Love Our Baking History
Did you know that there was an oven goddess in ancient Rome? (did you have to read that twice, because we sure did!?). Her name was 'Fornax', and every year a festival was held in her honour. This was around 168 BC when the Roman Empire's Bakers Guild, called the Pistorum, recognised bread bakers as skilled artisans. Well, those Romans knew a thing or two – just like Château Gâteaux, we only have skilled bakers in our kitchens too, and YOU honour them every time you choose one of our decadent cake creations to enjoy at home.
168 BC was 2,189 years ago – a veeeery long time ago! But, believe it or not, the origins of ovens used by Romans, and by ourselves for that matter, were unearthed in Croatia very recently, and they date back to over 6,500 years ago! Wowzers. Lucky for you, any cake, tart or pastry you purchase from us is as fresh as fresh can be and comes straight out of our ovens and into the blast freezer, freshly frozen; ready for you to defrost at home for your own special sweet treat. Cake convenience has never tasted this good!
Ovens became more widely used, but for hundreds of years people were still limited to baking bread … and the occasional meat pie. Rye or black bread was predominantly baked but ooooh, how you climbed the social ladder if they could bake quality bread! Wheat bread was reserved for the wealthy – like those who lived in Chateaux and Castles who baked dense, rich cakes in exotic colours. Our adventurous baking forefathers also tucked into sweetened or spicey dough buns (using saffron, cinnamon and other spices), mincemeat pies, as well as gingerbread. Spice up your day with a pick me up from one of our stores - our mini, cinnamony Apple Crumble Tart is delish!
Château Gâteaux is proudly South African, and we share our extraordinary heritage with an authentic South African Castle – the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. They had a bakery, named 'Het Bakhuys', and we can only guess that they baked a range of delicious loaves of bread and cakes, catering for the array of different people who lived and worked at the Castle. By this time – 1706 onwards - baking-developed into a sophisticated art. The availability of sugar, refined flour, butter, cream and raisins meant that desserts, pies, pastries and iced cakes were easily baked in big cast iron stoves. We do wonder what these baking artists would think of our Fudge Picasso if they had the chance to lay eyes on one and taste its white chocolate mousse magic …
Here's a tasty titbit; it was the tradition in those days to stamp the symbol of your bakery into your bread – to prove that you weren't using dodgy ingredients and that you were a legitimate baker. Well, we can tell you one thing, dear reader – our cakes only use the finest, freshest and most natural ingredients available! You can find our trademark Château castle gracing our stunning razzberry packaging for every cake that leaves our kitchen or store, which is a testament to the quality and love baked into our cakes by our oh so fabulous chefs.
More familiar to us is the history beyond the 17th Century. Where experimentation, evolution and technology allowed people to start loving (and let's be honest, depending on) their ovens for what they could create in them – flavour profiles and palates were changing with a wider variety of ingredients becoming available. A slice of our Peppermint Caramel Tart would have transported 1800 foodies to taste heaven if we could have done a home delivery back then! Imagine?!
The publishing of one of the first-ever cookbooks – 'The Art of Cookery' – was fascinating for budding chefs of the day, providing them with imaginative ideas and the tools to try out a range of cake recipes. Not everyone could read in those days, mind you, so cooks were well educated and seen as prized employees in wealthy homes and baking shops. The discovery of baking powder was a revelation and transformed yeasty cakes into the light, fluffy creations we have come to know. If you want light and fluffy to match your frothy 'tea-time' coffee – why not try our Vanilla Dream for a taste of pure luxury? Hmmm, now that's much better!
And baking today?? You can all bake and try your hand at creating something spectacular in your kitchen - remember us when your soufflé doesn't rise, darling - we are here to eliminate your stress with our convenient cake creations! You can simply place an online order or pop into one of our Château Gâteaux stores for your well-deserved CakeAway!
Ta-daa – from frozen to fabulous, our delicious delights help you make more memorable
moments at home.