While everyone loves the classic pumpkin soup, lets face it – sometimes it just doesn’t…
Recently, I visited a local business woman who is helping to make Canberra a more delicious place.
Julia, of Cooked by Julia, fell into her career by taking a cooking course while on a break from studying IT. She quickly realised that it was where she belonged and has spent the last 14 years honing her skills. She was working as a head chef at The Shaggy Cow in Mittagong, a much lauded and loved restaurant, when she decided to strike out on her own, creating sweet things for everyone to enjoy.
She now has a weekly market stall at the Kingston Farmers and Foodies markets, where you can sample her wares every Friday between 3-7pm. Perfect timing for an end of week treat!
Julia’s passion has always been desserts and pastries. She describes herself as a bit “old school” when it comes to culinary inspirations. The list includes culinary giants such as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Michael Roux. Up and coming pastry chefs are also doing some amazing things with flavours, as well as baking and glazing, and Julia loves to integrate this modern aesthetic into classic dishes.
Her current favourite dessert technique is verrines. These look like desserts made in hipster heaven, with delicate layers of flavour and texture served in a glass jar. Despite its modern appearance, verrines are actually a classic French technique, roughly translating to “served in a vertical manner” and Julia loves playing around with this concept.
She’s also passionate about the ingredients she uses. Julia’s favourite ingredient to work with is chocolate because of its versatility. At the moment she is loving a caramel chocolate from Callebaut, which is a well respected Belgian brand known for its consistent texture and flavour.
She also believes that there is no replacing good basic ingredients such as high-quality eggs (sourced from her neighbour at the markets), real sugar, cream and flour.
Her market stall currently has four core desserts but Julia is forever playing around and coming up with new ones. For the chocoholics out there you can’t go past a chocolate brownie layered with chocolate caramel mousse and topped with chocolate shards.
For something a bit lighter and more refreshing a coconut pannacotta with raspberry coulis will fit the bill and answer any dietary concerns as it is gluten, dairy and egg free. If you are in the mood for tart rather than sweet, a lemon meringue inspired dessert is for you. A lemon curd is layered with lime marshmallow and strawberries.
My personal favourite is the salted caramel cheesecake, which is as indulgent as it sounds. Due to popular demand, Julia has also started selling her salted caramel sauce separately and I can attest that is amazing. It also keeps the kids happy as they love spooning it on top of their ice cream.
If you want something different have a chat with Julia. She already makes custom cakes and hopes to expand her business in this realm, maybe even one day owning her own patisserie. In the meantime, she ‘s enjoying selling her products at markets where she can be as creative as she wishes and gets to meet the people who enjoy her delicious wares.
What: Cooked by Julia at the Farmers and Foodies Markets
When: Every Friday evening from 3-7pm
Where: Kingston Foreshore, within the Old Bus Depot Markets