When we dreamed up our Hot Chocolate Bombs during the hot months of summer we didn’t realize how big of a hit they would become this Winter season! With the Hot Chocolate Bombs flying off the shelves as excited customers rush home to make a cozy cup of hot chocolate to enjoy while spending time with family or friends, while watching a movie or reading a book, we decided it was time to share a step by step on how to use our Hot Chocolate Bombs.
We’ve had a few requests for this blog post so we are excited to be sharing with you how to make the most delicious cups of hot chocolate we hope you’ll get to enjoy this winter season!
Step 1 – Heat up milk.
Heat up the milk of your choice in a pot or in your mug in a microwave. If you’re heating it up in your mug, make sure you leave enough room for the bomb to be added into the mug without it overflowing. We recommend taking the mug you’d like to use and fill it 3/4 of the way with milk to heat. Make sure your milk is nice and hot for a quick and efficient melt of your Hot Chocolate Bomb.
Step 2 – Drop the bomb!
Once your milk is nice and heated up (make sure it’s steaming a bit!), gently drop the bomb into the milk. Use a spoon to gently roll and stir the bomb as it melts to mix the chocolate into the milk.
Step 3 – Stir, stir, stir.
Once the Hot Chocolate Bomb is fully melted be sure to stir with a spoon and scrape the bottom to be sure there aren’t any melted chocolate clumps at the bottom of your mug. Use your spoon to get all around the edges and be sure your bomb is fully mixed in.
Step 4 – Enjoy!
The bomb has melted away and now a rich cup of hot chocolate is ready for you to enjoy! Sip slowly to savour this delicious treat.
Our Hot Chocolate Bombs are no longer available for Holiday Pre-Order but we will have limited amounts available at both shops when we are able! Stop by our locations at The Forks or Academy Road to pick up your bombs today!
When you first decide to expand your menu, the idea of it all is so exciting! Having your team be creative in the kitchen to dream up new products and mouth-watering flavours, seeing the variety of finishing touches from a passionate team that elevates the product, and aiming to create something your customers will love is all a thrilling piece of adding a new item to your menu.
As the testing of items and flavours moves from testing to the final touches stage, the stress can kick in… will customers like the product? Will they like the flavours? Will it sell as well as we think it will? All of these questions and more begin to creep into your thoughts and you realize how strategic you must be to introduce a new item to your menu.
We are sharing a few of our top tips for expanding your menu, along with some examples from the changes we’ve made to our menu over the years so you have a real-world example of things that worked and those that didn’t.
Tip 1 – Consider your space.
One of our biggest challenges with expanding our menu is always cooler space. Our coolers are packed so if we want to add a new menu item, it either needs to be an item that doesn’t have to be kept in the cooler or we have to swap out a menu item to make room for the new one. This is something you’ve probably seen us do often under the guise of ‘putting a recipe into the JRC vault’. We did this with our mini cheesecakes when we wanted to make room for cream puffs.
Tip 2 – Consider the customer.
What have your customers been requesting? What are their favourite flavours? What price point do they feel comfortable spending? All of these questions and more regarding the customer should be taken into consideration. We’ve introduced items to our menu that we thought our customers would LOVE that ended up not being popular at all– our tarts being one of those items. All that effort into dreaming up a new item, recipe testing again and again until we created a beautiful item for our customers and, as it turned out, they weren’t that into it! While our team was so proud of the product they made, it wasn’t a fit for our client base so off the menu it went. Even when thinking of expanding the flavours you offer, consider the majority of the customers you serve and what they like the most.
Tip 3 – Consider your team.
If your team is anything like ours, your team is filled with amazing, incredibly talented and creative bakers who love to try new things. Consider the strengths of your team– what do they like to make? What are their hidden talents? Do they love chocolate work? Do they enjoy making candy? Are they a wizard with flavour ideas? Consider what your team is capable of doing and what they would like to try their hand at and allow them to experiment while keeping the customer in mind. Some of the best ideas can come out on the fly as your team members are working away and chatting about fun items they’d love to make one day.
Tip 4 – Package like a pro.
The final touches, including any specific packaging an item might need, can be just as important as the product itself. Consider our new Hot Chocolate Bombs; they are stunning but, since they are a sphere and a gift item, they needed to be packaged. Instead of just putting them into the pink bags we already have on hand, we decided to create custom packaging that shows off the beauty of the bomb itself. Each bomb sits on a bed of pink crinkle paper in a clear vinyl box and is sealed with a white and gold foil sticker that has the instructions printed right on it! This packaging is very on-brand for us– our pink, white and gold foil colour palette along with a clear box that matches other specialty items like our mini meringues.
