If you’re going to bake, at least make it look like you know what you’re doing.
These bits of kit will save you time, add the finishing touches and generally make everything you bake look awesome... not to mention impressing the hell out of anyone who walks into your kitchen.
An assortment of cookie cutters for every occasion
Thinking of serving your friends round biscuits? I think not!
It’s all about personalisation – a cookie shape for every occasion. Or at least a few stars, a few sizes of hearts, a couple of flowers flowers, and maybe even a butterfly. Even if you’re not interested in different shapes, pick up a pack with a range of sizes of circles. Everyone needs some variety in their baking!
In a similar vein are shaped tins and dishes for cakes or breads. Make an extra-special pudding for someone who loves flowers, without needing to fiddle with creating separate petals and praying they’ll stick together with icing.
Make tear-and-share breads that are perfect even ovals, or with easy-to-separate sections, baked evenly to perfection. Ceramic dishes are particularly handy as they usually look gorgeous, and you can serve and store food in them straight from the oven.
Handier than a box grater and much easier to clean, these little gadgets are primarily used for zesting citrus fruits, but have a whole host of other applications.
Rather than just coarse chopping, create smooth ‘snow’ toppings from grated walnuts or hazelnuts; get more finely ground nutmeg or cinnamon by using on the whole spices, with the extra advantage of a fresher flavour; grate fresh ginger for ginger biscuits or cakes, giving them a much zingier flavour than ground, but more manageable than chopped; and of course, show off by topping your desserts with curls of chocolate.
This measuring and conversion baking mat
Why bog yourself down with extra kit when you can do everything on one mat?
Adding a touch of peril to your pillowy Italian meringue. These gadgets make you feel pretty awesome when you wield them, and are useful for lots of surprisingly fine and delicate finishing touches to your desserts. Use them to caramelise sugar to make the crunchy top of a creme brulée, or to quickly create cake decorations with a sprinkling of sugar, a cookie cutter and a quick blast from the torch.
Gently brown the top of your whipped meringue to give it definition and colour. Toast marshmallows for cupcake toppings or chocolate fondue. And for an added value that even the manufacturers didn't think of: use it to light the candles on your dinner table.
Cake decorating turntable
Another one of those unbelievably simple items that has multiple uses beyond your baking, and also makes you feel like you really know what you’re doing, but none of us ever seem to actually own.
These rotating cake dishes mean you can get your icing or ganache perfectly even all the way around without leaving fingerprints or dents behind, and mean you can continue your piping patterns and borders all around the cake without needing to break the line to turn the cake around.
It also means your cake is sitting up nice and high on your counter so that you’re not craning your neck over it as you decorate. These things may sound like luxuries to non-bakers... but anyone who's spent more than a few minutes craning in such a way will know that they need this. Right now.
A proper timer
Because who wouldn’t prefer to look at this little guy than a boring old clock face while waiting for their cakes to rise? Look at him!
Look at him!