A love of French style desserts has led one insurance broker to an experiences of a lifetime on Channel Seven’s latest cooking show, Zumbo’s Just Desserts.

“It was incredible experience. Once in a lifetime really,” says Alison King, insurance broker with Capital Insurance Brokers. “I never ever in my life thought I’d be cooking for [Adriano] Zumbo and Rachel Khoo. It was a great experience to have my creations critiqued by them and that allows me to become a better dessert maker.

“They are not intimidating but it was still scary.”

The competition sees 12 dessert makers battle it out to impress the dessert king himself, Adriano Zumbo, and UK celebrity cook Rachel Khoo to win $100,000.

Pretty much a self-taught dessert chef, King already has a side business – Le Petite Miette – making wedding and birthday cakes and French pastries. But she was still surprised when she got the call.

“One of my colleagues told me about it – everyone in the office knows I loved desserts – so I applied online and heard back within two hours. It happened really fast and I was not expecting it at all.”

She says she has no specialty and enjoys making different things. “I love making French style cakes – working with different textures and flavours, for example, with mousses and sponges, and incorporating chocolate.”

King also likes making macaroons – something the patissier Zumbo is famous for.

While the experience was outside her comfort zone, she admits, it is something she’d do again. “The highlight was walking into the dessert factory for the first time and seeing the studio and being like a little kid in a candy shop,” King recalls.

As for the future?

“Watch this space – I love this industry that I work in but I’d like to be able to incorporate my love of desserts as well.”

Zumbo Just Desserts airs on Monday nights on Channel 7.