Joburg's top spots to satisfy a cake craving

From a swoon-worthy polenta cake to the perfect macarons, Andrea Burgener reveals where to find the city's best baked goods

14 June 2017 - 17:00 By Andrea Burgener
A macaroon is NOT a macaron. Macarons (pictured) are a delicate meringue-based confection with a smooth shiny shell and soft centre. The macaroon is a sweet and squishy coconut confection.
A macaroon is NOT a macaron. Macarons (pictured) are a delicate meringue-based confection with a smooth shiny shell and soft centre. The macaroon is a sweet and squishy coconut confection.
Image: iStock

Why I'm intersecting with so much high-carb indulgence at the moment, I don't know. It seems to fall into my path. I'm not complaining, though.

I know this shouldn't be one's bread and butter (so to speak), but I don't believe - against a backdrop of whole, real food - that the odd slice of processed sugary stuff is going to do anything more than encourage feel-good hormones to course through the body, quite possibly having the net effect of upping longevity.

The feel-good part is essential: food eaten languidly in guilt-free joy does quite different things to your body - and this has been proven - to the same food eaten in haste and anger, or unhappiness.

Of the sweet confectionery that's come my way over the past few weeks, these are the standout items:

Paul's chocolate mousse torte

The first item hails from the mighty Paul. Established in France in the 1880s, this iconic patisserie-bakery-bistro chain offers macarons and éclairs through to croissants and breads, but the chocolate mousse torte with sugared crest is quite godly, and worth a pilgrimage. (High Street, Melrose Arch, call 010-020-3002.)

Service Station's polenta lemon cake

The dense, damp and grainy polenta lemon cake from Service Station has been swooned over for almost 20 years by all who eat it. It's one of the only wheat-free baked items I've had which isn't even slightly depressing. Book ahead and you can take a whole cake home. (Bamboo centre, 9th Street, Melville, call 011-726-1701.)

Patachou's macarons and eclairs

I mentioned Patachou patisserie not too long ago, but certain items of theirs just can't be excluded from this list. Patachou gets it so much right that's it hard to be specific, but if I absolutely have to guide you towards particular items, then the perfect macarons and the super-filled eclairs are must-tries. (7th Avenue, Parktown North, call 011-268-5702; or in Rivonia Village, call 011-234-0700.)

Vovo Telo's cronuts

While Vovo Telo is more bakery than patisserie, its latest offering puts much ''real" patisserie in the shade. If you get it while its fresh, the vanilla-custard filled cronut is the most tender, plump and delicious thing you can imagine. The filling is smooth as silk, the cronut-ty part is light as a feather. (44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark, call 011-482-4139.)

Glenda's salted popcorn caramel cake

Glenda's offers a cake which is like manna from heaven: it's called salted popcorn caramel cake, but that description can't explain the fluffy, buttery glory of this creation. When cake calls, point your car in this direction. (Hyde Square, Hyde Park, call 011-268-6369.)

This article was originally published in The Times.

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