Online Shopping in Nairobi just got easier for you ^_^!

In line with providing convenience to you, we now have a new MPESA Buy Good Till number, it’s 89736.

We want to make electronic mobile payment not only easier but cost – effective as well. With payment via MPESA the regular way, you have to pay a transaction fee of Kshs. 25 to send the money. Thanks to a wonderful company called Kopo Kopo, we are now able to offer you this easier way of making payments.

Our till number

It is very easy; to make an order for utmost convenience:

    STEP 1: Go to our website and make an order online:
                   Option 1 – Use the shopping cart to choose the goods you would like & order.
                                                                      OR
                   Option 2 – Use our Contact page to order.
    STEP 2: Once you get your total bill, go to your MPESA menu, select “Buy Goods”,
                    – enter our till number = 89736 & follow instructions to complete the transaction.
    STEP 3: You will get a confirmation text of payment to us.
    STEP 4: We will contact you to get your delivery details: location and time.
    STEP 5: Your order will be delivered the next day directly to you.

Very easy steps

 We will continue to work on providing variety as well as convenience to you and we’re glad to be your bakery needs supplier. Thanks for your continued support ^_^.

Fruit Bread in Nairobi – It has some surprising health benefits!

 

Do you love fruit bread or cake? We sure do, we used to offer it in our menu when we had a bakery shop and customers just loved it!

Amari Fruit bread – medium size

We’re going to give you 5 good benefits of dried fruits; apparently they have quite a few health benefits!

Dried fruit is fruit where most of the original water content has been removed either naturally; through sun-drying or use of specialized dryers or dehydrators.
Assorted Dried fruits
  1. Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits and are therefore included with fresh fruit in dietary recommendation. Specific nutrient content of different dried fruits reflect from their original fresh counterpart and the processing method. That is, traditional dried fruits verses sugar infused dried fruit.
  2. Dried fruits have almost no fats, trans-fats, saturated fat, cholesterol and very low sodium content.
  3. Dried fruits promote digestive health. There is some research that supports the role of dried fruits in regulating bowel function and in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
  4. Dried fruits promote bone health. Research indicates that they have a role in supporting bone health.
  5. Dried fruits are also very popular because they are naturally resistant to spoilage, easy to store and transport. They are also low cost.
Basket of assorted dried fruits
 Fruit Bread

8 Interesting facts about Chocolate that you should know

We love chocolate in general, I’m sure you feel the same ^_^.

When we used to take cake orders, one of our customers’ favorites used to be the Fudge Chocolate Cupcakes.

Our Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

These got us to thinking about chocolate; mmm…other than it being deliciously heavenly of course ^_^. We decided to find some interesting facts about it and share with you. Definitely food for thought!

1.) Cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health.

Chocolate helps to have a healthy heart

In one study, it was discovered that small but regular amounts of dark chocolate were associated with a lower risk of a heart attack.
Dark chocolate in moderation, is good for your heart!

2.) Other studies have observed a small reduction in blood pressure after consuming dark chocolate daily.

Dark Chocolate

One particular study found that after consuming dark chocolate a participant’s blood pressure decreased and the participant showed improvements in insulin sensitivity; meaning they were better able to metabolize glucose.

3.) It has also been discovered that in cocoa solids and chocolate, there is an alkaloid called Theobromine.

Chocolate makes you smile

Theobromine is partly responsible for chocolate’s mood-elevating effect.
That means chocolate makes you happy ^_^.

 4.) A preliminary study showed that after exercising, consumption of low fat chocolate milk provided equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories as the milk.

Glass of low fat Chocolate milk-guilt free.

So grab a bottle of low fat chocolate milk after a work-out and don’t feel guilty about it!.

5.) A study, one that we particularly like, indicated that melting a piece of chocolate in one’s mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with kissing, lasing 4 times longer after the activity ended.

Better that kissing?

Wow, meaning that eating chocolate feels better than kissing. Do you agree?

 6.) Limited research also indicates that cocoa or dark chocolate may produce certain health effects.

Cocoa in a test-tube has shown antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are known to cause cancers.

Chocolate for better health

7.) It is also good to note that excessive consumption of large quantities of chocolate; (especially milk & white chocolate which have low to no health benefits) without corresponding increase in activity, increases the risk of obesity.

Eat chocolate but don’t forget….

