Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tools and Ingredients




I’m not sure I have a more coveted cooking tool than the small offset spatula. I use it to frost cakes, cupcakes and cookies. I use it to quickly peel off hot tuiles right out of the oven and often to gently place a component of a dessert on the plate before it goes out to a guest. It is an extension of my right hand and the only tool I really feel I can’t live without. But then again, there is my heatproof spatula that I affectionately call my “spat”, my many sized ice cream scoops and my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. Oh, oh, oh AND my whisks! Ok, well there are many tools in my kitchen that are vital to creating what is on this blog. I have been asked on several occasions what tools are essential to the home baker. The list varies from person to person, because even though a casual baker probably won’t need 5 different sized whisks, and avid baker might not either. But when asked, I make a simple list:
Heatproof Spatula
Whisk
Wooden rolling pin
Measuring Cups and Spoons
8 or 9 inch round pan or cupcake pan
13x9 inch rectangle pan
8 inch square pan
Cookie sheet or baking sheet
Parchment paper
A small set of piping tips with a piping bag

Now you have a few essential items and you can begin to bake…except first you need ingredients, right?

Baking with really good ingredients makes so much difference in your final product. Buy good butter on sale and freeze it, make sure you have fresh, local eggs, milk and cream-local because some eggs in the grocery stores are shipped from different states…so make sure you know where your food comes from.
Since vanilla beans are really expensive, make a smaller investment and buy a really good vanilla extract. And before you use the baking soda and baking powder that has been sitting in your cupboard since the holidays, check the expiration date.

Now, I would like to ask you a question. What is your favorite kitchen tool? Anything that you use in the kitchen to make your time go by a little faster or anything that is just super fun to use! While you're at it, tell me about your favorite ingredient too! Leave a comment and let me know.

12 comments:

  1. Lemon juicer, because lemon is my favorite ingredient!

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  2. Ooooh thats a good one! I love mine too.

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  3. can my fav tool be the microwave? and i looooove my teapot! :)

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  4. a true gas stove...with convection oven...and my cast iron pans...i am a sucker for the tried and true...mmmm dutch babies here I come...with a freshly squeezed lemon!

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  5. Mini food processor. Easy to clean and comes in handy all the time.

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  6. I love my Goldtouch Non-stick baking sheets!!! They bake everything so perfectly and evenly in my cheepie oven lol!

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  7. The quality of your bakeware is so important. Good one Maggie.

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  8. Esteban, I would be in heaven if I had a convection oven in my apartment. You definitely get a better texture to certain foods when they are baked in an air-circulating oven.

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  9. I was in a kitchen today and she had a microwave on the pastry station. Some people scoff at the microwave in professional kitchens, but its really nice to have to gently melt chocolate or heat up something in a pinch!

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  10. I love my immersion/hand blender with all it's attachments...it's so handy. I have a convection oven, but can't seem to get it to do anything great...things seem to take longer on that setting which doesn't make sense.

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  11. An immersion hand blender is definitely on my list of things to further clutter my kitchen! My mom has a pretty weak convection too. I was so excited when they got it but it took forever to cook anything when Im used to those fans cutting minutes off my bake time. Thanks Marni!

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  12. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life
    Cooking Equipment

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I always love to see your comments.