The way you package your product sells your product. If you’re introducing a new item to your menu, be sure to consider the packaging for a consistent and beautiful customer experience.
Tip 5 – Reassess and adjust as necessary.
The time spent introducing a new menu item also includes tracking sales and customer comments once it is launched, then reassessing after a few weeks and adjusting anything that needs it.
When we initially removed cream puffs from our menu it’s because they weren’t selling as well as when we first introduced them to our customers. When we brought them back we knew we needed to make changes to make them more in line with what our customers wanted. We replaced dipping each and every cream puff with fondant or chocolate (which was making them too sweet for some customers) with colourful craquelin that gave the same look without the sweetness. Then, we made them mini! For our shop, anything mini tends to sell well– it has the adorable factor our customers love! Mini cream puffs mean a lower price point and customers can try all the flavours in one visit! These little adjustments were necessary for the longevity of the item on our menu.
Expanding your menu can be fun and challenging and is always work that, when approached with the right attitude, will always help you learn more about your loyal customers and will allow you to serve them better. Treating your customers well curating a menu of sweet treats that effectively utilize the skills of your team while simultaneously serving your clients treats they love is what this industry is all about.
Good luck with expanding your menu! We hope you enjoyed these tips and can put them to use when you consider adding a new treat to your menu.
Supporting the local community is something we value at Jenna Rae Cakes. We love being able to stand alongside those in our community for the causes that matter most to them. With our Charity of the Month initiative, we’ve been able to partner with local charities to help financially support their needs.
Our Charity of the Month for November is the Children’s Hospital Foundation Christmas for Kids Campaign. $0.50 from the sale of every Utoffeea cupcake sold during the month of November at both of our locations is being donated. Your generous donations will help purchase equipment like a CMAC Video Laryngoscopy. This is a life-saving machine that helps children breathe when they can’t. When there is no other way to get a little one breathing, it is absolutely essential that the nurses have this equipment to use.
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter, and we have the sweet, festive treats to make it a delicious holiday season when your loved ones come to visit, friends pop by to say “Happy Holidays” or when you visit those you wish you could see more often.
The Jenna Rae Cakes Holiday Pre-Order Menu is now live and we have a special surprise. Santa told us that our customers are on his ‘Nice’ list this year so we are accepting online pre-orders for the entire month of December! Holiday Pre-Order pick-up dates start on Thursday, December 5th and run throughout the month of December until December 24th. Simply place your online pre-order for the date you’d like to pick it up. When you visit our shop on Academy Road to pick up your order on the way to your office party, holiday gathering, or another holiday event, you can skip the line-up and pick up your order quickly.
Spend less time in stores shopping and more time with those you love this holiday season by placing your Holiday Pre-Order for pick-up during the month of December and surprise those you care about with sweet treats for all ages!
Check out our Holiday Pre-Order Menu below and visit our Holiday Pre-Order Page to place your order.
FOR THE PARTY
Are you hosting a celebration at work, for family or for your friends? Save yourself the time it takes to prepare dessert and pre-order some of our treats ready to enjoy for parties of any size! Click on any item below to learn more.
Gifts that are beautiful and delicious are always a win! These gift items will check off those on your life from your office Secret Santa to stocking stuffers and for those who seem to have everything already. Click on any item below to learn more.
Nothing says ‘Happy Holiday’s’ like an unexpected treat for those you love. Our shaped macarons, cookie dough cups and ‘For Santa’ macaron are little additions that will get big smiles! Click on any item below to learn more.
Don’t forget to take a look at our gift items like our Signature Cotton Candy Flavouring and jewellery when you stop by to pick up your Holiday Pre-Order. From the entire team at Jenna Rae Cakes, we wish you and yours a sweet Holiday Season filled with all things merry and bright.
Coffee shops have released their holiday edition paper cups, letters to Santa overflowing with sentiments of being good this year are already flooding the post office and mischevious elves are appearing on shelves to be adventurous overnight while watching children by day to report back to Santa. Overall, it feels safe to say that the Holidays are upon us and this year, instead of a white Christmas, we are dreaming of a sweet one.
