Think of a macaron (and no, it's not a macaroon) and most people's minds will invariably swing to Adriano Zumbo, the unassuming pastry chef who regularly blows the minds of MasterChef contestants with his out-of-this-world desserts.
You know, the guy who single-handedly made the croquembouche a household name.
This week, the Sydney dessert trickster will be in Perth to run a series of cooking demonstrations for Kitchen Warehouse.
"At Kitchen Warehouse, I'll probably be doing something fairly quick," Zumbo says.
"Macarons generally take about two hours to make, so I might just show people a few different parts of it, such as the shell and the centre."
A quick flick through Zumbo's latest book, Zumbarons: A Fantasyland of Macarons reveals a galaxy of macaron flavours, from the tried and true (rose, pistachio) to the completely out-there (Vegemite, gin and tonic, wasabi with pickled ginger).
So where do his ideas for flavour combos stem from?
"Well at first, the creativity all comes quite naturally," Zumbo explains.
"But then you kind of hit a wall - I mean, there are only so many flavours in the world. So you start to mix and match a bit.
"Then you think of the things you like eating. So I'll be eating Peking duck or custard fritters and start to think 'hmm, what would they be like in a macaron?' You take things out of everyday life and, as an experience, decide on what you think will work."
Books and demos aren't the only thing on the Zumbo agenda. He has just released a bake-at-home range, which recently hit supermarket shelves.
There are two types of macarons, a mirror mudcake and a brownie in the range, complemented by online how-to-make-them videos. Rumours have also been swirling for a while that Zumbo will be moving south of the border to set up a store in Melbourne.
"I'm wanting to move to Melbourne, it's a big dream of mine," he says.
"I love it, and it's probably the next step for me to set up a shop. And if Melbourne goes well, Perth may be next on the cards. Life is pretty crazy at the moment but it's all good fun."A bit like his macarons, really.
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