The classic whisk is made entirely of metal with a handle that is broad and easy to grip. Lengths vary but a good size is from 8 in/20 cm to 12 in/30 cm.
These are used for egg whites are sometimes mounted on wooden handles and are more rounded, often with thinner wires, so they can incorporate more air.
are used for beating eggs and are particularly good for handling heavy mixtures an electric whisk or food processor is less effort! A rotary whisk has two handles, and two beaters suspended in a wire frame.
Instead of the customary wire loops this ingenious whisk employs 12 weighted balls on straight, flexible wires to whip cream and egg whites, blend sauces, and emulsify salad dressings. Because they move independently and reach into pan corners and bowl bottoms, the balls significantly reduce whisking time and aerate quicker than a conventional whisk. They're sometimes coated in nonstick so they won't scratch pans and bowls.
With its flat side and flexible wires, this whisk is ideal for scrambling eggs or blending gravies and sauces in a pan.
A home-crafted tool for spun sugar made by cutting the wires of a whisk so that only a few inches remain attached to the handle.
for thoroughly mixing liquids in narrow containers like glasses and mugs. It's designed to be rapidly twirled between the palms of the hands.
The best metal spoons are oval with a pointed end. The better the quality the less they scratch and the better they retain the shine. Hygienic and long lasting. Slotted spoons allow liquid to drain off. Some have a handle at the side to make pouring easy.
Look for good quality wood, flat surfaced with little or no 'bowl'. As wood does not conduct heat they are usefull for prolonged stirring and where aluminium pans are used it is suggested that metal spoons should not be used because they scrape off the aluminium into the food and this may contribute to amongst other things Alzheimers.
These have a flexible metal or plastic blade set in a handle and are used to spread ingredients butter, like icing and cream A Chinese-spatula can be used for moving food around a wok when stir-frying. Plastic spatulas are useful for non-heat-related tasks, watch out if use them on hot items they can melt.
This has a short, wide blade with a long handle and is used for turning crepes, fritters, pancakes or drop scones.
Used for pouring liquid, skimming stocks and sauces, ladles come in many sizes. Small ones are also used for pushing sauces through a conical mesh sieve. Choose one with a hooked or pierced handle for easy storage.
A skimmer is a shallow perforated metal spoon which can be used to skim the scum off stock They can also be used to lift food from a pot whilst leaving the liquid behind.
Ice cream scoop
This can be a spoon-shaped flat shovel, or it may have a hemispherical bowl, often with a spring blade to loosen the ice cream from the scoop. Some metal scoops contain anti-freezing liquid to prevent sticking.
Forks and pointy things
Commonly used in the kitchen to test if foods are cooked. A carving fork has two prongs with a hand guard.
The dipping fork is utensils used to immerse ingredients to be coated in chocolate or sugar. They have long thin tines. You can make your own by mounting little circles of wire onto a shaft
This is a sharp and thin piece metal or wood used to spear kebabs and other foods for grilling or frying. Small skewers can be used to close poultry or meat cavities after stuffing. Wooden skewers can be used to test whether cakes are done although the temperature test does not work as they do not conduct heat the cake mix shows up better if underdone. Metal skewers are best used to test the doness pf meat poultry and terrines as tghe temperature of the point lets you know how hot the meat is inside. Thinner bamboo skewers are used in Asian cooking.
Different sizes and designs of these are avalable. A large needle used to truss poultry and to sew up stuffed meat. Choose needles with a decent size hole!
There are two main types of larding needle. One has a sharp point and channelled shaft about 45 cm (18 in) long and a wooden handle, and is used to thread strips of fat or ham deep inside meat. The other type is called a pique needle and is smaller with a spliced end so that you can stitch small strips of fat into the surface of meat this sytops the meat drying out especially when braising.
Home baking after a long period of decline is again on the up. After all, life has changed. You may remember your mother (father) or grandmother batch baking once a week. The instinct to bake something now and again is still part of our nature and the product is often incomparable better than most things you can get in astore.
As a general rule don't buy equipment cake tins, baking sheets, whatever unless its solid enough to last a lifetime. Although it may be more expensive it is cheaper to buy something only once.
The right tools simply make it a lot easier to do a good job. Dont go and buy the whole lot at once, better to build up a collection gradually as your skill and enthusiasm grows.
Baking sheets and trays
Good baking sheets and trays are a lifetime's investment. Pre-heated in the oven they are used as a base to put your pie or tart tin upon, baking sheets will ensure that pastry bases of pies and quiches will be crisp just one of a multitude of uses. The three best sizes of baking sheets to have are : 25.5 x 30 cm (10 x 12 in), 28 x 35 cm (11 x 14 in)and 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 in) these give you the flexibility you need for different tasks.
This is where cake making very often goes wrong. choosing th wrong size tin for the mixture can lead to dissapointing if not tragic results..
For making sponge cakes is a solid set made a 18 cm (7 in) tin makes a 2 egg, 100 g (4 oz) mixture, that is a syandard two layer sponge sandwich cake the 20 cm (8 inch) is for a 3 egg, 175g (6 oz) mixture. Try and get these sizes as other inbetweens are awkward to use. Cheap versions, which need to be constantly replaced, work out to be a lot more expensive but are OK if you bake very rarely!
Depth of tin
This is also Vital. A sponge tin has to be at least 4 cm (1.5 in) deep because the cake needs to rise up and be as light and fluffy as possible.
Larger cake tins
An 20 cm (8 in) round cake tin is a good average size, but if you use a square tin the same mixture will fit 18 cm (7 in). A general rule is that square tins should always be 2.5 cm (1 in) smaller than round ones.
Equipped with a metal clip to release the sides these great are anything that needs to be removed particularly carefully such as a cheesecake. On the whole choose the same measurements as for the sponge tins.
Tartlet and Patty tins
These are essential for mince pies and tartlets. Do not buy less than a 12-hole patty tins and mini-muffin tins should be sized sized 7.5 cm (3 in) and and tartlet tins 11.5 cm (4.5 in).
Pie, flan, tart, and quiche tins
Choose at least two sizes of quiche tin with loose bases: 25.5 cm (10 in) one for the larger quiches and a 19 cm (7.5 inch ) one for smaller ones. A 20 cm (8 in) sloping-sided, deep-rimmed pie tin is the best size.
Lof tins with pleated corners are thankfully still available in 900/ g2 lb (18.5 x 11.5 x 9 cm/7.25 x 4.5 x 3.5 in) or 450 g/1 lb (15 x 9.5 x 7 cm/6 x 3.75 x 2.75 in) sizes. Check recipes for best fit. Grease them well with white fat or butter first. Try a non-stick version of the loaf tin because although it still must be greased it is much easier to turn the loaf out.