As the global demand for plant-based foods rises it is clear that following vegan or vegetarian diets are no longer just for “weirdos, hippies and activists” as was the stereotype before. Whether it be for environmental concerns, animal welfare or personal health many more people are choosing to embrace a plant-based lifestyle and with the demand at an all time high, brands like ourselves are creating more plant-based options.

You need only listen to the debate amongst friends, especially if you are part of the millennial generation, to realise that this is an issue as emotionally charged as debating religion and politics, and whilst you may feel strongly either way or sit on the fence – global warming, unethical farming practices and the rise of health concerns such as cancer and obesity are issues we face daily. Luckily in our modern world social media platforms have allowed us to have open debates and spaces for us to share our experiences and knowledge and we reached out to one such influential brand – Cape Town Vegan – and invited Garth and some of his friends to a Cake Party at our bakery to try out some of our new plant-based cakes and treats.

We initially dabbled in the world of vegan baking only as an in-store product with many customers asking for vegan or gluten free options. We researched and tested a few recipes until we found the perfect vegan and gluten free carrot cake which became more popular than expected, with even non-vegans loving it. We went on to create a vegan brownie and Hummingbird cake but it wasn’t until we reached out to Garth that we decided to make a concerted effort to experiment with this new baking trend. In the weeks leading up to our Cake Party we contacted our suppliers asking a question I am shocked I never thought to ask before, whether their products were vegan friendly. We compiled a list and started working on some new recipes discovering the amazing properties of Aquafaba in both our vegan macarons and Swiss meringue buttercream, and whilst Tessa would still like to know who thought of whipping up the liquid in a can of chickpeas, I guess we can equally wonder who thought to whip up the white of an egg? Ultimately we wanted to be able to create a cake that would rival any of our cakes on our website both in taste and look. In the end what we created was a moist decadent chocolate cake with a rich fudge filling, an Aquafaba Swiss Meringue Icing, dark chocolate ganache drip and topped with fresh berries, rosemary, Lindt chocolate and a hint of glamorous gold leaf. We also tested a lighter vanilla cake with Aquafaba Swiss meringue buttercream decorated with an edible print and home made vegan sprinkles. The vanilla cake was not as rich as the chocolate cake which is perfect for those who prefer a lighter alternative and I think is going to be an amazing base cake for many wonderful flavours going forward.

On 1st November, World Vegan Day, our Cake Party took place at our bakery with Garth, Jessica – The Green Dietician, Donovan – ProVegSA, Leozette Roode – Author: The South African Vegan Cookbook and Vegan Guide Cape Town. Garth proved to be such a kind and generous individual. It was always a pleasure working with him as we explored our new baking adventure. Garth went out of his way to be helpful to us as we bounced ideas off him and I think the work he does with brands looking to explore creating plant-based alternatives is wonderful and certainly a move in the right direction. It really was a pleasure hosting all of you.

Keep an eye out as we delve further into the world of vegan baking but in the meantime we already have four great options for you so head on over to our Vegan Range to order a plant-based alternative for your next celebration.


It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already in our new store in Milnerton, it felt like just yesterday we were rushing to open our doors with construction still going on around us, but here we are, one year later and so incredibly thankful for the amazing year it has been. We’ve been fortunate to welcome new customers into our store, open our doors and hearts to new employees who are now part of the Tessa’s family and have each grown in leaps and bounds in creativity, business and life.

The truth is without our valuable customers we wouldn’t be where we are today and so we thought a little celebration is in order. This month we will be running specials each week online and in store, so keep your eyes on our social media platforms to find out what our weekly gift to you will be. Specials will be run online using the Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY.

Hip Hip Hooray!

7 – 14 JULY – 20% OFF CLASSIC CAKES {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}

16 – 21 JULY – 20% OFF CHEESECAKES AND TARTS {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}

23 – 31 JULY – 20% OFF CELEBRATION CAKES {Online Purchases Only using Coupon Code FIRSTBIRTHDAY at Checkout}

 


Our journey to motherhood is each unique, sometimes it catches us by surprise when we least expect it, sometimes it comes at just the right time in life when everything is in place, and sometimes the journey is long and hard with a lot of heartache along the way, but no matter the road we travel the moment we hear their first cries, the moment we hold them and get to look into their beautiful eyes is the moment our life changes forever, in that moment our purpose in life takes on a new meaning. Motherhood is a journey of sacrifice, selflessness, trials and tribulations, triumphs and failures all intertwined with unconditional love. It’s also in becoming a mom that we realise how much our own mom loves us, that we truly appreciate their worth.

