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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Yellow Chick Cupcakes

Easter is coming up and it is so great to see what other baker-bloggers are up to. I have to add that some of the idea’s are so out of the box, cute and original I just have to Reblog and share. Hopefully you will gain some inspiration and nifty tips for your own baked Easter treats.

Happy Baking

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Cupcakepedia

chicks, yellow chicks, easter chicks, Easter_Cupcakes, dessert, cupcakes, carrot, easter, holiday, buttercream, frosting, cupcake

Say ‘Chick’ with these adorable Easter Yellow Chick Cupcakes and you can even learn a step by step tutorial of how to make these Easter cupcakes. How good is that? Birds nest, yellow chicks, and pink, aqua, white Easter eggs. Plus the bamboo bird nest. Easter feels right in front of my eyes, right this moment. Get your basic vanilla cupcakes ready, let’s go on a creative trip of how to make these Easter chicks.

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Real Bargain Buys

Here in South Africa the cost of living is really high and we generally pay a great deal more for products at our local store than say those of you in the US or UK. The kind of things I’m talking about range from fresh produce (fruit/veg), Meats, your all purpose loaf = breads… to cooking/baking products – pots/pans/bowls, electronic cooking/baking devices (large or small).

However purchasing these from specialized stores dedicated to selling only these products, such as butchers or bakers or organic markets or specialized baking or cooking stores often double the cost of these already costly items. We also don’t have the discount coupons, be it monthly or weekly, but we are very recently starting to slowly introduce the buy-one get-one free concept; which has been around in other countries for years.

Before I get bashed for rambling on, let me get to my point, which is that this high cost of living really affects a craftee such as myself who enjoys dabbling in the creative world… we definitely pay a premium for this; by default I hope.

Creative Minds

But brace yourselves I have found the silver lining… it’s a little self serving, but hey, if not why not. I know there are millions of activists that would have my head for this, but some of the knock off products being imported from the Asia market work just as well, if not better. It would probably be a great time to say: “I am making specific reference to the baking tools and accessories – which also are not items responsible for any child labor and aren’t animal tested”.

Half my “ChinaTown” collection

In the past 3 years here in Cape Town specifically, we have seen a huge increase in the Asian population and with this the building of the “China Town” Malls.

China comes to Cape Town

When my sister and I plan to go to one of these mall’s we put a whole day aside, wear flat shoes and prepare our selves for a haul (shopping spree) of note. As you can find anything and or everything under the sun – it is also a really fond reminder of our trip to Thailand in 2011 and love that we can now have Green-tea to our hearts content.

Asian Food Store

The food stuff you find at the grocery stores are amazingly full of flavor – I generally stick to the things I tried and tested whilst in Thailand, however on the odd occasion I am known to be a little more daring with my choices

The Mall

Majority of my baking goods I have purchased from a China Town store – either from the one at sable square (Tigerhof) or in Ottery. The other baking store I generally frequent is The Baking Tin, also in Ottery or the online store YuppieChef (You’ll see their badge in my side bar). I admit that I would much rather prefer to purchase my goods from a reputable company, however it does come down to price and trends change so often it’s easier to keep up if you don’t deplete the baking budget with one purchase.

The other fact I’ve noticed is that, because certain crafts such as baking is picking up so fast, a lot of the specialized stores also carry the brands I purchase from China Town at 100% mark-up or more. The other trend I see is that our local super markets are starting to sell imported brands, such as Wilton and Betty Crocker. The Wilton is very expensive… I only purchase that when it’s on sale; the Betty Crocker is inexpensive and great quality for the price.

Cupcake cups... ChinaTown, Mr. Price Home and Wilton

Cupcake cups… ChinaTown, Mr. Price Home and Wilton

Betty Crocker 101 Cookie Cutters and Frosting Decorating Set

Betty Crocker 101 Cookie Cutters and Frosting Decorating Set

Frosting Decorating set - Mr. Price Home

Frosting Decorating set – Mr. Price Home

I like my Betty Crocker set more as it came with additional accessories at the same cost

I like my Betty Crocker set more as it came with additional accessories at the same cost

Cookie LetterPress Set - YuppieChef

Cookie LetterPress Set – YuppieChef

Themed Plunger-Cutter set - ChinaTown

Themed Plunger-Cutter set – ChinaTown

Assortment of plunger cutters - ChinaTown

Assortment of plunger cutters – ChinaTown

So my eyes are always looking out for a great bargain and if I find it in my local store I’ll google the brand, check the pound or dollar price versus the rand and if it’s good I’ll go back and get it there; but in the same breath if I can get what I need from China Town at half the price… it’ll totally be my go to store.

I hope you enjoyed the post and my little China Town find…

快乐烘焙

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…I’m finally putting it out there

I decided at the beginning of the year that I was really going to put my product and my brand out there… so that is exactly what I did.

