“Dulce Luna is a testament to traditional baking techniques …”
~ Herve Boutin, M.O.F Master Patissier at Dulce Luna, Sydney.
What do you get when you mix a little French with Argentinian?
In baking terms, you get delectable pastries that is a cross between French croissants, Danish pastry and Argentinian media luna.
Dulce Luna is the spanking new patisserie located at the corner of King and York streets in the heart of Sydney CBD.
Located at one of the busiest street corners in Sydney, Dulce Luna is the brainchild of Gus Mendez, who developed a special pastry product while visiting Buenos Aires during his honeymoon more than fifteen years ago.
He vividly remembers eating media luna (literally “half moon in Spanish) in Buenos Aires which is a softer and sweeter version of a French croissant for breakfast and this indulgence sparked his love affair with this style of pastry.
He traveled back to Buenos Aires and then to New York and eventually to Paris to sample some of the best pastries that each city has to offer.
After a few years of research and upon returning to Australia, he teamed up with renowned pastry chef Herve Boutin and from this partnership, Sydney has gained a new patisserie in Dulce Luna.
You may feel like you’re in a French-style cafe once inside with the aromas of freshly baked pastries and coffee.
The space may not be big but Dulce Luna makes you feel nice and cosy with its chandeliers and French-style decor.
Fresh from the oven, there is a choice of sweet or savoury pastries.
There are quite a few varieties which include, raspberry, almond and pistachio but I am tempted even by the plain croissants which have a shiny sheen over it.
The pastries are very light, crispy and fluffy and I am told they are made with very high quality butter which gives them a richer taste and flavour. I love butter so the ham, cheese and bechamel croissants are definitely hitting the right spots with me. They would be great for breakfast or a light snack anytime during the day.
Interview with Herve Boutin, M.O.F Master Patissier at Dulce Luna
Herve Boutin, the Master Patissier at Dulce Luna has lived in Australia for more than twenty years and has been awarded with the Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (abbreviated as M.O.F). This prestigious recognition is given to candidates who have attained a certain level of technical skill, innovation and respect for traditions in a number of trades and craftsmanship from a host of different industries in France.
I caught up with Herve Boutin, the Master Patissier at Dulce Luna to get an insight into the art of pastry making and what makes a croissant so special.
Chopinand: Thank you for inviting me to the launch of Dulce Luna. It is very exciting to be surrounded by all these beautiful and delicious pastries.
First and foremost, you are a French patissier and it would be interesting for our readers to know how one qualifies to be one. Can you share with us your experience and your journey to becoming a pastry chef?
HB: My grandmother played a very important role when I was growing up on a countryside farm in the French Alps. She used to cook crepes, make cakes for us and I used to help her in the kitchen and also eat the leftovers.
At 13 years of age, I gained some work experience at the local bakery and my love for baking was born.
My first job was to brush egg wash over croissants and brioches where the boss was very particular about this task.
I started my apprenticeship at 15 and went on to a cooking school. Thus, baking has been a love affair for the past 35 years.
I love the aromas and the texture when kneading the dough and the results are often amazing and delicious.
I worked with the famous Gaston Lenotre in Paris and now, I am sharing my passion with students and customers.
Pastry-making demonstration: Herve Boutin shows us how a croissant is made
Chopinand: The pastry-making demonstration is so exciting and a lot of fun because everyone can join in and try their hand at making a simple croissant. At least I now know the very beginning of one of your beautiful golden brown croissants is a triangular piece of dough! Can you share with our readers what are the key ingredients going into the dough and why it feels so soft and pillowy when I am kneading it?
HB: The main ingredients are obviously flour and butter. Our dough takes on the sweeter and softer character of brioche rather than a croissant because we have combined the traditional croissant dough with that of an Italian style Cornetti pastry and a Medialuna.
The dough is laminated with high quality butter creating beautiful layers that give it that fluffy, airy texture when baked.
Chopinand: The croissants are delicious and my personal favourite is the raspberry croissant. What makes Dulce Luna pastries special and different from other pastries?
HB: Our unique product is a combination of the traditional croissant, the Italian Cornetti, a Danish and the Argentine media luna. We have spent over a year experimenting with different recipes and flavour profiles. The result is a unique variety of sweet and savoury pastries to tantalise the tastebuds.
Chopinand: The pastry proofing cabinet appears to be a sophisticated piece of equipment in your kitchen.
Can you share with us why pastry chefs would need one of these cabinets and how it works in making these delicious pastries?
HB: Modern proofing cabinets have made life a lot easier for bakers. They can refrigerate the dough to allow correct development of flavour and then automatically progress to prove mode when required.
This not only gives a baker a few more hours of sleep during the night but also provides the perfect environment for consistent development of the dough throughout the night. When the bakery starts its operation in the morning, the dough would be ready for immediate use.
Chopinand: Dulce Luna is a small café right in the heart of a very busy Sydney CBD.
How many pastries do you intend to make each day?
HB: We currently have the capacity to bake over 1,000 pastries per day.
Our plan is to open a few more stores in the next year, and in doing so, we will expand our production capacity accordingly.
Chopinand: Dulce Luna will be serving customers Delano coffee.
Can you tell us a little more about this brand of coffee?
HB: We have developed very special pastries so we want a special blend of coffee to complement our products. Delano coffee does just that and more because it is a boutique coffee roaster who understands the geographic and seasonality aspects of coffee, allowing the coffee beans to develop and mature to their full potential.
The key for us is that Delano roasts their coffee beans fresh on a daily basis and delivers promptly. We are really pleased with our Delano partnership.
Chopinand: The French are obsessed with their fresh breads and pastries but Dulce Luna is an Italian name. Can you share with us how this name came about?
HB: Dulce Luna Viennoiserie is actually an Argentine name. Dulce Luna means “sweet moon” in Spanish. Our products are sweet and in the shape of a half moon (or as the Argentines call them media luna).
Viennoiserie is the French name given to bakeries that specialise in Viennese style baked pastries made from a laminated dough but with added ingredients to give them a richer and sweeter character.
Thus, Dulce Luna Viennoiserie is a name that captures the combined influences of France and Argentina.
~~~~~~~~ End of Interview ~~~~~~~~
So dear readers, have you been to Dulce Luna yet and if so, which is your favourite pastry there?
This blogpost is sponsored by Nuffnang. ChopinandMysaucepan received financial consideration for publishing this article. All views and opinions in this blogpost are our own.
66 King street Sydney
New South Wales