With the return of the Great British Bake Off to our screens many of us have been inspired to dust off our aprons and do a bit of baking. Watching the show always makes me want to eat cakes or biscuits or whatever the contestants are baking that week.
So this week I decided to get baking and I have been busy in the kitchen. I have made a Chocolate Guinness cake, vanilla cupcakes and some Blueberry and Lemon Curd Scones (see them here) and I have to say my baking experience was made a lot more enjoyable because I was trying out my new baking equipment from Garden Trading. The range of baking equipment on their website is really good and I love the vintage style to them. The flour shaker and cutters were perfect for making my scones and the tin that the cutters set comes in looks perfect displayed on my kitchen worktop. I also found the metallic scoop to be really useful, it was much easier using this to measure out my flour rather than shaking the upturned bag of flour over a bowl like I normally do, resulting in flour spilling all over the work top. I love getting new baking equipment, I'm like a child getting a new toy!
If you fancy updating your baking equipment or are new to baking, what are the basic essentials that every baker should have to get started? Well, I've been looking on the internet for some ideas and here are my top picks. Go on, treat yourself!
Classic Kitchen ScalesI think weighing scales are one of the most important pieces of equipment a baker can have. It's difficult to make anything without knowing the correct quantities of your ingredients. If you've ever made a cake without accurately weighing your ingredients you'll know that it's a bit of a risk and your cakes probably won't look like the picture in the recipe book! These classic scales from Store will look stylish displayed on your worktop and will make sure your bakes turn out exactly as they're supposed to!
Neff 'Slide and hide' ovenI know this is an obvious kitchen essential if you're baking but have you got a slide and hide oven like the contestants use in the Bake Off tent? I'm always jealous of those ovens. I love the fact that the door disappears under the oven, I'm not sure why they're so appealing maybe it's the novelty of the sliding the door! Well now you can pretend you're a contestant on Bake Off with this 'slide and hide' oven from ao.com. You can also find lots of Bake Off inspiration on the ao.com website including recipes and tips
Hotpoint Kitchen MachineThis mixer means business. This machine forms part of the Hotpoint HD Line collection of food preparation appliances which Hotoint say are designed to deliver unbeatable performance and great results. Sounds good to me! It comes with a wire whisk, flat beater and kneading hook and the direct drive motor ensures perfect results whether your're kneading, mixing or whipping your mixture. Take a look at the whole range here.
This award winning hand mixer is designed to provide everything you need to create delicious baked goods and desserts with ease. The Braun Multimix comes with more attachments than any other hand mixer in the marketplace so you can whip, knead, blend and chop till your heart's content. Another unique feature is the motor which is positioned vertically, directly above the attachments so the weight is directed into the bowl and not in your hand, meaning less effort and more comfort.
Chef's Delux BlowtorchAlthough a blowtorch sounds like something a handy man would use rather than a baker, a blowtorch is actually really useful for many recipes such as creme brûlées and baked alaska. In fact there is a whole Pinterest page devoted to blowtorch recipes! This gas powered blowtorch is available from Alliance Online for £21.74.
Pyrex non-stick bakewareThis stylish new range of bakeware from Pyrex has been designed to ensure ease of use and handling, particularly when the tins are being taken in and out of the oven. The larger handle means you can remove the tin with one hand and open the oven door at the same time with the other hand. The quality of the tins means perfectly baked cakes too!
Ceramic Rolling PinRoll out perfect pastry with this pretty wooden handled rolling pin from Creative Tops, designed by Kate Alice. The lovely floral motif will add a dash of vintage style to any kitchen. It's available from The English Table for £20.
CF Silicone UtensilsThese utensils from Creative tops are great tools for the kitchen and are vital in all aspects or cooking and baking. Made from beech wood and silicone they are available in different colours and will look stylish displayed in a vintage jug or jar in your kitchen. You can see the whole range at The English Table.
Mixing BowlAnother essential item for every bake is a mixing bowl. This traditional style pink heart bowl is £18 from The Contemporary Home. It is a generous size for mixing your cakes in and looks good on your work top or dresser when it's not in use.
So here are my favourite baking essentials, what do you think? Is there anything you'd add to my essentials list?