New Christmas Recipes E-booklet from Amari

Hi Bakers and Bakerettes ^_^ 

Hope you’ve all been well; just wanted to share an update.

Our new Collection of Simple Christmas recipes is now available. We’re giving this E-book away for free this month – it’s our Christmas gift to you. 13 Christmas recipes

Very grateful for the support so far and that’s how we wanted to share our gratitude.

All I ask of you in order to get the book; is for you to fill in our Baking content and feedback survey form. Once you sign up and fill the survey – the E-booklet will be sent to you.

This survey will help us offer you better and more helpful content and classes from now on; so we can be of great help and value to you as you continue on in your baking journey. 

To get the e-book: click here to fill a form. After submitting; you will get an email with details on how to access the survey. Fill in the survey and submit. You should get the e-booklet withing an hour (please check your spam inbox if you don’t find the e-mail in your main inbox – this happens sometimes for a new e-mail address).

Click on the link to get to the survey form; fill in and submit, once you do so – you’ll get the E-booklet sent to you and you can start your Christmas baking projects right away ^_^

All the best to you in this Holiday season.

Wishing you lots of Joy, Happiness and Baking of course!

Please do share this post with anyone who may benefit or want to get a free baking recipe booklet. Sharing is caring ^_^

2 reasons why you should cost and price your cakes correctly

If you’re thinking of starting a home baking business; you may be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to costing and pricing. I’ll be sharing why it’s important in this post.Blog SM pic on costing_Amari blog

Just to update you, we now have an online beginner costing and pricing class for bakers available to sign up. This class is available for purchase and is specifically meant for bakers who want to bake for business and would like to know how to cost their baked products and price them correctly. Once you purchase this class; you have lifetime access anytime and can log in anywhere as long as you have internet access on your mobile, desktop or laptop. You can watch the class at your own pace and download the worksheet to work with as you go along.

Amari Online Costing & Pricing Cover
Sign up for our online costing class ^_^

Click here to sign up for the class. Once you make payment; sign up to get an account, you’ll gain access to log in and start viewing the class. You may be wondering; why should I sign up for this class? Let me tell you why ^_^

Proper costing is the key to baking business success

If you are a Baker or Bakerette who wants to get into the baking business; or you have been selling your cakes or pastries from home but you’re struggling with how to actually price properly, then this class is a must for you. This is the only way you will grow and be successful in your business; by knowing how to find out the actual cost of making your baked goods and then finding out how you should set a price. If you don’t know how much it’s costing you and you’re setting a price by copying other bakers or estimating; you could be making a loss that will affect your business and possibly cause business failure over time. This means you have to sit down; find out how much it’s costing you to bake your cakes. Then you can price your cakes, cupcakes & other baked goods correctly.

Click here to watch a video on why costing and pricing is important for your business.

You need to use the right pricing strategy for your baked products in order to gain sales

You may not know this; but there is more than one factor to consider when setting a price for your baked goods menu. The online costing and pricing class breaks down the various strategies of pricing and why each is important. This will be a guide to you on which strategy suits your home based business or small baking shop; you can then choose one or two strategies based on your baking business type, niche and the products you’re selling to your target market. Bottom line: this class will help you price your cakes and cupcakes correctly after finding out how much it costs to bake them.

Amari costing blog post pic

After taking this class we will help you and offer support where you feel you’re struggling in your costing and pricing

Once you sign up and view the class, then do your costing with the downloadable template; in case you still find you have question on the costing and pricing process we will assist. We have a Facebook group for our online class community in which you can ask your questions and get them answered. We will also be holding live bi-weekly sessions where students can ask questions and we’ll answer them in order to bring clarity where anyone is struggling.

By now; if you haven’t already signed up for the class, I know you’re ready to do so ^_^

Get the class and get started on costing and pricing your baked products the right way.

Feel free to comment below if you have any inquiries on the pricing class or on costing and pricing. Do share this post to help out any other bakers or bakerettes who may be struggling with costing and pricing.

Happy Caking!

4 Realities you need to face before starting a small baking business

We get lots of emails and social media messages on the topic of starting up a baking business. One of the most common questions; especially for those who have just started up their home baking business or small baking business shops is on why they’re not making lots of profits right away or what they are doing wrong especially when they don’t double or triple their profits in a few months.Amari Blog graphic_reality of starting a baking business

I felt that I had to write this post just to clarify on the realities you should face while starting in this line of business.

You can also watch the video below on the same topic.

If you’re a Baker or Bakerette starting out a small baking business soon; these 4 points are very important. They should not scare you; if they do, then you’re better off not starting a business at all. These realities should really prepare you, for what is ahead.

The baking industry is very competitive these days

Gone are the days when baking businesses were few and far apart; these days, due to the general acceptance of buying cakes for all occasions, and the fact that cakes are not such a luxury as they were before – selling cakes has become ‘the in thing’. This is a very good thing for anyone in the baking industry; or thinking of getting into it, as it means that it can be a highly profitable way of earning an income. However; this does also mean that it is a very competitive industry and isn’t very easy to gain a strong market share in a short period. This shouldn’t discourage you though, since this is truth in most industries these days. It also means that those who do well in this industry are those who give their all; in quality, service, consistency, innovation and strategy. What does this mean for you? This means that you have to plan ahead; start with a good Business Plan for starters. Make sure you have a niche market you’re getting into and have a very good marketing plan as well.

