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Bourke Street Bakery Has Created an Exclusive Tart Inspired by AGNSW's Rembrandt Exhibition

Celebrating the Dutch Golden Age with two Sydney icons and several Dutch masters.
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
December 22, 2017
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
December 22, 2017

in partnership with

To celebrate the blockbuster summer exhibition, Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has teamed up with the pastry lords at Bourke Street Bakery to create a delectable homage to the great painter in the only way they know how, by creating a limited edition tart — because what better way to celebrate the Dutch master than with copious amounts of buttery deliciousness.

The exhibition, which opens Saturday, November 11, will feature works by the 17th century's very own art MVPs like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Judith Leyster. According to exhibition researcher Josephine Touma this period in Dutch history marked "a complete boom in the art of painting like Europe had never known". The unique style of these artists was characterised by "an obsession with clarity and a kind of illusionism — a sense of bringing the real world to life".

The works will celebrate the 'Golden Age' of the Dutch Republic, a particularly progressive period in Dutch history characterised by prosperity, innovation, science and a rising middle class who had stacks on stacks of cash to spend on art and a penchant for sugary, buttery delights. It was this precise combination of cultural confidence and wanton disregard for arterial health that bore some of the greatest artists of our time. These artists were obsessed with capturing the world around them with exquisite accuracy, unleashing their talented little art fingers on subject matter ranging from brooding portraits and sublime seascapes to intimate scenes of domestic life and, of course, vivid renditions of sumptuous feasts — Instagram food porn, eat your heart out.

It goes without saying that creating a sugary homage to the masterpieces that have delighted gallery-goers for over 400 years is no easy task, especially when one is not even allowed to touch the paintings, much less taste them. So, when faced with the question of what flavour is Rembrandt, Bourke Street Bakery co-owner David McGuinness said, "at first we were working on something more visual. But food is best when you work with flavours, and at Bourke Street Bakery we never sacrifice flavour to make something pretty." After time spent experimenting with all sorts of visual approaches, David turned his focus to the history of Dutch flavours, particularly the burgeoning spice trade in the East. At the time, the Dutch exhibited their wealth by trading in rare spices, so David proposed reinterpreting the spekkoek, a type of spiced cake, in tart form. He made a custard flavoured with the spice mix of the cake and garnished the custardy delight with three different flavours of amoretti biscuits to add texture and act as a shout out to the OG inspiration.

The limited edition tarts will be available in all Bourke Street Bakery stores for the duration of the exhibition, and let's face it, this is probably as close as you're ever going to get to having a Rembrandt in and around your mouth.

Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum runs at AGNSW from Saturday, November 11 to Sunday, February 18, 2018. During the exhibition's run, get the Rembrandt tart at any Bourke Street Bakery around the city.

And if you're after free tickets to the exhibition, enter the Art Gallery of NSW's Rembrandt tart competition. More info here.

Published on December 22, 2017 by Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
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