So make sure as you indulge in a bit of chocolate every once in a while; it is totally alright as long as you exercise often ^_^.

…to keep exercising.

8.) An interesting fact we found our in relation to animals and chocolate is that in sufficient amounts the theobromine found in chocolate is toxic to animals.

Pretty Kitty ^_^

These includes horses, dogs, parrots, small rodents and cats. Chocolate is toxic to them because their systems are unable to metabolize the chemical effectively.
If animals ingest chocolate, the theobromine may remain in their circulation for up to 20 hours; possibly causing epileptic seizures, heart attack, internal bleeding and eventual death. A 20 Kg (44lbs) dog will experience great intestinal distress after consuming less than 240gms (8.5 oz.) of regular milk chocolate (dark chocolate would be even more harmful to them).

No chocolate = Happy cat ^_^

So for all you pet or animal owners, make sure they don’t ingest any chocolate, just to be on the safe side.

Aren’t you happy to know that chocolate, especially cocoa and dark chocolate, are good for you in small amounts – regularly ^_^!

Do you know any other facts about chocolate? Please Share ^_^!

Yellow cake Frosted Cupcakes topped with strawberries

Since we’re still in the Strawberry season, I figured cupcakes topped with strawberries were in order ^_^ No food coloring was used to give the cup-cakes their yellow color, our secret is local (Kienyeji) eggs. Their yolk is very yellow. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Frosting topped with a Strawberry ^_^

Ingredients:

-11/2 cups All-Purpose flour
-11/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1/2 cup Sugar
-1/2 cup Margarine
-2 Eggs (Local “Kienyeji” type) – beaten
-1/3 cup Milk
-1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
 P/S: If you don’t have the kienyeji eggs, you can still use the regular grade eggs as well.

Directions:

1.)   Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Line the muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
2.)   In a medium bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside. Beat the eggs and vanilla essence in a small bowl as well.
3.)   In the bowl of the mixer, cream the sugar & margarine for about 3 – 5 minutes. Then add the eggs and mix thoroughly, about 1 minute.
Naturally yellow creamed mixture
4.)   Alternately add the flour mixture while adding the milk gradually, while folding.
5.)   Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, 3/4 full.
Cupcake batter
Place into the oven.
6.)   Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean.
7.)   Remove from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes in the muffin pan. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool, for about 30 to 40 minutes. They’ll be ready to frost then.
Baked Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
FOR THE BUTTER CREAM FROSTING:
Ingredients:
–        2 cups Icing sugar
–        1/4 cup Margarine
–        ½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
–        2 Tablespoons Milk
–        (Optional) 2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder
Directions:
  1. Sift the icing sugar; then cream the margarine and sugar together for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla essence and mix; then slowly add the milk as required until frosting is desired texture.
  3. If you would like Chocolate Frosting, add the cocoa powder and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Frost the cupcakes.
Toppings:
–        Bowl of fresh Strawberries (washed).
  • After frosting the cupcakes as desired, top them with the strawberries. Make sure you serve the cupcakes right after topping due to the highly perishable nature of strawberries.
Cupcakes with plain Frosting
Enjoy your strawberry – topped frosted cupcakes ^_^!

Strawberry & Banana Smoothie for this Strawberry Season!

 It’s Strawberry Season! I’m very excited because my mum has being doing some Strawberry Farming and they have fruited, yay!!
Strawberries straight from the farm!

So lot’s of Strawberry smoothies & Strawberry baked products. Like this yellow cupcakes topped with strawberries. Click here for that recipe.
Well, here is a Strawberry & Banana smoothie.

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothie-yummy!

Ingredients:

– 7 cups of Strawberries
– 8 pcs Ripe Bananas (Medium size)
– 1/2L Water
– 3 Tablespoons of Honey (or Sugar)

Directions:

Fresh Strawberries

1.) Wash the strawberries and set them aside. Peel the ripe bananas and set them aside as well

Medium ripe bananas

2.) Chop the ripe bananas and set them aside on a plate.

Chopped ripe bananas

3.) Put the water, strawberries, ripe bananas & sugar (or honey) in a blender and blend for 5 to 8 minutes.

4.) Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Strawberry smoothie in a glass

The smoothie was truly delicious…mmm good. Get some strawberries and enjoy ^_^!

