Keen baker, Anna Mhlanga first approached Margaret Hirsch at the Hirsch’s Boksburg shop and they formed a collaboration where Margaret helped Anna with a kitchen and the motivation to find ladies who wanted to learn and make a living from cooking and baking. She set this up at Hirsch’s Brakpan shop and it went from strength to strength. When Anna’s husband relocated through his work to Somerset West earlier this year, Anna moved her business through to the LG kitchen that has been set up in Hirsch’s Somerset West with support and help from Margaret.
Anna started teaching groups of young women in the Somerset West community to bake for a living and it was with great joy that both she and Margaret saw students Maggie Zavashe, Brenda Chrisigie, Elizabeth Muzunze, Jennifer Azubike da Onyire, Memory Chifamba, and Miriam Gonzo graduate from the baking course that Anna has been teaching over the last few months. The course usually only takes around three weeks to complete, but all the ladies have a part time job, so the course was spread out over several weeks.
The course involved them learning to bake a variety of delicious items – including vanilla cakes, black forest cakes, fruit cakes, carrot cakes, coffee cakes, melk tert, cheese cakes and scones. They learnt how to do icing and decorations such as weaves and how to make flowers using fondant and marzipan. They showed off their skills by making a basket cake, a wedding cake, a doll cake, and then a cake of their own design.
For the graduation, Hirsch’s Somerset West hosted a cake tasting extravaganza that had cakes displayed for tasting by guests, and then a judging panel consisting of Margaret Hirsch, Jaxy Theron, Nirmala Raghuear, Laetitia Koegelenberg, and Jaydee Van Rensberg, who judged all the cakes made by the students. Once the votes were in, there was a prize giving and the students received certificates for the best cake in the categories.