The first time I met Kim was at the airport on my Malibu Sunset. She was with Miss. Lydia Forson boarding the same flight as me. She was ever so pleasant when Lydia introduced us. That bright smile, as though she had no worries in the world. As usual, I had Nicki on me so we took some photos on the run way. Little did I know then that one day I will be sitting in her heated kitchen inhaling the aroma of freshly baked pastries as she runs around on top of her game. She is a pro! She bakes in an unmarked oven. No regulators. Now that would make some bakers panic.
I kept seeing her photos on Instagram showing off her handy works which I admired so much until one day when I gathered the boldness and asked her if she would be happy for me to spend some time in her kitchen with her to find out what she does and hopefully help her to market Kimberry’s to my clients. She happily agreed and we set a date.
Why Kimberry’s? Her ex boyfriend, one of the best guys she ever dated she said, Pablo, used to always tease her by calling her Kimberry not Kimberly because someone in her class at the time couldn’t pronounce her name properly. So when choosing a name for her business, she decided to use Kimberry and moreover, a lot of her bakes have berries in them. Kimberry the berry baker 🙂
She welcomed me to her home with, “today I have brought you to the Ghetto part of Labone”, after describing her car as an “ooooolllllld black Land Rover”. She makes me laugh. She is very humble with a great sense of humor. I like that!
Then starts my time with red lipsticked berry baker. She said she bakes almost everyday. If she is not baking for an order she is experimenting in her laboratory. She calls her kitchen her laboratory. She has always had the passion to bake but when she got married she started baking a lot to please her then husband. Every day she would bake something for him and she learnt a lot during this period. By the way, she is divorced now so if you are a fine bachelor looking for a good woman who would surprise you every day with an award-winning piece baked with butter and love, Miss Kim is the right woman for you. Her favorite color is gold and orange and she loves Paris. May I add, serious applicants only!
She started baking commercially since January this year. She sells Cookies, all types of Cakes and Breads and Macaroons. The Almond Cookies and Cinnamon Rolls are her best sellers for now. She is looking forward to opening a Cookies and Bakery Coffee Shop soon where you can come and sit for coffee, breakfast, etc… I will certainly let you know when the shop opening is and will make sure I steal some cookies for all of you who cant make it to the opening party. Just let me know what you want me to put in my goodie sack for you. I will walk into the party with my purse and my camera and walk out with my purse, my camera and a sack full of stolen cookies. I hope no one notices. Please don’t tell on me either!
Kim calls herself a struggling baker and at the same time Ghana’s Martha Stewart. I don’t think Aunty Martha was a struggling baker! Then I hear her shout Akua! Akua walks out from the main house with a tray full of wrapped cupcakes for an order. Akua is Kim’s sister who assists in Kimberry’s laboratory. She just graduated from University of Ghana with a first class degree in Accounting so she is Kimberry’s accountant. And with an accountant as a father, I can see spot one simply by their mannerrisms and comments. I don’t want to put Akua on blast here so will leave that for later. These two girls’ passion for baking is from Maame Nkran (Ga pronounced in Twi). Maame Nkran is their grandmother who started baking in Kumasi in 1965. Everyone in Kumasi called her Maame Nkran because she came from Accra. So they grew up in a baker’s home. Soon, I hear a door slam from the main house and guess who was walking our way? As soon as she saw me with Nicki in my hand, she runs back inside. Her granddaughter called her back and she came out giggling. What a pleasant woman she is. She couldn’t stop smiling. I quickly took a photo of her as she leaned on the laboratory door and I asked her grand babies to join her for one nick (photos taken by Nicki). So I have a photo of Ghana’s Martha Stewart, Julia Child and Nigella Lawson.
Today’s order was for my friend Rita’s Intern’s send off party. She ordered Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes, Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Rita runs an exchange program called Abroad Impact, coordinating internship and volunteer opportunities and workshops for foreign students travelling to Ghana. This summer’s sets have almost completed their adventure and heading back to USA soon. Rita called me earlier in the day to enquire where she could order cakes from and I thought “ideal!” she should order from Kimberry’s and I will photograph the making process. You can read more on Abroad Impact on the website www.abroadimpact.com . Oh by the way, I must warn you, you will see familiar faces on the website such as my brother Rob and my niece Debra playing the guitar, my girl Tricia and her sisters 🙂 My friends and I always find a way to work together, someway somehow. The beauty of friendship. Friendship with business minded people.
