Tangy Banana Smoothie

For today, I’m going to share a smoothie recipe that I generally make mostly because it has ingredients that are very easily accessible (hint-I use them on fruit breads, which are a particular favorite of mine) and easy to use. Try it out:

Tangy Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

– 9 pcs Ripe Bananas (Regular size)
2 pcs Oranges-Med. (Squeezed for juice)
– 1/8 cup Honey
– 1 cup Water

Directions:
1.) Peel and slice the ripe bananas into pieces.
Sliced Ripe bananas
2.) Squeeze the oranges for juice and set aside.
Sliced oranges
3.) In a blender; put in the Ripe bananas, fresh-squeezed orange juice, honey and water.
Honey
Blend for about 3-5 minutes.
Blended smoothie
4.) Serve. Makes 3-4 glasses.
Tangy Banana Smoothie ^_^
Enjoy!!
Do you like smoothies? If you like any other recipes, share with us ^_^!!!

Delicious Sugar Cookies Recipe

I made some sugar cookies and shared the picture on our Facebook page and lots of people loved it, so I’ve decided to share the recipe! Indulge in this sinfully delicious sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookies!!

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Margarine
– 1 Egg
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
– 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
– 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
– 2 Tablespoons Milk
– Icing (recipe below)

Directions:

1.) In a bowl, cream sugar and margarine; then mix in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder.
2.) Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until well blended; then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.

3.) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour two baking sheets and set aside.
4.) Divide the chilled dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured cloth to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Sugar cookie dough

5.) Cut the dough with a floured cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets

Raw cookie cut-outs

and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Baked cookies

6.) Remove from oven and let cool for at least 4 minutes, then use a spatula and place cookies on a cooling rack to cool. Glaze the cookies with the icing and let them dry. Makes 24 cookies.
Serve and enjoy.

Slice of happiness!!

Icing Recipe

– 1 cup Confectioner’s (Icing) Sugar
– 1/8 cup Milk
– Food coloring, optional

Directions:

1.) In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and milk and beat at a low speed until blended. Separate into bowls and add food coloring, if desired.
2.) Glaze the cookies.

6 beverages that go very well with our fruit breads in Nairobi

I was recently sipping some herbal tea while enjoying a wonderful fruit bread, a slice of Orange bread and having a very quiet enjoyable moment. So I decided to share some beverage ideas that go very well with quickbreads, hope it helps out ^_^

1.) COFFEE

Cup of coffee-black or white

We all love a cup of coffee, whether it’s in the morning, break time or even in the evening. Try a slice of Banana bread with some coffee and you’ll be in heaven. You can have it black, with milk or even the instant coffee, it will definitely hit the spot!

2.) BLACK TEA

Black Tea

Another great beverage to have in the morning, one that is especially very popular in Kenya, is black tea. You can have it with milk or black (true tea as we call it – turungi for some, hehe). Enjoy any fruit bread with it and you’ll have the greatest morning ever!

3.) HERBAL TEA

For all you people out there eating healthy, you can enjoy a healthy fruit bread as well, have a slice of Brown Banana Bread while sipping on some herbal tea. My favorite is Chamomile tea or Green tea.

chamomile herbal tea
Chamomile tea

Another popular option I have observed is Lemon tea. Sip on it with our healthy brown Banana bread and have a healthy fresh start to your day!

lemon tea
Lemon tea

4.) ORANGE JULIUS
For all those who know what Orange Julius is, you’ll understand when I say I love this drink. For all those who don’t, it’s a kind of smoothie, it’s made of orange juice concentrate, milk, ice cubes and vanilla essence. It’s simply delish. I’ve tried it with Orange bread and it was curiously filling and very tasty! I have the recipe for Orange Julius below ^_^!

Orange Julius

5.) HOME-MADE FRUIT JUICE
Once in a while I love to make my own fruit juice at home, I’m sure some of you out there understand. You can make with any fruit you like, passion fruits, oranges, tangerines etc. This home-made juice also goes very well with any of our fruit breads. Try it out!

homemade passion juice
Home-made passion fruit juice

6.) WATER
And last but not least, water! Man’s best friend ^_^ Sometimes you just need to drink some water, whether hot, room temp or with ice cubes; believe it or not, it’s good with any fruit bread. Don’t believe me? Try it out and let me know, you’ll be surprised.

simply water

 ORANGE JULIUS RECIPE

Ingredients:

11/2 cup Orange juice concentrate
1 cup Milk
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
10 to 12 Ice Cubes

 Directions:
1.) In a blender, combine orange juice concentrate, milk, water, sugar and vanilla essence. Blend until smooth, then with blender running add the ice cubes one at a time until smooth. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 – 5 servings.

