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Best Kitchen Gadgets: Must-have kitchen appliances

Cooking isn’t just about cooking food; it’s more of an art these days. Like you need the right colors, paintbrushes and canvas to paint a beautiful picture, you need the correct set of appliances to make the perfect dish. With the advancement of technology, cooking has become a lot easier than it was before. To make your cooking experience easier and enjoyable, you need to choose the right appliances. The following is a list of kitchen appliances that are essential for a modern kitchen’s needs-

1. Electronic Handheld whisker

It is important that the cake frosting, buttercream, eggs etc are beaten to perfection, otherwise the entire hard work can go down the drain. Using a manual whisk can be very tiring and the results may not be as satisfying. So you need an electronic handheld whisker for this purpose. Look for a one that is low on maintenance and has a sturdy design. It is better to have one that can be easily cleaned and stored.

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2. Microwave Oven

Its main purpose is to heat food but the advanced versions have the capability of baking and grilling too. But I find it better to have a separate oven for those purposes. Choose a microwave depending upon the capacity and wattage. Look for features like automatic turn table and easy user interface.

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3. Coffee Maker

For all you coffee lovers out there, a coffee maker is an essential kitchen appliance. It will make your work easier (of course!) and will give you the perfect flavor of your favorite drink. Depending on your budget, you can choose a coffee maker to suit your needs. Towards the higher end of the budget, you can opt for a one that grinds coffee beans. Otherwise, in a basic coffee maker look for features like, ease of cleaning, manual water control and steam wand.

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4. Food Processor

This is one appliance that will reduce your work to half. It can shred, mince, mix, grate and perform a lot of cooking functions just with a click of a button. While buying you need to pay attention to the quality of the material that is used for making different parts of the food processor. It should be easy to use and clean. See the space it requires to be stored and for operation and match it with the space available on your counter.

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5. Rice cooker

As the name suggests, a rice cooker is used to steam rice but its use is not limited to this. It can be used to cook idlis, steam pastas and much more. These are extremely durable and can last for generations.

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You can do most of your cooking work using these appliances. So do not delay; just go now and get your cooking needs fulfilled.

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Baking Basics: Some Tips For Beginner Bakers

Baking is as easy as fancy it sounds. At first everyone is nervous about it but as you keep baking, your skills improve and you start enjoying it. You just need to be patient and strong enough to see your efforts fail a couple of times. Some people get it correct in the first time but most do not. So do not fret as you are not alone. Follow the simple steps in this article to be well prepared for any kind of baking.

Thumb Rule –”STICK TO THE RECIPE”
Whatever you are baking just follow the recipe in the exact fashion as is told. You need to add the right ingredients, in the right proportion, at the right time and in the right way.

Tools and Appliances
The correct appliances and tools are highly essential for baking a perfect dish. You need to identify your needs and choose from the vast variety of tools and equipment available in the market. The following are a few basics you would require-

Oven
There are a number of ovens available in the market belonging to various brands. You need to choose a one that best suits your requirement. My oven does baking, roasting and grilling and is the kind that is suitable for my family.

Non-stick cookware
One doesn’t put so much effort into the preparation of a dish just to see it stuck onto the baking tray. You need to have a range of non-stick cookware that allows the cake or pie to slide out with ease. My favourites are silicone moulds or springform tins. You won’t need to use a parchment paper for these but to be on the safer side, just spread a couple of drops of vegetable oil in the pan and sprinkle some flour over it.

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Tools

Measuring cups and spoons
As I said, you need to exactly follow the recipe and for that you need to have the correct measurements of your ingredients. Buy a set of measuring cups (for both liquid and dry ingredients) and measuring spoons. These are easily available in the market

Digital scale
For recipes that involve the measurement of ingredients in grams or ounces or any other units, you need to have a digital scale. Get a medium range scale which measures in grams.

Spatula and wooden spoon
A spatula is a wonderful tool! It scrapes off the tiniest bits of the mixture and doesn’t let anything go waste. A wooden spoon must already be present in your kitchen so you need not buy a new one.

Cooling Rack
You need to transfer cakes and cookies onto a cooling rack once you pop them out of the oven. This is an essential step which must not be avoided otherwise the cakes and cookies would have soggy bottoms.

Sifter, rolling pin, aluminium foil and mixing bowls
These are a few things that have little but important role to play in the baking process and they are probably already present in your kitchen!

Mixer
The ingredients must be properly mixed to attain the perfect consistency like; a cake mixture must be light to get the sponginess. For this, you need a good mixer. A good mixer need not be an electric one. It totally depends on the recipe you are following. For example, a muffin batter can be ruined in an electric stand mixer due to over-mixing; so it’s better to use a whisk or a handheld mixer for better control. On the other hand, cake batters and icings can be prepared using an electric stand mixer.

Pantry
Baking requires very basic ingredients that are probably already present in your pantry. The following is the list of a few ingredients that can be used for baking most of the dishes-

Dry Ingredients

• All purpose flour
• Baking Powder
• Baking Soda
• Brown Sugar
• Caster Sugar
• Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
• Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
• Salt

Wet Ingredients

• Vegetable Oil
• Eggs or condensed milk for eggless recipes
• Milk
• Unsalted Butter
• Vanilla Extract

Once you have all these supplies, you are all set to bake the recipe you had your eye on since a very long time. So go ahead and overcome your fears! Happy Baking!