Kim studied Psychology and Spanish at University of Ghana and used to teach Spanish at Galaxy International School. She also worked at Famous Media as a TV Presenter and Producer. Now she bakes full time. So what does Kim enjoy about baking? She does it as a little escape. When she is baking she doesn’t think. All that is on her mind is the ingredients. She used to bake with her son and watching him get dirty with her brings her so much joy. She misses hearing “mummy let me mix” whenever she is baking alone.
Whilst I was watching her do what she does so effortlessly, I ate a Cinnamon Roll, an Apricot Jam Roll and a Vanilla Cupcake. She tried to get me to eat some more and I yelled at her! “Are you trying to make me fatter?” Her calm response to that was, “eating one cupcake a day won’t make you fat just the same way eating a salad a day wont make you slim”. Imagine that! Okay fair enough I said but I have had more than 1 cupcake! I did not go for the Chocolate Cupcake and Mocachino Frosting with a Cherry On Top! Why? Because I am not a big chocolate cake fan. I did not try a cookie because I was afraid my jeans would come up too tight by the time I left the laboratory. But I am sure they are Ghana’s Millie Cookies for the UK fans. Chewy just right!
My phone goes off. It is Michelle, my Tequilla Sunset. She says “I am not calling to say hello. I am calling to tell you to bring me cookies!” Then it rings again and it is Frimpomaa, my Peach Spritzer. When I told her I was sitting in another baker’s kitchen, she called me a cheat, but an honest cheat. I consoled her with the person I am cheating on her with’s Cinnamon Roll and Apricot Jam Roll and we became lovers yet again. The magic food does! So I said to Kim, one day, she, Frimpomaa and Jay (Jackie Jay the Mukase Chic) should come together into one kitchen and make one item each whilst I lobby on taking photos and sampling he he he. It is my dream to sample gymnasiums as much as I sample kitchens, so help me God!
Why do I name people that I like after cocktails? Because they are each individually made up of a unique combination of good and bad characters I love! I get drunk on their love and because of them, I am not willing to stay sober.
Many women I know who are passionate about their business are those women who turned their hobbies into jobs and Miss Kim is no exception at all. Happy Birthday Kim!!! You are awesome at what you do and I pray that God blesses your dreams. Have fun!
RECIPES FROM KIMBERRY’S
Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tb vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Add eggs and mix on medium speed.
Add vanilla extract and reduce speed to low.
Gradually add flour until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. ( to make soft dough easier to handle)
Scoop dough and roll into balls. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 mins. Cookies can burn easily so be sure to check on them after 10 mins.
Cinnamon Rolls / Jam Rolls
Ingredients for dough
1/4 cup shortening/ margarine (melted)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cups warm milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk ( for brushing)
Ingredients for filling
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tb sugar
1/2 tsp flour ( mix together to make cinnamon sugar)
1 egg + 1 tb water ( whisked)
Beat egg for 1 minute. Add yeast, salt sugar and melted shortening. Add warm milk and extact, then slowly add flour abt 1/3 cup at a time. Mix ingredients for abt 4 minutes on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Let stand in a warm place to rise until double in size ( about 30 mins to an hour)
After dough has doubled in size, punch it down and on a clean surFace, roll dough into a rectangle. Brush dough with milk and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly on top. Roll dough into a log and cut dough with a floured knife, into rolls and swirls of dough. Place rollinto a greased baking dish, an inch apart. Cover rolls again and let rise until doubled in size. Brush lightly with egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven of 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-17 minutes.
NB: use the same dough and prepartion for jam rolls. Only replace cinnamon filling with jam of choice and roll.
Almond Raisin Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond meal/ almond flour
1/2 cup butter + 1/2 shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
Add egg and extracts. Reduce speed of mixer to low and add almond meal until just incorporated. add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time until just incorporated. Fold in raisins. Scoop dough and gently roll into one inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies should be and inch or two apart. Press each cookie down gently with fingers. Decorate each cookie with a few sliced almonds and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 9-11 mins.
2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1tb cocoa powder
4 tb unsalted butter
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
Sift flour, baking Powder, salt and cocoa powder.
Cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and Add eggs one at a time and beat for 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and reduce speed to low. Add flour and sour cream alternatively, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just incorporated. Scoop batter into cupcake lined or greased cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
Fluffy White Vanilla Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tb + 1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 tb unsalted butter or margarine or shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs + 2 egg whites
3/4 cups milk
Sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract. Reduce the speed of mixer to low and add flour and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour until just incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix. Scoop into cupcake paper lined baking pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Check ordoneness after 15-20 minutes with a toothpick until toothpick comes out clean. Recipe makes 24 cakes or two 8 inch cakes.