We've moved to WordPress -> amaribakery.com

Saturday, 29 August 2015

We've officially moved to WordPress

Hi to all, so sorry for all the quiet - it was partly due to a bit of relocating.

As an obvious fan of Blogger; I would like to state that I've enjoyed my time on Blogger with this blog, it's almost sad that I have to move it; but it was very necessary.

WordPress offers a cleaner look and a more versatile blogging platform; I've been trying it out with a business blog of mine for the last one year and a half and I have to admit that I really like it.

It also has a large variety of plug-ins that are really helpful to a business blogger like me.


So I've decided to move and I will officially be posting from there from now on; however, the information here will remain on this blog for all to see.

For the new stuff: please follow the link below and follow the blog ASAP ^_^

Don't worry, all the posts in this blog have been imported to the new blog as well; so you can still refer to the old posts on the new Wordpress blog as well.

amaribakery.com


Thanks for reading and for being a fan; let's continue this awesome baking journey together on Wordpress!



Friday, 10 April 2015

Green Ombre Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting Recipe

I decided to share this recipe that was baked during the Easter season. Haven't been baking much; a bit of traveling and book writing - but I'm working on a sort of blog and book balance (I Promise ^_^)

This was a hit with the family; especially my adorable cake-loving niece, so I bet with that seal of approval - you'll definitely love baking and eating it!

Green Ombre Cake - delish!

Green Ombre Cake Recipe

* Bake the below recipe four times; in four half loaf containers;
the only difference will be in the food color (as stated below).

Ingredients:

  1. All-Purpose Flour - 1 cup
  2. Baking Powder     - 1 tspn
  3. Sugar                    - 1/3 cup
  4. Butter/Margarine   - 1/3 cup 
  5. Vanilla Essence      - 1/2 tspn
  6. Egg (medium)        - 1 pce
  7. Milk                      - 1/2 cup
  8. Liquid Food Color - Green (Brand used in this recipe is Moirs-great color with no bitter taste): For each loaf cake a different quantity used i.e. = 1/8 tspn, 1/4 tspn, 1/2 tspn & 3/4 tspn.
  • If using unsalted butter instead of margarine; add 1/8 tspn of salt to your recipe.

Directions:

 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour four half loaf pans and set them aside.
2. In a medium bowl, measure and sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & salt if you're using butter); set aside.
3. In a large, deep bowl; cream the sugar and fat with an electric mixer until white for about 3 to 5 minutes. You can also use a balloon whisk to cream the sugar and fat until white.
4. In a small bowl; beat your egg with a fork until bubbles form. Measure the food color and vanilla into the creamed mixture; mix for about half a minute. Then add the egg and beat until well incorporated; for about one minute, don't over beat.
5. Using a spatula; fold half the dry ingredients into the wet mixture gently until well incorporated. Add the remaining gradually with the milk until the batter is a drop texture. Pour your batter into your loaf pan ready to bake.
6. Place your pan onto a baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes; or until toothpick, skewer or clean bread knife comes out clean and clear. Remove pan from oven and let cool for about 20 to 30 minutes; then remove the cake from the pan and place it on a cooling rack or tray to cool completely.
* When mixing, I would advise starting with the loaf cake with the least amount of color as you add gradually; this will give the cake the perfect 'ombre' effect - different shades of the green color.
Baking the cakes in our Cookswell Charcoal Oven ^_^
7. When your cake is completely cool; it's ready to frost. For this recipe; I just used the Whippak cream frosting; it's very simple, especially if you're in a hurry. Just buy the 1L Puripak box and just pour about 2 cups of the white liquid into a deep bowl; and beat with an electric mixer or balloon whisk - it turns into fluffy whipped cream. You can find it at Walibhai Karim for about 450/- for the liter box.
8. Take each of your cakes and level them on top using a bread knife; then torte each cake and spread the cream frosting in the middle with your icing spatula. On your plate, tray or cake board; start with the lightest cake on the bottom and slowly stack them on top of each other, darkest on top. Each cake layer gets a thin layer of cream frosting to hold the cakes together.

Light green cake at bottom; dark green on top
9. Frost the rest of the cake and decorate it as you like; I put some sugar sprinkles on mine for a colorful look. You're cake is ready to eat!
Cake ready to eat.

