In preparation for our long weekend away at Piekenierskloof with the Montgomery Clan this weekend, Chantelle thought it a great idea to bake some biscuits for the trip. What made it an even better idea was that she decided that this was the perfect opportunity to bring Jess in on the fun as well!
Needless to say, Jessica was super excited to help out Mommy in the kitchen, and once that apron was on there was no stopping her, nor her enthusiasm! Lots of fun was had, and as a cherry on the top – the biscuits came out awesome!
Right. So what was formerly my braai and gaming room already features no television and no couch, three table surfaces and no chairs, two fridges, two chest freezers, wall shelving and a big storage cupboard, meaning that the only thing left on the list in order to transform it proper into a super home baking environment was a big oven.
Well not anymore my friend, not anymore.
Last week I extended my investment into Chantelle’s booming Cookies & Cakes venture by heading out to Tafelberg Furnishers in Somerset West and purchasing for her a nice and big, Defy 831 Multi-function Thermofan oven (R8,000), a major step up from the little Defy kitchen oven that she currently has to make do with!
Having done the measurements and planning up front, basically what this means is that she can immediately jump from baking 24 cupcakes in twenty minutes right up to 72 per twenty minutes by running both ovens simultaneously, with that number potentially increasing by another 24 should we be able to source a third rack for the new oven. So a massive increase in production then which in turn should help her churn out her existing orders in record time, never mind the fact that we now have the extra capacity to go out and pick up some additional supply work as well.
Her dad Monty (who has probably worked with electricity for more years than what I’ve been alive) and I installed the oven on Saturday afternoon, setting up the oven and isolation switch directly under the distribution board (which happens to sit in the braai room – mainly because in the blueprints the space was originally the garage), thus making the job a lot easier than what it could perhaps have been, and I have to say, the whole operation was a lot smoother and simpler than what I had anticipated anyway – plus I learned a great deal in the process! :)
Anyway, the oven is awesome, Chantelle is happy, and I can finally stop worrying about what would happen to Chantelle if her one and only oven had packed up in the middle of a big order.
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And the first thing Chantelle baked in it? A big batch of tasty macaroons of course! :)
Sacred Ground ordered so many cupcakes for their big launch event that Chantelle had no other choice but to rope in the helping hands of Retha (who just happened to be spending a few nights with us at the time, fresh from Spain)!
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So a little earlier this month, wifey Chantelle got her game on and went ahead and launched her homemade treats as gifts business (just in time for Christmas!), which I then went and duly dubbed Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes after deciding that she needed a website to support her new venture.
So why Chantelle’s Cookies and Cakes as a name then? One, it describes pretty accurately what Chantelle is doing and two, her previous venture back when she was fresh and just starting out had been called Chantelle’s Cuisine, so this just seemed kind of apt.
Pleasingly, she seems to like it.
She’s already taken a couple of orders which is pretty exciting, and after being “forced” to do some quality assurance after I convinced her she needs to make trial batches in order to get the pricing right and so that I could get some pictures for the site, I’m happy to announce that if you have a sweet tooth or are keen on giving someone something pretty awesome this festive season (or any other time for that matter), then you should certainly give Chantelle a shout at email@example.com!
So far the pricelist includes such decadent delights as chocolate truffles, chocolate-dipped turkish delight, chocolate brownies, real butter shortbread, peanut butter cookies and outydse soetkoekies.
And yes, I can indeed vouch for them all in terms of quality and taste! ;)
So yeah, now you know.
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(And for the record, the website is coming along quite nicely, though there are still a lot of tweaks and whatnot I need to give it under the hood before I’m completely happy with it. But at least it is up and running, populated and ready to inform, just as a website should be!)
Related Link: http://www.cookiesandcakes.co.za
Chantelle baked scones – and made delicious burgers completely from scratch! Yummy! :)
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