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Katherine Sabbath

If there was a definition of internet cult, Katherine Sabbath would be it.

She’s not just a Sydney-based high school teacher with rainbow coloured hair. She’s the baker of some of the most decadent cakes that have ever been imagined.

Her creations have garnered followers in their thousands – and it’s no wonder.  Imagine, if you will, tier upon tier of double chocolate brownie, peanut butter fudge and Turkish delight cake iced in a raspberry rose butter cream, dripping with glossy chocolate ganache, and studded with hot pink roses, oversized fresh figs, mauve pansies, dusted with raspberries, rainbow sprinkles and finished with a tiny, lone, duck egg blue meringue.

Or seven layers of caramel mudcake with dark chocolate, rose flavoured cheesecake, white chocolate ganache, rose flavoured Persian fairy floss, rose petals and pistachios, topped with green-swirled pistachio and rose meringue dark chocolate shards.

It’s like Willy Wonka on acid.  In a hypercolour tshirt. Riding a unicorn. 

From humble beginnings cooking in her I Heart New York pyjamas, Katherine has gone on to become a bona-fide internet sensation. She’s said that the inspiration for her cakes comes from all over the place - the confectionary aisle, the colour palette of a friend’s dress, or the natural beauty around her.   But we spoke to Katherine to try to better understand how these deliciously mind-boggling creations are pulled out of her oven every Sunday afternoon. 

You sure have some mad baking skills. Are you entirely self-taught?
Oh thank you. Yes, I am entirely self-taught through lots and lots of trial and error!

How do you go about designing and creating a cake… are there sketches and tastings? 
I wish it were that calculated and glamorous! More often than not, I bake according to the flavours and textures I feel like eating at the time and matching these to some of my favourite colour combinations of the moment! 

How long do you normally set aside for your Sunday afternoon bake?
I could spend a good ten hours happily caught up in a wonderful baking daze. 

What has been the most epic/time-consuming creation?
Anything containing meringues made from scratch, as well as hardened toffee shards/brittle and salted caramel. Oh, and any cake with multiple baked layers! 

If you were a cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book cake which one would you be?
Haha, have you seen the duck cake? It's hilarious and will always hold a very special yet terrifying place in my heart. 

Which bakers and makers do you look up to?
I greatly admire Adriano Zumbo! He's my Willy Wonka-esque dessert hero.

Can you tell us one of the weirdest sources of inspiration for one of your cakes?
Norwegian black metal music.

 What’s one of your favourite creations so far?  
I have a lot of fun making my Unicorn Cheesecakes and dressing them up as flamboyantly as I can!

Any absolute flops?
I'm terrible at making macarons and fine pastries! 

What’s your most memorable teaching moment?
I have so many! A funny moment that comes to mind is being described as a happy and female version of Professor Snape from Harry Potter by a new Year 7 student. 

When did you get on Instagram? Do your students know that you are an instagram SENSATION?
A little under two years ago! A fair few students at our school know of my Instagram but they're all well aware of the protocol we have with social media and child protection, so they try not to 'like' any of my photos! They're all super supportive though and for that, I'm so grateful!

Is there a cake that you haven’t ever quite mastered?
THE DREADED CROQUEMBOUCHE. 

What do you hope people say about your work?
I hope people that say my work makes them smile (or feel ravenously hungry!). 

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Check out Katherine's Instagram account.  Wow.