Enjoy!
Adorable niece enjoying the cake ^_^ (cuz it's finger-licking good)

If you would love to learn how to bake cakes and cupcakes and frost them like the one above; please visit the 'Baking Classes' Page for more information on the current intake.

Thanks for reading and if you do try out this recipe; please feel free to share your results.
 Happy Baking ^_^!!

Friday, 27 February 2015

6 Types of Bakery Niches to Choose for Your Start-Up Bakery Idea

I'm currently working on a book to help those who want to successfully start up a small baking business successfully; especially in East Africa. The progress is slower than I thought, however; I know it's going to be a masterpiece when it's done (^_^).

One of the most important things when you're about to start up your bakery business is to choose the kind of bakery you will have. To put it simply; you need to choose a 'niche' - a specific kind of focus or edge for your bakery. This is important for many business reasons; including the reason that you're able to produce better products over time, as well as target the appropriate target customers for your bakery business.
Today I want to share some types of bakery options you can choose from to help you in choosing a menu or a general niche direction for your start up bakery business idea.

1. Gourmet Cakes

Chocolate Fudge cake

You can choose to bake and sell gourmet cake products. These are high quality cake and specialist pastry products that are more expensive than most baked goods in the market. Rich, delicious cakes and pastries have gained quite a market in the cake industry in East Africa and more consumers are willing to pay the price to taste them. There are a few bakeries in Kenya that have decided to choose that niche e.g. Valentine Cake House, etc. An example of gourmet baked products you can offer in your menu are; Chocolate Ganache Cakes, Chocolate Fudge cakes, Rich Fruit Cakes, Cheesecakes, Chocolate Mouse Cakes, Petit fours, Tortes (i.e. Sacher Torte), German Chocolate Cake - (Apparently a lot of gourmet cakes have chocolate ^_^) those are just a few examples.

2. Commercial Breads and Cakes

White Scones

You can choose to focus on high demand commercial bread loaves, cakes and cupcakes. You can produce a large quantity of yeast breads, cupcakes (or queen cakes, as they are known in Kenya) or smaller cakes. You can choose to produce them as a wholesaler to sell to retail shops or supermarkets. Yeast breads, queen cakes and cakes are in high demand in the baking industry due to their affordable prices; most Kenyans eat bread or queen cakes for breakfast. There are many successful bakeries that are in this niche in Kenya e.g. Kenblest, Bakers Inn, Supa Loaf, etc.  Examples of these products to choose from are; brown and white yeast bread, brown and white scones, plain queen cakes, loaf cakes (e.g. Vanilla loaf cake), Cake slices, etc.

3. Sponge Cakes

Black Forrest Cake

This is also another popular niche, especially in Kenya. You can choose to focus on sponge cakes for your start-up bakery menu. Once you learn how to bake them; sponge cakes are easy to make and can be baked fresh everyday; they are a great 'canvas' for many kinds of cake products. You can choose different ways to assemble and decorate them to provide variety. Examples of very famous sponge cakes are White and Black Forrest cakes which are very popular in East Africa. Other types of cakes that use a sponge cake base are; Victorian Sandwich, Swiss Rolls, Chocolate Roulades, etc. A great example of a bakery business in Kenya that has been successful in this niche is the Black Forest House that has branches in Nairobi and Kisumu.
Classic Victorian Sandwich (Image: BBC Good Food)

4. Artisan Breads

Baguettes (Image credit: Wikipedia)

This is the art of making bread by hand; mostly done by skilled artisan bakers. A great example of such a niche in practice is Artcaffe which is a Nairobi-based franchise bakery and coffee shop business that sells artisan breads. Examples of these breads are; baguettes, Italian bread, bagels, brioche, ciabatta, focaccia, etc. If you are skilled at making the breads or can hire an artisan baker, it's a great niche to invest in. Most of the breads have basic ingredients i.e., wheat flour, yeast and salt. You can spice up your menu by adding ingredients to your breads such as; dried herbs, dried fruits, nuts and spices.

5. Wedding Cakes

This is one of the most popular and competitive niches in Kenya. If you have experience in baking cakes and creating amazing designs using fondant icings, then this is the niche for you. It is a high return niche business as long as you cost your cakes well. There are numerous examples of success e.g. Affordable Eats Boutique in Kisumu, Valentine Cake House in Nairobi, etc.