Cake Fest Sample Stands during 2016
The baking industry is quite competitive

It’s going to take longer than you thought to ‘get there’

For most of us who started small baking businesses; especially when it was a little bit more difficult to do so – we knew it would take time to grow and be successful. However, I have noted that these days; some Bakers expect it to be a very quick process. One reality you need to face when starting a small baking business is this; it is not a ‘get rich quick’ opportunity. One takes time to start, break even and make profit in this industry – of course depending on the amount of capital you put in and strategy; you may grow faster than others have. Just be aware that you will not succeed overnight. You have to not only work hard; but work smart as well. The reality is; as you start planning on how to start selling baked goods from home – it may take between 8 months to 1 ½ years to break even and actually start making a profit. Be patient and willing to put in the work; plan well, analyze your operations, systems and marketing results every month and you will be able to continuously improve. Start lean and minimize both business and personal expenses; if you’re not ready to do so, don’t start a small baking business. If you’re not ready to put in days, nights, weeks, months and years of hard work – then this may not be the right direction for you to take. Just the honest truth for you.

You have to put in more work than you thought you would

This point just reiterates the one before; you have to be ready to work hard. Baking in itself is not easy work; so as a baker you are very aware of the physical work you have to apply in general. Whether it’s bread, cookies or pastry making; or cake baking and decoration – it can be quite taxing and requires passion, patience and hard work. In some cases of cake decoration; especially custom cakes, it requires long hours of meticulous work. You have to be ready to do this day in day out for many days and nights; then weeks, months and years continuously. The truth is; if you have a passion for this work and a working strategy for growth and progress, then you will not tire and you will be successful. Just don’t expect it to be two or three months after you start your business.

Entrepreneurial path
The reality of being a small business owner

Patience, Perseverance, Learning and Innovation are the key to success

This is a very important point and that’s why I have saved it for last. This applies to any business owner and business in any industry at any time; therefore, it applies to you as a small baking business owner. You need the patience required to work hard and grow your business; make smart moves and don’t be too quick to make decisions or grow too fast.

Persevere through the many challenges that you will encounter in your baking business; and they will be many, but they do help you learn. You will pass through small and big failures; learn through them and keep moving past them as well.

perseverance
Persevere

Never stop learning; always learn and improve your craft and skill; whether it’s taking online or practical classes – keep learning, this will keep you at the top of your game. You also need to keep learning as a business owner; from seminars, workshops and business master-classes. From business courses, mentors and even by networking with other baking business owners – keep learning how to grow and scale your business.

Finally; keep innovating. This applies to every aspect of your business; whether it’s new baking and decorating techniques or equipment. New ways of running your business, new technologies of marketing and running your business; whatever aspect of your business it is. Keep leveling up and innovating; I assure you, it is how baking businesses have grown and stayed at the top of their game; if you don’t, another business will do it and replace yours in no time.

I hope this advice will help you prepare yourself to have the right mindset when it comes to starting and running a small baking business.

If you would like to get our book on How to Startup a Small Baking Business Successfully, click here.

If you liked this post; please do leave a comment below and like as well ^_^

Do share to your networks to help other Bakers and Bakerettes who want to start or have already started small baking business.

Happy Caking!

Baking and decoration classes in Nakuru this August 2018

We’ll be holding baking and decoration classes in Nakuru next month – yay! We’re so excited about it ^_^ We’ve gotten lots of requests from that area and we’re glad to be holding classes in Nakuru County.

Are you a baker or bakerette in Nakuru County looking to improve their baking and cake decoration skills? Then you should book this class. 

This class can also be taken by a beginner as well.

We will also have the final day as our highlight on how to decorate a wedding cake; we’ll cover, stacking, air-brushing, using a stencil and edible lace – don’t miss out on your chance to learn practically. You can start taking wedding cake orders after this class.

Ingredients and equipment provided. Details of the classes are below.

WE HAVE PRIZES FOR THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE WHO BOOK THEIR SPOT BY PLACING A DEPOSIT FOR THE CLASS.

You get a free cake decoration accessory from Topserve Ltd; once you make  payment – we’ll email you details on the class and let you know the prize you’ve won ^_^

Amari Nakuru Classes in August 2018 Poster

Amari Nakuru Classes 2018 Breakdown Poster

The classes will be held at The Hotel Bison in Nakuru town.

Breakdown of practical topics as shown above;

*We’ll also be using Cookswell Charcoal ovens for the training; so you get to learn how to use them. For anyone who purchases a Cookswell oven from the Nakuru training; will get a discount off of Kshs. 2,000 off for a Cookswell Oven purchase if you attend the class. If you mention seeing the Nakuru offer (even if you didn’t attend the class) you get 1,000/- off for a Cookswell oven purchase.

*We’ll cover Baking Business Start-up topics i.e. Requirements for starting up a small baking business, how to cost & price correctly, marketing tips and other important baking for business topics.

To book your spot; make deposit payment of at least Kshs. 6,000 to Lipa na Mpesa, Buy Goods Till no. 845472 (EiN Company). Send your payment notification to no. 0701796688 and e-mail address. We will get back to you ASAP and send you an E-receipt as well as details for the class and directions.

See you there ^_^

4 Ways to make sure your Small Baking Business becomes profitable

As a Baker or Bakerette thinking of starting up a small baking business – or if you’ve already started up your small baking business; one of the most important things to consider is how fast you can ensure your small baking business becomes profitable. It’s a major concern for most bakery business owners in the industry.

