The OIP Team was very lucky to go behind the scene for the exclusive recipe shoot for Pyrex 100th Anniversary with Katherine Sabbath. We just happened to be the only media invited to this shoot taking place at Kat's lovely abode, with the kitchen being the heart and centre of the action as we had a sneak peek at the amazing limited-edition100-year anniversary products and taste-tested the delicious cake Kat had whipped up especially for this iconic brand’s century celebration.
Pyrex is celebrating 100 years of innovation and countless kitchen creations this year, with billions of Pyrex glassware pieces have been sold worldwide, including more than 65 million in Australia. The brand has stood the test of time with an estimated one in five Australian households owning a Pyrex product (take a peep in your pantry- you might not even realise you own a Pyrex!)
To mark this milestone Pyrex has released a limited edition range including the iconic measuring jug, pie plate, and dot-themed glass storage containers (and they’re so cute may I add), and have appointed Kat as their brand spokesperson. On top of that, Kat has been working with Pyrex to create the gorgeous layered lamington sponge cake to celebrate the anniversary. It’s a twist on a classic Australian dessert made from layers of vanilla and chocolate sponge cake and filled with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes and topped with a generous dripping of chocolate ganache, coconut meringue shards and fresh raspberries. We chat with Kat to discover more.
First and foremost thank you for taking some time out in your busy schedule to do this interview with us! We love everything you do (as you know) and this latest project is no exception. So tell us it must’ve been quite exciting to have such an iconic brand such as Pyrex to approach you with this project? How did it all come about?
Thank you! The first word that comes to mind is “thrilling”, but even that’s an understatement! You know, my very first measuring jug and mixing bowl were Pyrex, so this iconic brand has been a loyal kitchen essential from the very beginning of my baking career. Pyrex has also been used in my Sabbath family for over three generations now. When I was little, I loved watching my German-Australian grandmother make her famous plum cakes for our family and Pyrex was always part of her kitchen arsenal. So it’s been a real honour for me to be able to work closely with the team here in Australia and I have my Instagram to thank for giving me a voice in the Australian baking scene and putting us all in touch. It’s very much a ‘full circle’-type experience and I feel like I should be pinching myself!
Tell me about the Pyrex vase you own that is now a sought-after limited edition piece? I believe it was your mum’s?
Oh it’s so pretty, isn’t it! It’s a vintage piece, adorned with beautifully printed orange and lemon slices. It’s my favourite vase and it’s not even actually mine, haha. It belongs to my best friend and old house mate, Kitiya Palaskas, who’s an incredibly crafty lady and loves collecting interesting pieces for the home. I think she may have ‘borrowed’ this vase from her artist Mum and now I’ve ‘borrowed’ it from her …Haha, I’m planning on this being a nice long extended loan (Hi Kit!).
And I understand that these limited edition have quite a following, having Instagram accounts and all?
Yes, there are fans around the world going mad over vintage Pyrex! I can definitely see why though, becausepieces like Kitiya’s vase for instance hold such a sentimental and historical value for those who own them. The fact that they’re so well made too means that they’re built to last. It’s no wonder people are chasing down collectable pieces that are almost 100 years old - they are not only iconic but still look as beautiful as modern Pyrex products available today!
Now – the cake – it’s delicious!!! I love lamington but combined with the fresh raspberries and coconut meringue shards that you have done, have just amplified the flavour. Tell me how did the re-jig of the classic Aussie dessert came about? Was there a story behind to how you specifically chose the good ol’ lamington?
Yay, thank you! “Delicious” is certainly the reaction I was aiming for when I created this cake to celebrate Pyrex’s 100 year anniversary! As any good Aussie citizen, I’m a big fan of the humble lamington and wanted to celebrate the flavours of this classic treat in my cake for Pyrex. I just LOVE chocolate in any form and combining the decadence of this with layers of light sponge cake and the slight tartness of raspberries is a winning flavour combination. I also really enjoy the scrumptious texture of coconut and when coconut is toasted (like in our recipe) its beautifully nutty and sweet flavour really develops! I’m hungry just thinking about it.
You’ve been very busy with demonstration classes and collaborations; one I missed and completely emo about is the dessert degustation collaboration with Anna Polyviou of Shangri-La Hotel. Is there a particular gig that you enjoyed the most?
My two dessert degustations at the Shangri-La Hotel with Anna and her talented team of pastry chefs were so much fun and a very valuable learning experiences for me. I enjoy working alongside such creative and skilled people because it pushes me to perfect my craft! Oh and it also brings you right back down to earth at the same time, because you’re constantly realising there is so much more to learn! I also hold my first cake demonstration at Peter’s of Kensington, a place which is very close to my heart. It was the first time I’ve ever hosted a demonstration and I had an absolute blast being in a room full of people, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and learning from each other’s tips and tricks. Haha, I even brought my own Pyrex measuring jug to this demonstration for good luck! From my very first cake demo at Peter’s of Kensington, I knew this is what I wanted to start doing full time.
If you could choose anyone, whom would you like to work alongside with in the future?
I would absolutely die if the opportunity to work with Adriano Zumbo were to come up. He’s an incredibly creative man and seems very humble too! I like his zany ideas and the level of skill he brings to the dessert world but what I respect even more is that he doesn’t carry all of this talent around with an inflated ego.
What can we expect from Katherine Sabbath next?
I’d love to continue sharing my work and recipe ideas with others, so at the moment I’m slowly putting together my website which will feature an ongoing stream of recipes and also how-to videos! I also thoroughly enjoy teaching workshops and interacting with others. I’m focusing on providing more ‘learning opportunities’ to the baking community and anyone else who is interested, so please watch this space.
I’m so excited for BRUNCH OF FUN at MOJO and to visit your Bakin & Eggs stall this Saturday! What can we expect from your stall?
Yippie, I cannot wait for this event! Normally, I don’t have the opportunity to provide many of my cakes to the public as I have such a tiny kitchen and limited space, but for this event I’ve been working hard to ensure there will be plenty of baked goodies for everyone! I’ll be selling lots of breakfast and brunch-themed treats, including buttermilk Froot Loop doughnuts with bubblegum glaze, peanut butter fudge ‘chicken’ cake pops served in a waffle basket covered in warm salted caramel, mini banana bread bars with raspberry buttercream, ‘Bacon and egg’ breakfast cupcakes and more! All baked with lots of love, of course.
Thank you so, so much for taking the time out to speak with us and once again for having us over. See you this Sat for a super gluttonous brekky!
Thanks a bunch for having me Astrid and I can’t wait to see you this Saturday! Promise to save you some fun treats - Kat xo
Bake your own Katherine Sabbath's Layered Lamington Sponge Cake! Find the recipe at www.pyrex.net.au and catch her nice and early at Brunch of Fun tomorrow for some treats and beats (11th April) at Mojo by Luke Mangan- 8 Danks St Waterloo NSW.
By Our Creative Director in Sydney-Astrid (PaperPlayground)