Delicious Apple Cinnamon Cake Recipe

I wanted to share a cake recipe that I truly love, (even without Frosting), yup. I love apples, and anything apple-like; apple juice, apple pie, apple cake. So I baked an Apple Mini-Cake for my family the other day and we ate it warm. It was so delicious, that I decided to share it^_^ Here it is, enjoy!

Baked Apple Mini Cake
Apple Cinnamon Cake

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients:

– 11/2 cups All-Purpose Flour  (185 gms)
– 11/2 teaspoons Baking Powder (5 gms)
– 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon  (appx. 1 gm)
– 1/3 cup Un-salted Butter   (66 gms) – Or Margarine
– 1/3 cup Sugar            (64 gms)
-2 Eggs

-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence  (2.5 ml)
– 1/3 cup Milk   (80 ml)
– 1 Pce regular size Apple (Preferably Red kind)-Cored & cubed
– 1 pce Lemon (Squeezed for juice)

P/S: If you use Un-salted butter; add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Then grease and flour a Round 6″ cake pan. Set aside.
2.) In a separate bowl, sift the flour & baking powder and set aside.
3.) In small bowl; combine the cubed apples, cinnamon, lemon juice & a small amount of sugar (about 2 Tablespoons) and mix. Set aside.
Apple cinnamon filling for Apple cake recipe by Amari
Apple mixture
4.) Cream the remaining sugar & margarine in a medium bowl for up to 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another 1 – 2 minutes.
Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon cake by Amari_blog
5.) Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, three times, starting and ending with the flour. Mix thoroughly but do not over-mix.
mixing batter for the Apple cake by Amari_Blog
6.) Pour one-third of the batter into the prepared pan, then layer half of the apple mixture on top. Pour another third of the batter,
Cake batter in pan pictorial_Amari Blog
Apple cake batter & mixture layering
then layer the rest of the apple mixture and top it off with the remaining third of the batter.
Apple cake raw batter in pan_Amari Blog
Apple Cinnamon filling in between Cake batter
7.) Place in the pre-heated oven in a middle rack and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8.) Remove cake from oven and let it cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan. Then remove it and place it on a cooling rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
9.) You can serve warm on a plate to have with tea or coffee. If you would like, you can also cool completely and frost it.

Baked Apple mini cake in pan_Amari Blog
Baked Apple Cinnamon Cake

Bon Apetit!

Baked Apple Cinnamon Cake by Amari _blog
So Moist and Delicious – yummy!

I love this cake because it can be enjoyed warm, cold, frosted or un-frosted. It is always delicious either way!

**You can also double or triple the recipe for a larger cake yield (Make sure to increase baking time by a bit as well and the pan used)

If you would like to learn how to bake awesome cake recipes and frost them; sign up for our Basic Cake Making & Decoration Short Course. Get more details on our Classes page.

You can also email: info@amaribakery.com or Call/Text/WhatsApp: 0701796688

We also have a Recipe ebook on sale: Baking with Amari: Cakes, Cookies & Breads recipes for Kshs. 500 – Full details here. 

Storage Tips for the Upcoming Hot Season

At Amari, we bake the old-fashioned way; we don’t use any preservatives or bread stabilizers.

We like using fresh ingredients on our baked products and we also like to keep them as natural and chemical-free as we possibly can. That also means that the shelf-life of our products is reasonable shorter than that of other baked products sold in shops or supermarkets.
In this upcoming hot season though, we would like to remind everyone of the proper storage of quick-breads, cakes and other baked products since perishable goods spoil faster in a warmer environment. Hope this tips are helpful.

Tip No. 1:

– Make sure when you receive your order from any other bakery, read the label so that you are aware of the shelf-life of the baked product.

Amari packed fruit breads

Tip No. 2:

– As labels suggest, make sure you store the baked products in a cool dry place, so they do not spoil faster.

Tip No. 3:

– We like customers to consume the baked products supplied on the day supplied and the day after.

Frosted orange Cupcake

However: if you would like to keep them an extra day, you can store in the refrigerator to give it another day. You can also check out our storage tips on our previous blog post on storage.

Tip No. 4:

– If you would like to consume baked products several times during the week and you’re not sure if they will last; just buy them a day before.

Hope those tips are helpful.

Enjoy the warm season ^_^

Delicious Marble Cake for a Special lady!

We got an order from a lovely customer of ours who wanted to make a special birthday cake for her sister, how cute ^_^! She wanted it special for her 40th birthday- marble cake. She told us to design it real special for her. Here’s what we came up with – we liked, hope you do to!