In today’s post I’ll be sharing 4 steps you can take to start making sure your small baking business becomes profitable over time. Click here if you would prefer to watch the video.

Choose a niche for your bakery

Choose a Niche_Amari Blog post graphicWhen starting your business; one thing you need to do is to define your niche in the baking industry. This is the ‘gap’ you fill, the particular segment of the baking market you join. Examples are; healthy baked goods niche, another can be Vegan and Gluten-free baked goods, you can also choose to work on celebration and wedding cakes. Another niche to choose from can be custom cakes or you can also choose to focus on artisan breads. Click here to read a post on types of bakery niches to choose from.

Whatever you decide; make sure to choose a niche for your business. This provides clarity for you and helps you focus all your business activities in a positive and productive way. Instead of focusing on trying to bake everything and please everyone; choose a niche that you will perfect over time, your business brand will be known for it and you will concentrate your marketing efforts in that niche. This will in turn help you have a steady sales increase which will contribute to your profitability in time.

Minimize Costs and Expenses

When starting your small baking business, you need to keep your costs and expenses as minimal as possible; in business the concept is also known as ‘starting lean.’ This is important in many ways since it helps you grow your business without too much friction involved. If you start out having many expenses to pay; your business may not be able to handle it the first year or two. When you reduce your expenses; your business is able to persevere between low sales seasons and other challenges a small business may encounter. Over time; by maintaining low expenses and costs, your business is able to increase sales and have more profit since the expenses are low.

KEnyan money
Keep those expenses low

Examples of starting lean may be having a low-capital setup such as starting a home-based baking business, before moving to a different set up. This means that you don’t have to worry about the rent expense when starting. If you don’t have the option of baking at home; you can start by having a small premise/shop before moving to a larger shop set-up.  You can also choose to start by doing the majority of the business activities yourself e.g. baking, marketing, delivering, etc. Then as your business grows, you can start outsourcing labor e.g. a delivery guy or courier service to assist in deliveries – keep your delivery/distribution costs to a minimum. Click on this link to see various ways to keep your baking business costs down when starting.

Cost and Price Correctly

You want to ensure proper costing and pricing of your baked products if you want to make a profit in your business. A lot of bakers and bakerettes don’t sit down and do the proper costing in their baking business before starting to sell; some estimate costs and prices and others copy from other bakeries. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a small business owner; since you may be going at a loss and you’re not aware.

Amari Pricing Ebook cover page-title
Cost & price well. If you don’t know how, get our E-book on it

Please sit down and find out the cost of producing each baked product that is on sale in your small baking business; this will then help you in your pricing. Click on this link for a post that will give you tips on cake pricing. Please remember that as a small baking business owner; when pricing, you need to price not only for profit but also for growth. This means that – yes, you should definitely price in a way that you’re able to cover your costs and then have some extra cash (your profit). You should also make sure that in that ‘extra’ you have enough to start helping you take steps to grow your business e.g. saving to move to a different bakery business set-up, etc. To get our book on pricing and costing, click here. For details of our next costing and pricing class; Click here.

Increase your sales by ensuring effective marketing efforts

The most important step to take in ensuring your small baking business is profitable; is to increase your sales. This is highly effective if you have taken the first 3 steps since it will increase your profits as you grow. In order for any business to increase sales; you have to market consistently, efficiently and effectively. This means that you have to market day in day out, for as long as your business is in operation. It means that your marketing efforts have to be focused on the right activities that suit your target market and give results (more sales). It also means that your marketing efforts when executed well, daily – should give you very good results – increased sales.

marketing
Have a marketing plan

This particular step requires you as a small business owner to be focused and disciplined; you have to be committed to growing your business. If you’re not committed, disciplined or focused enough to do any the above; you will not achieve profitability in your small baking business; you will forever struggle to increase your business sales and profits. This is the reality of being a small business owner; be sure this is what you want and know that it’s the only way to get positive results.

I hope this post has been of help and you’ve gained insights. If you’re a small baking business owner or want to start; please leave a comment below and feel free to share your challenge or just what you’ve learned, I’ll appreciate it ^_^

Make sure to like the post and share it as well.

Happy Caking!

4 Main Types of Sponge Cakes in Baking

In our previous post; I shared 4 main types of cakes used in baking, based on mixing methods – one of them was Sponge cakes. These cakes have a variety of methods in which they are combined, which give them each a different taste and texture.4 Main types of Sponge Cakes blog header_Amari blog

In this post; I will describe the 4 most popular types of sponge cakes and their mixing methods. This will hopefully help you as a baker or bakerette when you encounter different mixing methods in the various recipes you may search for or find in our recipe ebook you may purchase as well, e.g. in our Our Recipe Book that contains Sponge cake recipes..

Biscuit (Pronounced ‘bees – kee’ = French)

This type of sponge cake contains both the egg white and yolks in the recipe. They are however first separated; whipped separately (egg whites and sugar to make a meringue) then mixed back together. In this type of Sponge cake; the eggs are the raising agent in the recipe. Chemical raising agents are not used in this recipe traditionally.

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The resulting foam batter is very light. The Biscuit Sponge cake is a bit dryer than most sponge cakes, but holds its shape very well. It can be used to make just a regular sponge cake for different types of cakes and tortes; it can also be used to make Swiss rolls. It is also known to be used while making Lady-finger cookies.

