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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

This week's recipe is a Fruit cake - decided to do them as cupcakes.

This recipe is a simple one; however, you can add more types of fruits like cherries and nuts as well.

Fruit Cupcakes



Yield: 12 pcs (Dozen)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 °F or to a medium heat. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.(You can also use this recipe to make a mini cake; so you can grease & flour a 5 inch round cake pan.)
2. Place the dried fruit in a small bowl and pour enough water to soak them completely.
Line muffin pan & soak dried fruits
3. Measure your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & cinnamon) in a medium bowl and sift them.
4. In a large bowl, measure the sugar and margarine; cream the two ingredients for 3 to 5 minutes.
Measure & Cream the sugar & margarine
5. Beat the egg in a small bowl, then add into the creamed mixture and beat for 1 minute.
Add the egg
6. Add vanilla into mix and beat for about half a minute. Then add half the dry ingredients into the large bowl and fold with a spatula until well mixed. Add the final dry ingredients while mixing with milk gradually until the right drop texture.

Fold in dry ingredients
 7. Drain the dried fruits off all the water and pour them into the batter. Fold in gently until well mixed.
Fold in flour then the dried fruits
8. Spoon the batter into the liners in the muffin pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Place them in the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean.
Bake the cupcakes
9. Remove the fruit cupcakes from the oven and let cool in muffin pans for at least 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on tray or cooling rack and let them cool for up to 20 minutes. Serve plain, frost them or pack them for future use.

Enjoy your fruit cupcakes!

If you do try this recipe, please feel free to share your results below - thanks ^_^
Fruit Cupcakes ready to eat!
If you would like to learn how to bake delicious cakes and cupcakes with us; join our Basic Cake Baking and Decoration Course and start learning as soon as possible.
 You can also call/text: 0701796688 or email: amaribreads@gmail.com

Sunday, 14 September 2014

5 Reasons Why You Should Use A Cookswell Charcoal Oven

We use a Cookswell 4-rack business charcoal oven for our baking here at Amari, it’s economical and saves energy. 

However, just like any equipment out there – not all brands are created equal. In the beginning we were using a charcoal oven that was fabricated by a jua kali artisan based in Kitengela. We then switched to a Cookswell Business-size Charcoal oven and there was such a noticeable difference. I’ve decided to share the reasons why you as a baker should choose a Cookswell charcoal oven, other than just any other locally made charcoal oven in Kenya because there is such a major difference - I had to share it. The phrase “cheap is expensive” is very true, especially of the charcoal ovens, read below to understand more.

1. It is a high quality, well made charcoal oven
Cookswell charcoal ovens are fabricated with the best quality materials by very well trained artisans. A Cookswell oven is a well-designed oven; when you light the oven; heat spreads evenly and you are able to bake in any position you place your product (trust me – I spent two days testing this theory ^_^). I noted the difference because with other ovens; the oven has many cold spots – especially in the back of the oven and the top and bottom racks. Another thing I noticed with our old oven was some material that had been put between the metal sheets that made the door (not sure what they put in there); however, the grainy substance slowly moved to the bottom of the oven door with time. That meant that when you closed the oven door, due to the bulkiness at the bottom of the door, the oven could not close completely. This meant that we were losing heat in the oven as we baked – which means more charcoal added every 20 minutes. When using a Cookswell; you light the oven and bake with it for at least 40 minutes, before you have to add charcoal. It maintains the temperature for those first 40 minutes (tried and tested – over five times) and you only add a small amount of charcoal to finish the baking.

Our awesome business size Cookswell oven
2. It saves energy which is environmentally friendly

Due to the fact that a Cookswell oven is fabricated well, it saves energy. Heat does not leak out of the oven and that is how it manages to maintain temperature for a long period of time; and you only add a small amount of charcoal afterwards to keep it going. We have noticed that our charcoal expense has reduced to almost half from when we were using the other charcoal oven. Using less charcoal is great for a small bakery business, since the expense is reduced. It’s also good for the environment because you use less charcoal. Now it may seem a bit odd for me to say environmentally friendly; however, the brand – Cookswell, is quite environmentally conscious. They are aware that using their ovens means using charcoal which is contributing to the decreasing forestation in the country. They however have a great way of solving that problem; they sell kilns that make charcoal. They actually offer training sessions for those who want to purchase a kiln and learn how to make charcoal using tree branches (a much better way instead of cutting down the whole tree), they also show you other materials you can use to make charcoal; such as coconut husks and maize cobs. It’s a very responsible way of dealing with the environment and selling high quality energy-saving equipment as well.

