YumSugarSource: Holiday Gifts For the Next-Level Baker
For the advanced baker in your life, forget about gifting baking essentials. After all, your friends well-schooled in pastry probably already have a stocked kitchen and are very particular about the products they bake with. Instead, opt for one of these seven ideas to help them take their baking to the next level. If you're lucky, you'll get to enjoy the souffles, chocolates, and baguettes of their labor.
- Candy Thermometer: Candy thermometers are essential when tempering chocolate, making caramels, and whipping up other candies. The CDN Digital Candy Thermometer ($32) gives you an immediate digital read up to 450° F. The stem is more than seven inches long with an adjustable clip, so you can attach it to any bowl and won't have to worry about it slipping in.
- Advanced Cookbooks: If Tartine's cookbook is already on your giftee's shelf, Advanced Bread and Pastry ($72) will offer a new challenge. While it's a huge textbook's worth of information geared toward the professional, it also teaches trade secrets to making homemade goods look great.
- Chocolate Molds: Beyond making homemade truffles, there is a whole world of chocolate molds to discover. Advanced bakers usually know the secrets of how to fill bonbons and cups with a delicious caramel filling or praline center. This Flute Praline Cup ($24) is a great starter on the way to homemade peanut butter cups.
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- Ramekins: Every bakestress needs a set of ramekins to make souffles, caramel custards, and crème brûlée. Le Creuset Stoneware Ramekins ($16 each) are beautifully crafted and finished with a colorful porcelain enamel glaze. Plus, the durable ramekins are safe for the oven, broiler, freezer, or microwave, and they do double duty for serving sauces, dips, or snacks like assorted olives or nuts.
- Copper Bowl: Not only is copper the best conductor of heat, but the properties in copper react with egg whites, making them fluffier and more stable. While it's a luxury item, the expert baker will never want to whip up egg whites any other way. Mauviel M'passion Copper Egg White Beating Bowl ($130) has a rounded bottom to help thoroughly mix the contents of the bowl, and it also has bronze handles for better gripping.
- Marble Slab: Having a marble slab is essential if you are making candy and chocolate at home or if you like to make a lot of rolled out cookies, breads, or pie crust. Marble helps cool down items quickly, and it also helps keep doughs cold to prevent them from becoming sticky. This White Marble Pastry Board ($40) is the perfect size for a home countertop.
- French Bread Pan: The secret to fluffy, uniformly cooked baguettes with a crispy outer crust is a French bread pan. Goldtouch Nonstick Perforated French Bread Pan ($27) is made out of aluminized steel to distribute heat quickly and evenly around the bread, while the perforated bottom helps release any steam, so the bottom will have a crispy finish. It's nonstick, so your baguette will come off in one piece!
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