VIVE Cooking School

VIVE’s Guide to Essential Cooking Tools and Utensils – Part 1

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Our first part is about the baking/pastry tools every home baker needs.



Check out our secret baking/pastry tools that our chefs use!

Whether you’re a new baker looking to stock your kitchen, or an experienced baker interested in trying different products, this is the list for you!

1. Cooling racks: essential to put hot baked goods on, straight out of the oven. It allows air to circulate under them, which helps prevent condensation which could make the bottom soggy. It also helps to crisp up biscuits that are meant to be crisp. There are many different designs of cooling racks; It doesn’t have to be used only to cool your baking trays, it also can be used as a “trivet” where you can place your hot pan on.

2. Sheet pans: they may look like simple cookie sheets, but these pans are all-purpose multitaskers. Essential for roasting vegetables or making granola. Even when you are not baking directly onto the pan you can use it under a batter-filled cake tin or bread pan, it will protect the oven floor from overflowing batter. It also makes it easier to transport smaller pans in and out of the oven. It is important to use good quality sheet pans that can sustain a high temperature otherwise the heat can cause the pans to literally distort, and this can ruin your pastry, (and yes we’ve experienced this once).

3. Baking paper: very versatile, use it to line cake moulds and baking sheets, to wrap fish and other dishes that are cooked en papillote, and to cover countertops during messy tasks to make clean up easy. If you’re sifting or grating a small amount of an ingredient, you can simply let it fall onto the paper, then pick up the paper and pour it into a dish. Our chefs use it for various applications such as making fish “en papillote”, or even to improvise a parchment decorating bag aka a small piping bag.

4. Baking tray: the perfect companion for your Sunday roast! They can also be used for roasting chicken breasts, lasagna, brownies, and go straight to the dinner table to serve all of your culinary creations. It’s important to note that this piece of equipment is so versatile and so useful that it might be worthwhile investing in a good quality baking tray. At VIVE, our heart is set on the Chasseur Cast Iron roasting pan: the cast-iron material assists with a more even cooking, and the heat retention will last a lot longer, meaning that on the table the dishes will stay hot longer: quite handy for family reunion lunches or dinners. 

5. Flat tray: we love this one for the heating which is coming from all angles, evenly distributing the heat. It is used for baking products that are thick or stiff enough to stand on their own, such as cookies, freestanding bread, biscuits, pastries, meringues, and of course macarons! Same as for the sheet pans, it is important to invest into quality: use good quality flat trays that can sustain a high temperature; otherwise the heat can cause the pans to literally distort and this can ruin your pastry.

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