Audrey Allard – aka Holy Sugar – was responsible for a spike in many Melburnians’ serotonin levels during lockdown, thanks to her once-a-week dessert boxes at the height of the restrictions.
But the former pastry chef Lune’s days as a courier cruller are over for now, having opened this cozy brick-and-mortar shop on the High Street in Northcote, replacing the now closed Macedonian restaurant Le Lee.
The window is filled with all of Allard’s stellar sweets that made Melbourne swoon during lockdown: custard and lemon meringue pies; Basque burnt cheesecake, dulce de leche, pecan and almond tarts; and yes, its famous caramel crullers.
But two notable additions have joined Allard’s repertoire: sangas focaccia and chocolate éclairs. The focaccia contains mortadella, roasted tomatoes, bell pepper and pecorino romano. But come on the right day and you might get an extra special sandwich; Allard’s parents are dairy farmers in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales and, yield permitting, their limited-run cheeses sometimes steal the show between a slice of focaccia.
The storefront itself also has a sense of farmhouse nostalgia, with shabby-chic tables and mismatched old-school crockery that might have come straight out of your grandma’s kitchen — and in the case of Allard, it is partly true. Half of the plates were inherited from her grandmother.