I have very few culinary skills. My best move in the kitchen involves moving out of the kitchen.
Don’t even get me started on my baking proficiency. I once brought a mug to a cupcake making day because I thought it was essential. Ok, I didn’t but did anyone NOT believe that story?
Today, I’m joined by someone who doesn’t struggle with a pair of oven mitts. Leanne of The Sweet Lab is a master at creating cakes that make your jaw drop and your belt uncomfortably tight.
Let’s hear a bit more of her story.
Isaac: Tell the people about the Sweet Lab!
Leanne: Well, i was the only child for a while (about 10 years) and i was indeed a bored child. I don’t know if it’s ‘textbook’ for asian parents to let their child mess around in the kitchen but i got the chance to from a very young age- think of it like Matilda wink emoticon. I got really interested in baking and creating beautiful cakes. I watched a lot of cake boss and idolised pastry chefs and cake decorators, so i aimed to replicate things. I made customised cakes/cupcakes for family and friends during year 11 and 12 and then after HSC people started asking if I sold them. I was hesitant at first but it soon became a way of art and expression SO that is the sweet lab. A bit of skill and a whole lot of crazy.
Isaac: Long reply? Please, I spend 1,500 words talking about eggs on a weekly basis.
Leanne: Hahahah #thatooze
Isaac: Where do you draw inspiration for your baking creations?
Leanne: I admire famous cake decorators like Buddy Valastro and friends like Hannah Nguyen (from Storytale Cakes) because their work in fondant cakes is phenomenal. Recently, raw, talented and self taught bakers like Nikki (Unbirthday), Cliff (Cakes by cliff), Katherine Sabbath and Baketown Bakery are a real inspiration because of their unique cake concepts. Most of all I take my inspiration from family and friends because it’s where it all started.
Isaac: What are some of your loves outside of baking and caking?
Leanne: I love sports, photography and exploring new brunch/pig out places that food bloggers and instagrammers rave about. You are one reason for my empty wallet
Isaac: Just a disclaimer for everyone reading this: I did not rob her of her money, only of time.
Isaac: Which experiment from the Sweet Lab are you most proud of and why?
Leanne: I usually like experimenting with weird flavours like Red skin, carrot and jasmine tea infused creams/ganaches but i love giving people a wow factor in cakes. The surprise carrots in my Easter cake was a proud moment but i think my 21st birthday was another milestone because it was the first time i stacked and filled a two tiered cake. I had two different cakes and fillings, infused creams going left right and centre, and a whole load of anxiety because i didn’t want cake on my face if it was to let gravity do it’s thing.
Isaac: That’s funny, my wow factor in cakes is the “wow” I utter when people remember my birthday.
Leanne: I remembered ! It was at El Jannah…but i couldn’t make it… moving on…shame.
Isaac: Will there be a Sweet Lab I can visit to buy my own birhtday cake in the future?
Leanne: Hmmm that is a tricky question! I don’t really have any helpers at the moment (other than my two younger siblings who are official taste testers) and i am still at uni so it’s pretty tough. I will continue with the Sweet Lab and i hope to make a food blogging youtube channel in the future. Who knows, there might be tiny store in Sydney or Melbourne in the future but if you do need a cake, shoot me a message
Isaac: Oh, you’re going to be hearing from me a lot. Ready for the lightning round?
Leanne: Hahaha go ahead Harry Potter
Isaac: What’s your favourite Marvel character?
Leanne: Ohhhh you’re not going to like me but i’m more of a DC fan- batman specifically. BUT, Iron Man is pretty badass.
Isaac: Who would win between Batman and Iron Man?
Leanne: No idea, some underdog like Antman or Groot is going to pop out of no where. That’s the pattern nowadays. These are indeed tough questions.
Isaac: What’s your favourite quote?
Leanne: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind – Dr Seuss. There are plenty of others like “I eat cake because it’s somebody’s birthday out there.”
Isaac: How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
Leanne: Hmmm Disney would find a way to make that wood chuck do some mystical, magical thing hahaha. Let’s be optimistic and say that he chucks many
Isaac: Favourite iFat post?
Leanne: I loved the “best soft serve in sydney” but i think it’s time you did a gelato or cake equivalent. Call me when you do. I’m an expert when it comes to sugar comas.
Isaac: Ok, last question: there’s a song called One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men? What would your sweetest day consist of?
Leanne: Ohhh i like your song choice (shout out to the other 90s kids out there). I think travelling and exploring new places, and eating a whole load of food that your mind says no but heart says yes to, is a fantastically sweet day.
Follow my homie Leanne on her Instagram as well as The Sweet Lab Facebook page!