Amazing Bakers & Decorators Interview Series: Lisa Brown of Sweet Magazine

Today we’re delighted to introduce you to the lady behind one of Australia’s most beautiful magazines, Lisa Brown of Sweet Magazine. Filled with dazzling ideas for cakes, decorating, events and styling, Lisa sure knows how to make every occasion pretty and beautifully sweet!

Q: Lisa, tell us about Sweet Magazine, how did the magazine come to life?

L: There are so many gorgeous magazines out there that cover gorgeous parties, or are dedicated tutorial magazines. Most of the time, we’re making cakes for birthdays and other special celebrations, I thought it would be fun to combine everything in the one beautiful magazine. Whether baking is your thing, you love cake decorating, love planning parties for your family, or want five minutes to yourself after a long day with the kids, there’s something in Sweet for you. I fill each issue with delicious recipes, tutorials, and, hints and tips for the whole party from the paper plates to the sprinkles on the cake. I hope it inspires people to celebrate!

Q: Can you remember your first baking memory? Was it your own or eating someone else’s delicious creation?

L: As a little person, I’d sit up on the kitchen bench while my Nanna baked. It was my job to mix the wet ingredients into the ANZAC biscuit mix, I was never quite strong enough to mix it all together though. When I was older (and couldn’t fit under the kitchen cupboards anymore), I’d roll the dough into balls for baking. I was taken off that duty pretty quickly when Nanna realised it was a one for me, one for the tray kind of situation. How great is raw biscuit dough?!

Q: Everyone has a sense of their own baking ‘style’ from cakes, to muffins, breads, cookies etc.. What is your favourite thing in the world to bake and why?

L: I bake so often now in the test kitchen that I don’t really have a favourite thing to make. Enjoying the spoils of the kitchen with friends and family is my favourite thing in the world. When you spend so much time baking and creating as a job, it’s easy to forget how enjoyable it is to stop and share a sweet moment. There’s nothing better than a piece (or six) of cake with a good chat and a cuppa!

Q: What’s your absolute favourite thing about working in the magazine world? The never ending supply of cupcakes & pretty decorations perhaps?

L: You’d think that the sweets and decorations were the best part, but for me it’s seeing the baking and decorating that readers have done after following a recipe or tutorial in the magazine. It’s so wonderful to know that Sweet inspires people to get in the kitchen and try new things!

Q: Where do you get your inspiration from for new ideas for Sweet Mag? Do you have the tough job of taste testing everything?

L: Inspiration for Sweet Magazine comes from a bright spark somewhere in my brain where there’s a disco ball, too much confetti, glitter everywhere, and a never ending sweet table. Each Monday I work with Natalie, Jess, and Lucy in our NSW studio. Once a recipe has been baked and tested, we re-bake and photograph in the studio. After each shot is approved, the team grab a fork (or spoon) and tuck in, we photographed 9 ice creams in one day for Issue Eight of Sweet, by the end of the day it was safe to say we were all ice creamed out!!

Q: Tell us about Sweet Little Box? How can our readers join Sweet Little Box?

L: Sweet Little Box is a super fun subscription that delivers a new recipe to your door each month. You’ll get the dry ingredients, tools you need to make the creation (like piping bags and tips), and sometimes a little extra treat too. Sweet Little Box is like Sweet Magazine if you could eat the pages! Recipes are far from ordinary and might challenge you to step outside your regular recipe repertoire. Sweet Little Box is a great gift for bakers, with the added bonus of guaranteeing you a slice of each month’s creation!

Q: Your latest issue showcases a native twist on the classic Aussie Christmas. What are your favourite Aussie Christmas traditions and what will you be baking this year?

L: Christmas in my kitchen means vanilla bean shortbread, steamed Christmas pudding, and Christmas cake. I add pineapple to my Christmas cakes, it adds yummy tang and keeps the cake lovely and moist. It doesn’t matter how hot it is, I have my cake with a cuppa most afternoons in December!! My favourite Aussie Christmas tradition though, is Boxing Day! Every year we host a day long BBQ for our friends, it’s my favourite time of the year – and there’s always pavlova, and a chocolate meringue stack.

Q: Finally, we have to ask…what Queen products are in your pantry right now? Do you have a favourite Queen product?

L: I’m a sucker for a good red velvet cake, so there’s a lot of Pillar Box Red food colouring in the pantry. I put vanilla bean paste into everything, it’s like the salt of the sweet world, so I’ve got Organic Vanilla Bean Paste ready to go. I’ve also got Natural Peppermint Extract which I use in my favourite comfort food – choc mint cookies. I don’t think I have a favourite!

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