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Monday, 24 February 2014

Ginger Cake Recipe

The recipe we're going to share today is Ginger Cake.

It's a very delicious spicy cake that can be enjoyed with or without any frosting.

If you would like to, however, feel free to frost it ^_^

Ingredients:

  • 2 c      All-Purpose Flour
  • 2t        Baking Powder
  • 2t        Ground Ginger
  • 1t        Ground Nutmeg
  • 2t        Ground Cinnamon
  • 1c       Margarine
  • 1c       Brown Sugar
  • 1/4c    Mollasses
  • 2 pcs  Eggs
  • 1/4c    Milk
  • 1t       Vanilla Essence

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 180 C or if a charcoal oven, to medium heat.
2.) Grease and flour a 6" Square cake pan and set aside.
Greased & floured cake pan
3.) In a medium clean bowl, measure and sift all the dry ingredients i.e. flour, baking powder and the spices.
4.) In a large mixing bowl, cream the margarine, molasses and sugar with a whisk, or an electric mixer for about 5-8 minutes, your mixture will be a bit greyish, but that is ok, it's due to the molasses.
Adding milk into the creamed mixture

5.) Add the eggs one at a time and mix only until well incorporated. If your mixture looks like it's curdling it's alright. Then add the vanilla and mix.
6.) Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until thoroughly mixed. If the milk is not enough, add accordingly until you acquire the correct texture.
Fold the flour into the mixture
7.) Pour the batter with a spatula into the prepared cake pan. Place it in the middle rack of the oven, in the middle.
Ginger Cake batter in cake pan
8.) Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until toothpick, metal skewer or clean knife inserted comes out clean. Remove the pan and leave the cake to cool in a pan for about 20 - 30 minutes.
9.) Remove cake from pan gently and leave to cool on a tray or cooling rack until completely cool. Serve without frosting or with if preferred.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

3 Simple Tips on Decorating your Cakes and Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is around the corner and we know that if you like baking like we do, you have a delicious home-baking project lined up ^_^!

So when you bake those cakes or cupcakes and frost them, here are some tips to help you with the garnishing and decorating. 

 

1. Add color to your frosting:

 

When you're making your frosting, it'll probably be white or a creamy color. To spice things up a bit, add a drop or two of food color to make it look more colorful. You can add red, pink or even a light purple. Food color can be found at any major supermarket or at Walibhai Karim for about Kshs. 25 to 110.
Pink colored Frosted Cupcakes

2. Add some sprinkles to your cake or cupcakes:

 

You can also add some sprinkles to your frosted cupcakes or the borders of your frosted cake to add even more color. You can get a small packet of sprinkles (or Decocceli) at Walibhai Karim on Biashara street; its 130/- for 100gms. Some supermarkets such as Nakumatt also sell large bottles of 350gms at around Kshs. 365.
Sugar Sprinkles (Courtesy: pipandebby.com)

3. Garnish your Cake borders and frosted Cupcakes

 

You can garnish your cakes or cupcakes with slices of fruit such as oranges, lemons, strawberries or cherries. You can also use fondant flowers, find in stores such as Walibhai Karim or major supermarkets and range from Kshs. 120 to 600.
Lemon & Orange garnished cupcakes
We hope these simple tips will help and if you have any questions, suggestions or comments - please feel free to comment below. Enjoy this sweet month of February ^_^!

BAKING WITH A CHARCOAL OVEN IN KENYA: How to Use your new Charcoal Oven.

This month we're going to start a new series that's aimed at helping out anyone who has bought a charcoal oven or already has one and uses it for baking.

Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to bake with one,but with a few helpful tips, it's very easy.


Today we're going to start from the beginning, when you get your oven and you're not sure how to get started. Here are a few tips.
Large Cookswell Charcoal Oven

1. Lighting It

To light your charcoal oven, you have to start by lighting a small charcoal jiko. When it is lit, make sure you have oven mitts on, while using a metal spoon to scoop the coals into the oven charcoal burners. Then, add your charcoal (or any other fuel you are using), to light a medium fire. Don't add too much charcoal or you oven will be too hot, add just enough.
Another easy way of starting it is purchasing a natural match fire-starter; place it in one of your jiko liners in the oven, light it and stack a little bit of charcoal on it to light.

Fire-starter
When it catches fire, add an extra amount and spread it between the jiko liners to light up the oven. You can click on this link to see a video of how to light a charcoal oven from Cookswell Jikos.
Lighting your charcoal oven

2. Temperature Control

If you can afford one, it's important to get a high-temp thermometer to use in your charcoal oven while baking. It will make it easy to control the temperature in the oven and therefore give you the best results in your baking. Make sure your high temperature  thermometer is hanging in the middle rack in the oven. If you have achieved your required temperature, you can start baking. If you haven't, you can add a bit of charcoal to get it to the required temperature.
High temp thermometer hanged in the middle rack

If you don't have a thermometer, you can still learn how to bake with the charcoal oven. Just make sure, you start with a medium heat and maintain it through the baking process. After your cake has set, you can check the heat and if it has reduced, just add 1 or 2 coals to each jiko burner and continue baking. However; in time it is imperative to get a high temperature thermometer for best baking results
Use the slots below to control temperature

Once your oven is lit, close the slots at the bottom to maintain the heat in the oven. If you're oven temperature reduces, you can use the slots, at the bottom of the oven to increase temperature by opening them (after adding one or two coals - if the heat reduces drastically).

3. Cleaning your charcoal oven

  Make sure you clean your oven at least every 2 weeks, at the most once a month. When your oven is not in use, remove the racks inside the oven and clean them. You can use a wire brush to remove any residue on the racks and brush them out until clean of any charcoal dust.
Using a soft brush, you can scrub the sides and bottom of the oven and sweep the dust into the burners, then you can wipe the wall of the oven with a wet cloth.
Clear the ash from the burners and then, remove the ashes from the ash collector at the bottom of each burner and return them.
Return the racks and them wipe the outside of the oven with a wet cloth and your oven is clean.
You can use some steel-wire to scrub the outside of your oven and then wipe it down with a clean cloth.
Clean charcoal oven

4. Baking

If you don't know how to bake, you can get started by signing up for one of our Baking Classes, or any other institution that offers baking lessons.
You can bake very delicious and moist cakes in a charcoal oven

We hope those few tips are helpful, if you have any comments or questions please feel free to post below ^_^