Car Boot Sale_Market Day

Before I say anything more I really do just have to thank my awesomely amazing family for their constant support. You are all my heart and soul and when I think of the negatives that so often creep in I remind myself of the love and kind words you always have, could not have come this far without you – Thank you!!!!

Follow her Fashion Blog at  http://bambilegs.wordpress.com

Follow her Fashion Blog at http://bambilegs.wordpress.com

So my sister/fashion Blogger/Photographer did an awesome job at capturing the moment and I know I don’t have much before pictures, but I promise now that I have my hands-free mixer I will make more effort to take some step-by-step images as well as beautifully laid out pictures of the finished product… like all the other bloggers I follow do. I also really want to post tutorial of some of my baked goods… so watch that space.

Car Boot Sale

The market/car boot sale that I used for  trading is one close to home and is open for trade only on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

I think the great thing about this market is that the money paid for your day traders licence goes to a noble charity, namely S.A.R.D.A (South African Riding for the Disabled Association). 

 I was introduced to this organization through my mom and the work she does as a teacher for the special needs.  If you are keen to learn more about the organization or would like to help out, their web address is http://sarda.co.za/

So for the items I intended on selling I decided to draft a list of all the usual suspects ie: hot favorites for the Cape Town crowd; and through the process of elimination select a few varieties from there.

Carrot, Chocolate-Cherry and Vanilla-Strawberry Cupcakes

I promise you it was crazy as I had so many idea’s in my mind, but eventually I went with a chocolate cupcake with a double twist, a vanilla cupcake 1 way, the famous carrot cupcakes with cream cheese/lemon frosting and mini apple and milk tarts… to show her support my mom baked biscuits to add to the list.

Chocolate Ganache with Cherry Frosting

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache center with a cherry butter cream frosting

Chocolate Cherry and Vanilla Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes with a cherry compote center and a chocolate ganache frosting and vanilla cupcakes with strawberry compote center and a strawberry butter-cream frosting

Apple and Custard Tartlets

Mini Apple and Custard Tartlets

I started baking around 7:00am and probably finished a few minutes short of mid-night. I hear some of you saying CRAZY…. but I had so much fun. I set my laptop on Myspace and created a compilation play list of French cafe, Latin contemporary and of course some country music. Singing along and baking my heart out.

The excitement kept me going whilst trading at the market, and all in all I think it was a great day. The weather was awesome, and although I didn’t attract as many customers as I had hoped; despite making some good profit, I am sure it will get better with every try. The ultimate goal is to begin establishing a data base of customers who order regularly so I can slowly begin to move my baking from hobby status to  full time business.

View of the mountain from the market

View of the mountain from the market

A very proud Me

A very proud Me

Table delights

Table delights

The next trade date is the 16 March 2013… bring some cash and a keen eye for a great bargain. I really hope to see you all there.

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Birthday Surprise

Happy Birthday

… Nope it was not my birthday, but it was my husband’s. A while ago now actually (February), but as always I’ve just been a little preoccupied with work so haven’t had a chance to share what we did.

I was stressed out and in such a panic about what to get my husband as a gift. The funniest thing is that when we were dating I always had the most creative gift idea’s and I was able to surprise him. However now that we live under one roof it really is so difficult. So instead of going it solo we did a family dinner where the load of the “surprise” burden was carried by all.


My dad made the arrangements for the small, but rather thoughtful gift as well as dinner for just my parents, my sister and the two of us. I invited a few friends we usually see on the day and some family, to a after dinner cake and tea at our house… nothing huge. The idea was for it all to be one big surprise.

Husband's Birthday Dinner

Husband’s Birthday Dinner

Awesome evening

Awesome evening

But alas, the surprise did not work out the way we would have hoped at all… my dad was just so excited he kinda gave the surprise away and my husband – well he played along with a huge smile and a unforgettable laugh.

The restaurant we went to is called “Jamaica Me Crazy”  they not only have great food, but an awesome vibe. The people are laid back and friendly and lucky for us it just so happened to be Bob Marley’s birthday on the same day so cocktails were half price. We really enjoyed the evening and after all the planning the day finally arrived.

For the tea and cake I made a milk tart which is my husbands ultimate favorite and a moist layer chocolate cake…

Birthday Chocolate layer cake and a large milk/custard tart

Birthday Chocolate layer cake and a large milk/custard tart

Just to add I managed to pull off my part of the for as long as the first guest arrived at our house, but all in all he was happy and swore it was the best birthday ever.

Friends and Family enjoying Birthday Cake Cont

Friends and Family enjoying Birthday Cake

Thanks so much to all of you who made it, especially since it was a week night… and for those that didn’t, there’s always next year.

Happy Baking

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