Cookswell Kiln at work (Courtesy: Cookswell)
3. It has extra features that other imitation charcoal ovens don’t

When you purchase a Cookswell charcoal oven, you will notice very cool features that others don’t have. There is a grease tray that is removable for easy cleaning. You may wonder why you need that, well; the charcoal oven is a multipurpose piece of equipment since you can use it to bake or roast meat (sausages, beef, pork, chicken, etc), sweet potatoes, arrow roots and you can even warm your food – especially if you are on safari. If you are roasting meat and any juices or grease pours at the bottom of the oven, it’s great to have a removable grease tray that makes clean-up very easy. 
Cookswell Oven grease tray
Another feature that I noticed, especially useful in our 4 rack business-size Charcoal oven; are the adjustable back legs. If you do not have quite a level, flat floor; you can adjust the back legs until the oven is level. The oven doors are a great guide on the adjusting of the legs since; when the back legs are level, the oven doors close perfectly with no resistance. 
Adjustable back legs
My personal favorite feature of the Cookswell is the wooden handles. When the other oven we used to use was on, the handles would get very hot; especially the left handle since the right door wouldn’t close very well so heat would leak and get the handle very hot. We had to use oven mitts to open the oven doors most of the times since it would get very hot (I have scars to prove how hot it got). The wooden Cookswell oven handles are amazing to me since you don’t need to use oven mitts to open the oven and check the progress of your baking. They are also a very authentic and original feature of the Cookswell brand.
Cookswell oven Wooden handles

4. You can learn how to bake with a Cookswell Charcoal oven with us
We are currently offering different baking class packages and we teach people how to bake with a charcoal oven. We are using a Cookswell charcoal oven to bake our products and also to teach our students. That means if you purchase a Cookswell oven, we are the perfect people to learn with ^_^. I have personally been baking with a charcoal oven for seven years and I can testify to the fact that it bakes the same way as any gas or electric oven does – the result is the same. You just have to know how to use the charcoal oven. A charcoal oven is especially beneficially for a small bakery business since it saves a lot on utility expenses, which is important for any start-up business. I have also worked in large bakeries that use electricity and have seen the large bills a bakery can rack up whether or not you have a large amount of sales in your products. Make sure you join our baking classes and start learning with us – promise, its lots of fun!

Join our awesome Amari baking students and start learning today
5. You can get a discount on a Cookswell Charcoal Oven for your business start-up
We have recently partnered with the amazing Cookswell company to help out anyone who wants to start a small bakery business. We know it’s very expensive to start a small bakery business and a lot of individuals may not even have information on how to get started, set-up and get your business running. For the package we are offering; it’s a Bakery Business Start-Up Training in which you purchase your choice of three business-size Cookswell charcoal ovens at a discount rate – Kshs 1,000 off on each oven.
You then join any of our Baking Classes to learn how to bake and set up your small bakery business. We'll offer you Kshs.1,000 off for any of our classes taken.
 If you fall in that category, please contact us for more details and get started on building your small bakery business and with the training we provide – you’ll have an advantage over any other small business start-up out there since you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to keep your business surviving and in time successful.

Learn how to bake, start a business & get an oven at a discount
I bet right now you are wondering how to get your hands on a Cookswell charcoal oven; head over to their website and check out the products they offer (they also sell jikos, space heaters, very cool animal shaped barbeques, etc). You can also go to their blog to see the kinds of products you can bake, roast or cook on their energy-saving jikos (I guarantee you will be very hungry after visiting their blog ^_^).
For information on our Baking Classes follow this link.
You can also text/call: 0701796688 or email: amaribreads@gmail.com to contact us.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Learn How to Bake and Start Up Your Small Baking Business in Kenya - Get a Cookswell Oven at a discount too!

We're glad to announce that we have teamed up with the wonderful people at Cookswell Energy Saving Jikos to help you start up that small bakery business you've been dreaming of starting.

