1. Katherine! Thank you so much for taking the time to have a chat with us. We have to start from the beginning, tell us a bit about yourself!
Hello, my name is Katherine Sabbath! I am an enthusiastic High School English, History, Geography and Commerce teacher who has been teaching in Western Sydney for the last three years. I’ve always been a self-confessed bake-aholic and love experimenting with new flavours and concepts, so have recently packed up my teaching textbooks and dived head-first into the dessert world. I find my happy place by creating thoughtful, unique and slightly crazy cakes and desserts for loved ones, friends, and since 2014, a good chunk of Sydney! I also write recipes and am passionate about sharing my candy-coloured, creative food ideas with others. My work has been published in various magazines, website and social media channels and you can see me live in action by visiting any one of my dessert demonstrations or workshops currently being held across Sydney!
2. When did your passion for baking begin? Are you self taught?
I developed my wild sugar lust at a very young age! As soon as I could be trusted with an electric beater (I never earned my pen license in primary school but oh boy, I practiced beating those egg whites!), I would attempt a baking project. Triple chocolate brownies are where it all started for me. I could never find a chocolate brownie decadent or gooey enough, so I made my own delicious monstrosities and it snow-balled down a candy-coated, molten caramel mountain from there! As of today, I’m completely self-taught through lots of my own trial and error.
3. We drool scrolling through photos of your cakes! What was it like for you when it all went viral? What kind of influence has Instagram had for you and your career?
I’ve been seriously gob-smacked by the amount of support I’ve received through Instagram as well as all of the wonderful people I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with over the last two and a half years! Most of the incredible opportunities I’ve been able to partake in have been because someone, somewhere has seen my work on Instagram. It’s something I would have never imagined and I thank my lucky stars every day! I try not to take it all too seriously though and still treat it as though my parents (my biggest supporters) are the only ones paying attention to what I post. Most of the things I create and post on Insta are bespoke gifts for friends or other special people in my life, and I hope it’s this simple gesture of sharing with others and thoughtfulness that the people who ‘follow’ me enjoy!
4. Your cakes are brilliantly colorful and sculptural, how would you describe your style/creations, and where do you draw inspiration from?
I suppose they’re a bit playful, a bit decadent, a bit wondrous and also a bit wacky! For me, inspiration comes from absolutely everywhere! To reign it in a little bit for you, a favourite source of inspiration close to my heart is the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory originally written by Roald Dahl and directed by Mel Stuart. I remember seeing that movie at a very young age and just being completely blown away by the fun and wacky possibilities of dessert!
5. How long does it take you to complete one of your masterpieces? Which has been the most time consuming so far?
They can take anywhere between a few hours, to 4 or 5 days! I’ll tell you more about this below…
6. Do you have a favorite creation?
I’m really proud of any cake of mine that carries with it lots of meaning. So anything that has been created especially for my fiends and family. In particular, I love the cantilever-inspired cake I made as a surprise for a friend of mine, who is also a total architect-nerd! Her boyfriend lovingly designed a brief and inspiration board for me, while I also enlisted the help of my own partner to design and build the scaffolding for the three-tiered cake. It ended up taking us 3-4 days to make in total and was made from layers of chocolate mud cake with raspberry fudge, caramel mud cake with salted caramel fudge, and covered in a black coloured dark chocolate ganache with edible gold accents. It looked impressive but most importantly, it tasted even better and our friends loved it!
7. You’ve been very busy with demonstration classes and collaborations; Is there a particular gig that you have enjoyed the most?
My first cake demonstration at Peter’s of Kensington! This was the first time I ever transferred my teaching background into the cake world, to a classroom filled with wonderful baking-enthusiasts. I was a little nervous at first (because I’m certainly no professional) but I had such a great time chatting away with everyone and facilitating the sharing of tips and tricks. It was after this experience that I realised I really love teaching and engaging with the baking community and want to support it as much as I can.
8. What can we expect from you next?
I’ve got my sights set on nurturing and supporting the home-baking and dessert community through sharing my ideas and recipes. I’d like to achieve this by releasing a website, video tutorials & if all goes to plan, a video series and cook books. We’ll just see how it all eventuates, I guess!
9. Best thing about baking?
I love the unlimited potential for creative freedom and the delicious opportunity to make something loin-tremblingly YUM! I also relish in sharing these sweet gestures with the people I care most about. For me, baking has always been a very relaxing, methodical and selfless act. I never want to stop sharing my bakes with others!
10. Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a career in baking or to step out and turn their hobbies and passions into something more?
GO FOR IT AND DO IT RIGHT NOW! Embrace making mistakes, hone your skills through lots of practice and never stop reflecting on your work. Along the journey, make sure you enjoy everything that you do, stay humble and be genuine to yourself and others. Positivity and honesty, I believe, are integral to building any successful friendship, online community of followers (if we’re talking about Blogs and Instagram etc) and eventually can lead to a successful business whereby customers would be proud to associate themselves with you and your brand.
Photos by Nikki To