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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Home Baking Ideas in Nairobi

For the holiday festivities, after a hearty Christmas meal, dessert is definitely a must. That's where we come in ^_^! We are here to help out with your home-baking for Christmas this season. If you're not sure what to bake this Christmas, check out some of our previous recipe posts that will be good ideas for a delicious and easily prepared cakes and cookies to bake for your family. 


FOR BREAKFAST:

* 7 Easy Steps to Fluffy Orange-flavored Pancakes

 This is a great recipe for breakfast with the family. You can always change the recipe and make additions like raisins or sultanas in the batter to make it very festive ^_^. You can also skip the orange juice and put Vanilla essence instead for a different flavors. Chocolate chips are also a fun addition to make it truly delicious with vanilla. Try it out this Christmas.

delish pancakes

CHRISTMAS DESSERT:

SNACKS:

* Oatmeal Cookies

This is a nice option for both kids and adults. It's delicious and healthy.

* Sugar Cookies


This is a favorite for the kids and you can always make different shapes and colors for the glaze to make it more festive and fun. They are also very sweet and delicious.
Sugar Cookies

* Lemon Drizzle

This is also another kids favorite. You can make it a large sheet size or in a large rectangle or square pan and cut into small bite-sized squares. We haven't yet met a child that doesn't like them ^_^!
Lemon Drizzle Cake

CELEBRATION CAKE:

* Pound Cake with Frosting

This is a crowd favorite. Just bake it in any large size you would prefer, then frost and decorate it to your heart's delight.  Everyone will love it ^_^! Simple and hustle - free baking.
Pink Pound Cake

* Apple Cake

This is a very great option for those family members who do not like frosting on their cake. It is a delicious cake but if  you would also like to add frosting, you can. Everyone will enjoy this special treat for Christmas.
Apple Mini-Cake

* Red Velvet Cake

This is an all-time favorite and I think it's great for Christmas especially. We don't currently have a Red Velvet Cake recipe right now (we will definitely have one for next year ^_^) We however want to share from a blog we truly love and would like you to love since we all share a passion in baking. Try this recipe of hers. The blog is Sweetapolita. She's a lovely blogger based in Canada and she inspires us with all her baking projects. This is a great Christmas recipe if you can manage it. Enjoy ^_^
Red Velvet by Sweetapolita.com
We hope these recipes will be of help to you. Good luck with the Christmas festivity planning and Happy Baking ^_^!!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Our 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of the Year - 2012

As we wind down this fruitful year, we've been taking a look at our blog posts to see which ones you like so that we're able to keep bringing you more information on baking that you're more interested in. So as we prepare for next year, we want to recap the list of our most popular blog posts of 2012. If you haven't seen them all, make sure to do. We also love getting feedback so post a comment for us for any suggestions for future topics or just any additional information you may like. Thank you for your continued support ^_^!


1. Home-Baking in Kenya

This is our most popular post, it has had over 1,200 views to date. We're glad that people in Kenya are very interested in baking at home. We understand the passion and if you already do bake at home; keep it up! We will continue to provide you with baking tips, tricks and recipes as well.

2. 10 Baking Terminologies Explained

This post explained some terms that may not be familiar to new home-bakers, but are often found in recipes. This post has had over 320 views to date. We're glad we can be of help in decoding bakery language. ^_^

3. 5 Things you must know about Baking

This is another post that explains some tips that will definitely come in handy while preparing for your baking at home. It has had over 150 views to date.

4. Baking Equipment in Kenya Explained - Baking pans

This post breaks down the different kinds of baking pans used. For those people who don't really know what the different types of pans you may see in Kitchen-ware or Bakeware shops. All those questions are answered in this post. This post has had over 140 views to date. We're glad to be helping out with your baking hobbies, as well as making it easier for you  ^_^

5. Best Oatmeal Cookies in Kenya

This post is a recipe for one of our top favorite cookies of all time - Oatmeal Cookies! This delicious treats are crunchy, sweet & even a bit healthy due to the Oatmeal in them. They are also very easy to make. If you haven't tried it, check it out and make some cookies for Christmas! This post has had over 125 views to date. 

