Let Me Eat Cake…Frozen Yogurt Cake! A Dessert Within a Dessert (and a Feature on Ate by Ate!) at Menchie’s

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Cake in the form of frozen yogurt!

Have you ever dreamed about what life would be like if everything was just one giant, delicious slice of cake?  Kind of like the iconic, larger than life-size cupcake outside Google offices.  We would probably all end up being very large and um, well-fed, but we can’t deny that many of us LOVE all things cake related whether it’s cute kitchen accessories, bakeware, photos of frosted birthday cake with sprinkles, cake scented candles, cake flavoured ice cream, and actual cake!  Well, what if I told you all that you could customize your very own frozen yogurt sundae to taste like sweet frosted cake heaven?  That’s right, my lovelies: let us eat “cake” at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt! 

You know how I always rave about playing around with different flavour and food combinations at Freshii?  I do the exact same thing at Menchie’s and it’s so much fun.  Just think, with 12 different flavours of frozen yogurt to choose from on a daily basis (plus a truckload of toppings!), you can essentially create your very own frozen yogurt dessert combination.  Want to create a tropical themed sundae?  Swirl some pineapple and mango and load on the kiwi!  Go nuts with peanut butter and chocolate!  And don’t even get me started on all chocolate combinations you could play around – there would be enough to render even the biggest chocoholic tipsy!  I have so many fun ideas that I want to try out during future Menchie trips, desserts like strawberry shortcake or cheesecake, a rainbow sundae, a coffee flavoured sundae, and a summery lemon, coconut, and vanilla cake.           

So, what flavour combination fun did I get myself into this time around?  You guessed it: CAKE!  And lots of it!  It just so happens that there were four different cake flavours on tap on this particular day and yes, it is possible, I think, to get drunk on frozen yogurt (tap, beer, get it?  Ha!) when you’re having this much fun.  It was then and there that I made up my mind to create a frozen yogurt “cake” sundae using sweet and creamy vanilla cake batter (quite possibly the undisputed Flavour Queen at Menchie’s), New York cheesecake, red velvet, and chocolate.  With four flavours of cake frozen yogurt in my bowl cup, I accessorized my cake with graham cracker crumbs (what’s a cheesecake without a graham cracker crust?), Oreo crumble, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, and to top it off all off, a maraschino cherry!

I loved my frozen yogurt cake sundae (it was truly a smorsgabord of cake insanity) and while the red velvet isn’t my favourite and a flavour I can take or leave (please don’t throw things at me), the cake batter and New York cheesecake are IT.  The cake batter always tastes delicious and the New York cheesecake one really hit the spot.  And it’s such a versatile flavour.  You can combine it with any fruity flavour to create a “fruit” cheesecake (cherry, blueberry, and so on) and you can make it extra decadent by swirling it with devil’s food, peanut butter s’more, and more.

The adorable collectible Menchie spoons!

Menchie’s is such a fun, cheerful place to create pieces of edible art and to unleash all your creative food energy.  It’s one of the things I love best about being here.  Call it playing with my food, call it being creative – the aesthetic means just as much to me as the taste, especially when if I’m going to be posting mouthwatering photos for you guys!  Menchie’s just makes every experience an interactive one with new flavours, reaching out to customers via social media, keeping us with press mentions, taking into account what customers like, and appealing to children and adults alike.  I’m totally obsessed with their adorable collectibles, merchandise, and free stickers!  Give me free, adorable stickers and I will scrapbook them to my heart’s content. 

In addition to the frozen yogurt cake excitement, you’ll never guess what else I discovered at the Menchie’s Markham location on this day.  Imagine yourself going about your daily business (eating frozen yogurt, for example) and seeing a photo of yourself in a shop.  A photo of yourself wearing a blue scarf, a headband, and slurping a smoothie through a straw.  A photo from your own blog!  I was shocked out of my pants and I literally gasped out loud when I saw MY FACE ON MENCHIE’S WALL!  As I was leaving with my best friend, I turned to quickly glance at the Menchie’s Corner cork bulletin board and did a double take when I realized I was looking back at myself – Ate by Ate was featured on Menchie’s bulletin board!  The staff had printed out my “Menchie’s Has Breezed Into Markham” post from January and had stapled every single page of my post to their bulletin board alongside fun store photos of staff and customers.

