Have a #CupcakeForMyHero to Spread Hope

I am DEFINITELY going to be supporting this particularly delicious initiative for sure – and I have a loooong list of heroes I will be writing on my hand!
Get yourself to Brooklyn Mall this weekend to support their campaign!

Cancer is primarily seen as an adult disease, however more and more children are being diagnosed. If detected early it is highly treatable, but locally it is estimated that less than half of children with cancer are diagnosed, and many of those who are diagnosed are in advanced stages of illness.

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This Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, Mugg & Bean will construct a Wall of Generosity to bring South Africans together in support of those who have been affected by cancer at Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria on 24 and 25 September 2016.
Each visitor will receive a complimentary cupcake from the wall and be asked to write down the name of their ‘cancer hero’ – someone they know who has battled cancer – on their hand, and then pose for a picture holding up the cupcake with the other hand.

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“We want to create something special where everyone can come together to spread hope; hope for those who have been affected, for those who are battling the disease and hope for the future,” said Lee-Ann Cullingworth, Marketing Executive for Mugg & Bean.
“By driving the conversation, we hope to raise awareness of the early warning signs to equip South Africans with the knowledge to identify possible symptoms and act quickly to ultimately save lives.”

The Wall of Generosity forms part of Mugg & Bean’s annual Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer initiative in support of Cupcakes of HOPE that aims to raise awareness and funds for families in need of assistance. #CupcakesForHope 

In addition to bringing together a community of supporters, Mugg & Bean also introduced a lemon meringue cupcake to its menu for the month of September 2016. The sweet treat is offering consumers a simple way to help change and save lives – all proceeds generated from the cupcake sales will be donated to Cupcakes of HOPE.

“We’ve surpassed our 2015 donation of R100,000 within the first week,” says Cullingworth. “We’re humbled by the phenomenal response and honoured to be part of such a worthy cause.”

To support Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer, enjoy your lemon meringue #CupcakeForMyHero at any Mugg & Bean, upload your picture of support using the hashtag to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, spread the generosity by donating to the cause or visit The Wall of Generosity on 24 – 25 September between 09:00 – 17:00 at Brooklyn Mall.

My New Favourite Mixing Bowls!

I was given a set of these bowls for my birthday by a friend, and within days they had replaced my “usual” mixing bowls as my favourites and I asked my friend where she had found them so I could go and get another set!

click, love to bake, mixing bowls

They’re available exclusively from Clicks in their Love To Bake range, and I now have a brightly coloured set and a pastel coloured set!

There are 4 bowls in the set for just R95, and here’s what I love about them:

  • They have a wide pouring lip on one side.
  • They have a handle the other side so you can hold it easily while you’re mixing or pouring.
  • They’re lightweight so even when they’re full, lifting and pouring is easy.
  • They are microwave and dishwasher safe.
  • They don’t stain – food colouring is potent stuff you know!
  • They’re deep so you don’t splatter batter or icing everywhere.
  • The base of the bowl is rounded so you don’t get batter stuck in the corners and they are easy to scrape!

They’re just plain fabulous I think!

As per my Lady Bloggers pledge – I am clearly stating here that I was not asked or paid to write any blog posts about Clicks stores or products.
I paid for my bowls just like everybody else does!

All About @MyCakeDecoSA!

When this weekly baking magazine first appeared in the shops I was intrigued as to what would make it different to the 30 other cake and cupcake decorating books and magazines in the shops. I bought the first one thinking that R39,90 for a magazine AND a decorating tool was a bargain but I was skeptical that they would continue to sell for R39,90 since thats not normally how it works.
Then when I looked again issue #4 was on the shelves! I had missed issues #2 and #3, and they were STILL R39,90 each!
It was then that I realised it came out weekly and the hunt for my missing issues began. I was thrilled when I found them, and before I knew it I had the first seven books WITH the free cake decorating tool that comes with each magazine.

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While I was waiting for issue #8 (in the beginning they were hard to find if you didn’t act fast) I realised that if I didn’t want to miss one again I would have to subscribe. My mommy darling then offered to pay for the first 3 months as a birthday gift to me, and I went ahead with a proper subscription.
I got my first set of books in the mail (I started at issue #8, ‘coz if you already have some of the magazines you have the option not to start at #1 if you don’t have to), then the second set arrived, and then the third set didn’t… And didn’t… And didn’t…
So I took a chance and messaged Cake Decorating via their Facebook page, and they replied! I told them I was waiting for issues 16 – 19 and that it was a month late, and VOILA – they dispatched a new set to replace the missing one!
By the way, this was when I opted to start paying the extra fee to get a tracking number- the SA Post Office has let me down too many times in the past.

I was seriously impressed with their level of customer service, considering how many subscriptions they must be dealing with!

