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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

BAKING WITH A CHARCOAL OVEN: 4 Tips on Maintaining Your Charcoal Oven

In this post on our BAKING WITH A CHARCOAL OVEN Series, we'll focus on a few ways to maintain your charcoal oven.

If you have just gotten your charcoal oven, read this post on how to get started with it

If you're not sure how to maintain your charcoal oven, here are a four easy, important tips on how to do so.

1. Cleaning your charcoal oven

To keep your charcoal oven in good condition, it's good to clean it weekly by dusting the walls of the oven with a dry cloth and the bottom with a small soft brush. This is very important for hygiene and sanitation reasons. Make sure you scrub it once a month as well. Use a cloth to wash the oven walls, empty the ash from the jiko burners and the collectors at the bottom. Also make sure you scrub the outside of the oven to keep it looking clean as well.
Clean ovens are the best ^_^ 


2. Using the recommended fuels
Make sure you use the correct fuels in your charcoal oven. Do not use the wrong fuels, such as firewood; this will damage your charcoal oven. It will also shorten the lifespan of your oven.
Use charcoal in the oven
3. Don't pour Water on the ceramic liners of your Charcoal oven
The jiko part of your charcoal oven is made using ceramic/clay material, so you have to be careful of it. Avoid pouring water on that part of the oven - especially while cleaning. The liners can crack over time. To avoid this, make sure you clean the liners with a dry cloth. This will prolong the lifespan of your charcoal oven. Cookswell Charcoal oven liners are manufactured in a way that makes the liners more resistant to cracking even after water has been poured on them numerous times. Visit their blog to learn more.
Cookswell Liners (Courtesy: Cookswell)

4. Be careful while transporting your charcoal oven
If you're moving your oven to a different location, you need to transport your oven properly. Make sure you tie down the oven carefully and securely while transporting it. Ensure that the oven is carried upright and to prevent the jiko burners from cracking during transportation; you can carry them separately. Store them in a box separately and assemble the oven when you arrive.

If you follow these easy, but very important tips - your charcoal oven will last long. If you have a charcoal oven and would like to add more tips on how to maintain it, please feel free to comment below.

And as always, make sure you have fun baking with your charcoal oven ^_^!

If you would like to learn how to bake with a charcoal oven, sign up for our baking classes and start learning today. Visit our webpage for more info, email us at bakingclasses@amaribakery.co.ke or Call/Text: 0707557091.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Chocolate Cookies Recipe

For today's Flavor Friday feature, we're going to share a chocolate cookie recipe!

Very delicious, hope you like it. We sure did ^_^

Chocolate Cookies 

Ingredients:

* 11/2C  All-Purpose Flour
* 11/2t   Baking Powder
* 1/4C   Cocoa Powder
* 1  Large Egg
* 1t        Vanilla Essence
* 1/2C    Margarine (or Butter)
* 1/2 C      Sugar
*1/2 C     Milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Then grease and flour a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
Sifted dry ingredients
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the fat (margarine or butter) with the sugar for at least 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix.
4. Add the flour and milk alternatively atleast 3 times, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Incorporating the flour into creamed mixture

 The dough should not be like batter, cookie dough is drier.
The cookie dough

5. If you would like to bake the cookies immediately (like we did ^_^), shape the dough into balls and then place them into the pan. Flatten them a bit with a spoon dipped in some floor to get the round shape.
Flattened cookie dough ready for baking

(For better results, divide the cookie dough twice; then form two logs and place them in a refrigerator for up to 2 hours until they are firm. Then slice the log into cookie shapes and place them on the baking sheet.)
Cookie dough log
6. Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 20 - 25  minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then using a spatula, remove the cookies from the pan onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Serve and enjoy the delicious chocolatey goodness ^_^.

Monday, 9 June 2014

BAKING IN KENYA: 5 Liquids Used in Baking In Kenya

In this post of our Baking in Kenya Series, we're focusing on different liquids you can use in your ingredients while baking.

For other posts on other ingredients used while baking, click on this link

Here are 5 of the main liquids used while baking:

1. Milk
Milk(Courtesy: dairyreport.com)
This is the most commonly used liquid while baking cakes and pastries. It's used to fold in dry ingredients in cake batter while baking. You can find milk in your recipes and it can be used fresh or as butter milk (maziwa mala). Fresh milk and maziwa mala can be bought locally in shops or in supermarkets. Other forms of milk that can be used are coconut milk or goat milk. These are generally found in supermarkets.
Coconut Milk (Courtesy: wallmart.com)


2. Yoghurt
Yoghurt (Courtesy: lavishbeauty.co.ke)
Yoghurt is a dairy product that is sold in many supermarkets to be consumed as a snack. It can also be used in recipes while baking, it is used mostly when plain, but a recipe may also call for a flavored yoghurt e.g. Strawberry etc. It gives the recipe a creamy and soft texture.

3. Freshly Squeezed Fruit Juice
This is also a popular liquid that comes in different flavors depending on the fruit in use e.g. orange, lemon, pineapple, etc. Freshly squeezed juice gives your recipe a fresh and authentic taste to your end product. It's usually a better alternative to adding essence (e.g. strawberry, pineapple essence) in your recipe.

4. Rum


Rum (Courtesy: barsandbartending.com)
Yes Rum ^_^! It's especially  used in rich and traditional fruit cakes or rum cake recipes. The dried fruits are usually baked with rum and it gives the cake a rich flavor. When added into the batter, when baked, the alcohol evaporates and therefore cannot make you drunk. Just make sure you store the alcohol in a lockable drawer in your kitchen or elsewhere if you have children in the household. Rum is also used after the cake has baked and cooled, for flavoring and preservation. Traditional fruit cakes call for 'feeding' the cake; this is when you slowly add the rum to your cake daily or weekly - depending on your preference. You use a skewer; pierce the top of the cake and pour alcohol down the skewer, into the cake. You can feed a fruit cake for up to 3 months for a very rich taste.

5. Water


This is the most basic liquid ingredient that is used especially in yeast recipes for mixing dough. If you find you don't have milk for you cake or cupcake recipe and you've started mixing, you can use water. The end result is not the same as when you use milk-very rich and fluffy, but it serves it's purpose.

Those are the top most used liquids while baking, if you would like to make a suggestions of any other liquids you use while baking, please feel free to share below ^_^!

If you don't know how, or would like to learn how to be a better baker, sign up for our baking classes and start learning to bake with us, it's lots of fun - promise ^_^. > Visit our site for more info on Baking classes.