Look at the bottom left corner!

Ate by Ate at Menchie's!

I was absolutely floored.  I knew they had seen and viewed my post from Facebook but I had no idea they had gone out of their way to acknowledge Ate by Ate.  I feel so happy knowing they liked the photos and post enough to post it on their bullentin board for the entire town to see.  Sometimes I feel too tired to blog, sometimes I feel discouraged and cynical about our online experience and existence, and there are times when I wonder if any of this is worth it.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers, in the followers, and to compare yourself to others, losing sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing.  I remind myself why I love to write and scrapbook and blog and everything else I do here on regular basis to keep myself in check and to keep the inspiration and love for it fresh and renewed.  And it’s moments like these that remind me why doing this means so much: because stories are being remembered, captured, and passed along and the love for food is being shared.  And in this respect, there’s no dessert on this earth that could ever eclipse the joy of doing what you love. 

*****

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Markham is located at 3828 Highway 7 East, at the northeast corner of Hwy. 7 and Warden Ave. beside Future Shop.  Check out my Menchie’s on Bloor St. blog post here and take a peek at the Markham location’s Facebook page here!

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Breezing into Markham in True Fuschia, Bright Pink, and Lime Green Fashion – Menchie’s is Now in Markham!

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Aside from some great books, beautiful lip glosses, sweet cards, and fun times with friends and family, I received one other fabulous Christmas gift this past December: the gift of yummy frozen yogurt!  In true bright pink, fuschia, and lime green fashion, Menchie’s breezed into my neck of the woods in Markham just in time for the holidays.  I know, I couldn’t believe it either when I found out!  To my fellow Markhamettes (I just made that up, so humour me): we have a Menchie’s now!  I’m so used to making trips downtown or into the 416 to visit most of my favourite shops, restaurants, and bits and bobs that having one of them open up another location so much closer to me feels so surreal! 

I was so excited when I found out Menchie’s was going to have a location in Markham not only because I adore indulging in frozen yogurt and toppings bar heaven when I’m there (pulling down those frozen yogurt levers makes me feel all sorts of happy), but also because both my mum and dad have taken quite a liking to the self-serve frozen yogurt fun!

I introduced my brother and my mum to Menchie’s on Bloor St. this past fall and at the beginning of December, I took my dad there and had the funnest time showing him the ropes, pointing out the different stations, flavours, and sweet toppings.  My dad has always had a soft spot for soft-serve ice cream, so naturally, frozen yogurt fit the bill.  What’s not to love?  Over 12 flavours every day, the ability to create your own flavour combinations, and the fun in choosing sauces, fruits, boba, cookies, sprinkles, chips, chocolates, candies, and every other sweet confection under the sun to outfit your cool treat.

The new Menchie’s frozen yogurt shop is located by Warden Ave. and Hwy. 7 right beside the Future Shop and I have to say, this location is fabulous.  I don’t know how long this is going to be around for, but I can’t get over how insanely adorable the giant inflatable Menchie’s frozen yogurt dessert cup is on top of the shop!  It sits there, beckoning and flagging everyone in town and it’s cuteness makes me giggle.

It doesn’t look very big from the outside, but geez louise is it ever large and spacious on the inside, even more so than the one on Bloor St.!  There’s an ample amount of seating with large windows (hurray for natural light streaming in!) and plenty of space around the self-serve station areas.  This is especially important for when it gets busy!  The last thing you want is to end up with the toppings on you as opposed to in your belly when you start elbowing others just to get to the chocolate fudge sauce. 

