Our Big Day Out with Anna Polyviou

The morning after Mum and I attended Katherine Sabbath’s cooking class at the Cake Bake and Sweets show in Sydney, I was scrolling through Instagram when I see a post by Anna Polyviou promoting an upcoming cake demo with Katherine as MC. It was to be held at Peter’s of Kensington and as Katherine’s demo has sold out in no time, I jumped straight on to buy two tickets. Surely mum will be available, if not she’ll HAVE to make herself free!

The demo was advertised as a 3 hour class learning to cook Anna’s award winning (2014 Dish of the Year Best Dessert) Carrot Cake that had recently featured as a challenge on Masterchef. I knew from the show that the cake was very involved, but the tickets were only $50 each and included a glass of champers and a mini carrot cake to take home. Surely it won’t really go for 3 hours, it seems too cheap I thought!

But I’m glad I found unmetered parking in a street behind Peter’s as it certainly did go for 3 hours and it was certainly good value!

Anna and Katherine are both seriously cool and funny people and with her two chefs from the Shangri-La who she brought along as well, it all combined for a great show. Yes, there was plenty of cooking advice and discussion about the recipe, but mostly it was just great entertainment.

When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of Moët which was rather unexpected. I thought we’d be given some form of cheap sparkling for sure. We also got a recipe card to follow along with and take home and half way through we got to make our own verrine of the carrot cake which was great as it was lunchtime by then and I was starving.

Carrot Cake verrines and recipe card

Although our verrines looked a bit bodgy (because we made them quickly ourselves) they were delicious! The Praline Cremeux (mousse) was so creamy and had a delicious hazelnut flavour and the caramelised walnuts were sweet and added a great crunch.

Throughout the class samples of Anna’s chef Jess’ carrot cake macarons which featured the bright yellow graffiti as per the actual cake were passed around, as well as some freshly made loukamades with honey and caramel popcorn.

Jess' Carrot Cake Macarons

Jess’ Carrot Cake Macarons

The final part of the demo is the funnest part of making the cake according to Anna, which is splattering the yellow graffiti onto the cake. Her chef Giovana shielded the crowd from becoming part of the artwork.

Anna and Giovana getting their graffiti on.

Anna and Giovana getting their graffiti on.

At the end of the demo we all get to graffiti our our take home mini carrot cake and decorate it with the chocolate discs. Afterwards we stopped by to thank Anna for an awesome day and get a photo. She gave my Mum a big hug and kiss on the cheek and she was just ridiculously funny and lovely. Now I want her AND Katherine Sabbath to be my best friends…

Mum and I head home to have a coffee and try the actual cake. It is so delicious with all the different layers, but I must say it doesn’t have much carrot ‘cake’ in it!

The beautiful take home mini Carrot Cake.

The beautiful take home mini Carrot Cake.


Inside the Carrot Cake.

Inside the Carrot Cake.

I really enjoyed the Carrot Cake but I’m too impatient with my sweet treats to spend 3 hours (more likely 3 days for me) making this very involved recipe!

If you want to try it though, you can get the Carrot Cake recipe from the Masterchef website here http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/carrot-cake.

And if you are keen for a fun day out, Anna said she is likely returning to Peter’s of Kensington to do another demo in September. Keep an eye out on Instagram and on the Peter’s website for when it goes on sale.

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I Want Katherine Sabbath to be my New Best Friend

Way back in late Feb / early March, I was scrolling through Instagram whilst at my desk at work and saw that the Instagram cake sensation Katherine Sabbath (seriously check her out if you don’t know who she is…and shame on you if you don’t) was conducting some cake decorating classes at the Cake, Bake and Sweets show in Sydney in June.

I had recently tried to get tickets to her demo at Peters of Kensington but they sold out too quickly. I wasn’t prepared to let that happen again and there were only 15 places available for each of the 3 days of the event, so I furiously logged on to see if there were any left.

Yes, I’m in luck! Hmmm almost $200 a ticket?

Oh whatevs, it’s Mum’s birthday next week and I can get us both tickets – there, easily justified.

