DISCOVER THE TOP FIVE KITCHEN EQUIPMENT ITEMS NO HOME BAKER SHOULD BE WITHOUT.
If the flour flies frequently in your kitchen, you'll appreciate the importance of good equipment to back up your baking.
Whether you're a casual baker or a seasoned devotee, having the right kit can help you turn out the best results.
Here are our top five kitchen essentials for the budding baker:
1. Oven thermometer Capable of calibrating temperamental oven temperatures, you need never worry about your oven being too hot or too cool with an oven thermometer to hand. Cheap and available in all good cookware shops, every baker should own this indispensable little oven buddy.
2. Digital scales Too much of one thing and not enough of another can have any number of effects on the final outcome. The precise science of baking relies heavily on a carefully measured ratio of ingredients. For this reason, a reliable set of digital scales (used with a keen eye) make our top five. Just don't forget to zero them before weighing out your items and keep them on a flat surface.
3. A free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment or hand-held electric whisk Unless you want to cultivate some serious strong-man muscle power, always go electric when it comes to mixing up your cake batters. Electric mixing combines the ingredients thoroughly, bringing everything together and incorporating lots of air as it goes so your cakes rise beautifully with the lightest of textures. And you needn't break the bank - always choose equipment that suits your budget.
4. Non-stick tins Long gone are the days of needing dynamite and shoehorns to prise your beloved bakes from their tins. Good quality non-stick tins are ten a penny and make it a doddle to ease away the tin and allow your cake to cool completely in one delicious piece.
5. A sieve This unsung hero of our kitchen cupboards should never leave a baker's side. Sifting your dry ingredients will remove clumps, ensure a fine and even consistency and aerate the mixture. There's no need to stand on a chair with the sieve stretched above your head, just holding it slightly above the bowl will be enough to add some air.