This sponge is usually moistened with syrup, fruit juice or some kind of liqeuer to give it moisture and flavor.

Torting-wetting-dam on vanilla sponge cake
Torting, ‘wetting’ and filling a White Forrest ‘Sponge’ Cake

You can use this type of Sponge cake in the Black or White Forrest cakes assembly. Click here for a simple Spicy Sponge cake recipe on this blog made using this method. This type of sponge cake is best decorated using Whipped Cream frosting as it tends to be lighter in texture.

Teaser WF Slice - Amari Recipe Booklet
White Forrest Cake slice

Genoise

This type of sponge cake is made with whole eggs (no separation); this technique is a bit more involved as opposed to the Biscuit. Eggs are mixed with sugar and heated over simmering water then whipped. You must ensure that you constantly whip the egg mixture so the eggs don’t cook and become scrambled eggs. Make sure the bowl you’re mixing in doesn’t come into contact with the water in the pot below. The pot of water should not come to a boil; it should simmer. Whisk the egg mixture on top of the water about 3 to 5 minutes; until the bowl is warm to the touch or until it gets to about 110°-120°F/43°-49°C. Whipping the eggs over heat allows them to whip to a greater volume.  After the eggs and sugar have doubled or almost tripled in volume; add some melted butter and fold gently – then add the flour and fold. The eggs are used as the raising agents; this is why you need them to double or triple in volume.

Fraisier Cake
Fraisier cake (Image: Renshaw Baking)

Genoise cakes tend to be light, airy and a bit moist; but they can also be moistened with syrup for flavoring and to add more moisture. These types of sponge cakes can be used in Forrest cakes assembly. They are also used as layer cakes (e.g. in making a cake called Fraisier); they’re torted into a few layers and filled with fruits, fruit preserves, pastry cream or frostings such as whipped cream or meringue buttercreams.

Angel Food Cake

This type of sponge cake is made with egg whites alone, no egg yolks. The egg whites are whipped; then a fine granulated sugar is added and whipped until very firm. The flour is then very gently folded in. This gives a very white, airy and fluffy cake; it does tend to be dry in texture.

Angel food cake - vegetarian times
Angel Food Cake

This type of sponge can also be moistened with sugar syrup, then filled with whipped cream and also garnished and filled with fruit; they go very well together (the fruit & cream). This Sponge cake also uses the egg whites as the raising agents traditionally.

Chiffon Cake

This is a cross between a sponge cake and an oil cake. We refer to it as a sponge cake that ‘cheats’ ^_^

Vanilla slice plain of Chiffon By Amari

This sponge cake contains both a fat and a chemical raising agent; oil and baking powder, in the ingredients list. The eggs are also separated; the whites are beaten until stiff. All the other ingredients are combined in another bowl to make a smooth batter like a pancake batter; the beaten egg whites are then folded into the ‘pancake’ batter.  The result after this mixing process is of a lighter sponge cake texture, but with a rich flavor like butter/oil cakes. These cakes are generally layered and filled with fillings and frostings. They don’t always require decoration especially when used in Chiffon cake pans or Bundt pans; you can just dust some icing sugar on top or drizzle a little bit of glaze. You can however decorate with whipped cream or meringue butter-creams if you prefer.

These are our favorite sponge cakes to make; especially in our Cakes Brand, that’s all we sell  – Chiffon cakes by Amari ^_^

Chiffon cake with glaze and sprinkles_Chiffon cakes By Amari

You also don’t have to ‘wet’ or moisten the inside of these cakes due to their rich and soft texture; however, you can still do so if you would like for flavor and moisture.

Special Mention: Jaconde Sponge cake

It is a type of Biscuit Sponge. A lot of pastry chefs use it for the assembly of different types of cold desserts or entremets. Generally, it’s used by pastry chefs and rarely by bakers. It’s a sponge cake that’s baked like a rectangle, very thin. The difference between a Biscuit and a Jaconde is that you add some almond flour or almond meal. When you finish baking it, you then add sugar syrup or just sugar to keep it moist. It’s used for a lot of assembly of entremets and other types of pastries.

Jaconde sponge examples graphic

We have a YouTube video on sponge cakes if you prefer to watch, Click here

These are the top most popular sponge cakes made by most bakers in the industry. Once again; these are not all the sponge cakes used in the world, there are many varieties out there. I hope this post will add some insight to your baking knowledge as you grow as a Baker or Bakerette ^_^

Feel free to leave a comment below; please do share this post in your networks for those it may help – sharing is caring!

To get tried and triple-tested Sponge cake recipes, get our Baking with Amari: Cakes, Cookies & Breads Recipe Ebook, click here for details.

The ebook is also available on Amazon, check here =  Baking with Amari Ebook on Amazon.

Happy Baking awesome people.

P/S: We offer both online – ( Click here for Online class details ) and practical Baking classes (in Nairobi, Kenya) where we teach various types of cake mixing methods. Click here for the practical classes details.