The Bakery Business Start-Up Kit is all you need to get started on your baking business.

How does it help you wonder?

* You learn how to Bake: - depending on your budget and baking knowledge: You can choose any one of our courses: Basic or Intermediate Baking Classes and you get a discount of Kshs. 1,000 off.
* Each class gets the option of a business size Cookswell Charcoal Oven at a discount.Get a Kshs. 1,000 off any business size oven.
*You learn the basics of starting up a small bakery business. You will get a 1-day 3 hour bakery business workshop session. This will cover; research, planning, setting up and how to execute your small bakery business plan as you start. Cost of this session is discount rate of Kshs. 1,500

As a bonus for you, you will also get a business starter kit for your bakery. The kit includes two pairs of chef hats and aprons, standard measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, a wooden spatula, 1 pkg of packing papers and a booklet of all business material covered in the session - for free!

Starter Kit just for you ^_^

*It's an All-In-One inclusive package that you will not find being offered in any baking class training course and at such economical prices for both the classes and the energy saving charcoal ovens as well.
For more details and pricing, please click on this link

*To sign up, you can comment below, send an email to: amaribreads@gmail.com or call/text: 0701796688
You can also contact cookswelljikos@gmail.com for more information on the Charcoal ovens.

Lemon Cake with Butter Cream Filling Recipe

This time round wanted to know the difference between the quality of a cake when whisked with a balloon whisk instead of an electric mixer.

Slice of lemon cake with butter cream filling

It was very delicious, lemony and moist - there was a slight difference in texture; it wasn't as soft as cake mixed with electric mixer. However, quality in taste was worth it. 

If you like to experiment (we do ^_^), try out the difference and share below please. 

Here's the recipe - Happy Baking!



1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F or a medium heat. Grease and flour an eight inch round cake pan and set aside.
2. Take the lemons, ensure they are washed and dried, grate the rind of the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the lemon juice and sieve it to catch the lemon seeds; set aside in a small bowl or cup.
Squeezed lemon juice
Prepare your lemon rind as well

3. In a medium bowl, measure and sift the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder); then set aside.
Measuring and Sifting dry ingredients
4. In a large bowl, measure the fat and sugar; then cream with a whisk for 5 to 8 minutes.
Cream using a whisk
5. Beat the eggs, one at a time and add them the same way into your creamed mixture. Make sure each time the egg is well incorporated into the creamed ingredients.
Add eggs into creamed mixture
6. Add the lemon rind and whisk briefly until incorporated into the wet mixture.
Add in the rind
7. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in half the flour into your wet mixture until well incorporated. Add an 1/8 cup of the squeezed lemon juice, then add the rest of the flour, folding gradually with milk until it's the correct 'drop' consistency.
Fold in the flour with the milk

8. When your batter is ready, pour it into the prepared pan ready for baking. Ensure your oven is at the right temperature before placing your cake batter in the middle rack to bake.
Your cake is ready to go into the oven for baking!
9. The cake should bake for about an hour; in a Cookswell Charcoal Oven at the right temperature it took 66 minutes to bake. When a clean knife inserted, it should come out clean. Remove your cake from the oven and set aside to cool for about half an hour. Remove from the pan and set on a cooling rack or tray to cool completely before frosting.
Voila! Your lemon cake is baked.
10. When you cake is completely cool; level the top until it's flat, then torte it and frost the middle with the butter cream frosting (recipe below). Frost just the top of the cake and make eight star tip borders that you can garnish with small slices of lemon.. You can add some sprinkles for a pop of color.
Torte and frost your cake, then enjoy!

Slice and enjoy - very delicious ^_^!

Lemon Butter-cream Frosting Recipe


  • Icing Sugar - 4 cups
  • Margarine   - 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbspn (left over from above)
  • Golden yellow food color - 1/4 tspn (if powder, add a bit of water then add to frosting).
 * Cream the sugar and margarine while gradually adding the lemon juice and food color until soft and creamy. 

Want to learn how to bake cake and decorate it like the one above? 
Join our Baking Classes and learn how to bake at home. 
For details; call/text: 0701796688
You can also send an email at: amaribreads@gmail.com