Baking Essentials For The Baking Enthusiast

Owning a kitchen filled with the latest appliances and gadgets is a dream for most baking enthusiasts. Who wouldn’t like a sleek stand mixer to make the fluffiest meringues or a blow torch for creme brulee? However, some appliances are too expensive and are not feasible for an amateur baker to procure. While you can make do without a few niche items, there are something that a budding baker must have in their arsenal. Owning a kitchen filled with the latest appliances and gadgets is a dream for most baking enthusiasts. Who wouldn’t like a sleek stand mixer to make the fluffiest meringues or a blow torch for creme brulee? However, some appliances are too expensive and are not feasible for an amateur baker to procure. While you can make do without a few niche items, there are something that a budding baker must have in their arsenal.

  • Oven:

Baking is impossible without a good oven. The oven can be a gas oven, electrical oven, microwave oven or even an OTG oven. All types of ovens have their pros and cons and features that may be useful. A gas or electric oven maybe suitable if you bake very frequently and in bulk amounts, while the convection setting on a microwave oven is best suited for the occasional home baker. If you fit in neither category then an OTG is a great idea as it blends the space saving and low price feature of the microwave oven with the higher capacity and better control of the in-built oven.

  •  Hand blender or stand mixer:

Most of us drool at the thought of a sleek stand mixer adorning our kitchen that makes whipped cream, meringues and more, but stand mixers can be prohibitively expensive, instead a hand blender is easy to use, can do the same work with a little more effort and is priced extremely reasonably. A heavy duty hand blender can do wonders for your baking experiments from creaming butter for your cakes to transforming egg whites into foam.

  • Balloon whisk:

Even if you already have a hand blender, a balloon whisk is important for the kitchen. It helps in whisking liquids, eggs, etc. It is also great for folding in the flour for cakes that use whipped egg whites like chiffon cakes without losing the volume of the egg whites.

  • Ramekins:

A must for any baker who wishes to make souffles, mousses and creme brulees, ramekins are pretty little bowls that one can bake and serve in.

  • Measuring items:

Cups, spoons, dry and wet. One must have one of each type of measuring items at hand. Baking requires precise measurements and often the difference between a disaster and a masterpiece is a simple measuring error

  • Baking parchment:

Used to line the insides of your baking tin or sheet, baking parchment is a special type of paper that will help you easily remove cakes and cookies after baking.

  • Baking tins:

Baking tins can be of many varieties, ranging from loaf pans to bunt tins, muffin tins, pie tins or trays. Each type of tin fulfils its special purpose and it is ideal to have at least one of each type and failing that at least one regular tin and one baking tray. For making cheesecakes get a spring form pan with a removable bottom.

Great baking needs practice and patience and quality baking equipment is an essential element to make great bakes. While there is a great choice in some equipment choices, like gas oven vs OTG oven, most equipment mentioned here are a must for any baker who wishes to transform the way they bake.

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The Joys of Baking!

 Baking is my passion. I have inherited it from my mother and grandmother both of whom were excellent cooks and bakers. One slice of my mother’s pineapple upside down cake was enough to quell the tuition teacher’s anger over incomplete homework and the carrot cake was particularly useful to calm down the aunty next door when she came to complain about yet another broken window. So as you can see baking is in my blood, and thankfully, I’m not too bad a baker either. My pound cake may not bring tears of happiness in ones eyes but it does disappear in a rather alarming fashion in the presence of my friends and colleagues.

But something needed to change about the way I baked. You see, I was using my mother’s old baking oven, those round ones with a window on top to check the progress of the cake, but as years went by it started to break down more and the fraying wires made each cake fraught with danger. As sad as it was to let it go, I decided to make the change and purchase an OTG oven to solve my baking problems. It was as I thought, time I tried my hand at grilling too.

otg oven

After making my decision, I went to the store to buy a new OTG oven and came right back after seeing the traffic on the road. It was then that I decided that a new way of baking deserves a new way of shopping too! So I hit the internet with a vengeance, determined to not let my dream of baking the perfect cheesecake down. And then? A miracle happened! I came across the Morphy Richards OTG online and it was love at first sight! It even had a motorized rotisserie function! Hello roast chicken and paneer tikkas! I simply couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price! It was well within my budget and had a little to spare too! Buoyed by the feeling of euphoria I quickly ordered it and then began to wait impatiently for it to arrive.

That day dawned soon enough. The doorbell had never sounded sweeter! I eagerly removed the wrapping and stared at my new OTG oven in delight. It was sleek and stylish and well fit into my decor. But since the proof of the pudding was in the eating I quickly put it to the test for a scrumptious three-course meal using only the OTG. First up, bruschetta with olive oil and pesto. The toast was golden and crisp when I bit into it and I could not resist a quick groan of appreciation. Then I enjoyed a full roast chicken with vegetables and for dessert I had whipped up my favourite cheesecake. Both were beautifully cooked and the chicken was so juicy yet tender!

Buying the Morphy Richards OTG was honestly the best decision I have ever made for my baking. I am so happy with it that I even gifted one to my mother and demanded that she make me her famous pineapple upside down cake again! She is also thrilled with it.

So that was my story about my love for baking, what is your favourite baking story? Do you use an OTG oven? Do let me know in the comments!