4 Main Types of Cakes Based on Mixing Methods

I realized this post is necessary especially recently since we sell recipe booklets to Bakers and Bakerettes all over Kenya with various baking skill levels. Some are seasoned bakers; however, some are new in the industry and may not understand many aspects and techniques in baking.4 types of Cakes based on mixing methods - blog post header_Amari blog

One of the important things to know about cake is that professional bakers don’t refer to types of cakes as flavors, as most consumers may know of them e.g. Vanilla cake, Chocolate Cake, Black Forrest cakes, etc. Types of cakes are named based on their mixing method; they are then made and decorated and/or assembled into a variety of flavors. A great example is Black Forrest Cake; this is a sponge cake that is torted, assembled and decorated in a certain way in order for it to become a ‘Forrest’ Cake.

Today I will highlight the top 4 types of cakes used in the baking industry by most bakers and how they are made. I hope this gives insight to lots home-bakers and amateur bakers in the industry.

Butter/Oil Cakes

These are the most commonly known cakes in baking and most people start learning how to bake using these cakes. They usually contain fat in their ingredients; usually butter or margarine, in some cases – oil is also used. They also have chemical raising agents in their ingredients such as baking powder and/or baking soda.

Choc chip cake slice _Amari delightul cake recipe booklet
Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake – a type of Butter cake

Most of these cakes are combined using the creaming and folding methods – click this link for a breakdown of these methods. These cakes should be fluffy and moist in texture; examples of these are Vanilla, Chocolate cake, Carrot cake, etc.

Please note that there are variations in some of these cakes when it comes to mixing; e.g. some are also made using the melting method. In this technique; the fat and sugar are heated together until they melt (in the case of Chocolate fudge cake – chocolate is also melted together with the fat. Example of these cakes are Chocolate fudge Cake, Mud cakes, Brownies, some variations of Carrot & Fruit cakes, etc. Cakes made using the melted method are moist in texture; but they tend to be a bit heavy and dense as well. These cakes also tend to have a stickier consistency than regular butter cakes.

There are also variations of butter cakes that use a traditional method such as the rubbing in method.

Butter cakes are very versatile and can be decorated with various types of icings, the most popular being Buttercream frosting, Royal Icing and/or Fondant. Other frostings can also be used as well depending on the desired end result e.g. Chocolate Ganache or Simple Glazes.

Sponge Cakes

These cakes generally do not contain fats such as butter or oil; most of them don’t have chemical raising agents as well. Volume is achieved by the whipping of egg whites or whole eggs. These cakes are combined using the whisking method (whisking eggs until they double or triple in size – then other ingredients such as sugar added) and then dry ingredients are folded into the batter to complete the process.  The cakes are able to rise due to the air whipped into the eggs during mixing, which expands when the batter is in the oven. The success of this method depends on the eggs not deflating during the whipping of the eggs and other ingredients such as sugar and also during incorporation of the flour. This is why the flour is usually sifted twice, sometimes more than three times to ensure absolute lightness of the flour. The flour is then folded gently but quickly into the foam batter to avoid deflation. When this type of batter is mixed it tends to ‘look’ and ‘sound’ like foam; that is why it’s referred to as a “foam batter”.

Teaser BF Slice - Amari Recipe Booklet
Black Forrest cake assembled & decorated with a Chocolate sponge cake

In most sponge cakes; fat is often avoided because it will weigh down the foam batter; however, some different types of sponge cakes do use a little bit of melted butter or oil, to get a moist sponge. The whisking method produces very spongy, airy and light cakes. The cakes however, tend to have less flavor and moisture than butter cakes and they tend to be a bit dry – this is the reason why most sponge cakes are ‘moistened’ with a type of syrup when they are being assembled and decorated.

Sponge cakes are also broken down into various categories that have varying mixing methods. We will break down the most popular types of sponge cakes, with their various mixing methods, in our next post later this week. The top most popular sponge cake variations are; Biscuit (Pronounced ‘bees – kwee’ = French) – this mixing method is taught in our online beginner class and is a popular method for those getting started in baking sponge cakes. We also describe the same method in our Sponge cakes recipe booklet. We also have a Spicy sponge cake recipe with this method on this blog – click here.The other three main types of sponges are; Angel Food cake, Genoise and Chiffon Cakes.

These types of sponge cakes are best decorated using Whipped Cream frosting as it tends to be lighter in texture.

Baked Flourless Cakes

These cakes are delicate and require attention and precision in the temperature and mixing process as well. Cheesecakes for example are baked in a hot water bath to ensure even baking and to get the right silky texture required.  As the name suggests; these are cakes that do not have flour in their ingredients list. Popular examples are Souffles, baked Cheese cakes and Flour-less Chocolate cakes.

flourless-chocolate-cake-martha stewart
Flourless Chocolate Cake (Image: marthastewart.com)

For easy removal; these cakes should be baked in a spring-form pan. The cakes are usually quite sweet; but they also have a dense, silky texture as well. In these types of cakes; egg proteins are the ones that provide structure in place of wheat flour starches.

These types of cakes can be served plain as they are; however if you want to decorate them, whipped cream is preferred. Sifted icing sugar and fruits can also be used to garnish as well.

Un-Baked Flourless Cakes

These types of cakes often have a crumb layer that is baked before the filling is added. They require refrigeration to set in their molds and then they are ready for consumption. It is advisable to ensure that ingredients used are pasteurized when possible e.g. milk, cream or eggs. These types of cakes can also be served plain as they are; whipped cream is also preferred for decoration. Fruits can be used to garnish as well.

