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baking supplies

My Top 7 Baking Supplies – A Baker’s Friends

Baking supplies or baking tools are unlimited when you hit the market. Here is a list of top baking tools that are must haves which make every baker’s life hassle-free.

 

What could possibly make a baker’s life easier? Say, you made this amazing cake last week and want to replicate it the following week for an upcoming dinner. You would hope that it comes out equally ‘amazing’ if not better than last week, right? Consistency then, is what you are looking for? Whether you are baking professionally or at home for family, you would like it to turn out consistently WELL. The right tools/baking supplies will help you out here.

What are the right baking supplies, you ask? My list may not be exhaustive, but over the years, I have found that these tools have made mixing, incorporation and texture better and generally ensured consistency. They have also helped to avert many cake disasters that I featured in my last post. Thanks to these essential baking supplies, I have even been able to try out things I have never made before with almost a 90-95% satisfaction rate. 

Do you take way too much time and energy baking and are left with a load of utensils after? Check out these helpful baking supplies that could make your life easier!

Springform baking pan

These baking pans have a clip at the edge that allows you to remove the cake from the pan without much fuss and ensures it looks fabulous. Be careful, though – as with all cakes, especially in the springform pan, the cakes need to be cooled before you even disengage the clip otherwise you can be rest assured the cake will split in half or crack open at the edges ruining the entire look of the cake.

Weighing scale

I discovered this pretty late – but it is easier to weigh your ingredients than following the ‘cup’ system (measuring). Bakers vouch by their weighing scale. It also makes it easier when you are halving or doubling your recipe quantity. For example – if you want to halve a recipe that calls for ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Ahem, not too easy to measure out 1/8 of a cup, is it? Also, when you measure out 1 cup of flour it is pretty easy to pack in more than a cup without realizing, especially if you are the sort who packs it in the cup pretty tightly. You can’t do that when you weigh ingredients out. I use this extremely cheap and functional one on Amazon.

Having said all this, if you aren’t comfortable with the weighing method, the measurement system will still give you good results.

Oven Mitts

Yes, oven mitts. Whether you are using a full blown oven, convection microwave or an OTG, buy a pair. You wouldn’t want to burn your extremely useful hands every time you get the pan into or out of the oven, do you?

Baking Supplies

Spatula

Spatulas are a wonderful, wonderful way of maximising the use of every last drop of your batter and ensuring it gets into the oven. These silicone spatulas are easy to clean, thoroughly collects the batter from the sides of your mixing bowl and it’s also very satisfying to watch it do its job.

Baking Supplies

Whisk

 

The balloon whisk is a very useful contraption especially to beat some sense into the initial few ingredients. Once you add the flour, it does get a bit difficult to use, but I have used it successfully to whisk batter for smaller quantity cakes. Large quantities will need the spatula for folding the flour in.

Baking Supplies

Measuring Cup

Especially useful if you are not weighing your ingredients, this is one of the must have baking supplies. Follow your recipe using this and my tips in my last post and your cake will not disappoint you!

Butter paper/Baking Paper/Wax paper

You can never have too many sheets of butter paper in your pantry. I have lost track of the number of times this unassuming sheet of paper has saved me. Ensure a smooth removal of your cake from the pan with this additional layer at the base of the pan. Use it over your oven tray to bake your cookies to avoid repeated cleaning of the tray itself and also for hygiene reasons. Use it to line the air-tight container in which you will refrigerate your baked goods if you plan to use it only the next day.

Stand Mixer

According to me, this is definitely not a must-have. I did just fine with my trusty Philips hand mixer for years. But a stand mixer is an extremely good-to-have product if you bake frequently. I bought my Oster a couple of years ago and I haven’t regretted it one bit. While the batter is mixing, your hands are free to do other things. I recently used The KitchenAid one and I was floored! Definitely features very high on my lust-list.