I love the location of the shop.  For starters, it’s accessible by public transit.  I know, I know, YRT/Viva are both on strike right now, but we know they’ll come back eventually (I’ve certainly done my sharing of grumbling over the holidays about this predicament!)  and there’s fortunately the option of getting here via Warden Ave.  As well, the outdoor ice rink unveiled its shiny surface in December, across the street at the Markham Civic Centre.  Finally, from Menchie’s perspective, the presence of a high school down the road and across the street equals big business.

My family and I went all out, each one of us grabbing a bottomless pit frozen yogurt cup (really, these cups are huge!) to fill with whatever our heart desired.  Before I get to the actual frozen yogurt flavours and toppings, I have to gush about the spoon.  I was absolutely smitten with the lime green spoon with the Menchie’s smiley face and logo on the handle!  I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this on the blog, but I love collecting colourful utensils and kitchen accessories.  I have a small collection in our utensil drawer at home of bright coloured spoons from different ice cream and frozen yogurt places and I happily added Miss Menchie to the mix.

Now, onto the froyo.  I swirled myself some cake batter, frozen hot chocolate, and green frozen yogurt and topped it all off with chocolate sprinkles, mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and crushed Oreo cookies.  Can you tell I was going for a hot chocolate and cookies type of combination?! 

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have added the green tea flavour because it didn’t exactly mesh with the theme I was aiming for and although it taste bad, the green tea one wasn’t my favourite.  The cake batter I love to death and the frozen hot chocolate frozen yogurt was absolutely delicious, but the green tea one didn’t do it for me.  For whatever reason, I tasted a little too much citrus in it and it didn’t have that punchy matcha taste that I enjoyed.  The nuances were just a little off for this one.

The frozen hot chocolate one on the other hand, nailed it.  It wasn’t fudgy in a chocolatey, brownie kind of way (which wouldn’t have been true to frozen hot chocolate), but instead, it was like a rich, chocolate slushie in flavour.  It was great and it went really well with the cake batter frozen yogurt.  I much prefer the green tea frozen yogurt from Ninka in the underground PATH downtown, but I enjoyed my holiday froyo dessert very much nevertheless!

 

Menchie’s in Markham is special to me because it’s hard finding something that everyone can enjoy and take part in.  I’ve mentioned my family’s different palates and tastes for food on more than one occasion on the blog and it makes me happy knowing that this is something all four of us can agree on!  My mum and dad adore it so much they suggested going once a week!  Can’t say I blame them.  And I certainly don’t plan on arguing with them on this point 😀

*****

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Markham is located at 3828 Highway 7 East, at the northeast corner of Hwy. 7 and Warden Ave. beside Future Shop.  Check out my Menchie’s on Bloor St. blog post here and take a peek at the Markham location’s Facebook page here!

Pick A Flavour, Any Flavour! Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Fun at Menchie’s – Part II

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Making its debut on Toronto’s Bloor St. West strip back in November 201o, Menchie’s has taken the city by storm.  And I mean that.  I may have only inahled frozen yogurt eaten here 2 weeks ago, but I saw lineups out the door at this sweet little place months ago and thought, “holy schmoly!”  And then I thought, “I’ll come back when I don’t have to elbow or hair pull”.  Exaggeration, maybe, but I wasn’t taking any chances. 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is everything you could possibly want in an adorable sweet treat place.  It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s creative, it’s pink and green (and if you’re like me, that colour palette will make your heart flutter a bit faster.  You can tell I loved working with that on the scrapbook layout up top, yes?), and did I mention it’s an awesome place to hang out with friends or go on on a cute date?  If you love frozen yogurt and having the freedom to let your creativity run wild, this is your place.  It oozes the cuteness reminiscent of Asian stationery (just look at the frozen yogurt smiley face!  You want to hug and squish it!) and it offers everything a sweet tooth could desire.  The concept is simple: it’s a self-serve, pay-by-oz. frozen yogurt dessert café.  I LOVE the concept and my best friend and I came here for a girly afternoon dessert date (after lunch and window shopping, of course) during her spring break a little over 2 weeks and god, we fell in love.  We had so much fun!  So here’s my step-by-step, bite-by-bite account of how this works.

