Happy Friday everybody!  We thought you might like some colourful cheer to celebrate the end of the week, and couldn’t think of anyone better to introduce you to than the fantastic Katherine Sabbath.

Portrait of baker Katherine Sabbath holding her cake

Cake lovers and colour fans everywhere!  If you haven’t seen Katherine Sabbath’s crazy creations yet, you are missing out.  With over 280,000 followers on instagram, Katherine is causing quite the stir.  Her super sweet, neon bright cakes, crammed with lollipops, sprinkles and home made chocolate bark have gained her a huge following.

Just two years ago, Katherine was a school teacher who enjoyed cooking up cakes and caramel slices to hand out in the playground.  Today she has bespoke offers pouring in, and has had to take leave from her teaching position to focus on baking.  It was, in fact, her own students who encouraged her.

Candy Bark Shards

Katherine has revealed that despite receiving 10 – 20 enquires a week, she will take on approximately three bespoke orders a month.  Each cake will take Sabbath roughly three days to create, and will cost about £150. 

Whilst her creations are visually stunning, she admits she is just as pedantic about the flavour of these cosmic cakes –  “I come up with each cake based on who I am making them for. I start with the inside, and figure out how many layers it will have, then build the flavours around that.  Once I figure out the flavours I will come up with the colours that will complement them, then work out the decorations.”

Flowers, berries and cake

My goodness what decorations they are!  Sabbath is well known for her hand marbled chocolate bark, deliciously dripped icing, persian fairy floss and mini meringues.  For Christmas, she even handmade pastel coloured chocolate baubles, crammed with m&m’s, malteasers and candy.  

Sugar baubles on top of cake

So, here at Les Enfants we want to know how we can start baking such stunning work?  Katherine insists that with the right tools and mind set, anyone can do it.  Her number one principal is to only bake what you love to eat.  For example, Sabbath rarely uses fondant, saying “Decorating should never come at the expense of flavour”.

Her kitchen tools of choice include a cake turntable (she recommends the Lazy Susan from Ikea!), an offset spatula and a cake scraper.  “A smooth cake can look rather intimidating, but a lot of it is down to having the correct equipment,” she says.

Ice Cream Cake

When creating tier cakes, Sabbath has some top tips.  She recommends using Swiss Meringue buttercream as it holds its shape excellently, and doesn’t melt at room temperature.  She also advises to use the base of the first cake as your bottom layer, then to flip the second sponge and use its base as your top layer. This will give your cake a smooth, flat top.  

When frosting your cake, start with the sides and finish at the top, being careful and taking time to avoid air pockets.  It also helps if the icing at the top of your cake is about 1 cm thick to hold decorations.  Finally, to get the concrete-smooth finish, hold the cake scraper parallel to the side of your cake, and spin the Lazy Susan whilst holding the scraper still.

Flags on birthday cake

For decoration, Katherine reccomends sprinkles, lollipops, crushed meringue and chocolate bark.  She also loves to use gorgeous flags, for which we have you covered.  Sabbath also reccomends thinking back to your childhood for inspiration.  The fluorescent dripping ganache that adorns so many of her trademark cakes was inspired by her love for Goosebumps books!

For the perfect drip finish, Katherine advises that you use a 50/50 mix of heavy cream and dark or white chocolate.  “Get the cream very hot before gradually adding in the chocolate, and use a few drops of gel food colouring to create a neon ganache—water-based food colouring messes up the thickness”.  Though it looks as if the icing has been poured on, the key to this technique is to spoon on the icing.  “Let the ganache set for about 10 minutes, so it’s thicker and easier to work with, and use a tablespoon to gently drip strings of ganache along the side of the cake.”

Chocolate Shard Cake

Well then!  In the famous words of Mel and Sue – “Ready – Steady – BAKE!”

Author – Hannah Coates