There you go, friends! My top pals in the kitchen. They have definitely cut down on time and frustration levels. Hope these baking supplies help you too. Leave me a comment to let me know. Until next post, toodles!

Cake Disasters | 4 Most Common Baking Mistakes

Cake Disasters | 4 Most Common Baking Mistakes

Are cake disasters bothering you?  After all the effort you put in, do your cakes have no wow factor? Our baking expert is here to help you avoid cake disasters.

Who doesn’t enjoy peering into the oven, looking through the warm lights inside and watching the ‘deliciousness-to-be’? As a child, I remember breaking into song and dance when I smelled that indescribable aroma of Mom’s baking; I also remember being told off for standing too close to that ‘hot oven door!’ waiting for it to be done.

To date, the most difficult part of baking for me has been dealing with impatience. From the minute the tray goes into the oven, I am trying to look inside. Has it risen yet? Is it done? Are the tops too brown? Should I remove the tray and check just for one teeny-tiny minute?
NO!

Enjoy baking but dislike the end result? You are in the right place because here I am now going to list down most commonly encountered lamentations I have heard from new bakers:
1. My cake rose so beautifully but the next thing I know, it sank. Now my cake has a crater the size of the Grand Canyon.
2. My cake tastes fine, but it’s not as soft and springy as it’s supposed to be.
3. I followed the instructions to the T. Why didn’t my cake turn out like the recipe said it would?
4. I followed the instructions here and there and did my own thing at some parts.

Read on to find out in detail on what you could be doing wrong!

Cake rose? Then sank?

Cake Disasters

Do not, I mean DO NOT open the oven door until more than 70% of baking time is done. If you have followed the temperature in the recipe instructions, a cake that will take one hour to bake will not be magically done in 20 minutes. So friends, hold your horses and resist the urge to pull down that oven door. According to the experts, the temperature of an oven drops by 10 degrees every second or so that it is open. By opening that door early on, you have invited a giant valley onto your cake. No amount of frosting will cover that up. Trust me – been there. Done that. Didn’t work.

Cake not soft or airy?

cake disasters

Couple of things – I remember thinking as kid while I was mixing batter – “Lump! I SEEEE YOU! I KEEELLL YOU!” Leave those lumps alone! Do not overthink things and do not keep mixing the batter until kingdom come. Just be sure, the ingredients are well incorporated – in the sense, there are no white flour streaks or unmixed cocoa powder hiding in the batter. Ideally a good recipe will ensure you have minimal lumps. Trust your recipe.

Another reason cakes do not reach their full potential of airiness and softness is because your ingredients are not brought to room temperature before you begin. Butter and Egg – I am primarily looking at you. (Melted butter also will not help). When at room temperature, butter and eggs mixed together with the other (room temperature!) dairy ingredients captures air. In the oven, this captured air, escapes and while it does, your baked product rises beautifully creating that soft and airy texture that you desire in your cake.

Followed your baking recipe? Still stuck with a dud cake?

cake disasters

You may have followed them, however shortcuts involving the steps mentioned above, will still hold you back from achieving the ultimate result. If you haven’t chosen shortcuts and you still end up with a mediocre product, you may want to check the temperature of your oven. Sometimes a re-calibration could be called for.

Did not follow your baking recipe?

cake disasters

At the risk of sounding like a school teacher, “Why, child?” Like I said before. Trust your recipe. It always pays to follow the exact measurements that your recipe calls for, because there is a science involved in coming up with those numbers. Dunking some extra baking soda in there in the hopes of achieving a super fluffy cake or reducing the number of eggs because you hate eggs or or or…turning up the oven temperature to be done sooner – ahem! Don’t.

I am a self-taught baker. Whatever I have learnt through the over-cooked, dry, underdone, ugly-looking cakes/cookies/rolls I have made, is that when it comes to baking, patience is truly a virtue. So, grit your teeth, hold on and resist that urge to be done with it all. Because in the end, it is your work of art coming out of that oven door.