Cheesecake
Cheesecake (Image: Food network)

Examples of these types of cakes are un-baked cheese cakes and mousse cakes. If interested in learning these products; we teach how to make cheese cake and chocolate mousse in our Advanced Cake making and decoration course. We also have an Eggless Cheesecake recipe in our Eggless Cakes Recipe Booklet, click this link for information.

I hope this post has been helpful; please note that this is a summary of various types of cakes, it does not encompass all the types of cakes found in the world. Baking is quite a vast topic that has lots of variations, sciences and specialties to it. It’s a journey in which one is constantly learning and improving as we all purpose to do as bakers.

If this was of help to you in any way; feel free to comment below.  Do share this post in your network to help other Bakers and Bakerettes to grow as well.

Happy Baking ^_^

How to start-up a small baking business in Kenya

This is a question that comes up numerous times in our social media pages and in this blog as well. I have decided to write this post in order to give you a step by step of what is required and the best course of action in my opinion based on my expertise in the baking industry in Kenya.How to startup a small baking business in Kenya blog header_Amari Blog post

I will outline the steps you need to take to start a baking business in Kenya and that will align you with success. Since the start-up process requires lots of knowledge; I will share relevant links to articles and resources that will be of help to you. Please make sure to go to each resource for information you will need, if you are serious about starting – don’t skip any steps.

Step 1sit down and decide if you truly want to be a bakery business owner. There are important questions you need to ask yourself; click on this link to see the most important questions to ask yourself and make sure to answer them.

You also need to read this post on the first 4 steps to take before starting a baking business, lots of insight – click here.

Step 2Do the research and make a decision on the following:

Which niche do I want to get into? Click here for bakery niches to choose from.

Do I have the money to start? If not how do I raise it? – Ways to get money to start

Which bakery business set-up do I want? Click here for the 4 main types of bakery business setups to choose from.

Based on niche and setup; which equipment do I need – click here for various posts on baking equipment used.

commercial floor mixer
Commercial Floor Mixer

You also need to find out which ingredients you will be using based on the niche you choose as well – click here for baking ingredients used in baking commercially in Kenya.

What are the legal requirements – click here to find out on the Kenyan government portal

Step 3: Find out the skills required to run the business:

Baking skills – if you’re a baker with the required skills in the niche you want to get into then you are ready to go. If not; take the required classes – you can check out the baking classes we offer and enroll in the appropriate one you would like. You can also choose to hire a person with the skills you require.

Business Skills – Various skills are required to at least run a small baking business e.g. Accounting or book-keeping skills, marketing skills and business knowledge such as systems required to set up in your small baking business.

If you don’t have any of those skills or if you have some and would like to get insight on others; my suggestion is for you to buy the book on ‘How to startup a small baking business successfully’. It breaks down the various topics required to start-up and run a business and how to set up (e.g. how to research your idea, recipe development, legal requirements, systems to set-up, tips on getting start-up capital, sample business plans for small baking businesses, etc.) Click here for book info.

You should also get the book we have on pricing, this will help you on how to cost and then price your baked goods, before setting up a price-list. Click here for info on the pricing book.

You can also click on this links for information on some of these business skills and tips to help out:

Tips on starting a home-based business

Why you need a business plan and How to get a free business plan template to use (the book mentioned above also has two sample baking business plans to use)Amari Biz plan template

How to market online, How to market consistently, How to measure your marketing efforts, Tips on Facebook marketing for a baker & Why marketing is importantSocial-media-and-technology-1000x605

Tips on setting up systems in your small baking business and Tips on growing your business.

Steps to take to avoid failure, Tips on increasing your sales, How to save costs in your small baking business and Tips to consider while branding your baking business

Step 4 –Take action:

A lot of people get stuck on analyzing, researching and planning – these are all powerful steps to take before starting. In the end; you do need to take action and start executing on your planning. Write an action plan, set deadlines and do what is needed to get started on building your small baking business.Action plan pic

Please make sure to get the book on starting up in order for you to be on the right track in the start-up process. If you struggle with costing as well – get the book on pricing too.

If you have any questions on any topic not covered in this post or the links provided above; please feel free to inquire below. Make sure to leave a comment below on what you think too!

All the best in your baking business start-up process. Remember to work hard and work smart as well.

Stay motivated ^_^

4 Types of Bakery Businesses to Set Up

The baking industry in Kenya is really growing in scale and popularity; this is because more consumers in Kenya are more willing to buy cakes for most occasions and at a higher price than ever before. Cake is a luxury that has become a ‘necessity’ in most occasions and functions; especially in major metropolitan cities, and for certain consumers.

In turn; baking for business has now become something popular and acceptable to individuals in Kenya. As a Baker or Bakerette looking to start a baking business; you may be wondering what types of business set-ups to choose from when it comes to the baking industry.Types of bakery business setup_Amari Blog post Header 2018

To watch the video on the same topic; click here.

Today I will highlight 4 main types of set ups you can choose from, this will help you to sit down and plan out the first steps to take when you’re starting out, with focus on your particular baking business set-up.

Home-based/online bakery

For most bakers who are starting on a small budget; this is the best way to start – from your own home kitchen. Once you have developed your baking skill and recipes; you can start baking in your home kitchen and delivering products to your clients. The benefits of this set up include the lower cost of expenses (e.g. no rent to be paid at first) and it helps you get a foot-hold into the industry while starting out lean. You can slowly grow your client base at home. It is advisable though, to have a long-term plan on how to move from your home kitchen to another set-up within a year or two at the most.

