Pastry chef-recommended kitchen essentials
Time-tested pastry kitchen tools and equipment I can't work without.
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I share the measurements of my recipes in grams because it is the gold standard for professionals. Precision is a virtue for any pastry chef! Not only can you divide, triple or half any recipe with ease, but ingredients are faster to measure using an electronic scale and there are fewer dishes and utensils to wash up. I’ve been using an inexpensive one that I bought online years ago - a great investment whether you’re a serious or casual baker.
Marise or spatula
Speaking of precision, don’t leave any batter behind! Much to my husband chagrin, I do not leave any batter in the bowl. Better to have more cake and not-as-dirty dishes! One of my first chefs was OBSESSED with precision and how it made a difference in the quality of his pastries as well as his profit margins. He used to sing “chaque miette compte dans la recette”, “every crumb counts in the recipe”. I’ve had these durable ones for close to a decade. Pro tip: the red handle means you can safely use it at very high temperatures. No one wants melted plastic in their caramel!!
Pastry bags and tips
Cloche or Dutch oven
Essential for making beautiful, crusty bread in your home oven. There are many beautiful and expensive cloches on the market, but I appreciate the price point and versatility of these cast iron versions.
Corne or Dough scraper
A practical extension of your hand, a pastry chef always has one in their back pocket! The curved end is used for scrapping the contours of bowls (remember, don’t leave anything behind!), while the flat end allows you to scrape your workbench clean, portion and scoop up bread dough, and much, much more!
The workhorse of every kitchen. This piece is a larger investment but you cannot beat the convenience of having two free hands!
When working with sugar and chocolate, a digital thermometer is a must. It helps you obtain the proper texture and mouthfeel for properly tempered chocolate and takes the guesswork out of caramels and jams. I like this one because it has a dial that allows you to calibrate it. To do that, place the thermometer probe in a pot of boiling water and adjust it to 100°C.
Probably the best tool to impress your guests! Whip out your kitchen torch to brulé the tops of sugary desserts or use behind the scenes to ensure a smooth buttercream.
An essential tool for homogenizing chocolate ganaches, making fruit purée, whipping up an egg white for crispy waffles or blitzing oats into flour. This hand blender is a must!