6. 7 Easy Steps to Fluffy Orange-Flavored Pancakes

This is also a favorite recipe, mostly because you don't need an actual oven to make this beauties. You just need to make this cakes on a pan ^_^. We've just made the pancake recipe a bit more interesting by adding some Orange juice for a great flavor. Try them out today - very easy. This post has had over 105 views to date.

7. 10 Benefits of our three favorite fruits

This post highlights the advantages of our favorite fruits - we say favorite because we use those fruits: Bananas, Oranges and Lemons to make our fruit breads. Banana bread, Lemon bread and Orange bread. We make awesome fresh bread for you that is value added with great fruits - isn't that great? ^_^ Check out more reasons to order our breads from us. This post has had over 100 views to date.

 8. 5 Unexpected Ways to Rock @ Baking

This post give you some tips on helping you prepare and organize yourself for your home-baking projects. It also helps your baked products be more personal, presentable, easier and fun. If you bake at home, check out these tips our and try them if you don't already - very helpful. This post has have over 95 views to date.

9. 15 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for your loved ones

We love to help out in any way during special occasions and holidays. This post was to help anyone out with their gift buying for their loved ones during Valentine's Day. It is also helpful this season as well ^_^! Glad we could be of service to you in any way. This post has had over 90 views to date.

10. Fruit Bread in Nairobi - Dried Fruits benefits

Our 10th most popular post to date is this one that highlights our launch of the Fruit bread and the benefits of dried fruits that we use in it. Most people may not know that dried fruits have benefits and of course; we're always glad to give you information on the ingredients we use in our products. You can always buy some dried fruits to snack on at home or in your office any time ^_^.

We're so happy that we're gathering more followers for our blog and we're glad that we're able to provide information on baking and recipes for you to try at home. Stay tuned for more of the same this coming year and make sure you enjoy this holiday season ^_^!

 

Monday, 17 December 2012

5 Gift Ideas for Christmas in Nairobi

Most people by now have probably done their Christmas gift shopping. However if you're doing last minute gift shopping like some of us do, here are some ideas that may help you out ^_^.

1. Amari Christmas Offers

We have Christmas offers on our Cupcakes and cakes as well as our Fruit breads. You can order any of our Christmas packages and have it delivered by Christmas Eve to your loved one or that special friend. We are offering delivery for all our products this Christmas up to Christmas Eve for the utmost convenience and because we want you to eat Christmas dessert when it's as fresh as possible. Check out our offers and don't forget we also deliver anywhere in Nairobi, so check out our areas and rates.
Amari Red Velvet Christmas Cake

2. Christmas Gift Baskets and Hampers 

Christmas gift basket and gift hampers are very common in supermarkets and stores in Nairobi this season. If you enter most major supermarket chains such as Nakumatt, Tuskys, Naivas or Ukwala; you will find Christmas gift baskets that are already arranged and ready for purchase. This can come in handy for a quick Christmas gift buy. You can also check your local or specialty stores for their current Christmas gift offers and baskets. Stores such as jewelery shops, clothing shops, salons, spas and restaurants also offer holiday dining specials. Visit the stores physically or their websites to know before-hand what they have on offer.
Another idea is to check out malls which have holiday specials, such as; Sarit Centre, Westgate Shopping Mall or The Junction. An example is The Junction Mall which has a website you can visit to see if they have any offers.

