In search of Hobart's perfect Monte Carlo

In search of Hobart’s perfect Monte Carlo
Arnott’s don’t tempt me. I rarely walk down the biscuit aisle at Woolies. I’m just not a packet sort of girl. It’s too garden-variety for me.
But I do enjoy a biscuit. Home-made, thank you very much. I’m in the 1 per cent.
Monte Carlos are my obsession.
I can tell you a lot about Monte Carlos in this town.
The question I’m asked at the Hill Street Grocer’s deli counter is not so much, ‘How can I help you?’, but more, ‘How many today?’
I have a reputation.
For a long time, I my weekend tradition was a coffee and one or two of their Monte Carlos in bed with the newspaper.
Icing sugar dusted biscuit pillows, neatly filled with jam and buttercream, were my weekend luxury: taking my time, enjoying the good life, feeling a little spoilt. Five seconds in the microwave in winter meant the filling was an extra special squishy goodness.
Don’t judge me.
But like old lovers, we have grown apart. And darling, in this case, it isn’t me, it is actually you. I blame scrimping on the butter proportion which has left the icing more sugar crystals than cream.
A little unsatisfied after the savoury waffle special at Elizabeth Street Food and Wine, I chose a Monte as a palate cleanser. Be warned, a fat biscuit is a recipe for crumbly trouble. A very short, in the sense of high butter content, biscuit. One bite into this baby will spread crumbs over your neighbours at the shared table. Being able to fit the biscuit into your mouth is important. It’s not just taste that matters, the experience of eating needs to be enjoyed too.

This Girl loves Little Missy Patisserie but when it comes to their Montes, they are a little more cloying. A brown sugar biscuit pressed thin and ultra-sweet. If you’re a hard core sweetie, you’ll love it. This Girl usually elects the frozen version with their Monte Carlo ice-cream biscuit. You lose some sweetness in the act of freezing. Licking of lips. I did enjoy one just made, buttercream soft and glorious. It pays to wait if they're still assembling them when you arrive at their market stall.
Kafe Kara are on the side of the brown sugar Monte too but there is no other way to describe theirs, other than they are monsters. This one is the best value in town and a biscuit to share. Once they used blackberry jam instead of raspberry. It’s good to mix things up. I’m often at Kara and I can’t go past them. Sadly, or thankfully, they’re not always available.
Drum roll…..
First prize goes to Atlas Café for the absolute most outstanding Monte Carlo in southern Tasmania, and quite possibly the universe. This biscuit is perfect.
The size is right. It fits in your mouth and it’s a true biscuit for one.
The secret ingredient is coconut which makes it that little bit more special.
The biscuit to filling proportions are balanced.
It’s plump-full of buttercream and jam.
And it’s shaped like a heart, oohhhhh…
Here’s the price list and links to previous blogs on the establishments.
Hill Street Monte, $2.70. You’ll also find them in a few cafes around town like Ginger Brown.
Kafe Kara Monte, $3.50
Elizabeth Street Food and Wine, $3.50
Little Missy Patisserie Monte biscuit, $2.50 and ice-cream biscuit, $4.50
Atlas Café Monte, $3.00

Watch out for more news from Atlas soon.