Fudge chocolate toppings ^_^
Pink & chocolate!
Cake side view

If you have a birthday for a loved one coming up, just give us a call, let us know what you would like and we’ll create a wonderful cake design for you ^_^. Cheers!

Baking Equipment in Kenya Explained-Baking Pans

Here at Amari Quickbreads, we like to help out our home-baking fans as much as we can.  We’ve decided to share some of our knowledge on baking equipment so as to make it easier for you while choosing your baking equipment. We hope these series of posts will be helpful to you.

I. BAKING PANS

There are many different kinds of pans and sizes used in baking. It is important that you use the correct size and shape to ensure the right texture and appearance of your baked goods.

1. Spring form Pan

– This is a round pan, used for making cheesecakes and other desserts that are tricky to remove from their pans. It has a bottom that is separate from the side. A clamp holds the pan together and opens to allow the side to easily be pulled away from the baked dessert.

spring form pan

2. Pie Tins/Pans

– Generally,pies are baked in a deep pan with sloped sides that can hold a large amount of filling. There is a wide range of materials for pie plates; oven-proof glass, glazed ceramic, heavy foil, aluminum,  tinned steel, stainless steel and non-stick coated steel.

Aluminum pie pan

3. Standard Muffin/cup-cake Pans

– These pans are available in 12 and 6-cup pans. The standard muffin cup is about 2-3/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/8 inches deep. It holds at least 1/2 cup batter.

Regular muffin pan

4. Jumbo Muffin Pans

– These are available in 6-cup pans, the jumbo muffin cups are at least 3 inches in diameter and 11/2 inches deep. Each jumbo muffin cup holds approximately 1 cup batter.

Jumbo muffin pan

5. Mini-Muffin Pans

– These pans are available in 12 to 24-cup pans, the mini muffin cup is approximately 13/4 inches in diameter and 7/8 inch deep. Each muffin cup holds approximately 2 tablespoons batter.

mini muffin pan

 

6. Loaf Pan

– Loaf pans are used to make quick breads, brioche and meat loaf. Aluminum loaf pans can turn out tender cakes, while dark, non-stick or glass pans will produce a crunchy, chewy crust.

bread loaf pan

7. Bundt/ Tube Pan

– This deep pan has a hollow tube in the center that promotes even baking. Most of them have removable bottoms. It is also known as an angel food cake pan.

Bundt pan


8. Ramekin

– A ramekin is an individual baking dish that resembles a miniature souffle dish, it is about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They are usually made of porcelain or earthenware and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes; either baked or chilled.
A tiny baked pastry filled with a creamy cheese custard is also referred to as a “Ramekin.”

Ramekin dish

9. Souffle Dish

–  These dishes are oven proof and come in a variety of sizes ranging from 3 1/2 ounce to 2-quarts. It is round and has straight sides to facilitate the souffle’s rising.

Souffle dish


10. Baking/Cookie Sheets

– It is perhaps one of the most essential pieces of bake ware; these flat, rigid sheets of metal are used to bake cookies, breads and biscuits. It usually has one or more turned-up sides for ease in handling. Common sizes for baking sheets are; 17×14 inch & 12×15 inch. For even heat circulation, baking sheets should be at least 2 inches smaller all around the interior of the oven. The most common kinds of baking sheets are aluminum, dark non-stick and insulated sheets.

Baking sheet-One side turned up
Baking sheet-two sides turned up

11. Cake Pans

– These pans are used to make cakes. Just like loaf pans, aluminum cake pans can turn out tender cakes while dark, non-stick or glass pans will produce crunchy, chewy crusts. They come in different shapes and sizes e.g. Round, square, love-heart shaped, bible-shape, flower, rectangle or sheet size etc.

heart shaped pans
bible-shape cake pan
Square cake pans

Many of these pans can be found in most leading supermarkets in Kenya or kitchen-ware stores like ‘Walibai Karim Ltd’ located on Biashara street in the Nairobi CBD or Topserve Ltd on Accra Rd in Nairobi CBD. You can also get baking tins in the jua kali section in your county, they have an area where artisans focus on baking pans and sheets for sale. 
Hopefully this list helps you with choosing of your baking pans in your home-baking. Any other additions or suggestions are welcome, thanks ^_^!