Gift  Basket (Photo courtesy of olx.com)

3. Christmas Holiday Vacation Packages for Tours and Safaris

Another idea is if you want to give a gift in which the person can travel or go on vacation. This is good for family members because you can enjoy the gift with them ^_^. You can choose one of the many travel destinations in Kenya to go to. Whether it is in the Coast in Mombasa, touring in the Mara or a vacation in a lodge in Nakuru. There are many Tours and Safaris packages available this season. Check with your local travel agency or visit this website for ideas on bookings:
- www.gokenyasafari.com
kenyaecosafaris.com

4. Online Deals and Discount offers this Christmas

A currently popular trend in Kenya that is a good gift idea are online deals and offers. There are different online marketing companies that offer online deals and discounts for products or services at a 50% discount of the original price. You can look at different current deals that are running and choose one that would suit the person you would like to purchase the deal for as a gift. We ran such a discount with Rupu a few weeks ago ^_^. They are a fun way for customers to try out new products and services from a vendor at a high discount. Try out some of these websites to check out their current deals; Rupu, Mocality, Zetu and Eatout (They connect you will restaurants and even offer delivery to you)

5. Personal Gifts.

If you would like specialized personal gifts for your loved ones or for that special someone; you can just check out our previous post on ideas for gifts for him or her here.

We hope this is helpful for your Christmas Shopping this season. Good luck and Happy Holidays ^_^!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

5 Helpful Tips & Tricks to use while baking at home

While baking, just like in any other craft, there are tricks to use to make the end results more delicious, making the actual preparation process a bit easier or just to add a personal touch.

We've decided to share some tricks we use in our bakery to help us out, you can try them our as well while baking at home ^_^

1. VANILLA SUGAR

In a glass jar, put sugar and an opened Vanilla bean pod and close it tightly. After a week or more, you will have vanilla flavored sugar in the jar. This is helpful for Vanilla Cake recipes; you can also reduce the amount of Vanilla essence you use in the recipe as well. You can find vanilla beans being sold at Nakumatt supermarkets.

Vanilla bean (courtesy of myvanillashop.com)

 2. LEMON/ ORANGE SUGAR

For Lemon or Orange bread or cake recipes; same applies as above. While preparing before baking, put the required amount of sugar for the recipe in a bowl. Grate the rind as required and mix it with the sugar. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes then use it in the recipe. Your cake or bread will have a stronger fruit flavor.

Lemon rind & sugar (courtesy of snapguide.com)

3. CAKE FLOUR

Some recipes call for cake flour and so far we have not found any vendor that sells cake flour in Kenya. (If you know of one locally, please let us know ^_^) Just mix flour, required amount, then remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace it with 2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch. Corn Starch can be found in supermarkets like Nakumatt or Chandarana. Voila! You have cake flour.

4. DRIED FRUITS

For fruit cake or bread; pre-soak the dried fruits in a small bowl with water. Drain them and use in the recipe as instructed.
Dried fruits

5. ALCOHOL AS A PRESERVATIVE

If you would like your quick bread to keep for a while; you can use an alcoholic beverage to help. Just add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of plain, un-flavored vodka or rum to your recipe. Very helpful.

Plain Vodka can be used in baking
These tips and tricks have helped us out, hope they come in handy in your kitchen at home.

If you have any other tips you use while baking at home, please feel free to share, thanks ^_^

Monday, 19 November 2012

Online Shopping in Nairobi just got easier for you ^_^!

In line with providing convenience to you, we now have a new MPESA Buy Good Till number, it's 89736.

We want to make electronic mobile payment not only easier but cost - effective as well. With payment via MPESA the regular way, you have to pay a transaction fee of Kshs. 25 to send the money. Thanks to a wonderful company called Kopo Kopo, we are now able to offer you this easier way of making payments.

Our till number
It is very easy; to make an order for utmost convenience:

    STEP 1: Go to our website and make an order online:
                   Option 1 - Use the shopping cart to choose the goods you would like & order.
                                                                      OR
                   Option 2 - Use our Contact page to order.
    STEP 2: Once you get your total bill, go to your MPESA menu, select "Buy Goods",
                    - enter our till number = 89736 & follow instructions to complete the transaction.
    STEP 3: You will get a confirmation text of payment to us.
    STEP 4: We will contact you to get your delivery details: location and time.
    STEP 5: Your order will be delivered the next day directly to you.

