is not.

I’m partial to French vanilla slice, which is dusted with icing sugar and has a lighter custard than the Australian version, but really, I’ll eat pretty much any variation with enthusiasm.

Whether you like passionfruit icing, pink strawberry icing (a popular vanilla slice topping in Newcastle, I’m told) or enjoy a classic French vanilla slice, tell me Canberra – where can I find the city’s best?

To vote, let me know your favourite vanilla slice in the comments below. With Bec Cuzzillo enjoying a well-deserved break this week, I’ll try the two most popular options and let you know my verdict in next Monday’s Taste Off article.

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ungruntled said :

No doubt about it.
Dickson Cakeshop.
Not flash on the outside. Doesn’t have flash prices either.
But fantastic vanilla slices & pretty good veggie pies as well. As a veggie, I can tell you that not many do a good veggie pie & one does get very, very tired of spinach & cheese. Fifteen or so years ago it was a nice change. But now . . . .

another big up for dickson bakery – their rum balls are the bomb, too [and you shall be gruntled so won’t share my appreciation of their bacon and cheese pie…]

No doubt about it.
Dickson Cakeshop.
Not flash on the outside. Doesn’t have flash prices either.
But fantastic vanilla slices & pretty good veggie pies as well. As a veggie, I can tell you that not many do a good veggie pie & one does get very, very tired of spinach & cheese. Fifteen or so years ago it was a nice change. But now . . . .

The best vanilla slices or kremsnita are in Croatia, in a small village outside of Zagreb called Samobor. A bit far to go maybe…

Wherearetherealliberals7:16 pm 07 May 15

Cafe D’Lish in Deakin is far and away the best I’ve had. And you can count that as 2 votes cos once a week I go there to get one for a friend in a nursing home – her weekly treat, not to be missed under any circumstances.

JeremyymereJ6:52 pm 07 May 15

I don’t mind a traditional snot block (you know the kind, passion fruit icing, not “real” custard) but prefer a layered french vanilla one. For me the key is being able to eat it without it disintegrating. You should be able to bite through the pastry layer and not just have it compress the custard and have it squeeze out the sides. I’m interested to try the winner. The only one I’ve tried is Erindale and it is pretty run-of-the-mill.

Cafe Delish @ Deakin shops. Hands down the best vanilla slice in Canberra! It is the business.

Tank’s Bakery in Yass, use to be a great place for Vanilla Slice, but I think for the last month or so they must have a new Baker, as it is just ordinary now.

Café D’lish Deakin, always been wonderful, if you have medical appts in John James etc, that is a treat reward afterwards.

I enjoyed a layered vanilla slice a la French Mille Feuille at La Sable recently. Other than that, the best I’ve ever eaten was in Budapest! In terms of Canberra, my home kitchen : )

Ricardo’s Cafe Jamison does a good one. My favourite near Canberra are from Gumnut Patisserie in Bowral or Mittagong. Last year I did a Vanilla Slice crawl into Victoria and reviewed five from that trip http://yummylummy.com/2014/11/19/food/yummy-lummys-vanilla-slice-review/

Flute bakery in Fyshwick

The Swiss Bakery at Jamison many years ago, now it’s Holbrook Bakery on the way to Melbourne.
It has to have the traditional passionfruit icing and ooze custard when you bite into it. I may need to check out all the suggestions to find a good one in Canberra.

In NZ they’re called custard squares…perhaps a more logical name (esp when cut to a square shape.) I still don’t get why they’re called vanilla slice.

The best one I’ve had is at Cafe D’Lish in Deakin. Really good.

cafe D’lish in Deakin
Autolyse in Braddon
Both DIVINE!!!!!!

+1 for Erindale and Flute
and Dobinson’s for value
I’m also keen to hear of any others I haven’t tried.

Years ago the Mansfield Bakery was justifiably famous for its vanilla slice. I went back there recently for the first time in many years. I can honestly say it was the worst vanilla slice I have ever had in my life. I couldn’t finish it. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

HeighwayQueen1:39 pm 05 May 15

I’ll be following this thread with interest! Vanilla slice is one of my weaknesses.

Tree Eighty3 Café in Bailey’s Arcade

Amy Birchall10:45 am 05 May 15

Daffodil said :

On a side note, the pink strawberry icing mentioned in the article sounds quite unappetising!

I agree!

Amy Birchall10:36 am 05 May 15

Rollersk8r said :

Just two?? You’d have to compare at least 5!? Ten is probably better!

I nominate Dobinsons on size and value for money – but it’s not a classic example.

I did very seriously consider changing the rules for this week’s challenge so I’d have a reason to eat 15 vanilla slices in a week. Not that I need an excuse…

Erindale Bakery’s vanilla slice is right up there with the best vanilla slices I’ve ever had.

On a side note, the pink strawberry icing mentioned in the article sounds quite unappetising!

There have been some rather dubious Best Ofs in this forum, but I am watching this with more than keen interest.

I agree that the French Mille Feuille is the best:

http://www.manusmenu.com/mille-feuille

The custard should be light and fluffy, the puff pastry airy and lightly crunchy with a dusting of icing sugar, not bound into a chewy block with heavy icing.

Australia has made this its own, with mostly better results than the huge gummy Dim Sim.

My ideal example would be the World’s Best Vanilla Slice in Sorrento VIC. Hopefully someone in Canberra can match or better it.

I’ve started taste testing in Canberra, so far without luck. I won’t embarrass those who haven’t made the grade, they are probably just buying mass produced commercial versions.

Just two?? You’d have to compare at least 5!? Ten is probably better!

I nominate Dobinsons on size and value for money – but it’s not a classic example.

Flute in Fyshwick does a good vanilla slice.

We had a great one at Fox and Bow not long ago. Cafe D’lish used to do a great vanilla slice too, but haven’t been there for a while.

Dame Canberra10:08 am 05 May 15

Erindale bakery!

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