If, like any good dessert devotee, you’ve been keeping up with the latest happenings in the sweets world, you might have already tried the delicious creations from Sarah Barrett at Lucid Sweets. These sugary delights been hitting up market stalls around the Brisbane since mid-2015 but it’s time to get very, very excited, because they’re opening a permanent shop in Geebung in April!
For those of you who don’t know, Lucid Sweets specialises in bright little gems of meringue goodness in to-die-for flavours like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Golden Gaytime, Coconut Daydream, and Pistachio. Now all that greatness is coming to you in the form of even more delectable dessert creations.
We caught up with Sarah to find out what’s in store.
Hey Sarah, thanks for taking time out of your dessert wizardry to chat to us! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started making desserts in the first place?
Funnily enough, I am originally from Brisbane and when I had finished my Bachelor of Psychology in Oct 2013, I moved (for love) to the small rural town of Cobar, NSW. I started making desserts in November. As my partner worked crazy hours in the mines and as I had just started working in child protection, the baking became a little bit of a therapeutic outlet.
I started getting really serious about meringues (my specialty!) in March 2015 when we had moved to another rural NSW town called Gunnedah (to be closer to family). I saw an amazing photo of some meringues on Instagram that were made by the Meringue Girls in London. I thought they were so incredibly fun and colourful that I had to have a go!
Well, I tried, and tried, and tried with many failed attempts until I finally nailed the technique! I moved back to Brisbane in March 2015 and that is where Lucid Sweets just started growing – I put my Honours in Psychology on hold and have become an artisan meringue maker full-time!
On behalf of all sweet tooths out there, we’re glad you made that decision! What was it that inspired you to open a store?
I worked in the hospitality industry through high school and university, and have always dreamt of opening a café. I have developed a huge passion and love for creating delicious food and enjoying delicious food, and I think that’s something that needs to be shared!
My little brother Jack has also been inspiring me and giving me the confidence to do it because, in his words, “you’re going to kill it.” He has been a big inspiration and will also be helping me manage the shop.
He sounds like a great brother and we’re so glad he talked you into it! So what’s your cafe going to look like?
My café’s interior is actually being designed by my amazing cousin Annabelle from Lambie & Co. We are sticking to the theme of ‘bright’ as the word lucid actually means ‘to be bright and luminous.’ It’s going to be fun, open and a place where everyone feels comfortable.
We can’t wait to check it out. What are you going to be serving at your new cafe?
I will be serving a range of sweet and delicious treats – there will be meringue messes (for instance, my ‘Straight to the Thighs’ Meringue Mess will be chocolate meringues served with Nutella ganache, house-made honeycomb and banana), our famous meringue kisses that come in a range of flavours (you may even see some filled meringues), pavlovas, and medium meringues (vanilla bean dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with salted Macadamias). There will be another range of meringues appearing, but they’re a secret!
Mmm, put us down for one of everything! What’s your favourite item on the menu?
Hmmm, my favourite item on the menu would have to be the ‘Hey Jude’ Smashed Pavlova. Inspired by my beautiful nana, this smashed pavlova melts in your mouth – crumbled raspberry and passionfruit chewy meringue served with cream, Greek yoghurt and topped with fresh raspberries, passionfruit, house-made lemon curd and topped with toasted coconut! It’s the perfect balance as it’s not too sweet.
Wow, we’re speechless. That sounds so good! Where do you get your ideas and inspiration (for your sweet treats) from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from bright colours and other bakers. I love seeing other bakers on Instagram and thinking, ‘that is SO cool, imagine if I tried those colours on a meringue’.
So, as a true dessert queen, what’s your favourite dessert of all time?
This may sound strange, but I am actually not a huge dessert person. I would love a cheese platter for dessert any day of the week!
Nothing wrong with a good bit of cheese! Back onto meringues, though – do you have any tips to make the perfect meringue?
My main tips when it comes to the perfect meringue is always ensure that the egg whites are perfectly peaked before adding the sugar (you should be able to hold the bowl over your head without them falling all over you!), and make sure you add the sugar slowly tablespoon by tablespoon.
When the mixture has finally peaked, make sure there are no sugar crystals by running some between your fingers. If you can still feel some sugar crystals, keep whipping!
You’ve obviously practised quite a lot! When you’re tired of cooking, what are some places where you love to grab lunch/dinner/dessert?
I actually love cooking every meal so I don’t generally go out for dinner or lunch, however, I love going out for breakfast. My favourite place is the Little Corner Café, which is in Wooloowin. They have the best staff, best coffee and best avocado on a bagel you will find in the whole of Brisbane!
Do you have any advice for anyone in our audience who might be dreaming of opening their own cafe one day?
You will never know where life is going to take you. Roll with it. I always thought I was going to be a clinical psychologist, but here I am about to open a shop that specialises in meringues! “If you don’t build your own dream, somebody will hire you to build theirs”.
Lucid Sweets is set to open this April at 3/6 Railway Parade, Geebung. Check out their website for more information!