I now have 2 files filled with issues up to #27 (#22 was out of stock) and a steadily expanding set of good quality cake decorating tools to add to the ones I’ve spent years buying.

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What are the perks of subscribing?

  • You never miss an issue!
  • Free delivery (unless you opt for a tracking number for a small additional fee).
  • Free gifts over the course of your subscription.
  • Exceptional value for money, in my humble opinion.
  • The magazines you receive are available to view online.
  • The cake decorating tools are good quality.
  • The tutorials in the magazines are beautifully explained and illustrated.
  • If you need to, you can opt out without any issues.

I also opted to receive the “special” issues- Easter, Mothers Day, Christmas and so on. These are not part of the numbered series and are usually more expensive than the weekly books but they come with additional decorating tools! This year’s Easter book came with 3 flower shaped cookie cutters, a silicone flower embosser, a butterfly stencil set AND a little box with which to present the tulip-shaped cookies!
Talk about value for money!

I am super impressed and I intend to collect them for as long as they are printed.

You can find and follow Cake Decorating on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

As per my Lady Bloggers pledge – I am clearly stating here that I was not asked or paid to write any blog posts about My Cake Decorating.
I am paying for my magazine subscription just like everybody else does!

Holiday Baking!

Even when I’m on holiday I bake! Its something I love to do so I think its fun.

It has gotten rather expensive to bake for fun though, so when I have a chance to try something different without breaking the bank, I go for it!

This December holiday, I visited the Southdowns Mall Deeghuys store to get something my mom-in-law wanted, and I was smitten. They have an unbelievable range of frozen pastries that can be thawed and baked at home!
Copenhagens, cheese burger pies, custard slices, all kinds of bread rolls, cookies, pizzas, breads, cakes… I didn’t know what I wanted to try first, and they are so reasonable priced! I bought a bag of 20 frozen chocolate croissants for my MIL for R72!
I eventually settled on a roll of double chocolate frozen cookie dough, mini frozen custard Danishes, and frozen focaccias – spending less than R200, including the croissants!

Today I defrosted and then baked a focaccia – topping it with cherry tomatoes, caramelised onions and caramelised peppers. I completely forgot to add the feta cheese I’d bought!
It was easy, it rose beautifully – I defrosted it for four and a half hours, in which time it more than doubled in size!

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I then squished it flat and spread it out with my fingers (I’ll roll it out a little more next time), pressed the already cooled onions, peppers, and uncooked, halved cherry tomatoes into the raw batter, and put it in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.

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It was delicious! It’ll be even better with the cheese on and next time I’ll bake it for about 10 minutes before I put the toppings on. Ooh, and I’ll roast the tomatoes in Balsamic vinegar a little first.

And the best part – I still have 4 frozen focaccias in the freezer! I’ll be doing a few more for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the family.

I must just state – as per my Lady Bloggers pledge – that I was not asked or paid to write any blog posts about Deeghuys. I went there of my own accord, and I purchased the frozen goodies to experiment with using my husband’s Christmas bonus!

I Used A @Pillsbury Moist Supreme Chocolate Cake Mix…

And I made a Pinterest-inspired “poke cake” with it!

For our Christmas Day family lunch, I was in charge of dessert, and thanks to a gift box of goodies from Pillsbury, I made cookies with @Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix, and… AND! I used the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Chocolate Cake Mix to make a “poke cake“!

People, let me tell you, a poke cake is a ridiculously divine and easy pudding and everybody enjoyed it!

The cake is baked in one sheet in a big flat oven dish, and when its cool you use a wooden spoon handle to poke nicely spaced holes in your cake- the more holes, the more pudding you will need!
Then you pour instant pudding- in the flavour of your choice- into the holes and over the top of the cake, and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to serve it you cover the top with whipped cream and serve!

So here’s mine. I baked the cake on Christmas Eve and refrigerated it, and by the way, I love how the different baking options are explained on the back of the box- sheet, cake pans and cupcakes with the baking times!
pillsbury moist supreme chocolate cake mixI mixed up the chocolate cake as per the instructions on the box,
and then poured it into my big, rectangular, well greased casserole dish, and baked it as per the instructions on the box.

Once it was baked, I allowed it to cool without taking it out of the dish, then used a wooden spoon to poke evenly-spaced holes in the cake (the following picture already has pudding poured over it).
Then you mix up a batch of instant pudding, and before it sets you pour it into the holes and over the cake. The more holes you make, the more pudding you’ll need- I needed almost two boxes of pudding for my cake!
I chose butterscotch flavoured instant pudding but chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, strawberry – any flavour would have gone well with the chocolate cake!

Then when we got ready to serve dessert, I covered the top with chilled, tinned, whipped cream and sprinkled chocolate chips over the cream.