We’ve assembled a dreamy menu of Jenna Rae Cakes Signature Flavours, Holiday Favourites and some new flavours that will be sure to top your favourites list after you try them! Our Holiday menu is now available at both of our locations with a selection of even more festive treats being launched throughout the month. Take a look below to see which flavours you’ll be able to enjoy to put you in the festive spirit this holiday season. Plus, keep reading to see our extended holiday hours this holiday season!
*The festive flavours listed below will rotate with our signature flavours for the remainder of the holiday season.
Rum + Eggnog
Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Candy Cane Hot Chocolate
Salted Caramel Eggnog
COOKIE DOUGH CUPS
Mint Chocolate Chip
Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle
Toffee Salted Caramel
Candy Cane Marshmallow
Shortbread Christmas Sprinkle
*Our Chocolate Covered Oreos have had a festive makeover in holiday shapes you’ll love to enjoy!
Snowflake Classic Oreo
Peppermint Swirl Mint Oreo
Poinsettia Golden Oreo
Ornament Birthday Cake Oreo
plus our regular chocolate covered Oreos in festive flair!
*Each week we will feature a festive flavour!
Candy Cane White Chocolate Pretzel
MINI CREAM PUFFS
*Each week we will feature 4 delicious flavours including signature and holiday flavours!
Candy Cane Cheesecake
Our specialty items like Reindeer Macarons, Ornament Macarons and Hot Chocolate Bombs will be launching as the holiday season progresses to stay tuned to our Instagram feed to see when their delicious items will be available.
*The flavours listed below will remain constant for the remainder of the holiday season.
Rum + Eggnog
Christmas Vanilla Sprinkle
Just in time to be added to Christmas lists and to make an appearance in your favourite crowd-pleasing holiday treats, the Jenna Rae Cakes Cotton Candy Flavouring is now available online for shipping across Canada!
The journey of the Jenna Rae Cakes Cotton Candy Flavouring has been an adventure of trial and error before finding the perfect flavouring for all of our favourite treats. From the beginning, Jenna, Ashley and their sister Chelsea knew they wanted to make treats emulating their childhood sweet treat indulgence of cotton candy.
At first, Jenna tried putting chunks of fluffy cotton candy into buttercream to flavour it. Next, our kitchen went through one flavouring after the next that didn’t meet the standards our flavours at Jenna Rae Cakes have become known for. Then, one day, we found it. A cotton candy flavouring that has the sweet, spun sugar taste that takes you back to your younger days.
Our Signature Cotton Candy flavouring has been used in all of our cotton candy treats– from cookie sandwiches to macarons, cotton candy marshmallow bites to our seasonal cotton candy hot chocolate. Our most popular cotton candy item has to be our Signature Cotton Candy Cake which is decorated to be as whimsical looking as the name and flavour would suggest. If it tastes like cotton candy in our shop, it is made using this exact flavouring.
We are now bottling this flavour in-house for you– the home baker with a creative imagination that wants to bring magic into your kitchen with every delicious drop! Click HERE to order a bottle (or two) of our Cotton Candy Flavouring and create anything your heart desires to be cotton candy! We suggest Cotton Candy pancakes, Cotton Candy whipped cream in your hot chocolate or cotton candy icing on homemade cupcakes.
Grab your broomstick (or vacuum), open up your coffin, manifest from the beyond and ask the spirits with your Ouija board which treats they want because our Jenna Rae Cakes Halloween menu is filled with spooktacular sweet treats!
This year’s Halloween menu brings back some of your favourites like rockets and butterbeer macarons and introduces you to a few new treats that you’ll try learning a resurrection spell bring back during the rest of the year.
See our spooky season menu below of treats you’ll be able to indulge in this week!
Mummy macarons are back this year in 3 tantalizing flavours available at The Forks and Academy:
Ghost macarons have also arrived from beyond the grave! Available at The Forks and Academy:
A few of our Halloween macarons will be on the menu at our Academy location each day.
Rockets macarons and Sea Salt Chips macarons will be available at The Forks each day!
Sour Cherry Blaster
Sea Salt Chips
Our mini scream puff flavours available this week at Academy are:
Mummy Salted Caramel
Peanut Butter Cup
Chips and Dip
Fly by Academy and enjoy our Candy Bar Brownie Party Square. It’s all the goodness of trick-or-treat candy bars added to our decadent, fudgy brownie!