Very easy steps
 We will continue to work on providing variety as well as convenience to you and we're glad to be your bakery needs supplier. Thanks for your continued support ^_^.



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Fruit Bread in Nairobi - It has some surprising health benefits!



We have a new fruit bread addition to our menu – Fruitbread. It’s simply a “Fruit bread” because we’ve used dried fruits and a bit of cinnamon ^_^!

 We have been making it for our customers upon request. So we finally decided to add it to our menu due to high demand.

Amari Fruit bread - medium size

 

We’re also going to give you 5 good points of dried fruits; apparently they have quite a few health benefits!

Dried fruit is fruit where most of the original water content has been removed either naturally; through sun-drying or use of specialized dryers or dehydrators.
Assorted Dried fruits

  1. Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits and are therefore included with fresh fruit in dietary recommendation. Specific nutrient content of different dried fruits reflect from their original fresh counterpart and the processing method. That is, traditional dried fruits verses sugar infused dried fruit.
  2. Dried fruits have almost no fats, trans-fats, saturated fat, cholesterol and very low sodium content.
  3. Dried fruits promote digestive health. There is some research that supports the role of dried fruits in regulating bowel function and in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
  4. Dried fruits promote bone health. Research indicates that they have a role in supporting bone health.
  5. Dried fruits are also very popular because they are naturally resistant to spoilage, easy to store and transport. They are also low cost.
Basket of assorted dried fruits


Medium Amari Fruit Bread @ Kshs. 160

Order and let us know what you think, we love getting feedback from you ^_^!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

8 Interesting facts about Chocolate that you should know

We love chocolate in general and we're thinking of adding a few more products in our menu that contain chocolate. One of our customers' favorites are the Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes.
Our Death by Chocolate Cupcakes
They we're on sale few weeks ago and people we're crazy about them! That got us to thinking about chocolate; mmm...other than it being deliciously heavenly of course ^_^. We decided to find some interesting facts about it and share with you. Definitely food for thought!

1.) Cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health.

Chocolate helps to have a healthy heart
In one study, it was discovered that small but regular amounts of dark chocolate were associated with a lower risk of a heart attack.
Dark chocolate in moderation, is good for your heart!

2.) Other studies have observed a small reduction in blood pressure after consuming dark chocolate daily.

Dark Chocolate
One particular study found that after consuming dark chocolate a participant's blood pressure decreased and the participant showed improvements in insulin sensitivity; meaning they were better able to metabolize glucose.

3.) It has also been discovered that in cocoa solids and chocolate, there is an alkaloid called Theobromine. 

Chocolate makes you smile

 

Theobromine is partly responsible for chocolate's mood-elevating effect.
That means chocolate makes you happy ^_^.

 4.) A preliminary study showed that after exercising, consumption of low fat chocolate milk provided equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories as the milk.

Glass of low fat Chocolate milk-guilt free.

 

So grab a bottle of low fat chocolate milk after a work-out and don't feel guilty about it!.

5.) A study, one that we particularly like, indicated that melting a piece of chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with kissing, lasing 4 times longer after the activity ended.

Better that kissing?

 

Wow, meaning that eating chocolate feels better than kissing. Do you agree?

 6.) Limited research also indicates that cocoa or dark chocolate may produce certain health effects.

Cocoa in a test-tube has shown antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are known to cause cancers.
Chocolate for better health

7.) It is also good to note that excessive consumption of large quantities of chocolate; (especially milk & white chocolate which have low to no health benefits) without corresponding increase in activity, increases the risk of obesity.

Eat chocolate but don't forget....
So make sure as you indulge in a bit of chocolate every once in a while; it is totally alright as long as you exercise often ^_^.
...to keep exercising.

