Baker’s Hours

November 28, 2008

Five Black Friday Gift Ideas for Your Baker

Just incase you have been living under a rock, today is November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. Welcome to black friday! If you are like me and don’t really know what gift you are getting for someone until you are actually looking at it, Christmas shopping can be a rather daunting task. However, if there is a baker on your list of gift receivers, then this post should help you get at least one name closer to completing your list. Listed here are a five items that any baker (both professional or home) would love to find under the tree Christmas Morning.

Silpats are reusable nonstick baking sheets that have a many uses outside of baking. They range in size from toaster oven sized to a double sheet pan, so there should be no problem finding one that suits the baker in your life. Most housewares stores like Bed,Bath & Beyond, William’s Sonoma, and Macy’s carry them, but if you want the larger sizes, you will have to go to a professional restaurant supply store, or buy them online. Also available from Silpat are Roulpats, their nonstick countertop mats designed for rolling and kneading dough, or their Silpain nonstick perforated baking mats for baking bread.

 

Orange Flex are nonstick silicon molds  can be used for both baking and freezing. They are small (7″ x 12″) which allows you to buy multiple styles instead of getting sheet pan sized sheets, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

 

 

Granite or Marble tiles are an odd gift, but immensely useful to home bakers. Cheaper than Marble slabs they sell at housewares stores, they can be used for tempering small batches of chocolate, rolling out pie dough or even make fancy serving platters. Any kitchen design store will have them, but the best deal can be found at stone countertop companies. Often, they will have left over tiles laying around and will gladly sell them for $10-$20 each. 

 

A bit more pricy, but still useful in any kitchen. A Zabaglione pot is a round bottom copper pot that is handy when cooking sauces, mousses, or sugar. The copper conducts heat quickly and evenly and the round bottom ensures no corners where contents can get trapped and over cook.

 

Now the grand daddy on every home baker’s wish list, a countertop Kitchen Aid mixer. That special baker in your life already have a Kitchen Aid, then there are a wide range of attachments aside from the mixing ones. Other attachments include a food grinder, pasta roller, ice cream maker, can opener, citrus juicer, roto slicer, sausage stuffer, and grain mill. One word of advice if you are planning on buying a Kitchen Aid, make sure that you don’t get the one with the bowl cover. The cover makes it difficult when making bombes, Italian meringues or anything else in which you have to add ingredients while the mixer is running.

 

Song stuck in my head at the time of this post: Hero of the Day (S&M Version) by Metallica

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5 Comments »

  1. Awesome list! Already have a few of the items but my absolute favorite is my kitchen aid mixer. Can’t bake without it!

    Comment by hulamom — November 28, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  2. You have one of the four things I wish for Christmas on your list. The Kitchen Aid, though I’m torn about which model to get. My husband is the master of cookie making (though you are serious competition, my friend), so we need the strength, but not a monster in the kitchen.

    Other things on my list are the Vita-Mix, serious juice extractor, and Excalibur Dehydrator. Think I will get even one of the four on my list this year? 😀

    Comment by Lorelle — December 9, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  3. We had a vita mix at the yacht club. Its surprising how much fruit you need for a cup of juice.

    As for a kitchen aid, I would recommend either the Heavy Duty or Professional Series lift mixer. Being able to raise and lower the bowl comes in handy when whipping cream or meringues, something that you can’t do with the tilt models. I also recommend opting out of the pour shield. They prove to be more trouble then they are worth.

    Comment by NctrnlBst — December 9, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  4. Good recommendation on the lift model of the Kitchen Aid.

    I loved using the Lew’s Vita-Mix while I was in Hawaii. So jealous of it. It can turn nuts into butter in seconds. Incredible.

    For juicing, it always takes a lot of fruits and veggies, no matter what you use. Does the Vita-Mix have a juicer option? Hmmm. I really want the Omega or Green juice extractor that is a masticator not a centrifuge, as it gets more of the juice out, leaving a very dry pulp. I use the pulp for crackers in the dehydrator.

    I just tried the Live Fudge at Blossoming Lotus Cafe in Portland (review) and I’m searching everywhere for the recipe. Oh, my chocolate loving friend, this Live Fudge was orgasmic. I know it requires a major blender to get it so smooth. It’s cocoa nibs (mini rocks!), cocoa powder, coconut oil, and who knows what other goodies in its dreamy secret sauce.

    To be able to blend nuts and nibs to a smooth consistency is a dream of mine. Most say the Vita-Mix is the only way as a normal blender or food processor won’t work. What say you, oh, great master chef?

    Comment by Lorelle — December 10, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  5. We had a twin gear GS1000 at the yacht club. Had a lot of fun playing with it. I juiced a flat of fresh raspberries once. I used the juice to make jelly, and I mixed the pulp with a little sugar, and then dried it in the dehydrator to make fruit roll-ups. The juicer came in handy for making dressings and sorbets too. The only complaint that I had was that there are too many parts so you have to be sure to keep track of them all while cleaning, which can be difficult in a professional kitchen, but not so much in the home.

    Comment by NctrnlBst — December 10, 2008 @ 10:06 pm


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