Hope these ideas are helpful, if you have any other ideas, let me know ^_^ Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting for any occasion!

Here at Amari, we decided to celebrate this Easter season with a very delicious chocolate cake with frosting, it was truly yummy! We’re going to share the recipe, here you go:

Chocolate Fudge Cake 2
Delicious Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

– 21/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
– 1 cup Sugar
– 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder – alkalized
– 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
– 1/2 cup Milk
– 1 cup Butter (or Margarine) *If using butter; add 1/2 tspn salt to dry ingredients
– 3 Eggs
– 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
– 1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350ºF/180°C, then grease and flour a round 8 inch cake pan. and set aside.
2.) Sift the flour, cocoa powder(we used Maimun Supplies brand) and baking powder into a separate bowl.

sifted chocolate cake flour

3.) In another bowl, cream the sugar and margarine until white.

4.) In a small bowl; beat the eggs and vanilla until you see bubble; then add into the creamed mixture.
4.) Slowly fold in the flour mixture alternately with the coffee and then milk until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter

Chocolate cake batter

into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 to 65 minutes,or until toothpick or clean knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
5.) Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
6.) Place on a large plate or cake board and frost the cake. For the buttercream frosting click on this link – Buttercream Frosting

To garnish: You can choose to shave some dark chocolate on the top for a lovely decadent finish like the cake shown above. You can also melt about 40 gms of dark chocolate on a double boiler and then drizzle on the edges of the buttercream frosting after it has set for about 20 minutes for a lovely finish. Be creative!

Baked this Chocolate cake with above recipe for a lucky little lady ^_^
Baked this Chocolate cake with above recipe for a lucky little lady ^_^

Serve and enjoy ^_^!!

Do you have any cake recipes you love for occasions? Let us know.

Would you like to bake delicious cakes with us? Click on this link to find out more details on our baking classes

Easter Hot Cross Cookies

Hope everyone is enjoying their Easter season and in commemoration of this season, we’ve decided to share this recipe of Hot Cross Cookies (instead of the traditional Easter Hot Cross Buns ^_^) We love variety, so we’ve decided to change the tradition this time and share this cookie recipe. Hope you love it.

Hot Cross Cookies

Ingredients:

– 1 cup Margarine
– 3/4 cup Sugar
– 2 Eggs
– 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
– 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
– 100 gms Sultanas (Optional)
– 200 gms White Chocolate Chips (or Dark Chocolate chips)

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375 ºF, then grease and flour a baking sheet. In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar for about 5 minutes. Then add the eggs and beat until smooth. Sift flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients slowly to make a dough; you can use a spatula or your hands. Fold in the sultanas and 100gm of white chocolate or dark chocolate chips.

2.) Roll lumps of dough into balls the size of golf balls. Flatten these onto the baking sheet and leave a small space between each of them for expansion.

3.) Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the trays and cool on a cooling rack.

4.) Melt remaining white or dark chocolate in a microwave for a few minutes or using a double boiler. Using a piping bag or a teaspoon, drizzle a cross on top of each cookie. Leave to set before serving the cookies. These cookies can be stored in a cookie jar or container for up to 7 days.

Yummy Easter cookies!

Enjoy the cookies and have a great Easter season ^_^!

Scrumdelicious Lemon Drizzle Cake!!

So I’ve had about two requests for my Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe, especially from people who have tasted mine and I’ve decided I’ll share it with all of you.

So here it is:

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzled cake

Ingredients:
1 1/2  cup All-Purpose Flour
– 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
– 1 Egg
– 1/3 cup Sugar
– 1/3 cup Margarine
– 1 Lemon (Grate for rind and squeeze for juice)

For Lemon Glaze/Drizzle:
– Juice of 3 Lemons
– 1/4 cup Sugar

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Grease and flour 6″ Round cake pan and set aside.
2.) Sift flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. In another bowl; cream sugar and margarine, then add the egg and mix until thoroughly mixed.
3.) Fold in the dry ingredients slowly, until well mixed. Fold lemon rind in and then pour batter into cake pan and put into oven.
4.) Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5.) Meanwhile, combine the lemon juice of the 3 lemons and the 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl.
6.) When cake is baked, remove from oven and let cool for at least 3-5 minutes in cake pan. Remove from pan and let cool on a cooling rack. When you place cake on cooling rack, pour lemon glaze over the still hot cake then let it cool.

Serve and enjoy!!

Lemon drizzle slice- yummy!!

