Just about every regular at the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market knows Lilit. The stall that features the Mount Ararat banner backs onto Mann Street. Each Saturday morning passers-by eye the magnificent display of unique cakes baked to her Armenian grandma’s recipes. Often they pause, mesmerised by the visual appeal of the display. Often they buy, diet forgotten.
Diet, shmiet…I’m on a ‘see-food’ diet. When I say that they smile and nod. The discerning decide to buy, at very reasonable prices, I might add. Regulars stop repeatedly for blinchik (savoury crepe with lean beef mince and caramelised onion, salt, pepper and rice), chicken schalmar wrap, orange cake, queen cake, apricot slice, paklava, eclair, lemon muffin, cream cone, or the special tortes, which vary each week and exist in almost infinite variety.
This week, on June 13, at around 10.30 am, Lilit will offer tips and tricks on cake making and decoration, in a special presentation that is not to be missed. Her aim is to offer a basic approach to improving upon the basic oven-baked torte. Each week Ararat’s special is a basic torte, enhanced by Lilit’s artistry, the basics of which were learnt from Grandma Anoush, who taught her to bake “with both hands and heart”.
Grandma Anoush was a remarkable woman, a survivor of incredible hardship and an inspiration to her numerous grandchildren, who are now spread around Europe, Russia and the USA … and here in the Adelaide Hills. Anoush’s recipes are from the Armenian heartland, but have universal application. Lilit has learnt well from her grandma. Her forte is to take the basic torte and find infinite ways to present and flavour it differently.
This Saturday she will honour the memory of Anoush and reveal some common sense, basic cake-finishing techniques that will have you wanting to know more. Your diet will remain “see-food” for at least one more week. Don’t miss it!
A sample of Lilit’s cakes