Riverbend Books at Bulimba hosted another lovely breakfast for Miss P and I with pastry master, Adriano Zumbo. Unfortunately I didn’t sit next to him, like I did at the Bill Granger breakfast, but we did chat during his book signing.

I wanted to know what effect hazelnut meal had on the process of making macarons. Was it always essential to use almond meal? He really seemed to light up when asked a serious cooking question. I get the feeling he is probably very tired of answering the same old questions. Celebrity doesn’t seem to sit with him particularly well but he was gracious enough to attribute his national success to his appearance on MasterChef. Somehow I think even without MasterChef he would have eventually become a national icon for sweet treats.

Miss P and I were really looking forward to dessert for breakfast. Nothing wrong with that. A couple of macarons or a slice of V8 cake would have gone down nicely with a strong coffee. Alas, it was not to be. Instead we were served fresh fruit to start, followed by scrambled eggs, mushroom and haloumi sitting atop sourdough bread. I’m not sure why the Riverbend chef didn’t whip up a batch of macarons but perhaps he felt it best to leave it to the master and to be honest, I don’t blame him.

Zumbo did mention that he is considering opening a Brisbane store, possibly in the next few years. I can just imagine the line-up every Saturday morning.

Oh and the answer to my question. Almond meal has a higher fat content than hazelnut meal. To make sure the macaron mixture is stable, I should add a tablespoon of almond meal in with the hazelnut meal. After my first attempt, macarons scare me a little, but I will add it to the Christmas to-do list 🙂



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