Friday, August 04, 2006

Must-Have Items For Your Kitchen (Baker's Edition)

Well, my pal Adam is creating nice lists of must-have items. Now, if you've been paying attention, you know I've already done a general one in response to his original posting.

This, my friends, is the Baker's Edition. Allow me to preface this by saying that I've got the special diet needs (no high glycemic sugars, caffeine or chocolate) to condend with on my list. I'm sure you'd have chocolate on yours if you can have it.

Deb's Must-Have Items for the Kitchen, Bakers Edition

  1. Vanilla Bean Paste. This stuff blows vanilla extract away.
  2. China Cassia Cinnamon. It's stronger than your typical cinnamon with a lovely flavor.
  3. Unsweetened Carob Chips. You can use them like you would bittersweet or dark chocolate chips, without the caffeine. Of course, it's not the same flavor, and nothing can be, really, but it works for me.
  4. Fresh butter. Purists will use unsalted, and sometimes I actually will. However, most times, I'll use salted.
  5. Carob Powder. Again, for me it's a substitute item. Specifically, you can use it for cocoa powder. Just remember to sift it.
  6. Agave Nectar. (This is a great buy at, by the way.) This liquid sweetener has the lowest glycemic value of all the natural sweeteners. It can be used 1 for 1 with honey, but it has far less intrusive flavor or fragrance. I like using it for maple syrup on waffles.
  7. Mini Muffin/Cupcake Pans. You can't go wrong with too many cupcakes. The little ones help with portion control, and they're just cute as a button.
  8. Fresh, Organic, Cage-Free Eggs. There's a difference. Fresh eggs taste much better, as do any fresh ingredients.
  9. Fresh Cream Cheese. I use cream cheese in so many recipes. It also mixes well with Agave nectar and lemon to make frosting for those mini cupcakes.
  10. A Bundt Pan. Endless recipes call for a Bundt pan. It's fun to slice through a Bundt cake when you've run a colorful fruity tunnel through the middle.
  11. Off-set Spatula. Frosting, need I say more?
  12. Food Coloring. Purple cupcakes are the most fun. Infinitely useful stuff for decorating confections and cakes.
  13. Cookie Cutters. How else can you make cookies that look like high heels?
  14. Measuring Spoons and Cups. Essential for baking, since it is chemistry.
  15. A Good Mixer. I'm going to use mine tonight.
  16. Toothpicks. For cake testing.
  17. Oven Mitt. For taking cakes out and not burning your fine hands.
  18. Timer. This one has two timers for baking multiple items.
  19. Oven Thermometer. I don't trust my oven. Do you trust yours?
If you enjoyed this, let me know your list?

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