8.) An interesting fact we found our in relation to animals and chocolate is that in sufficient amounts the theobromine found in chocolate is toxic to animals.

Pretty Kitty ^_^
These includes horses, dogs, parrots, small rodents and cats. Chocolate is toxic to them because their systems are unable to metabolize the chemical effectively.
If animals ingest chocolate, the theobromine may remain in their circulation for up to 20 hours; possibly causing epileptic seizures, heart attack, internal bleeding and eventual death. A 20 Kg (44lbs) dog will experience great intestinal distress after consuming less than 240gms (8.5 oz.) of regular milk chocolate (dark chocolate would be even more harmful to them).
No chocolate = Happy cat ^_^
So for all you pet or animal owners, make sure they don't ingest any chocolate, just to be on the safe side.

Aren't you happy to know that chocolate, especially cocoa and dark chocolate, are good for you in small amounts - regularly! We're glad to know, since we use cocoa powder and baking dark chocolate in our Death by Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Cakes. So try them out ^_^!

Do you know any other facts about chocolate? Please Share ^_^!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Yellow cake Frosted Cupcakes topped with strawberries



Since we’re still in the Strawberry season, We figured cupcakes topped with strawberries were in order ^_^ No food coloring was used to give the cup-cakes their yellow color, our secret is local (Kienyeji) eggs. Their yolk is very yellow. Here is the recipe:
Chocolate Frosting topped with a Strawberry ^_^

Ingredients:


-11/2 cups All-Purpose flour
-11/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1/2 cup Sugar
-1/2 cup Margarine
-2 Eggs (Local “Kienyeji” type)
-1/3 cup Milk
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

Directions:


1.)   Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Line the muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
2.)   In a medium bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3.)   In the bowl of the mixer, cream the sugar & margarine for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly, about 3 minutes.
Naturally yellow creamed mixture

4.)   Alternately add the flour mixture with the milk 3 times, starting and ending with the flour; mix well. Add the vanilla essence.
5.)   Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, 2/3 full. 
Cupcake batter

Place into the oven.
6.)   Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean.
7.)   Remove from oven and let cool for at least 3 minutes in the muffin pan. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool, for about 10 minutes. They’ll be ready to frost then.
Baked Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes



FOR THE BUTTER CREAM FROSTING:

Ingredients:

-        11/2 cups Icing sugar
-        ½ cup Margarine
-        ½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
-        2 Tablespoons Milk
-        (Optional) 2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder



Directions:

  1. Sift the icing sugar; then cream the margarine and sugar together for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla essence and mix; then slowly add the milk as required until frosting is desired texture.
  3. If you would like Chocolate Frosting, add the cocoa powder and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Frost the cupcakes.

Toppings:
-        Bowl of fresh Strawberries (washed).

  • After frosting the cupcakes as desired, top them with the strawberries. Make sure you serve the cupcakes right after topping due to the highly perishable nature of strawberries.
Cupcakes with plain Frosting

Enjoy your strawberry – topped frosted cupcakes ^_^!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie for this Strawberry Season!

It's Strawberry Season! I'm very excited because my mum has being doing some Strawberry Farming and they have fruited, yay!!
Strawberries straight from the farm!


Well, here is a Strawberry & Banana smoothie.

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothie-yummy!

Ingredients:

- 7 cups of Strawberries
- 8 pcs Ripe Bananas (Medium size)
- 1/2L Water
- 3 Tablespoons of Honey (or Sugar)

Directions:

Fresh Strawberries
1.) Wash the strawberries and set them aside. Peel the ripe bananas and set them aside as well
Medium ripe bananas

2.) Chop the ripe bananas and set them aside on a plate.
Chopped ripe bananas


3.) Put the water, strawberries, ripe bananas & sugar (or honey) in a blender and blend for 5 to 8 minutes.

