It all started with the fact that I had never been to “that place in Sorrento” that makes the famous Sorrento vanilla slice. After a quick Google search I discovered that the place was called Just Fine Food. So one sunny afternoon I took a little road trip down to Sorrento to see what all the fuss was about.
Just Fine Food
23 Ocean Rd, Sorrento 5984 4666
There was an ample amount of creamy yet lumpy vanilla custard that was mildly sweet. Although I found the pastry to be quite thin and ordinary, I did like the layer of jam that came at the bottom of the slice.
I finished off this vanilla slice thinking to myself that like the name of the place, it was just fine. It got me thinking that there had to be places that were closer to home that made fantastic vanilla slice. So I decided to go to Aviv Cakes and Bagels, as a friend of mine had once told me that the vanilla slice there was simply amazing.
Aviv Cakes and Bagels
412 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick 9528 6627
The vanilla custard was smooth and moderately sweet, while the pastry was delicious: thick, crispy and almost biscuit-like. As a whole, I really enjoyed the sweet to creamy ratio of this particular vanilla slice.
I also had to make a stop at The French Lettuce as they have this sign in front of the place:
The French Lettuce Patisserie and Bakery
237 Nicholson St, Carlton 9347 7311
The mildly sweet custard filling was light and extremely creamy, while the pastry was thick, flaky and buttery. The vanilla slice here also came with a side of strawberry jam which was perfect for breaking up the creaminess and for providing some contrasting flavour.
I also attempted to make my very own vanilla slice. I found this recipe from Best Recipes except instead of making up the icing, I dusted my vanilla slice with icing sugar.
Notice how yellow my custard filling turned out? That’s because I added less cream than what the recipe required (not intentionally, but because I was out of cream and couldn’t be bothered going out to buy more). Also, notice all the little lumps in the filling? Turns out that you should probably sift the custard powder before you mix it with everything otherwise you will end up with lumps that are impossible to get rid of!
This was a fun little quest and in the end the best vanilla slice for me personally was from Aviv Cakes and Bagels. The pastry was fantastic and the filling was very scrumptious as it had the perfect balance between creamy and sweet.