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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

5 Important Tips on Measuring Ingredients while baking at home

For our Tips on  Tuesday feature, which was supposed to be for yesterday (oops ^_^), we'll be sharing tips on measuring your ingredients when preparing to mix your batter for baking.

We hope this will be helpful while baking at home.

 

 1. Remember to level off when measuring dry ingredients.

Leveling off flour (courtesy: thecookinggeek.com)

 

When measuring dry ingredients with a measuring cup i.e. flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, regular and caster sugar. When you scoop the dry ingredients, level off with a straight object like a knife. Make sure not to pack the ingredients in the cup. Just scoop and level.

2. When measuring fats and brown sugar, make sure to pack and level.

Packing brown sugar (courtesy: joythebaker.com)

For fats such as shortening, butter and margarine; as well as brown sugar which has a sticky, wet texture. When measuring with spoons or cups, make sure to pack the ingredients in the measuring tool. When the fat or sugar is packed in properly, level it off and then use it for your recipe.

3. When measuring liquids use a liquid measuring cup.

Measuring liquids in a liquid cup (courtesy: valeriehjohnson.com)

For liquids such as milk, water, fresh juice etc, it is highly advisable to use a liquid measuring cup. It is very accurate and also very easy to use.

4. Use a kitchen scale for other unique ingredients.

 
Weighing ingredients with a kitchen scale (courtesy: cuisinart.ca)


For ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, cooking chocolate, grated & chocolate chips etc. It is advisable to measure the ingredients by weighing them or purchasing them in their specific weight measures, ready for use.

5. Use piece measurements as specified for other ingredients.

Piece measurements like eggs (courtesy: foodsubs.com)
For ingredients such as eggs, fresh fruit, vegetables and any other ingredients; measurement is easy, just use the recipe specified  quantity e.g. 2 large eggs or 3 pcs Ripe Bananas.

Have fun with your home baking projects and happy measuring ^_^

For any questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to comment below, thank you ^_^.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Measuring Tools used for baking - Baking Equipment In Kenya Explained

For our 'Tips on Tuesday' feature today we're going to share our fifth post on the Baking Equipment In Kenya Explained Series. 

Today the post is on equipment used to measure ingredients to start mixing the batter.

You can also check out our other posts if you haven't already on; Ovens, Baking pans, Mixing Equipment and Cake Decorating tools.

1. Measuring Cups and Spoons

It is very important to have a set of measuring spoons and cups. They are mandatory since it's how you measure all your ingredients; dry and liquid. They come in a set of standard measures; cups (1/8c, 1/4c, 1/2c & 1 cup) and Spoons (1/2t, 1/4t & 1 teaspoon, 1/2T & 1 Tablespoon). They can be found together; cups & spoons but you might also find them in separate sets. They come in plastic or stainless steel materials. They are easily found in any major supermarkets such as  Tuskys or Nakumatt in Kenya and range from Kshs. 300 to 1,000 based on set size, material and quality. They can also be found in bake-ware shops such as Topserve Ltd on Accra Rd or Walibhai Karim Ltd in Biashara street in Nairobi.
Measuring  Cups & Spoons (courtesy: ahealthykitchen.com)

2. Liquid Measuring Cup

This is another important tool to own since it measures large fluid units; it comes in 4-8 cup measurements. it also comes marked with the metric fluid measurements that can make it easier to measure liquids as stated in recipes e.g. 300ml. It comes in glass or plastic material. It is also easily found in Kenya in major supermarkets and kitchen or bake-ware shops. They range from Kshs. 100 to 300 based on material and quality.
Liquid Measuring Cup (courtesy: valdosta.com)

3. Kitchen Scale

In baking, using cup measurements at home is easier and low-cost. However, measuring by weight is more accurate and some recipes may have weight measures (e.g. 250gms) instead of volume (e.g. 1/2 cup flour). A simple kitchen scale is very useful for accuracy and very helpful. You can get a spring scale, they are much more economical and easily available in major supermarkets in Kenya. They range from Kshs. 1,000 to 2,500 based on quality and brand.
Kitchen Spring Scale (courtesy: leeners.com)

You can also get a digital kitchen scale; they are also easily found in supermarkets and are very easy to use. They range from Kshs. 1,500 to 3,500 based on brand and quality.
Kitchen Digital Scale (courtesy: made-in-china.com)

4. Oven Thermometer

If you are a serious baker and want to perfect results for your home-baking results by following recipes exactly. For a perfect oven temperature, an oven thermometer would come in handy. They are used for gas and electric ovens that have built-in thermometers but may not be so accurate. When using the thermometer, you can compensate for any discrepancy; whether oven is too hot or too cold.
Oven high temperature thermometers are sold by Cookswell at their Lower Kabete shop as well as their Nanyuki One Stop Shop Branch. Other household equipment vendors in Nairobi sell them as well. They range from Kshs. 1,000 to 1,500.
Oven Thermometer (courtesy: chinatraderonline.com)

5. Kitchen Timer

 A timer is very helpful if you are a home-baker that has many distraction in the kitchen or if you're multitasking. Most kitchen electric or gas ovens come with a built-in timer so if you have one of those, there is no need to buy one. But for those who use charcoal ovens or if your oven does not have a timer; it's good to have one handy to keep you organized while baking so as not to ruin your wonderful baked desserts. You can find them in some major supermarkets, bake-ware or kitchen ware shops. You can also check at specialty shops for kitchen appliances such as the Kitchen Company at the Junction mall. They range from Kshs. 900 and above based on brand and quality.


We hope that this list of top essential items required for measuring has been helpful. If you have any inquiries, suggestions or additions please feel free to comment below.

Happy Baking wonderful people ^_^!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

All About Coconuts



Our flavor for the month this April is coconut, so we want to share a bit of information on this versatile fruit (which is also a seed).


Coconut Water

Coconut water is refreshing and many people enjoy drinking it; it has become quite popular in places like the United States for its healthy properties and many people now drink coconut water daily as part of their diet.
Coconuts can be harvested when they’re still immature or “green” because they contain a large amount of water for drinking. There is also still some water in them even after they mature, found in the core. This can also be used for drinking

Green coconut with water (courtesy: eyesonbrazil.com)
Coconut Flesh

After the coconut has matured, layers of its endosperm deposit along the walls; this is the white part that is the edible ‘flesh’.

The flesh is used for many purposes:

-It can be dried and used to make desiccated coconut used for many purposes; but especially in baking on coconut cakes for decoration.

Desiccated Coconut (courtesy: vtraco.com)
-Coconut oil can also be derived from it that can be used for cooking, frying or baking. The oil is also used in cosmetics such as make-up, lotions and bath soaps.

Hair care products with coconut oil (iherb.com)
-Coconut milk is also derived from the “flesh”, it can be used for baking or cooking rice or any other dishes or sauces. You can also drink the milk ^_^

Coconut Milk (Courtesy: sodeliciousdairyfree.com)
Coconut Shell

The hard shell can be used as charcoal. You can visit this Cookwells Enery Saving Blog for more information and pictures on how to do so.

Coconut Natural Habitat

Coconut palms thrive in sandy soil, it is very tolerant of areas with high salty levels and prefer areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall. That is why it is found on shores of tropics such as the coast in Kenya. They also require high humidity and warm conditions. They are also found in areas such as Hawaii and Florida in the U.S.
Coconut Palms (courtesy: faculty.ucc.edu)

We're surely loving this tropical fruit, it's very useful for many things, aromatic and truly delicious; whether in a sauce, used to flavor rice and especially when used for baking ^_^.

Amari Coconut Baked products
Stay tuned for Coconut recipes coming soon!