Our ghoulish Oreos are more like Casper the Friendly Ghost in their pastel hues! Available at Academy are the following:
Cookies and Scream Skulls
Pink Golden Oreo Ghosts
Blue Golden Oreo Ghosts
Our Halloween menu goes back into the Jenna Rae Cakes tomb in our flavour graveyard at the end of the day on October 31st so stop by our shops at The Forks and Academy before it’s too late.
Each month, Jenna Rae Cakes will be selecting a cause our community is passionate about to support. For October, we are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and donating $1 from the purchase of every boob macaron to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.
Our boob macarons come in 4 different skin-tone shades and the flavours alternate each week! So far this month, we’ve featured Cotton Candy and Birthday Cake Batter. This week, our Boob Macarons are Salted Caramel making them a great gluten-less treat that supports a great cause! Keep an eye on our Instagram stories to see which popular flavour we will have next week.
Available at both locations each day we are open, $1 from every macaron sold will be donated to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, where 100% of the funds raised stay in Manitoba. CancerCare Manitoba Foundation helps patients and their families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. All funds raised by CancerCare Manitoba Foundation stay in Manitoba and more than $125 million has bee granted since 2000 for patient care, support and research. The macarons will raise awareness and the donation will help make a tangible difference.
Swing by one of our shops and enjoy macarons that make a difference in the lives of those affected by Breast Cancer.
Daily | 10 am – 9 pm
Tuesday – Thursday | noon – 6 pm
Friday + Saturday | 10 am – 6 pm
With Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, we checked in with Jenna and Ashley to find out what their tips are for a great Thanksgiving celebration! Take a read below to find out Jenna and Ashley prepare for gatherings with their friends and family and keep reading right until the end for a sweet surprise!
Tip 1: Flowers
I always start with the flowers! Chat with your florist (we love Heather from Academy Florist) about the size you want your arrangement to be, and the colours you’d like to use. You’ll also need to set a budget at this point. I usually ask for something narrow and low, since you want to chat with your dinner guests and not be too crowded at the table! If the budget allows, I also like to add a little “something” to each place setting, like a floral wreath or a little bouquet of flowers for each guest to take home.
Tip 2: Place Settings
EQ3 is one of my favourite stores, and I’ve outfitted my home with quite a few pieces of theirs! My favourite piece for fall is their Onyx serving platter, which I used as chargers in our Thanksgiving Shoot this year. They’re insanely pretty and I plan to use the one I bought as a serving platter. EQ3’s Sienna Stoneware is gorgeous and has a handmade feel to it. Jenna owns a complete set and loves it!
Tip 3: Dessert
We’re usually in charge of dessert for our Thanksgiving Dinner (shocker!) and we’ve been bringing a Pumpkin Spice Cake and a Party Platter consistently for the last few years. They never disappoint and provide a great variety of treats for guests. We always bring a few Cookie Dough Cups as well for our sister who is vegan!
We’re going to be giving away everything you need to set the table this Thanksgiving over on our Instagram feed! You’ll be able to curate a Pinterest-worthy tablescape for your home that will warmly welcome your guests and leave a lasting impression even after the pumpkin pie is done!
What you’ll win:
– $300 gift card to EQ3 to select your own dreamy tableware
– $100 gift card to Academy Florist for stunning florals
– $100 gift card to Jenna Rae Cakes for sweet treats everyone will love
When the ones we love move away, the holidays can be challenging. The empty seat at the table reminds of when they were around to share in our laughter, our meals and our gratitude during Thanksgiving.
Let those you love know you have been thinking of them and wish they were here by having our 12-macaron gift box delivered straight to their door.
Each 12-macaron gift box is filled with an assortment of delicious fall-inspired flavours including Pumpkin Spice Latte, Cinnamon Bun and Banana Bread along with JRC favourites of Salted Caramel, Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Cup. Add in our ‘thinking of you’ greeting card with a personalized message from you to them and they’ll be calling you expressing how they, too, wish they could be with you over Thanksgiving.
12-macaron gift boxes ship out on Tuesday each week so be sure to order by Monday, October 7th so your loved one will receive their macarons before Thanksgiving arrives, showing you were thinking of them well in advance and wish they could be there. Who knows, maybe the arrival of delicious, chewy macarons on their doorstep in the days leading up to Thanksgiving will encourage them to hop in their car, jump on a train or buy a plane ticket and they’ll surprise YOU at your door on Thanksgiving.