21 Dec 2020

The One Lamington to Rule Them All

From Voices, 9:00 am on 21 December 2020

New Zealand’s latest Guinness World Record holders know the sweet taste of success thanks to a massive lamington, weighing more than 2700 kilograms, topped with 200 kilograms of jam, 200 kilograms of coconut and literally buckets of chocolate sauce.

2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year for Farhan and Zeenat Sattar, co-owners of Creative Edge Food Company, a bespoke wholesale bakery that supplies goods to cafes around the country.

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Zeenat Sattar (left) with Creative Edge head chef and Farhan Sattar (right) Photo: RNZ/Liz Garton

At the beginning of the year, Farhan Sattar set himself a goal.

“He goes, I want creative to be known internationally,” said Zeenat, “I'm like, okay. We didn't know how that would happen.”

“But yeah, it happened.” adds Farhan.

It all happened after they were approached by Suzanne Cannell, founder of Cook’s Night Off.

“She was just looking for someone to bake some slabs and I'm like, this is pretty exciting,” said Zeenat.

Others donated ingredients and the team at Creative Edge donated their time and expertise.

“We just got more and more involved with it,” said Zeenat, “And then my dad, who's a naval architect got involved in designing the lamington, how we would lay the layers on so they wouldn't collapse.”

They had other incentives to get involved too, like beating the previous record holders.

“Our lamingtons are quite popular, we sell a lot of them and, you know, what better way to celebrate (that) and beat the Aussies,” she said.

“That was definitely one of the selling points,” added Farhan, “I got my New Zealand citizenship last year. So now I'm a kiwi. So it was time to be the Aussies.”

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Photo: RNZ/Liz Garton

Farhan is originally from Bradford in the north of England, while Zeenat was born in India but moved to New Zealand when she was 12. After getting married, they lived in England for several years, but Zeenat wanted their children to be raised here.

Both have quite scientific educations, Farhan has a bachelor's in human genetics, while Zeenat studied computer science and pharmacology and has her masters in health research.

They both believe this has helped with their current line of work.

“People say baking is an art,” said Farhan, “Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. It's like a chemistry experiment, you've got to follow the steps. If you don't follow steps. It won't come right.”

There are a lot more steps when you’re dealing with a massive lamington and their World Record attempt was not without its moments. Their first load of sponge slabs, which were being transported to Sylvia Park by truck, fell over.

Luckily they were tightly wrapped and only a couple were damaged.

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Photo: RNZ/Liz Garton

“We just hid them in the middle,” said Zeena, “(And) we very quickly learned how to put the trolleys in and secure them.”

In the end, they didn’t just beat the previous record (2300 kilograms, held by the Aussies) they smashed it.

The lamington was cut up on the day and given out for a gold coin donation. The funds raised and the leftover care all went to charity.

Both said taking down the lamington was actually the hardest part.

“We didn't realise,” said Zeenat, “We went on and on. We were there till one o'clock in the morning, just cutting all the lamingtons out,”

Afterwards they were exhausted and hungry. They’d been so busy building the cake they hadn’t eaten all day. So they went out and celebrated.

“We were wearing t-shirts covered with chocolate sauce and sitting in Greenlane McDonald's at two in the morning,” laughed Farhan. 

The couple are rightly proud of their achievement and for Zeenat the record sends a really important message to their three young daughters.

“It's something it's put in their mind. We can do anything. You know, mum's broken the world record. So, you know, nothing's impossible.”