I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive pop-up class in Peter of Kensington's Test Kitchen to learn the art of the upside down ice cream cake by none other but the super talented and uber-cool Katherine Sabbath.
Now I don't know about you but I'm a massive fan and Kat's instagram posts are always one I look forward to every single time (if you haven't checked it out - follow her now @katherine_sabbath for some out-of-this-world edible art creations). After following her for a while I was so happy to discover - as I'm sure everyone that attended today would agree- Kat is even more lovely in person as she is in photos and instagram notes.
Full of stories, knowledge and presence only a teacher can attest (yes, she is also a high school teacher), Kat weaved through the magic of cake creating - from the cutting of each cake layer to assembling them with the raspberry cream cheese filling; making the infamous upside down 'ice cream' cake pop; the art of the perfect finish with buttercream and experimenting with ways of applying sprinkles and sugar confetti (one of them, as you can see in the photo, was 'blowing' them onto the cake!).
The cake Kat created today (and the one I inhaled in two seconds, two hours later) consisted of *deep breath* layers of chocolate brownie cake and caramel mudcake, with raspberry cream cheese filling, wrapped up in bubblegum flavoured swiss meringue buttercream, topped with hot pink white chocolate ganache and a giant ice cream cone cake pop *wipes drool off keyboard*. Total highlight was actually tasting this amazing creation, all the flavours combined, all in one mouthful- can I just say...I think my tastebuds exploded from happiness.
Some other highlights from today was - some buttercream splatting on me when Kat was mixing away - but that was ok because she wiped it off me; discovering that Kat was probably traumatised from a childhood full of Durian-induced desserts (just like me); and also finding out she uses her dad's gyprock broadknife (completely clean and nowhere near a building construction site, may I add) to smooth her very tall cakes!
Now for the avid baker there were so many handy tips on how to make this particular cake, and some for baking/cake decorating in general. As creative as Kat is in her baking and cake artistry, today's class also proved she was just as informative in her methods and decorating tips. Just for you, here they are listed below for a happy ending (these are my notes by the way and not Kat's actual words).
- To achieve a flat TOP for your cake, use the BOTTOM layer of your cake. This means, the last layer that you've cut, turn it upside down, and place it on top of your cake.
- Ever wondered what makes the ice cream part of the ice cream? It is simply a cupcake. Use a frozen one so when you cover it with your chocolate, it 'sets' the chocolate right away.
- For an easier alternative to real egg whites, use "Plain Egg" simply egg whites. Basically they are egg whites in a carton ready for you to use, without the hassle of cracking each egg and wasting egg yolks. Found at your local Woolies or Coles.
- If you've ever wanted to know where you can find find quality freeze-dried fruits, you can find them online at Taste Bomb.
- Use oil-based food colouring to colour your chocolate melts- this prevents it from 'freezing' the chocolate. This is what Kat uses for her chocolate barks also.
- Offset spatula and a cake turn table are your best friends. Invest in them.
- And lastly - try to reserve a lot of time to plan and make your cake - and always, always have fun when baking.
Katherine Sabbath with our Creative Director Astrid (Paperplayground)