Any other recipe you would like us to try out and share with you? Let us know ^_^!

Defining Pastries in an Easy Way

I have recently discovered that not a lot of  people understand what pastries actually are; people just use it as a general term for any baked goods. Well, here at Amari , we love sharing our knowledge as much as we can to help all of you home-bakers out there, or for all those interested in all things baking ^_^. Here’s a very quick and easy definition of pastries.

What are pastries?

-Pastry is a name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as wheat flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs.

– Pastry may also refer to dough from which such baked products are made. Pastry dough is rolled out thinly and used as a base for baked products.

– Pastry is differentiated from bread by having a higher fat content, which contributes to the flaky or crumbly texture they are known for. A good pastry is light, airy and fluffy; but firm enough to support the weight of filling.

– Pastries are often difficult to make and require skill and dedication. Pastry chefs use a combination of culinary skill and creativity in baking, decorating and flavoring with ingredients. Presentation is also an important part of pastry and dessert preparation. This work requires a lot of time, focus and is often physically demanding. It requires attention to detail as well.

Pastry chefs are meticulous
Pastry chefs are meticulous

Main types of pastries
There are five main types of pastries:


1.) Short Crust Pastry

– Short crust is the simplest and most common pastry. It is made with flour, fat, salt and water. It is used mainly in tarts. It is also the pastry most used in making a quiche. (A quiche is a savory, open-faced pastry crust dish with a filling of cheese, meat and veggies.)

Quiche (Image: eatingwell.com)
Quiche (Image: eatingwell.com)


The process of making a short crust includes mixing of the fat and flour, adding water and rolling out the paste. Fat is mixed with flour first by mixing with fingers or a pastry blender, which inhibits gluten formation and results in a soft, tender pastry.
Examples of short crust pastry dough are; Fruit tarts and pies.

Fruit Tart
Dutch Apple Pie

2.) Flaky Pastry

It is a simple unleavened pastry that expands when cooked due to the number of layers.
The process of making flaky pastry includes mixing large lumps of shortening into the dough, then the dough is then rolled and folded. It results into a crisp, buttery, flaky pastry. It usually has a slight “puff” that is obtained by beginning the baking process with a high temperature and lowering the temperature to finish.
Examples of flaky pastry dough are; Turnovers and Sausage Rolls. Some pie bases also use a flaky pastry pie dough.

Cherry turnover_generalmills
Cherry Turnover (Image: generalmills.com)

3.) Puff Pastry

Puff pastry has many layers that cause it to expand or “puff” when baked. These pastries are made using flour, butter, salt and water. Pastry rises up due to the combination and reaction of the four ingredients and also from the air that gets between the layers.
Puff pastries come out of the oven light, flaky and tender.
Examples of puff pastry dough are; Meat pies, Vol-au-vents, Palmiers and Strudel. Click here to get our Guide to Puff Pastry Recipe Booklet

Croissants are also a leavened version of Puff pastry; they are made in a similar way, though they also have yeast in their ingredients and instead of water – milk is used for a richer taste.

meat pies_cantcookwillcook
Meat pie (Image: cantcookwillcook.com)
German Strudel

To get our recipe e-booklet on Puff Pastry, click here.
4.) Choux Pastry

– Very light pastry that’s often filled with cream. The pastry is filled with various flavors of cream and often topped with chocolate. A good example of choux pastry are eclairs.

Eclairs ^_^

– This pastry contains only butter, water, flour and eggs. For a raising agent it employs a high moisture content to create steam during baking to puff the pastry. Choux pastry is usually baked but for recipes like Beignets, it is fried (for all you Kenyans, you might recognize our version as ‘Mandazi’ ^_^).

Beignets

– Choux pastry can also be filled with ingredients such as cheese, tuna or chicken to be used as an appetizer. This pastry is used to make profiteroles or cream puffs.

cream puffs
Cream puffs

5.) Phyllo (Filo) Pastry

This pastries are usually paper-thin and greatly stretched. They involve several stretched out layers and are wrapped around a filling and brushed with butter.
Phyllo pastry is made with flour, water and a small amount of oil or white vinegar; some recipes call for egg yellow though. These pastries are very delicate and can break easily. This unleavened pastry dough is mainly used for making pastries in middle Eastern cuisine. A lot of Greek cuisine recipes use the pastry dough with various fillings such as; cheese, chicken, vegetables, meat, nuts and syrup, potatoes, etc.

Phyllo pastry

My personal favorites are eclairs, so yummy ^_^!
Wherever you go, enjoy pastries to the utmost, they are works of art!

