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

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Our first section is the baking/pastry tools every home baker needs. If 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.

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

1. Cooling racks: a device that you can 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 multi-tasker, is essential for roasting vegetables or making granola even when you are not baking directly to the pan you can use it for: placed under batter-filled cake or bread pans, it protects the oven floor from overflowing batter and makes it easier to transport smaller pans in and out. 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 it 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 application such as making Fish “en papillote” or even 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 roast 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 materials assist 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 lunch and dinner. 

5. Flat tray: is good because the heating 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: It is important to 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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We want to hear what you think about this article, or what you would like us to write about next! Write to us at info@vivecookingschool.com.au.

VIVE Cooking School is for passionate home cooks of all ages looking for a deeper connection with how they shop, source, prepare and share food. Learn more about us.

Jean-Luc Tan
Jean-Luc, founder of VIVE Cooking School, managed to quit coffee in Oct 2019. He likes to think he is a healthy eater, but truth be told: he can't resist Maccas Apple Pie and anything that is deep fried!
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