Lune Croissanterie - the Melbourne bakery responsible for the world's best croissants, according to The New York Times - has teamed up with Piccolina gelateria to create an ice-cream sandwich.
Although this limited-edition dessert has recently hit Lune's menu, it's no impulse creation.
"I have wanted to do an ice-cream sandwich for ages!" says Kate Reid, founder of Lune Croissanterie. "We developed one for our October/November Lune Lab menu, which was such an overwhelming success that we decided to run an ice-cream sandwich available over the counter during the summer."
Because the Lune Lab is a special three-course experience, with experimental croissants served to a small number of diners (which is why places book out months in advance), the team could get away with making their own parfait for the ice-cream sandwich. But with queues out the door for Lune's typical menu, there was no way the kitchen could produce enough to meet that intense demand.
"So we decided to treat the gelato like any of our other 'raw' ingredients and source the best to pair with our pastry."
That's how Lune teamed up with Piccolina, Sandra Foti's artisanal Melbourne gelateria, which has outposts in Collingwood and Hawthorn.
"I knew that by keeping the gelato component simple and classic it would be easy to successfully pair with the croissant pastry."
"I love the story behind Sandra starting Piccolina - the link to her father making gelato when she was young and then making the decision to travel to Italy to learn to make authentic gelato in larger quantities. We just met each other around the traps and hit it off, and both thought it would be great fun to bring our products together!
"I love the fact that their gelato is produced using a traditional method - Piccolina operates with a very similar philosophy to Lune: good quality ingredients, and perfecting the simple and classic flavours.
"I am a huge fan of classic gelato - pistachio, hazelnut and fior di latte are my go-to flavours. I knew that by keeping the gelato component simple and classic it would be easy to successfully pair with the croissant pastry."
The first collaboration to go on sale is a croissant sandwich highlighting Piccolina's hazelnut gelato and a "Better Than Nutella" drizzle.
"Hazelnut is one of my favourite gelato flavours," says Reid. "I also know from previous pastries we have developed at Lune that hazelnut works really well with the flavour profile of our pastry, so it seemed to be a natural choice for our launch flavour. And who doesn’t love Nutella with pastry?"
Lune's ice-cream sandwich will be available from Thursday to Monday, for $15 each. Get in early as there are limited numbers each day; up to 40 will be made on the weekend, and a similar amount during the week - depending on demand (which we imagine there'll be plenty of)!
So after the hazelnut ice-cream sandwich has its moment, what's next for Lune?
"We have no future flavours finalised, but I’d love to pair a coconut gelato with pandan, coffee gelato with chocolate, and pistachio gelato will almost certainly feature on the menu!" says Reid.
Mon 7.30am-3pm (or until sold out); Tue-Wed 7.30am-midday (takeaway only); Thur-Fri 7.30am-3pm (or until sold out); Sat-Sun 8am-3pm (or until sold out).
119 Rose St, Fitzroy, VIC
This hybrid is a cross between a croissant and muffin – flaky pastry formed in a muffin tin.