We waited for June to come and over this period Katherine Sabbath’s profile continued to grow and grow. She was posting amazing looking cakes to Instagram and we couldn’t wait to do the class.

On the day, we arrive at the show early to peruse the stands before our 4 hour cooking class. To be fair, I was far more interested in eating than looking at baking supplies, so when we came across the Zumbo stand I called it time for morning tea.

Mum had never had the pleasure of trying a Zumbo offering before so she was in for a real treat! As we stood at the cabinet trying to decide what to pick, I was disappointed to see only an empty space behind the Salted Caramel Chouxmaca sign.

The person in front of us in queue was being a right twat taking their time changing their mind about what to order every 3 seconds, but this turned out to be an act of fate! As they continued to faff about, someone came to replenish the cabinet with Salted Caramel Chouxmacas!

So we get one of those and the Lemon Meringue Pie, plus some coffees and head off to find somewhere to sit down and relax / do an Instagram photo shoot.

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We cut up the two desserts to make for easy sharing and I tried the lemon meringue pie first. It looked very cute and the pastry crust was crisp and tasty, the lemon nice and tart, but I would have preferred more crispness to the meringue top

Then I moved on to the Salted Caramel Chouxmaca. You know that game ‘if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?’ Pick this. ALWAYS pick this. I don’t care that you’ve never tried it. You will not regret your choice. Truuuuuuuusssssst me.

This thing was amazing. A chouxmaca pastry bun, filled with choc mousse on top of a chewy rich gooey caramel layer, topped with salted caramel cream and half a caramel macaron.

When I grow up, I’m going to marry it. Zumbo, you complete me.

Anyhoo, after that we head over to watch Katherine Sabbath demo on stage her Unicorn Hamburger Mini Cake and we are blown away by how funny and lovely she is. Definitely a genuine person and she even had her folks there supporting her that day.

In our class we are being taught how to make her famous upside down ice cream cake. I really didn’t think that the class could go for 4 hours, but making the delicious bubblegum flavoured green buttercream frosting took some serious mixing on behalf of the Kitchenaids (I fell in love with them whilst I was there…#wantone). Also, Katherine is a really fun character and had lots of funny stories to tell about being an ‘Instagram celebrity’.

After that was done we spent a long time troweling it onto the cake and smoothing it out like we were plastering a wall. Mum and I got quite behind at this point as were being perfectionists and just as we thought we got one part smooth, we’d stuff up another part. From across the room everyone looked like they had nailed it much easier than us, but later on when I looked at them up close, it was clear they were just less particular about bumps and gaps than we were.

We continued to be behind for the rest of the class. Once the buttercream was on we decorated the bottom of the cake with sprinkles, then dipped a waffle cone in white chocolate and then sprinkles, then coated the ‘ice cream’ ball in white chocolate and attached it on an angle to the top of the cake. After this we applied the fluorescent pink ganache to the ice cream to get the the melted effect, drizzled it down the sides of the cake and threw sprinkles at it. One can NEVER have too many sprinkles.

Mum and I were the last to finish and the helpers were trying to clean up the room and get us out of here. Katherine’s mum even helped me pack up our cakes to speed us along (she is lovely too).

All in all it was a fun day and I can’t wait to try and recreate that cake at home. I also can’t wait to have another Chouxmaca. Be still my beating heart…IMG_8382

Welcome

Hello and welcome to my site!

I finally decided to set up a blog about my foodie adventures after becoming obsessed with taking photos of my meals for Instagram.

Yes, I am one of those annoying people to eat out with that won’t let you touch your meal until I’ve taken a shot of it (sometimes 10 or 20….). I’m also the one drawing attention to us in dark restaurants by using the flash. Sorry.

I don’t profess to be a culinary expert, but I enjoy trying new things and in particular the visual aspect of food. This is what draws me in with desserts. I often decide I want to try a restaurant solely due to their dessert menu. I have my priorities right…

So join me here on my foodie adventures. I will post about restaurants, cafes, bars, home cooking (especially my mum’s, she is amazing), cooking classes and foodie events.

Bon appétit.