The disadvantages of this set up can be the fact that some people like to visit a bakery to talk to the baker for larger, more detailed or custom orders. This shouldn’t worry you too much though – you can always plan a meet-up with your client in a location that can work for both of you. With home-based set ups, you also have to work harder in your marketing since you can’t rely on walk-ins and you have to build trust with potential clients; this means that your marketing strategy has to be quite consistent, very innovative and effective. Another challenge for the baker; is separating home ingredients & equipment and those for your business. In this particular case; you can get one shelf or cabinet (preferably a lockable one) where you store the ingredients and equipment for your baking business. This will help you with stock control, stock taking and costing.

The reason why I insist on finding a way to transition to another set up (if you want to seriously grow your baking business) is that legally, by Kenyan city council laws; unless you have another kitchen structure separate from your home kitchen, it’s illegal to run a business from a home kitchen that’s adjacent to sleeping areas. This should just motivate you to either move to a shop set-up over time or if you have the budget, space and/or land – build a bakery kitchen workshop and/or shop in the compound, but separate from your home (this is what we did ^_^ ). You can also choose to make an additional room on the side of your house – that doesn’t have direct access to your house – but can use the same wall as a bakery kitchen as well. Click on this link for some tips on starting a home-based baking business.

Retail Bakery Shop

bakery-custtomers
A retail bakery shop set-up

This bakery business set-up is a great way to set up your business if you have a good budget for start-up capital and a prime location. The advantages of this set-up are that you not only get custom orders in various ways including from online orders; you also get the benefit of walk-in clients in the area. This is why being in a prime location is important.

The one disadvantage of this type of set-up is when it comes to the baked products display. In case of slow sales periods; cake slices or any other pastries on display may be left over at the end of the day and you may have to discard them; you can resell them the next day, but this over time may compromise the quality of your products offered for sale. Overhead costs (e.g. rent, utilities, payroll, etc.) for this set-up also tend to be higher than a home-based set-up; and since they are consistent and have to be paid each month – you have to make sure that your business always makes sales in order for it to stay open. Once again, marketing is also very important in this particular set up as well.

Factors to consider in such a bakery set-up:

Equipment required: you need production equipment such as an oven and mixer, you also need refrigerated display units and coolers to store your baked good and beverages (if offered in your menu).

Labor: you’ll need at least 2 – 3 individuals or more (e.g. a baker, front cash person and possibly a delivery person) depending on the production output or sales you want to make per day.

Store-front Aesthetics: since you want walk-in customers, you have to be concerned about the overall look of your shop outside and in the front cash/reception area. It should be pleasing to potential customers, this will attract them to enter and buy.

Products and Services to offer: you will of course have a cake menu for your clients; however, for this set up you can also choose to have additional products and services as well to maximize the space and increase sales. You can choose to have a coffee-shop style set-up where you offer hot beverages as well. You can also decide to include a hot meals menu like a restaurant as well. This will depend on your startup budget and space you have in the shop.

Location: You should consider if it’s an area with a lot of foot traffic. Is this an area where you will attract your target market? Consider the businesses and buildings around you e.g. is there a public toilet nearby or dump site? People may be less likely to enter the area if there is a noisy pub/bar around or a Fish shop, ^_^ these are factors that could affect your bakery business. Accessibility is also a factor e.g. is it near the road or near a stage area for public vehicles? Is the infrastructure developed? (e.g. roads, internet/connectivity, water, electricity, etc.)

Legal requirements: you have to be up to date with your business and health permits and licenses required to operate your business at all times.

These are some of the things to look out for when setting up a retail bakery shop. Great examples of such bakery set-ups in Nairobi are Joybells Cake Centre in Buru Buru, Cakes and Muffins on Ngong Rd Prestige area, Mudi Cakes on Ngong Rd Adams area, etc.

Custom Cake Shop

The difference in this setup as opposed to the retail bakery shop; is that this set up deals with custom orders only. Walk-in customers won’t find ready to sell products in the shop; they walk in to order cake to be picked or delivered later. The advantage of this type of bakery setup is that any order being worked on has been paid for – it has a specific customer who will collect it and clear payment. This eliminates the issue of having left-over baked products in the refrigerated display.

Cakes n cakes bakery pics
The Cakes.co.ke Bakery Shop

On the flip side of this; it means that you have to work hard on marketing and branding, grow your business in a way that ensures a steady stream of orders that will guarantee daily sales. Location is still important since walk-in customers are still welcome to come in and place orders as well.

The factors to consider in this type of setup are the same as the retail bakery shop. The only difference is that the products offered can just be a menu of cakes, there’s no need to consider a hot kitchen or other services from the kitchen. However, you can still choose to have a sitting area and beverages to serve any clients who may be waiting to pick a cake order. A great example of such a bakery setup in Nairobi is Cakes.co.ke in Kilimani; this is a custom cake shop that has a lovely sitting area with the option of purchasing a cup of coffee as you wait to pick an order.

