“Great jab!” “Yay, science.” “Congrats on your vax!” And the tongue-in-cheek, “Poppin’ buttons for Sutton” (a respectful reference to Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton).
These are some of the phrases Melbourne cake business Beurre is slapping on cute, Covid-defiant cakes – using post-vax snacks as a way to encourage more people to get the jab. (They’re a level up from the bickie you’re rewarded with after giving blood.)
The one-woman show is run by Zahara Valibhoy, a Melbourne-based chef with a passion for patisserie. She worked in marketing for an automotive company before pivoting to pastry, undertaking a four-year apprenticeship in Melbourne then moving to Paris, where she ended up working at world-renowned macaron specialist Ladurée.
When event cancellations in the wake of lockdown 6.0 “decimated” the orders she had in the pipeline, Valibhoy decided to pivot with a purpose. “There’s only so many political posts you can put on your [Instagram] story, so instead I wanted to do something fun,” she says. “It’s been really nice seeing people congratulate each other on getting vaccinated – not just with the cakes, but in general.”
Her new creations are each oblong shaped, with vibrant colours and kitsch piping around the edges. There are three flavours to choose from: chocolate sponge with milk-chocolate Chantilly and berry gel; vanilla-plum sponge with whipped cream cheese and cheesecake crumble; and pecan sponge with Biscoff Chantilly and pecan praline.
They can be divvied up differently depending on your isolation situation – get eight small portions, four generous portions or one big portion “if you don’t want to share”. Send one to a just-vaccinated mate or make it an exercise in lockdown self-care.
Order online for Wednesday or Saturday delivery. The cakes are $45; delivery is free within 10 kilometres of Balwyn or $10 beyond that radius.