Baking Equipment for Starters

Who doesn’t like cookies? Soft or crispy, big or small – it doesn’t matter as long as they are delicious Baking can be a lot of fun, being able to make something for yourself and others can give a great sense of satisfaction. But without the right equipment, it will only cause you a lot of headache. Baking isn’t like cooking where you can improvise and add ingredients to taste.It is more like an exact science with recipes that need to be carefully measured.

So accurate measuring tools are really important, no matter what you are baking or cooking. Nowadays, there are many kinds of baking tools and equipment that can be used in the kitchen. Good tools can certainly make the whole process more enjoyable and easier. You can bake delicious homemade cookies, cakes, muffins etc. The list of basic equipment should include the following tools:

Measuring cups – they are used to measure dry and liquid ingredients. Being able to precisely measure the ingredients that are used is very important, and with this baking tool, you will never be mistaken. Don’t “eyeball” the amount you need. A good measuring cup will do it more easily and efficiently.

Measuring spoons – A teaspoon and a tablespoon are fine, but it’s even better if you use measuring spoons for measuring one half or one quarter of ingredients.

A kitchen scale – When discussing ingredients needed for baking, a kitchen scale is a must, especially a digital one that will be your trusty assistant in the baking process.Measuring by weight will give you even better results. For example, different types of flour will weigh differently when placed in a measuring cup, and the weight will also depend whether you press the flour into the measuring cup or not.

A sheet pan –  This is absolutely important for baking cakes and cookies.

Rolling pin – is used to flatten or roll the dough.

A baking kit- for beginners should include a quality hand mixer, A mixer is one of the most important things needed for baking, In fact, it can be considered to be among the top baking tools.

A good quality silicone baking mat – is one of the baker tools that can really help you. This is a great alternative to greasing the pan besides, you won’t have to clean your pans very often.

A balloon hand whisk –  This whisk works perfectly for things like pancake batter and cakes with oil and cookies that don’t require creaming and icings. A hand whisk is also ideal for whipping smaller portions of eggs or cream when you don’t want to use a big electric mixer.

Another item that should be on the baking equipment list is a flour sifter. Sifting the flour before mixing it with other ingredients will prevent clumps, and the dough will be smoother and easier to mix. Once you see what you can do with these tools and other baking equipment, you will soon find great satisfaction in using them, you’ll be inspired to try out new recipes. And thanks to them you will have no problems realizing these ideas.

Do I need an Ice Cream Machine?

Ice cream is a favorite summertime treat for people of all ages. It is impossible to imagine a summer without delicious ice cream. People have been making ice cream long before the invention of electricity so there’s no reason you can’t make ice cream at home without an ice cream machine. Homemade ice cream is a special dessert. It is delicious, creamy and can be customized with any flavor. An ice cream machine costs a lot of money, besides it takes up space in small kitchens.

So before buying one, many people will wonder whether they really need an ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream The short answer is no, as there are a lot of ways making homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. There is no need to buy expensive ice cream makers. You can save money and make homemade ice cream whenever you want simply by using your refrigerator freezer.

How to make ice cream at home?

Just make sure you have these ingredients at hand;

  • Sugar – 240 gr.
  • Whole milk 710 ml
  • Cream (30-36%) 240 ml
  • 6 Yolks
  •  Vanilla essence 1 tsp.

Cook the mixture of egg, sugar and milk with low heat and slowly. At first, separate the yolks from the eggs and add sugar. Whisk them properly until the mixture becomes a pale lemon-yellow color. Do not forget to stir and scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to cook the mixture evenly and to save the bottom from scorching until thickened enough.

To measure the accurate thickness, you may check if it coats the back of a spoon. For getting different flavors, you may add anything like mint, cinnamon, cacao nibs or coffee beans, etc. into the milk along with vanilla. Cook the mixture: Place the saucepan on the stove and cook them over low heat. Slowly stir the mixture, scrape the bottom and sides of the pot constantly. Cook until the base has thickened and can make coat on the back of the spatula.

Strain the ice cream base into the bowl which will remove the vanilla pod. Besides, it will also help to remove the curdled egg (if have any). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened. Remove from heat.  To freeze the thickened Ice cream, transfer it to a freezer container. Use a piece of wax paper against the surface of the ice cream. It will help to prevent forming the ice crystals until solid for 4 hours. Freeze the ice cream at least for 4 hours before serving stirring every 40 minutes.

Here is another recipe :

 Ice cream “Crème Brullee

To make such ice cream, you will need these ingredients:

  • cream (fat content of 33%) – 500 ml;
  • milk -150 ml;
  • egg yolk – 2 pieces;
  • wheat flour (the highest grade) – 20 g;
  • Condensed milk (boiled) – 60 ml.
  1. Take the raw yolks, add 3 tbsp. spoon the cream and whisk carefully.
  2. In the resulting mass, pour the flour and mix everything.
  3. Milk warm, but do not bring to a boil, and then pour a thin trickle into the mixture with yolks and whisk well.
  4. Put the resulting mass in a water bath, wait until it thickens, then cool it.
  5. Cream pour into a container and whip with a mixer, you need them to turn out thick, but not turned into butter.
  6. To them add condensed milk and eggs, and then mix everything thoroughly.
  7. Spread the ice cream on the molds, and then leave in the freezer for 1-1.5 hours.

What is the Sous Vide Technique

The Sous Vide technique is a method of low temperature cooking that was developed in 1974.It is a method that has been preferred by many chefs. Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, is a cooking technique. As the name suggests, it involves cooking food at lower temperatures for longer time so as to retain the moist juices Food should be sealed in a plastic bag with all the air removed.

This cooking technique works very well with different types of meat and seafood. It demands precise temperature control with circulation to produce results that can’t be achieved through any other cooking technique.Cooking times can vary from 15-20 minutes to few hours. In some cases, food can be cooked for 24 hours or more. It depends on the cut s and types of meat. The process, is divided into four steps. We determine the temperature and cooking time to achieve the results we want.

Then we heat some water up to that temperature, seal our food in a vacuum bag or Ziploc bag and place it in the water until the food comes up to the temperature of the water. Vacuum sealing prevents evaporation and allows for the most efficient transfer energy from the water to the food. This step keeps the flavor of food and keeps it from getting into the sous vide machine. Due to this technique we get tender meat pieces that are moist with their own juices.

The humid environment within the bag ensures that the meat is juicy. Maintaining the temperature allows the meat to be evenly cooked.Unlike traditional cooking methods, with sous vide the outside layers will not be overcooked during this process, because the food cannot get hotter than the bath it is in, When the food is cooked, we finish it by searing, grilling, or broiling the food in a hot pan or on a hot grill, to add a crispy, golden layer.

With precise temperature control in the kitchen, sous vide provides the following benefits:

  1. Food is cooked in its juices. This ensures that the food is moist, juicy and tender,it preserves the natural flavor The freshness, color and appearance of the food remain unchanged which makes it more preferable. One of the best parts of sous vide cooking is that you don’t need to do much to your food before cooking.Most kinds of meat,fish and vegetables only need salt and pepper to shine, butter and marinades are not necessary, even lean meats will retain their moisture on their own.
  2. Traditionally prepared food dries out for example, traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying out. Steak cooked via precision cooking, loses none of its volume.
  3. Precision cooking brings food to an exact temperature and holds it. There is no worry about overcooking, the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside,

With sous vide cooking technique, you can hold the meat at safe temperature for longer periods without affecting its quality.