Our moms are our first best friends, their unconditional love can be felt in every little thing they do for us, from kissing our booboos, cooking our favourite meals to tucking us in at night. They show us strength, love and vulnerability, they are there for us every step of the way, from our first words, our first day at school, our first heartbreak, no one will ever be able to take their place.

This Mother’s Day we got to spoil moms with a few sweet initiatives we were happy to be involved in.

Bostik wanted to give kids the chance to use their imagination and create a gift for moms that was extra special this Mother’s Day. One that had their own personal touch and charm, so moms would know just how loved and special they are. So, Bostik armed kids with the tools and set them off to work. Introducing the Bostik Mother’s Day Cupcake Project. Kids were asked to create the best cupcake they could think of using Bostik Crayons, Glitter Glue and Paint Twisters. Cupcakes were highly imaginative – there were tall cupcakes, skew cupcakes, cupcakes decorated with rainbow colours, and ones with never seen before creatures. We were thrilled to be involved in the project and brought the children’s imagination to life. The children were very excited to hand their gifts over to their moms. Some moms even shed a few tears. Everything is sweeter when it’s made with love and a little imagination. The Bostik Mother’s Day Cupcake Project was filmed by 7Films. Take a look; it will melt your heart.

We were also approached by CANSA TLC to donate a cake to the mommies in the children’s ward. They were going to be spoilt with a mini pamper session and cake and tea afterwards. We continue to support CANSA TLC and were delighted to be able to donate a beautiful Mother’s Day sheet cake to the mommies whose world have been turned upside down by this horrible disease. We wish and pray for a speedy recovery for each of the beautiful kids in the Tygerberg Hospital Paediatric Cancer Unit.


Finally we donated a bunch of treats for a Mother’s Day Breakfast hosted by Aidan’s Party Fairies for 35 grannies within the community. Have a look at their Facebook page to get involved in this local NPO who lends a helping hand to struggling families in the community.

 


We are always excited to get a call from Afternoon Express, and when they called on us again for the third time to bake them a cake for their second birthday and appear on the show, we were more than happy to oblige, after all at Tessa’s we are big on birthdays!

We decided on a two tier Macaron Cake, layers of fudgey dense chocolate cake with macarons sandwiched between the layers and decorated in a blue and purple watercolour design buttercream icing. Our Head Pastry Chef Cherise appeared on the show and put the finishing touches on the cake with the help of the presenters and the crew devoured the cake after the show.

Thank you Afternoon Express for allowing us to be a part of your second birthday celebrations, you are now officially a toddler.


It’s hard to believe that after only four years we have outgrown a bakery that seemed so big in comparison to the little home kitchen we used to work in. It was a big step to move from our home to a business premises, and now we are taking the next big step.

When we moved into our Montague Gardens Bakery there were only 6 of us. Over the years we have grown, adding valuable members to our “bakery family” and today our family has grown to 18 and we are bursting at the seams in our current bakery.

It was clear we needed to find a new home and after a successful poll Milnerton/Tableview came out tops and so the hunt began for the perfect home. We looked at many options but the minute we walked into the Milpark premises we knew we had found the perfect home. Easily accessible off Koeberg Road it gave us the best of both worlds, a factory space to bake lots of yummy cakes from but also a retail element where you will be able to grab a cup of coffee and a cupcake. We will be part of an exiting redevelopment of Milpark and won’t divulge much more than to say it is going to be simply A-MA-ZING! The new premises is close to 500 sqm and will boast a trendy retail space, where you will still be able to smell the aroma of yummy cakes baking fresh in the oven. We will also have a cake tasting and consulting room where you will be able to sit and chat to our cake designers about the perfect show stopper at your next event. We have plenty of surprises in store for you at our new bakery and we cannot wait to welcome you into the new space in March 2017.

Of course none of this would have been possible without the amazing support we have received over the years from our customers, some of whom have become friends of ours and shared in our lives and ups and downs the last few years. We cannot begin to thank you enough, you have made our dreams come true.

Keep your eyes on our social media platforms as we share this journey and dream with you over the next few months.

Much Love

Tessa, George, Des & Annie

xxxx