6. Cookies and Biscuits

You can also choose to focus on cookies and biscuits in your start-up bakery menu; it's a niche that also has a high return. You can offer cookies in retail and also supply shops with packets of biscuits or cookies. A great example of a successful Kenyan business in that niche is Paul Cookiemans Ltd. You can choose to provide variety in  your cookies by offering different flavors, frostings and sizes. A few examples are; coconut cookies, short bread cookies/biscuits, ginger biscuits, Lavender Cookies, Jelly Cookies, etc.

Bake & Sell Cookies and biscuits

 These are not all the niches you can choose from; there are many more options you can explore. The above mentioned are some of the more profit-generating niches which you can start your bakery business in and be very successful. You can choose a general niche or a highly specific one. You can even choose to do something that isn't popular in Kenya e.g. Vegan bakery, Health bakery etc.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take necessary steps to plan and prepare well for your bakery start-up business before launching it.

You can get a copy of our book on How to Start-Up a Small Baking Business Successfully.

If you would like to possibly start a small baking business in the future and would like to know how to bake; please check our current Course Schedule and join our current class intake to learn how to bake with an original charcoal oven for optimum business economy.

You can also find out when our next Bakery Business Workshop will be held in order to book your spot. Click here

Monday, 5 January 2015

Red Plum Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Hope you're enjoying the New Year!

First recipe for the new year is one that was truly delicious as a Christmas dessert, so definitely had to share.

Try it out and see how you like it.

Red Plum Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:
  • All-Purpose Flour    - 2 cups
  • Margarine or Butter - 1 cup
  • Sugar                      - 2/3 cup
  • Vanilla Extract         - 1/2 tspn
  • Red Plum Jam         - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - for sprinkling.
  • Glaze  -  for icing (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius or to a medium heat.
  2. Grease and flour a large cookie sheet pan or two medium cookie sheets and set aside.
  3. Measure the flour into a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, measure the margarine/butter and beat with a mixer or whisk for at least 5 minutes until creamy.
  5. Measure the vanilla extract and sugar into the margarine and cream for 3 to 5 minutes until almost white in color. 
  6. Pour half of the flour into the creamed mixture and beat for about a minute if using an electric mixer. Add the remaining flour and fold in using a spatula.
  7. Cover the cookie dough in the bowl with cling film and refrigerate the cookie dough for about an hour or more until it's easy to use with your hands. You can also set it in a cool place for about two hours.
  8. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and shape into little balls while placing them on the prepared cookie sheet.
  9. Leave space between the cookies; then using your thumb, make a hole in the middle of each.
  10. Measure the jam in a small bowl and stir until easy to use. Use a half teaspoon to scoop the jam into each cookie. Sprinkle the extra sugar on top of the cookies.
  11. Place the cookies inside the pre-heated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes; then place them on a cooling rack or tray to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling on the rack, drizzle glaze on them as preferred.
  13. Serve the cookies on a plate ready to enjoy.
    Delicious Cookies - frosted or un-frosted
P/S:
* You can use vanilla essence if you do not find vanilla extract. You can also try my current favorite product - Vanilla Extract - Kilimanjaro Vanilla. It's an organic brand called The Epicurious Hedgehog based in Tanzania. If you would like to order some let me know I will give you the contacts of the distributor.
Kilimanjaro Vanilla - Amazing vanilla flavor
* If you can get it; make the cookies with butter, it gives you perfectly delicious cookies.

Enjoy your cookies and when you try them, please post your feedback below ^_^

To learn how to bake with a charcoal oven, click on our Baking Classes page for a schedule of our classes.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

 HAPPY NEW YEAR ^_^

Amari has had an amazing and unbelievable year and we have all our fans to thank.

Our brand has changed a lot, for the better.

 

For a short recap of our amazing year; we changed our business model a bit.
We no longer sell baked products;

we now teach individuals how to bake using original charcoal ovens. We met awesome bakers and bakerettes ^_^!

We also partnered with an amazing company called Cookswell who sell energy saving jikos to bring you original charcoal ovens and Business Start-up classes at discount prices.

So excited to also announce that online classes will be available in February for those who are very far and can't attend the classes in person.
The launch date for the business start-up book has also been moved to 2016.

New book coming soon ^_^!

What are your New Year plans for 2015? Feel free to share below ^_^

Happy New Year 2015