Acland St
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The Sweets of St Kilda
A visit to Acland Street is not complete with out tasting, or at least gazing, through the windows of one of the many famous cake shops lining the street. Settled by the Eastern European and Jewish communities in the 1930’s, they bought with them the recipe for a decadent array of baked goods and pastries. Opened in 1934, the original Acland Street cake shop is still the best. For over 75-years, Monarch Cakes has been baking Eastern European-style cakes, many coming from recipes of the original store in Poland. Their signature Kooglhoupf may be difficult to pronounce but it sure is easy to eat. The white yeast cake is marbled with fresh chocolate, creating almost a fudge, and is soft and moist. Come for the cake and stay for the warm rustic ambience. The shops just a little too bright and the atmosphere is a bit dull but there is Peter Siapantas’ vanilla slice. Crunching through the light layers of buttery puff pastry and vanilla crème, Le Bon Continental Cake Shop’s vanilla slice and Siapantas, who has been running the store for 38-years, are institutions of Acland Street. Europa Cake Shop’s windows are heaving with sugary desserts but their plain cheesecake is their signature. Made with a light shortbread base and cottage cheese filling, the results are silky smooth with only a hint of sweetness. Many cake stores claim to be authentic but only those with odd numbers, or the side closest to the waterfront, are while the others are established much later.
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