Step 1:  Grab a frozen yogurt cup (with or without the waffle bowl in it; the waffle bowl is $1 extra) from the cup station.  Walk over to the frozen yogurt self-serve wall.  I’m not kidding.  This is a WALL with froyo machines.  If I remember correctly, there are 10 flavours to choose from on a daily basis and flavours are rotated so that there’s always something different every day.  Choose one flavour…or two…or five.  This is the beauty!  If you’re hell bent on creating a froyo mountain of one flavour, you can do that.  If you’re indecisive and can’t make up your mind, you can go swirl 5 flavours into your cup and go to town!  Flavours are also paired so you can swirl and combine the predetermined pairs if you want too.  Pull the level down and start swirling the frozen yogurt into your cup!  When you feel you’ve had enough, just push the lever up to stop and go on your merry way.  Skip back and forth between stations if you like.  It’s UP TO YOU!  😀  What I chose: creamiscle froyo and cake batter froyo, eeeee!

Step 2: Pick your sugary poison 😀  This is your chance to make your frozen yogurt your own special creation, choosing whatever toppings you want.  Chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, gummy bears, sprinkles, granola, graham cracker crumble, nuts, chocolate bar chunks, shredded coconut, dried fruit, fresh fruit, peanut butter cups…oh, is that not enough?  Well, there’s plenty more where that came from.  Make it pretty, make it messy, make it you – go crazy!  My best friend and I were skipping back and forth between bins and scooping goodies into our cups and it was so much fun.  What I smacked onto my creamsicle and cake batter frozen yogurt: yogurt chips, graham cracker crumble, shredded coconut, and mini marshmallows!!  It was like a swirly, fluffy orange and white cloud.  Aww.  And it tasted like one too.  Not too sweet and so creamy and subtly fruity with the sweet crunchiness from the coconut and graham cracker crumble, mmm. 

Step 3: Take your creation to the cash, get it weighed, and pay!  The pay-by-oz. rate is $0.49 per oz.  To put that into perspective, my creation up top was a little over $4, so it’s very average and reasonable for frozen yogurt desserts and it’s filling.  You get what you pay for and my best friend and I weren’t fazed in the least by our totals.  The cups are deep, so you can fill this baby up real high!  Obviously since it’s a pay-by-oz. system the lighter items will cost less (like shredded coconut, for example) and the heavier items will tip the scales more (like sticking a gazillion chocolate bar pieces!). 

Use your judgment, but don’t skimp for the sake of it.  The whole point of Menchie’s is fun and it’s meant to be accessible and customizable for everyone.  There are even stickers on the froyo machines telling you which ones are kosher, non-fat, low sugar, etc. so that you can make informed choices based on your diet.  We saw parents with their kids here, high schoolers, 20-somethings like us, the whole shebang.  My best friend and I had a lot of fun our first time here and I can’t wait to go back and make another yummy creation!  I’m thinking of a cookies and cream one, a chocolate one, a green apple and fruity one…the possibilities are endless.  I don’t even think two lifetimes are enough to exhaust all the options here.

*****

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is located at 511 Bloor St. West, on the south side of Bloor between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St.  It is at the corner of Bloor and Borden St.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added!

Pick a Flavour, Any Flavour! Chocolates, Sprinkles, Gummy Bears, and Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Fun at Menchie’s – Part I

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If you love frozen yogurt, creating your own sweet tooth masterpieces, and having oodles of choice when it comes to yummy toppings, you will LOVE today and tomorrow’s posts!  Today is a teaser post with photos from Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, so enjoy! 😀