With the return of The Great British Bake Off it's time to stock up your kitchen with flour, eggs and of course the best baking gadgets.
If you want to avoid soggy bottoms and mimic your favourite star bakers then you're going to need all the advantages you can get. So take a look at our list of the best baking items around; from super precise scales to the latest in high-tech kitchen design, we’ve rounded up the best items to help your baking.
- The best stand mixers available to humanity
1. KitchenAid 4.8L Artisan Stand Mixer
KitchenAid’s Stand Mixer really does set the bar when it comes to mixing ingredients.
The 300-watt Artisan is available in a massive range of colours and comes with a 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl, balloon whisk, dough hook and flat beater for heavier mixes.
It’s incredibly simple to use, with a 10-speed slider and lever lock system. Few modern mixers match this retro beauty for style or blending efficiency.
Okay, so the KitchenAid is pricey, but the rock solid base, stellar finish, and superior capability are well worth the extra dough.
2. KitchenAid Hand Mixer
You don’t need to get out the full-sized stand mixer to whip a few egg whites, that’s where this stylish handheld comes in.
With 9-speed settings, a powerful 85W DC motor, and specially designed stainless steel ‘turbo’ beaters, the KitchenAid hand mixer will make light work of any job.
A 16-wire whisk, mixing rod, 2 dough hooks, and cotton storage bag are also included in the box.
Buy the KitchenAid Hand Mixer for £99.95
3. Siemens IQ700
Part of the Home Connect range of connected kitchen kit from ruthlessly efficient German dining dons Siemens, the IQ700 can be pre-heated, monitored and turned off from your app.
It'll send you notifications when your cakes are done, and you can also download recipes with preset oven temperatures for perfect results with zero effort.
Also on board: self-cleaning, "4D air" to reduce cold spots in the oven, and a meat thermo probe for easy roasting. In summary: perhaps the ultimate lazy baker's choice.
Buy the Siemens IQ700 for £1,109
4. Salter Heston Blumenthal Precision Scales
Recipes aren't just guidelines you know, they precise instructions - make sure you're accurate down to the tenth of a gram with Heston Blumenthal's Salter Precision scales.
This device has two platforms, one for larger measuring (in 1g increments), and one for smaller, more detailed measuring (in 0.1g increments).
5. Joseph Joseph Rolling Pin
Rolling pins are fairly low tech, but this one from Joseph Joseph is pretty nifty. It's metal, obviously, and features a number of interchangeable discs which ensure a consistent rolling thickness. Perfect for rolling out pastry.
6. Joseph Joseph 48-litre Totem bin
What if someone sabotages your Baked Alaska? You need to have a hissy and throw it in the bin!
We’d suggest you throw it in the Joseph Joseph Totem bin. The stylish waste receptacle can hold 48-litres of failed baking attempts, and divides your recycling into a separate compartment.
The lid is made from fingerprint proof stainless steel and features an odour filter, and the body is powder-coated steel.
7. Salter Heston Blumenthal Measuring Spoons
Did you know traditional measuring spoons were incredibly inaccurate? (they’re not, really) Don't even get us started on using normal cutlery.
From now on, every recipe will be perfectly measured out with Heston Blumenthal’s precision measuring spoons. They feature a unique leveller to remove any excess ingredients trying to creep into the recipe, and they're adjustable (so you don't need a stupid key chain full of spoons).
Are they slightly over-engineered? Yes, but they're also very cool.
8. Smeg Blender
It may not be as powerful as Sage’s Boss blender, but this Smeg appliance definitely wins in style points. The 800-watt motor makes easy work of frozen fruit, nuts, and vegetables, while the crushed ice and smoothie function whip up tasty drinks in no time.
Packing a large 1.5-litre jug, a 45ml measuring cup, anti-slip feet and a safety lock when removing the jug, the Smeg BLF01 is the perfect retro appliance for all your blending needs.
Buy the Smeg Blender for £115
9. Joseph Joseph Accessories (Glaze/Fin/Whiskle)
Yep, more baking kit from the Joseph brothers. Glaze is refillable silicone pastry brush which reduces mess. Is it a little unnecessary? Sure, but this tool really comes into its own when you're glazing large batches of pastry/baked goods.
Fin is a really well-designed bowl scraper which has a flat base, allowing you to stand it up (like a shark fin), avoiding mess. It's a great innovation and we found it really useful.
Whiskle is a whisk which features a silicon blade, this is used to scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl. A truely multi-talented tool.
10. Drop Scales
Drop Scales are a good tool if you’re just starting to baking. It connects to an iPad to provide contextual recipes and detailed instructions.
The best thing about these scales is how adaptable they are, for example, if you don't have a particular ingredient, or have a different amount of an ingredient, the app will adjust the recipe to take those factors into consideration.
The device also side-steps the problem of having fragile Apple tech in a kitchen by including a button on the device which advances the recipe (instead of having to touch the screen with doughy fingers).
We found the Drop Scales quite useful, our only problem was that they seemed extremely sensitive.
Buy the Drop Scales for £59.95
11. Panasonic Bread Maker
Panasonic is the top brand when it comes to bread makers. This latest model comes with more features than ever, offering 33 different programs.
The Panasonic is also packed with sensors that monitor the temperature both inside and outside of the machine. In a cold kitchen, the initial rising stage is extended to get your ingredients ready before the baking stage begins and ensure it finishes bang on time with the same results as in a hot kitchen. That’s seriously impressive.
With no kitchen skills whatsoever, we managed to turn out a plump and satisfying loaf every single time. It feels like real baking, albeit with a machine to take care of the boring bit.
- Read more about the Panasonic and its rivals in our best bread maker roundup
Buy the Panasonic SD-ZB 2512 for £129
12. Joseph Joseph Shake-it Sieve
The Shake-it is a self-tapping sieve, yes you read that correctly. The innovative handle allows you to shake it with one hand, freeing up the other hand to mix in the sieved ingredient.
Buy the Joesph Joesph Shake-It for £14
13. Stirio Arms
Juggling a number of different baking tasks can be incredibly difficult, taking buns out of the oven, stirring melting chocolate, tweeting pictures to show everyone how cool and cliché you are.
Well, this handy little gadget helps with at least one of these problems, clipping onto the rim of saucepans and automatically stirring, allowing you to leave your custard, or melting chocolate without the risk of burning.
14. Janisa laser thermometer
Need to measure the temperature of your pastry base? Don't do something as common as sticking a metal probe into your food - you need an infrared thermometer. The process is simple, point the gun, pull the trigger, and read the temperature on the display.