Zumbo inspired sweet treats to hit Canberra

Eat Canberra

Ali King was born in Canberra and has lived here her whole. She has spent 10 years working as an Insurance Broker while supplying cakes and macarons as a side business. She never had any interest in going on a television show but Ali was getting tired of the monotony of life and had an urge to try something out of her comfort zone. So her interested was sparked when a colleague told her that Channel 7 were casting for keen dessert makers for a new reality television show.

After a rigorous audition process Ali found herself among 12 finalists and a contestant on Zumbo’s Just Dessertsstarring Australia’s very own Willy Wonka, Adriano Zumbo. After months of creating fabulous sweet treats, Ali was crowned runner up in the dessert kings reality dessert competition. She’s now back in Canberra and is about to launch her new venture, Ali King: Desserts, Cakes, Events.

Ali’s love of cooking started at a young age when she would spend time in the kitchen with her grandmother.

“I have always had a love for cooking and spent a lot of time in my younger years cooking with my grandmother. I think one of my first memories of cooking is making scones with her. We would go picking blackberries and then we would make homemade jam for the fresh scones.”

In her teens a trip to a city that’s known for its world-renowned cuisine and amazing sweets inspired her to continue doing what she loved.

“It wasn’t until I was older that I really got into it and cooking became an obsession.

“A trip to Paris when I was 18 was what exposed me to the beauty of high-end desserts and patisseries. It was after that trip when I started experimenting at home with different techniques and honing my skills,” she said.

Ali said what she experienced on the show was like nothing she had ever imagined.

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Ali on Zumbo’s Just Desserts.

“It was extremely difficult because of the constant emotional roller coaster of tiredness, happiness, anxiety, tears and the expectation to come up with amazing desserts but I absolutely loved the experience and would do it again.

“The best experience for me was having my desserts critiqued by 2 brilliant chefs. The feedback wasn’t always positive but I think it really helped me grow as a cook.”

Adriano Zumbo was joined by British chef, Rachel Khoo to judge each of the desserts the contestants cooked.

“I think Rachel was the somewhat tougher critique and was harder to impress. Zumbo was such a positive role model and it was awesome to be able to feed off his energy.

“The way he thinks about desserts is like no other patissier and it was truly an honour to be able to recreate some of his desserts.”

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Macarons by Ali. Photo by @alikingdesserts on Instagram.

She said she had a few favourite desserts that she created on the show. Her gravity defying chocolate, peanut and passionfruit dessert and the lemon, pineapple and banana dessert from the fruit challenge were among her favourites. She also loved recreating Zumbo’s Golden Ducky and the Can’t Sell Ice to Eskimos desserts.

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Ali’s amazing defying gravity dessert. Photo from au.tv.yahoo.com/shows/zumbos-just-desserts

Since finishing the show, Ali has teamed up with her best friend, Emilie Rohan, to create Ali King: Desserts, Cakes, Events. The business is an event-style dessert business where the girls will be teaming up with other local business to host high teas, dessert & cocktail evenings and dessert degustations.

They will also be creating beautiful bespoke dessert tables for weddings, birthdays, high teas and more. You may also see Ali pop up at some markets to showcase her sweet treats. Ali King: Desserts, Cakes, Events will officially launch today with a dessert degustation event at The Truffle Farm. The dates for their first events will be announced shortly so keep an eye out on their Facebook and Instagram profiles.

I’ll be at the event today and can’t wait to share lots of photos with you! Check out our story on Instagram for lots of updates.

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An incredible wedding cake made by Ali. Photo by @alikingdesserts on Instagram.