There is just something about the tantalising aroma of something sweet baking in the oven. And the sight of seeing someone who is gifted with their hands, measuring, sifting and just checking that all her ingredients are in order before she readies to bake a sweet something special in the oven.
The aroma of a muffin, a scone, biscuit or even a scone attracts even those on diet or fasting! On a Saturday afternoon, Style visited a versatile woman who has taken her hobby for baking to extraordinary heights.
Thembile Legwaila is busy in the kitchen prepping two batches of red velvet cake, the big one and a mini one.
She is not willing to part with the recipe but willingly offers to share other recipes. Although this recipe was at some point featured in one of South Africa’s monthly magazines, she is not budging. When the little cakes are all ready and done complemented with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, there’s absolutely nothing left behind. The only thing that you can focus on at that very moment is the melting bite after bite that will tempt one to forget that they were supposedly on a diet. The cream, a fresh take on frosting, is something else.
Going by the name Bella Pastry, the company has been operating since 2009 and hasn’t stopped to fascinate customers at its various posts every week with its latest treats. Using Social Media as one of her advertising tools and events such as Farmers Markets, Legwaila reveals that she first started baking at the age of six after she was exposed to baking at school, where the pupils were taught counting by using various methods such as baking in order to give the little ones a grasp of what they were being taught and by her mom who is a big influence.
She loves to eat especially sweet treats. When she returned home, she was disappointed to realise that she could not indulge in the sweet treats that she so loved and had enjoyed abroad. “I was looking for certain types of cookies, and I couldn’t find them hence I started to make my own,” she explains. Before she embarked in the business, her friends and family would always rely on her trusted hands when it came to baking for events such as baby and bridal showers for free.
“A friend suggested that I should turn the hobby into a business and that they would market me,” she explains. Her first products were cup-cakes, and then other treats such as cookies (that vary in flavours), brownies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, Danish croissants and anything sweet that you will find in a bakery soon followed.
“This is the type of items that you will find in a neighbourhood sweet shop which we currently don’t have here,” she says. Her customised cup cakes are made per order. Pricewise, one can expect to part with P140 for a box of 12 cup cakes, and the cakes start at P200 for the smallest cake.
“Everything is customised. I normally sit down with clients for a consultation and then can work around that,” she tells Style. But one may wonder when she finds the time for business as she has an 0800-1700 job, well that time she finds after hours and on weekends and on some special occasions, she has to sacrifice her beauty sleep and get up at the crack of dawn.
A no no for her are wedding cakes. For those who might wish to try baking which is said to be good for relieving stress, she has the following tips:
- Remember that with cooking you can experiment with dishes but that is totally different when it comes to baking
- Follow the recipe lest you mess things up.
- Never cut corners when it comes to ingredients.
- Always use the right ingredients for recipe regardless of price.