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Monday, 14 April 2014

BAKING IN KENYA: 6 Fats Used in Baking in Kenya

This is the third post on our Baking In Kenya Series focusing on ingredients used in baking and are available in Kenya.
Today's post is on different fats used while baking. Here are 6 fats used while baking:

  1. Butter
    Butter is a dairy product that consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water. It's made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It's used as a spread, in cooking and baking. When butter is being produced, it can be added salt, flavorings or preservatives. Most butter is salted, unless stated unsalted. Unsalted butter is preferred for baking so the baker has control on the salt content. It is however more perishable. Unsalted butter is a superior fat to use for baking as it produces light and fluffy cakes, wonderful pastries & cookies. It should be stored in an air-tight container and stored in a cool dry place for a few days. It's better when refrigerated since it lasts longer, up to a month. Butter is easily found in major supermarkets in Kenya such as Tuskys, Nakumatt or Chandarana. You can purchase as a stick of butter or in a larger container, or block. It's however a bit more pricey than margarine is, but it's worth the quality.
    Salted Butter (Courtesy:brookside.co.ke)
    It's solid when refrigerated, but softens at room temperature. It melts to a liquid at 32 – 35
  2. Margarine
    Margarine is a substitute for butter. It's made from refined vegetable oil and water. Plant oils that may contain oils are used to make it. It's used for spreading, baking and cooking. Margarine is used for cakes, cookies and many other pastries. It's a more economical substitute for butter and is found locally in shops and supermarkets in Kenya. It's the more commonly used fat in Kenyan home baking. It's not as perishable as butter and can be stored longer in an air-tight container in a cool dry place for several weeks and even longer than a month when refrigerated.
    Margarine (Courtesy:mainashop.kbo.co.ke)
  3. Vegetable Shortening
    This is solid fat at room temperature. It's virtually odorless and flavorless. It is used to make crumbly pastry that should not be elastic, such as cake. It makes pastries light and flaky. It is sometimes substituted for butter or margarine while baking cakes and cookies, however, it does not give the same results in taste and texture. Shortening is easily found in local shops and supermarkets in Kenya and is very economical. It's cheaper than margarine.
    Shortening (courtesy: e-mailsite.com)
  4. Vegetable Oil
    Vegetable oil is plant, animal or synthetic fat used in frying, baking and cooking. It's typically a liquid at room temperature. There are different varieties of oil such as palm oil, coconut oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, pumkin seed oil and many others. This is a healthy substitute for margarine for healthy baked products. It's also used in some cake recipes such as carrot cake as the fat used in preparing the cake. Vegetable oil is easily found in local shops and supermarkets in Kenya and is very economical.
    Cooking Oil (Courtesy:hugtherhino.com)
  5. Olive Oil
    This is a vegetable oil made from olives. It's ranked from highest to lowest quality based on the pressing method; extra virgin, super fine, virgin and pure olive oil. It should be stored in a cool dry place because light and heat cause the oil to decay and go rancid. It is used in cooking, baking and other topical applications. In baking, it can be used as a substitute in cake recipes that call for vegetable oil. It is also used in the making of Italian bread and other yeast products. Olive oil is found in major supermarkets like Tuskys, Chandarana and Nakumatt. It is quite pricey, especially depending on the quality or standard (e.g. virgin olive oil). It is however worth the quality and it's a healthy option especially while baking healthy products.
    Olive Oil (Courtesy:progressive.kbo.co.ke)
  6. Cream
    Cream is a dairy product that is composed of high butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. Different grades of cream are distinguished by fat content. Double cream has 45% milk fat and it whips easily for puddings and desserts. Whipping Cream has 35% milk fat and it also whips well, but lighter. It's used for decoration in cakes. Single cream has 18% milk fat and it's poured over pudding and to make sauces. Cream is mainly used in baking in cake recipes and making frosting for the cakes. Cream can be found in major supermarkets such as Chandarana, Nakumatt & Tuskys. They come in sizes of 150 ml to large liter bottle sizes. The most common creams are double and whipping creams in Kenya.
    Double Cream (Courtesy:brookside.co.ke)

We hope that this post has made it easier in identifying the fats you can use in your recipes, or stated in recipes that you find while baking at home. For any other suggestions, feel free to comment below.

Happy Baking ^_^!
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You can also email us: info@amaribakery.com or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 0701796688

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Vanilla Cookies Recipe

Today's recipe is a simple, delicious vanilla cookie.

These were great with milk, they're really easy to make!

Yummy Vanilla Cookies

  • All-Purpose Flour - 2 cups
  • Baking Powder     - 1 tspn
  • Margarine            - 1 c
  • Sugar                   - 1 c
  • Vanilla Essence    - 2 tspn
  • Egg                       - 1 pce
  • Milk                      - 2 Tbspn
  1. Preheat your oven to a medium heat or 180 degrees celsius. Grease and flour a baking or cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift your dry ingredients together; flour and baking powder, then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream your sugar and margarine for about 5 to 8 minutes and then add the vanilla and mix.
    Vanilla Essence
  4. Beat the egg in a small bowl, then add into the creamed mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the dry ingredients until well mixed, you should have a nice cookie dough.
    Folding the flour into the creamed mixture
    If you feel that it's too dry, add the milk gradually until you get a good cookie dough texture.
    your cookie dough is ready
  6. Roll out your cookie dough on a lightly floured working surface with a rolling pin.
    Roll out your cookie dough
    Then using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookie shapes while placing them onto the prepared baking/cookie sheet.
    Cut your cookie shapes
  7. Place the cookies into the oven's middle rack and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    Your cookies are baked!
  8. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then using a spatula;
    Use a spatula to transfer your cookies to cool
    place them on a cooling rack or a tray to cool completely.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Enjoy your cookies with some coffee, tea or milk ^_^
Good luck and have fun making this recipe. Give some feedback if you're able to do this recipe and let us know how it went.
If you don't know how to bake or if you would like to learn how to bake properly, please feel free to Sign up for our baking classes. Contact: 0701796688
We promise you'll have fun learning with us ^_^!