Industrial Bakery

kaak-industrial-bakerypic

This baking business setup requires a large amount of startup capital if you decide this is how you would like to setup your baking business. The pros of this setup are that you don’t have to worry about the aesthetics of the bakery since you don’t rely on walk-ins. This bakery also has the potential for maximum growth if you market it well and you’re able to produce at capacity daily, you can make lots of profit this way. When you choose a niche (e.g. cookies or breads and scones) and you’re able to reduce costs of production, this can be a very profitable setup. The cons are that you do have to market properly to the right clients e.g. schools, institutions, supermarkets and shops who you will sell to in bulk; if you don’t market properly it will be a huge loss to you. You also have to figure out the best way to distribute your products e.g. do clients collect? Do you have to distribute to your clients? Should you have outlets for distribution and other distributors as well e.g. bicycle and motorcycle riders.

Factors to consider in this setup:

Equipment required; you need large ovens and mixers; you may also need plant equipment for efficiency e.g. dough mixer and dividers, etc.

Working Capital: You have to have enough working capital to keep daily operations going on for long periods of time. This is because payment periods from your clients may be longer than expected (e.g. 30 – 90 days) and you have to keep producing until the time payments can be made.

Labor required: you will need a large workforce in order to meet demand and production goals e.g. 1,000 loaves a day. You need bakers, office/administration personnel, book-keeper or an accountant, etc.

Bakery Premise: a large area/premise which can handle your production goals per day, you may have to look for a go-down or factory style space.

Legal and industry requirements: you have to be up to date with your business and health permits and licenses required to operate your size of business at all times. You also have to have products that have been certified to be sold in retail outlets such as supermarkets e.g. KEBS certification & Barcodes.

Distribution method: the various ways you will get your products to your clients e.g. Trucks, getting outlets to drop off, bicycle or motorcycle distributors, etc.

Example of these setups in Kenya, are bakery brands such as Kenblest, SupaLoaf, Festive, Broadways, etc.

I hope this post has been helpful to you if you’re looking to set up a baking business in Kenya soon. All the best and feel free to leave a comment or question below.

If you need guidance when starting or streamlining your small bakery business. Consider joining the Amari Baking for Profit Program; for details of our Online Mentorship Program – Click here

If you liked this post or found it helpful; please share it to your networks – it may be of help to someone else ^_^

Happy Baking and lots of success in your business as well!

Amari Baking & Decoration Classes in Nyeri this April 2018

We’ll be holding a week-long session of baking classes in Nyeri in April between the 23rd and the 29th.

If you’re in the Mt. Kenya region; please make sure you book your spot and get ready to learn how to bake delicious and awesome cakes and decorate them in April.Nyeri pics collage

We will not only hold baking classes; we will have cake decoration & sugar-craft classes. We will cover some business topics on baking for business that will benefit any individual wanting to start a small baking business e.g. Costing, pricing & requirements for starting up.

The classes will be held in the Mathari area in Nyeri at the Pastoral Centre. We will be using Cookswell charcoal ovens in the classes. Each student will get to mix and bake their own cake and/or pastries; as well as decorate their own cake & practice sugar-craft. You will take home any of the products you bake in the class and receive the recipes that you learn in each class.

You have the option of choosing to attend either 2 sessions, 4 sessions or 6 sessions; the more sessions you attend, the cheaper the cost. We will also have have a 1-day Sugar-craft class with Evelyn Gichuki, an expert sugar-craft instructor who will be instructing on how to make a figurine and a rose flower. This class will be 3,300/- for anyone attending the baking and cake decoration classes. If you want to only attend this class; it’ll be 4,000/- for the day. You get to choose the option of a morning or afternoon session.Nyeri Baking Classes_Evelyn - 1-Day Decoration Class April 2018 (1)

For the baking & decoration classes; if you choose to attend 2 sessions it’ll be Kshs. 4,000 (7,300/- if you attend the Sugar-craft class). If attending the 4 sessions it’ll be Kshs. 6,000 (9,300/- if you attend the Sugar-craft class) and if you choose to attend 8 sessions, it’ll be Kshs. 8,000 (11,300/- if you attend the Sugar-craft class). Please check the poster below for dates, times, pricing and lesson breakdown.

Amari Nyeri Classes 2018 Poster - April

Amari 2018 Nyeri Baking Classes Breakdown Poster

Please note that deposits are non-refundable and deadline to book is on April 20th.

The deposit amount goes towards your total classes cost; so if you pay 5,650/- as your deposit for the 8 session class + Sugar-craft; which is Kshs. 11,300 – your balance will be Kshs. 5,650. Balance for the baking classes you choose is due at the beginning of the first day of your class.

After you complete your sessions; you will receive a Certificate of Participation (details of class covered & hours attended will be stated). You will also receive recipes for each class you attend. We will also issue you a hair net.

TO BOOK: You can call/text/Whatsapp first to confirm the classes you want to book to get the total amount for the class you’ll be attending.

Send at least half the amount to book your spot by:

  • Going to  your Lipa na Mpesa Menu, select – Buy Goods and Services
  • Enter Till no. 89736, enter amount, enter PIN and send
  • We will confirm receipt of your payment and send you an E-receipt and more details on the class you will attend.
  • Deadline to book your spot is April 20th (please note this is if the class hasn’t filled to capacity yet, by then)

Requirements:

You will be required to come with your own apron, kitchen hand cloth and wear closed flat shoes. You should also carry a notebook and pen. We can provide an apron if you do not have one; we sell the apron at Kshs. 350 (White, real cotton apron).

We will provide the ingredients and equipment.

If you have any questions regarding the class; please feel free to call/text/Whatsapp: 0701796688. You can also inquire online via the contact form below; you will get a response ASAP.