I’m quite an obsessive baker and by that I mean I obsess getting great results every time I bake. So on this page I am going to share with you my Kitchen Essentials that I use to ensure successful baking.
Let’s start with the tools!
Here’s my Top 11 Tools, why 11? Because I simply couldn’t whittle it down to 10! So in no particular order…
1. Electronic scales: I believe the key to succesful baking is accuracy, and you can’t go wrong with electronic scales as they give you the weight to the gram meaning no more trying to read a shaking needle!
2. Oven thermometer: Wondered why your biscuits were a bit darker than expected? For many ovens the temperature on the dial isn’t the same as inside the oven itself (it comes with age) and an oven thermometer is the perfect device to make sure your oven is the right temperature.
3. Hand-held electric mixer: Gone are the days of creaming butter & sugar with a wooden spoon – long gone in fact – the hand-held electric mixer (or the freestanding one if you’re that savvy) is the greatest invention to have ever graced the kitchen. I have to admit I prefer my hand-held to my freestanding as it allows me to feel closer to my ingredients (if you’re hands-on you’ll understand), but be warned they can easily be over-loaded. I think I’m on like number 10…
4. Rubber spatula: Where to start? The rubber spatula is just such an invaluable tool. Not only does it clean the sides of the bowl so not a drop of mixture goes unbaked (sorry kids!) but it also doubles up as a wooden spoon meaning more space in the over-crowded kitchen drawer!
5. Disposable piping bags: Having decorated cakes for many years I’d be nowhere without piping bags, and they can be used in many different areas of baking. From piping choux buns and macaroons onto baking trays to cupcake mix into paper cases to drizzling melted chocolate over your favourite bake!
7. Small sharp knife: I love my small sharp knife as it’s very handy. I use it for tasks where my chef’s knife is a bit too big, mainly for cutting bruises out of fruit and also for chipping off small bits of butter.
8. Kitchen scissors: A pair of scissors kept for use solely in the kitchen is great as it means when you’re using them (for cutting doughs, dried fruit etc) you needn’t worry about any rubbery PVA glue residue on the blades.
9. Angled palette knife: Palette knives are wonderful as they can be wafer-thin extensions of your hand to remove biscuits from a baking tray. Angled palette knives go one better as they allow you to smooth buttercream over large (or small) cakes without getting your hand in it.
10. Vegetable peeler: Not strictly for vegetables I use my peeler mainly on apples, but another great use is on plums and tomatoes. I never quite got the hang of cutting a cross in the base of the fruit and the bowls of hot and cold water, but found my peeler removed the skin with ease.
11. Kitchen ruler: Last but not least, the kitchen ruler. If you’re anything like me you want your bakes to be nigh perfection – bring in the ruler. Like the scissors, this is a kitchen only ruler. Whether it’s cutting out squares of pastry or slicing a cake into even portions, this is the tool for the job.