Do you have any personal favorite pastries that you like? Which ones? – Tell me below ^_^
If you would like to learn how to make Croissants and Puff Pastry; we have a 1-Day class where you can learn those products.

You can also contact 0701796688 to inquire or e-mail: amaribreads@gmail.com

20 Baking Terminologies explained

We love sharing recipes with you so you can enjoy baking at home as much as we do ^_^.

We’ve decided to define some baking terminologies that may be used and not well understood by some. Hope this helps you and makes baking recipes much more easier and baking fun like it should be.

BAKING TERMINOLOGIES

1.)Aeration
Incorporation of air and/or gas in bakery products by mixing, beating or whisking. Gas is introduced by baking powder or yeast.

2.) Batch
One mixing of bread or cakes.

3.) Batter
A soft completed cake or quick bread mixture.

Batter

4.) Beat
The aeration of fat, sugar, eggs and other materials.

5.) Body
Firmness and response of the crumb or dough to pressure.

6.) Egg Wash
Eggs beaten and brushed on bakery products before baking.

7.) Coat
 To cover a cake with icing, cream, glaze or egg wash.

8.) Consistency
The “feel” of dough or batter.

9.) Crumb
All the bread loaf or cake except the crust. The ‘inside’ of the cake or bread.
10.) Crust
That part of the outside of the bread or cake that is dehydrated and caramelized during baking. It’s usually the outer brown part. 

11.) Curdle
A mixture (cake batter or other), which has separated and has lost its smooth consistency.

Curdling batter

12.)Dough
A raw completed yeast or pastry mixture.

13.) Dust
To sprinkle flour e.g. on the table-top to prevent dough from sticking or on a greased pan to avoid cake sticking. This can also apply to icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar on a cake.

14.) Essences
Aromatic food compounds used for flavoring confectionery(cakes, breads or icings) e.g. Vanilla essence, Strawberry essence, etc.

15.) Glaze
– to egg wash before baking.
to brush with highly boiled fruit puree.
– to wash with sugar solution after baking e.g. lemon drizzle glaze.

16.) Gluten
Insoluble wheat protein found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it keep its shape and giving the final product a chewy texture.

17.) Icing/Frosting
The coating and decoration of a cake with prepared butter cream icing or frosting.

Frosting/Icing a cake

18.)Pinched
 The decoration on the edge of a short bread, pastry etc.

19.) Snow
Well-beaten egg whites.

snowy beaten egg whites

20.) Yield
The calculated units from the total baked weight of a particular formula e.g. 1 Kg of cake or 400gms Bread.

Have you read any terminologies in baking recipes that have stumped you? Let us know we will see if we can help ^_^

We are officially open!

Hi to everyone, I am so proud to announce that our bakery is officially open! Thanks for everyone who has supported and encouraged me while I was in the process of starting this venture and I hope you all continue supporting me. We will work very hard to serve all my Nairobi customers and I will keep everyone updated on any specials! Stay with us and we will grow together, thank you very much ^_^!!

6 Reasons why you should check out our Pinterest Page

We officially have a Pinterest page and we would like you to check it out.

If you already have a Pinterest page, you can just log in, find us and start following us ^_^!! If you don’t have a pinterest page, let me first tell you that you’re really missing out; on what you ask?

Well, Pinterest is a visual social network, that’s amazing for bakers to get inspiration. It is an online pinboard where you organize and share all the pictures of things you love. It is easy to join, just go to Pinterest.com and sign up for an account. You can also download the app on your phone and start using it.

Here are reasons why you should follow us:

1. We love fruits! They inspire us, and we’re not afraid to show you.
We love to share our inspiration for our wonderful creations such as the banana bread and we want to share it with you.


2. We love Nairobi and our country as a whole.
 We want to share parts of our country that we love and would love to visit. You can give us suggestions as well, of places you’ve been to or would like to go.

3. We love our customers ^_^!
We love to share pictures of our customers, they are the reason we wake up every day. We would love to build up our board with more pictures, so support us; buy our products and we will appreciate you always.

4. Wonderful Quotes.
We all need inspiration to keep us going every day, we have some of our fav quotes here. If you love them, you can repin them onto your boards.

5. Products that compliment our breads.
Our breads can be eaten plain or if you would like, you can add some condiments on them. We are willing to share some we have tried and loved!

6. We love to share our products with  you!
We love to share pictures of our wonderful breads. Here you can check out how the best banana bread in Nairobi looks like ^_^!

So make sure you check us out on Pinterest and follow us!

Do you have a Pinterest page? If you do let us know and we’ll check you out and follow you. ^_^