4.) Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Strawberry smoothie in a glass


The smoothie was truly delicious...mmm good. Get some strawberries and enjoy ^_^!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Delicious Apple Mini-Cake Recipe

I wanted to share a cake recipe that I truly love, (even without Frosting), yup. I love apples, and anything apple-like; apple juice, apple pie, apple cake. So I baked an Apple Mini-Cake for my family the other day and we ate it warm. It was so delicious, that I decided to share it; who knows, maybe we'll add it to the Amari Bakery menu soon ^_^ Here it is, enjoy!

Apple Cake

Apple Mini-Cake

Ingredients:

- 11/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 11/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/3 cup Margarine
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1/3 cup Milk
- 1 Pce regular size Apple (Preferably Red kind)-Cored & cubed
- 1 pce Lemon (Squeezed for juice)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Then grease and flour a Round 6" cake pan. Set aside.
2.) In a separate bowl, sift the flour & baking powder and set aside.
3.) In small bowl; combine the cubed apples, cinnamon, lemon juice & a small amount of sugar (about 2 Tablespoons) and mix. Set aside.
Apple mixture

4.) Cream the remaining sugar & margarine in a medium bowl for up to 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 1 - 2 minutes.
5.) Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, three times, starting and ending with the flour. Mix thoroughly but do not over-mix.
6.) Pour one-third of the batter into the prepared pan, then layer half of the apple mixture on top. Pour another third of the batter, 
Apple cake batter & mixture layering

then layer the rest of the apple mixture and top it off with the remaining third of the batter.
Apple cake batter complete

7.) Place in the pre-heated oven in a middle rack and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8.) Remove cake from oven and let it cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan. Then remove it and place it on a cooling rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
9.) You can serve warm on a plate to have with tea or coffee. If you would like, you can also cool completely and frost it.
Apple Cake is served

 Bon Apetit!
Slice of Apple Cake - yummy!

I love this cake because it can be enjoyed warm, cold, frosted or un-frosted. It is always delicious either way! Maybe we'll add it to our menu, let us know what you think. ^_^

If you would like to learn how to bake awesome cake recipes and frost them; sign up for our Cake & Decoration Course. Get more details on our website. You can also email: info@amaribakery.com or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 0701796688

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Storage Tips for the Upcoming Hot Season

In our wonderful bakery, we bake the old-fashioned way; we don't use any preservatives or bread stabilizers. We like using fresh ingredients on our baked products and we also like to keep them as natural and chemical-free as we possibly can. That also means that the shelf-life of our products is reasonable shorter than that of other baked products sold in shops or supermarkets (it also means fresh products for our customers daily). Lucky for you we deliver to you Monday to Saturday, so you can order whenever ^_^.
In this upcoming hot season though, we would like to remind everyone of the proper storage of our fruit breads and other products since perishable goods spoil faster in a warmer environment. Hope this tips are helpful.

Tip No. 1:

- Make sure when you receive your order from Amari Quickbreads Bakery, read the label so that you are aware of the shelf-life of the bread.
Amari packed fruit breads

Tip No. 2:

- As our labels suggest, make sure you store the baked products in a cool dry place, so they do not spoil faster.

Tip No. 3:

- We like our customers to consume the baked products we supply on the day supplied and the day after.
Frosted orange Cupcake

However: if you would like to keep them an extra day, you can store in the refrigerator to give it another day. You can also check out our storage tips on our previous blog post on storage.

Tip No. 4:

- If you would like to consume our products at several times during the week and you're not sure if they will last; remember that as long as you order a day before; we can deliver to you any day. We are open for delivery Monday to Saturday and we can deliver to you as often as you would like us to; we're here to make you happy. ^_^

Hope those tips are helpful and you can always contact us for any questions you have through our website or E-mail: info@amaribakery.com or Call or Text: 0701796688

Enjoy the upcoming warm season, thanks for always supporting us and stay tuned for more sales coming up during the month ^_^