Ballarat is spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious, freshly baked goods, with a range of businesses baking everything from mouth watering treats to your daily bread.
Take some time to enjoy their offerings in the coming weeks, then bake your own creations at home. Every aspiring baker needs the following tools to start out.
A stand mixer. Frees up your hands and minimises the chance of clouds of icing sugar raining on your kitchen floor.
Mixing bowls. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a good quality mixing bowl is a must. Make sure it is stainless steel or ceramic and sturdy enough to take a bit of a beating. A non-slip base is also helpful when tipping the bowl to get to any pockets of flour.
Stainless steel flour sifter. A flour sifter is another time saver and mess reducer. Just pour in all your dry ingredients and press the trigger for a clump-free mix. Voilà, no more messing around with a traditional sieve, which almost always ends up all over the bench.
Piping bag. Save your hip pocket and the planet by investing in a reusable canvas piping bag. The good ones are reinforced so they are able to withstand a few years of pressure.
A good piping bag is a must for pretty cupcakes and it can also come in handy for macaroons, churros and filling big cakes.
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Piping tips. From star tips to petal tips, these are the tools of a die-hard baker.
Offset spatula. The offset takes your hands out of the equation and aids a smooth finish.
Pyrex jug. A heatproof jug will help you with everything from measuring ingredients to melting butter in the microwave and removing any stray shell from a cracked egg. They are also strong which helps if you are a klutz and tend to drop things.
Rolling pin. An essential for pastry, pizza dough, cookies and fondant. If you think you want to get into wedding cakes or fondant celebration cakes invest in a giant 50 centimetre fondant rolling pin.
It is made of a material that doesn’t stick to fondant, doesn’t leave the same texture as a wooden rolling pin does and works for every other project too.
Sturdy silicone spatula. A game changer, this is perfect for getting every last drop of batter out of your mixing bowl and is also a handy tool for getting waffles out of your waffle iron.
Quality colourings. Once you begin to bake seriously you will discover that grocery store food colouring doesn’t make the grade anymore. For rich coloured buttercream or fondant, you will need to invest in gel colouring.
Buy some AmeriColor gel in red, yellow, blue, black and white. You should be able to make every colour you need with these colours, but go ahead and buy the pretty mint green if you wish.