Back to basics – #Cupcakes

The resurgence of the cupcake’s popularity in the past decade has made it a must-have at birthday parties, bridal showers, stork parties, weddings, hen paries (cue rude, anatomically correct, male body parts) and  larny corporate canteens.

In fact, a few years ago, this #foodie ‘fad’ whipped right out of hand and suddenly there were #cupcake shops on every corner and renowned chefs – heck, even domestic goddesses – were bringing out glossy recipe books and dedicating entire TV cooking show seasons to the art of creating the perfect cake-in-some-fancy-paper!

This party-pleaser was originally a bite of vanilla sponge (chocolate if you had been good) smeared with sickly sweet icing in Mom’s colour of the day and served at kid’s parties. Snotty toddlers on sugar highs would then lick off the offensive icing  take a bite of the cake and abandon the leftovers in the dirt under the swing for Rover.

Grey High School #koekntee

Grey High School #koekntee

Suddenly this sweet treat evolved into an ‘adult’ anomaly, with celebrity status – and would be the showstopper at any soireé, if you were a half-decent hostess. New, divine flavours unheard of by the common ‘housewife’ , popped onto the scene….from Salted almond brittle and creme brulee to #Tiramusu-with-a-twist.

Competition was fierce and everyone wanted a bite of the action. Non-bakers took classes, TV channels aired 24/7 in every home and even gym bunnies got fat.

These kitchen creations  were bedecked and bedazzled with pedigreed frosting and  (in)edible sugar trinkets that most kids refused to eat or, ironically, would prove to be a serious choking hazard. I will not digress further by going into the cost and logistics of trying to evacuate a fondant fuschia flower out of an eleven year old’s ear.

Of course, as each baker tried to outdo the next, win a car or create  life-like English roses with an ombré effect, the cost per cupcake soared. We lost perspective and common sense. We focussed on looks (colour, bling and expensive casings); and forgot about the inside – the CAKE bit. So the whole fad became a rather unpalatable affair and even avid cupcake converts began to wonder if it was not a tasteless facáde as plenty of these showpieces lacked substance. There was no real value on the inside.
At Tolbos, we have learnt that what is in a cupcake is definitely just as important as what’s on top. We use generous, tried-and-tested recipes. The sponge is soft, fluffy and full of flavour.

Ask for our fresh bakes daily.

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Then we changed gears at #Tolbos

By – Carin Scheepers

My move back to the #Gamtoos Valley from #Stellenbosch where I had been studying, working, cheffing, appreciating fine #wines – and living a pretty exciting, metropolitan life – served as the catalyst for the positive forward-thinking decisions and change that would bring #Tolbos storming at top gear into 2017.

The past year has flown by in a few blinks and since May 2016, our little #Tolbos ‘padstal’ evolved from a traditional, #South African country shop into a sleek, contemporary Bistro, Deli and Info stop en-route to the world-famous #Baviaanskloof.

There was revving of engines, breakdowns, gnashing of teeth, tears and torrential outbursts – but we are now firmly on the right path.

When Toska Joubert, former co-owner of the shop accepted my offer of a buy-out which would make me a partner with my mom, Hetsie Scheepers, the grafting started in earnest. Because #Tolbos had been established in 1988 as the first farm stall in the #Patensie area, we were fortunate to have a good, solid foundation to build on.

We introduced new logo’s to go along with our new image; refurbished much of the interior; added luxuries to improve the comfort of our customers; developed the #kiddies’ play area; introduced new stock items; extended our selection of fine #wines … and our #trading hours. The updated #menu includes the popular to-share snack platters as well as good old favourites – after all, we aim to please!

Everything became ‘official’ with the launch party held in August 2016. Every month brings new challenges and exciting developments but there’s always time for sun downer and a bit of local chit-chat around our cosy fire..


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