10 Great Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas in Nairobi

Mothers’ Day is right around the corner; Sunday May 13th to be specific. For all of you who have a mother or a mother figure who you love, look up to and appreciate; or any other mother you know who is simply wonderful, you should most definitely get her a Mothers’ Day gift. Show her how much you really appreciate her. Now I know that sometimes there are so many options out there that it is often hard to make a choice for a gift. Here is a list of our top ten ideas for gifts you can get that special lady.

1. Flowers and Chocolate

If you want to keep it simple and classic, you can get her a lovely bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. She will feel very special and appreciated. There are numerous flower shops and stands in Nairobi where flowers are sold in all types and price ranges. You can get her daisies or lilies if you want the bouquet to be unique. Pink roses would also be a very wonderful pick as well.

Lovely bouquet of Lilies

 As for the chocolates, those are also readily available in any supermarket. They are also sold in gift packs which you can have wrapped for her and you will be all set. ^_^

Box of Chocolates

2. Scented Candles


If your mum loves scented candles or any kind of aromatherapy like my mum does, this is a splendid gift idea. Scented candles are very much available in major supermarkets or gift shops. I have to say that my personal favorite is the Nakumatt Junction selection, it is superb. Make sure you know which scent she prefers then purchase a set of candles, or even just one large scented candle for her. Have it gift wrapped or put in a gift bag with a card and you have a very thoughtful gift ready.

Scented candles

3. Jewelery

You can never go wrong with jewelery. Every woman loves a piece of wonderful jewelery. Look for a unique piece for you mum; it can be a necklace

Necklace for mum

or a bracelet

a bracelet for mum

and you can go the extra mile and have it engraved for her. It makes for a special gift which she will appreciate and never forget.

4. Amari Mothers’ Day Fruit bread Gift Basket

Small fruit bread gift basket

Of course you could also get your mum one of our lovely fruit bread gift baskets! A bread gift basket is a great idea to get her so she can indulge her sweet tooth with our delicious fruit breads. It has a selection of each of our sweet and moist fruit breads; Banana, Orange and Lemon breads. It comes in two sizes; Small and medium size. She will absolutely love you for it ^_^! Get her one today!

Medium fruit bread gift basket

5. Fruit Gift Basket

Fruit Gift basket

Another great gift basket idea is a fruit gift basket. Get her a selection of her favorite fruits and she will feel truly appreciated. They are available in some supermarkets or green grocers. I have also spotted some being sold opposite The Nairobi Hospital, they always look very delicious! She will enjoy this healthy and thoughtful gift.

6. Perfume

Most ladies love and appreciate perfume, surely your mum is no exception. Perfume is a glamorous gift to get for her as well as very thoughtful. If you know which particular scent she prefers, get her a bottle of it and present her gift to her. Whenever she wears it, she will always think of you and that’s bonus mum points for you ^_^!

Perfume

7. Home Spa Treatment

Sometimes a lady needs to unwind at home after a long day. Get your mum a home spa treatment which she can relax with at home and she will truly love it. Most of the spa products are easily available in supermarkets or beauty stores. Have them gift-wrapped for her and you will be her No.1 for contributing to her peace of mind.

Home spa products

8. Ceramic monogrammed Mugs

A monogrammed mug is a simple yet thoughtful gift for that special mum in your life. Mums love relaxing in the morning or evening having a nice cup of tea. Get her a mug that she can use and always think of you while sipping her tea. Monogrammed ceramic mugs are available in most supermarkets or gift shops. If possible get her one with a special “mum” message, she’ll love it!

Cute mug

9. Massage and Spa Treatment

Treat your mum to a Spa package to one of her favorite spas, or any good spa you know of. There are several great spas in Nairobi; especially in the Westlands or Hurlingham area. They offer massage and spa packages which you can purchase for you mum to go to and relax. You can bet she will never forget her gift ^_^!

Spa relaxation

10. Framed Family Potrait

Mums are very sentimental individuals. Get a picture of your family and have it blown up and framed in a beautiful frame. Have it gift-wrapped and when you present it to her; the look on her face will explain just how great your gift is. If you have a photo any size, you can just go to any quality photo studio and have it blown up to the size you would prefer. Then purchase a unique frame and voila! You have a gift ready.

Frame for family potrait

Make sure you get your mum or/and that special mother figure in you life something special to appreciate her this Mothers’ Day. Happy gift shopping ^_^!

“Mothers hold their childrens’ hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”