The five golden rules of creating amazing cakes with Katherine Sabbath
Sydney’s top cake creative has some tricks up her sleeve when it comes to tackling complex cake projects.
Katherine Sabbath lives in a sweet fantasy land. Her world, as spied on through her Instagram lens, is pastel-coloured, expertly frosted, studded with ombré meringue kisses and oozing with ganache, hearts and sprinkles. Once a high school teacher, Sabbath now puts her pencils and rulers to use sketching out and baking mind-blowing cakes and other sweet creations. Now a full-time “cake creative”, Sabbath is the whizz behind the epic Palm Springs cake at the centre of the launch party for Good Food Month at Hyde Park Palms on October 5 (get your tickets to our launch party here!).
Cakes this amazing are no easy feat, and though Sabbath holds hands-on workshops regularly (see her website for details), we cornered her for her top five tips when attempting a big cake project:
1. Be prepared
“To ensure your baking endeavours are stress-free, make a list of what you need before you start to guarantee everything is on hand and you won’t need to make a last minute dash to the supermarket. And if your recipe involves multiple steps such as baking, frosting and decorating, a timeline can be a really useful tool to ensure you’ve given yourself enough time to do each part and that more importantly, it’s ready for when your buddies arrive!”
2. Measure your ingredients
“This is the tip I probably disregard most often… And most often to my own baking peril! Nowadays I use a measuring jug to accurately measure wet ingredients and a trusty set of kitchen scales for dry ingredients. Baking is often considered a science in its own right and whilst not exact all of the time, the closer you are to a recipe the better.”
3. Taste as you go and clean as you go
“This shouldn’t be a hard one to follow, but a good home baker always tastes their food! Even if you are following a recipe, someone else’s taste might not be exactly to your liking. A little taste here and there to ensure the cake isn’t too sweet or too bland, will guarantee you get a tasty result every time.
As well as tasting my creations throughout the baking process, I clean throughout the baking process. This makes a huge difference to both your state of mind and quality of working space, particularly in little kitchens.”
4. Rotate your cake
“Not all ovens are created equal and this can sometimes result in lopsided, domed and uneven cakes. Placing your cake in the centre of the oven will allow for even airflow and ultimately more even cooking. For an even more level bake, it’s also worthwhile to fully rotate your cake two thirds of the way through the cooking time.”
5. Don’t be ashamed to take shortcuts
“Kitchen appliances are there to help you, so there’s definitely no shame in letting them do most of the labour! I find the microwave is a great tool for gently melting butter, chocolate and reheating ganache. When making simple butter-creams, I use a hand-held electric mixer for extra fluffiness and for meringue-based butter-creams, I use my stand kitchen mixer to ensure everything is whipped REAL GOOD.”