Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How I manage to bake in my dodgy kitchen

When Joanna asked what kitchen equipment I have I thought it was time to show you a picture of my kitchen. It's pretty basic, just what you can see above plus another little bench with a gas stove and an oven on wheels underneath. It is very very temporary. Although we've had it for 6 months now! A new kitchen depends on the success or failure of the development application that is currently lodged with Leichhardt Council.

I've found that despite it's flaws cooking and baking delicious things is quite possible in my kitchen, with the exception of decorating with fondant which requires smooth cool surfaces and a lot of them. An electric oven, a gas stove and a sink are kitchen elements that I consider critical for good cooking. And for baking there are several items that I couldn't live without.

Electric Beaters

I use electric beaters for everything. Creaming butter and sugar, making seven minute frosting, beating pancake mix, beating egg whites into submission to make perfect pavlovas. The beaters I have at the moment are four speed, and while there are newer and prettier 8 speed beaters around I find that four speeds are plenty.


On Christmas morning I opened up an oddly shaped gift from R and at first had no idea what it was. I still have no idea what the technical name of this thing is, or if there even is a technical name. What it does is glue a mixing bowl to the bench which sounds simple but has solved so many baking issues. Recipes constantly call for you to 'pour milk in a steady stream into the large bowl whilst beating' which really requires (a) three hands or (b) a helper, so I would end up turning off the beaters and then letting go of the bowl, pouring milk, holding bowl again, turning on beaters again... Now the bowl just grips the bench and I can pour and beat to my heart's content without meeting disaster.

I should add that I have 6 stainless steel mixing bowls of various sized and I couldn't live without those either!

A Set of Round Cookie Cutters

These are useful for everything. Cookies and shortbread, cutting sponge to form the base of little cakes, cutting fondant into spots for decorating.

Assorted Bits and Pieces

From left to right:
1. A big spatula perfect for icing cakes
2. A whisk for eggs, custard, anything that needs a gentler action than the electric beaters provide
3. A silicone spatula which gets every bit of the cake mix out of the bowl and into the tin (not recommended if you like scoffing the 'leftover' raw cake mixture
4. An offset spatula for working with ganache
5. A silicone pastry brush which is very handy for pies and pastries, so much easier to clean and hygienic than the bristle variety


  1. I have a drawer full of useless crappy utensils - I need to update mine to look more like yours - the silicone brush might be particularly useful I think - i have a manky bristly one ;) That blue stick down thing is incredible - the things people think of right?! R is so thoughtful too!

    ps. Hope you're enjoying a bit of peace and quiet before Saturday x

  2. Thanks lovely. I have this week off work so plenty of time to play and relax before the weekend. Just back from a swim at the pool!!

  3. nice use of artistic paper in the background there :) - 亜lまf路m当居 (A from Tokyo)