Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cake Bake and Sweets Expo, Melbourne Convention Centre, MELB

I am not someone who would spend my weekends in exhibition centres. The last time I was at one was to scout for prospective pharmacy employers/ career development societies and that was dating back in 2010. Before that, it was for enrolling myself into a good overseas university. Aside from that, I tend to stay away.

In March earlier this year, I had the privilege of picking up an invitation to the annual Cake Bake and Sweets Expo held in Sydney. Sadly, due to work commitments, I was unable to attend. And the overall cost of travel expenses did not make the situation any better.

Second chances are rare events that may not ever happen again but for some miraculous reason, I happened to be in Melbourne whilst the Cake Bake and Sweets Expo is being held here. My determination saw me pulling a few strings and voila, I have got myself an invitation and possibly a ticket to the dreamland station.

I could barely sleep yesterday night and even when I did, I woke up at about every two hour intervals. To top things off, daylight saving begins today and so, us unfortunate folks in Australia lose an hour of our precious time. But still, I was on an adrenaline rush when I woke up this morning. Prepped myself quickly and before I knew it, I was collecting my ticket into the venue!

Immediately after walking in, I bumped into the food street as I call it. So many choices to swoon over, which I did, obviously.

First stop is Agathe Patisserie. As I work on weekends, heading here to get my pastry fix is near impossible as its not exactly nearby my area and by the time I get there, everything will be gone! So glad I could get my fix today!

The spread on the table was more than enough to bring joy to the French people. I so wanted to pick one of everything but that would spoil my sugar budget:(

Visitors are bound to bump into something different at every corner of the expo. Chocolates, macarons, cakes and other sweets aside, we have pretzels, ice cream, baking utensils, baking ingredients, culinary academies and so forth. It was truly an eye opener, especially for someone completely new to Melbourne. Did I mention that cake decorating classes are available for visitors? Some classes are a little more exclusive if you are happy to part with a few dollars in exchange for some quick lessons but if you are on a tight budget and time schedule, your best bet will be wandering around the stations and listening attentively:)

At the Cake Bake and Sweets expo, I've learnt that sugar and chocolate can be beautifully crafted into various objects that not only can be consumed but also be utilized for decorating purposes. To be honest, if you have the time, it may be worthwhile to enrol into a few classes to grasp a good understanding of the basics which can be useful for giving your baked goodies the wow factor ;)

I have an affair with Cacao chocolates and patisserie products since 2011 where I nibbled on one of my first few macarons in Melbourne. I took this opportunity to drool over their amazing display of donuts and eclairs at the expo and of course, picked up a few macarons along the way too!

This amazing display made by the staff at Savour school is mind blowing. Who would like to have a crack at guessing the total weight of chocolates used to construct this masterpiece? Winner gets to walk away with some Kenwood goodies!:)

Aside from visiting Cacao in 2011, I also walked into Luxbite (as seen here). So here lies another love affair. Where oh where did those years go. Luxbite is now celebrating their third birthday and to top it off, they are taking things to a new level. Everything that I bought from them were beautifully packed and I swear, nothing crumbled under all the day's intensity. I also managed to have not one but five photos with the Luxbite founders. Extremely happy I was:) Admittedly, I must have been pretty shameless too haha.

Got our hands on both flavours of N2 gelato. The honeycomb, salted caramel and vanilla one was to die for whilst the mango version felt very refreshing, especially if you have had a full day of sugar.

So back home, the unboxing of the goodies begun. First up was Agathe Patisserie delights. Croissants were top notch but the show stopped had to be their rose flavoured cream croissant. It is as pretty as a picture and tasted so good. Flaky buttery layers enclosing a very moist center filled with rose flavoured cream that had a little hint of pink to it. Too pretty I say:)

Unboxing the Luxbite goods was too easy. The packaging was pretty easy to dissemble without damaging the goods. I have not had the chance to try them out yet but will do so over the next few days. Slowly:)

As I have tried most of Cacao's macarons before, I decided to grab a small box of macarons just to keep myself occupied with sweets over the week and also sneaked away a peanut butter and salted caramel donut and a mango popcorn eclair. Can't wait hehe:)

Sadly, the delicated Zumbo cakes moved a bit in their individual boxes and I managed to save what I could. The chocolate layer cake slid in it's box and under the warm spring temperature, it did not turn out as pretty as it was before. But never mind that, the fridge stopped it from getting any worse and I'm still going to eat it haha:)

And so, that caps off what is an amazing day for a sugar addict like me. I stayed for 1.5 hours which was obviously too short of a time to appreciate everything in the centre. However, I am very grateful for the second chance of being able to physically attend it and meeting some really inspiring patisseries who have clearly busted their bums to get where they are today.

ps: I am looking forward to a very sweet coming week;) Aint no raining on my parade that's for sure!!

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