The old saying “it’s a piece of cake,” is a bit misleading. While cake may be delicious to eat, there is quite a bit that goes into making it. As a result – baking a cake is definitely not “a piece of cake.” I have never really liked that term, simply because it gives the impression that anyone can bake and, trust me, that is not the case.
My mom, bless her, liked to try to bake. All my birthday parties featured a homemade cake “by mom.” Eventually, my friends learned to smile as it was passed out and then throw it out when she wasn’t looking. One year, my dad took mercy on me and purchased cupcakes to hand out while my mom went to clean up. Her cakes tasted like a mix between wet cement and cat food – I love her, but her baking leaves a bit to be desired. (This is one blog post I am hoping she won’t see! If she does, I love you, mom!)
There are quite a few pieces of baking equipment that are considered “must-haves” in the kitchen. However, there are a few that may be a bit intimidating or bizarre to those new to the art of baking. Some of the strangest tools I use on a regular basis have been described here:
- Sieve: Honestly, this tool was designed after the equipment that is used to mine for gold. The small screen helps to mix dry ingredients and also helps you keep “big” things out of your mix. It’s a handy tool to have especially if you are trying to dust surfaces or decorate with cocoa or icing sugar.
- Zester: This tool typically has a blunt end with a small blade that allows you to grate off small pieces of orange or lemon rind. It is not used by all bakers, but great for summer cakes and desserts that have a citrus twist.
- Baking parchment: This isn’t exactly bizarre, but essential in the kitchen and often forgotten about. This is paper that is both moisture and grease proof. You can use it for virtually anything – lining baking trays and cake tins and setting desserts out to cool. You can even put it in the freezer and oven.
If you are planning to bake, be sure to have these essentials on hand. While this is a short list, it is a good one! As always, happy baking!