Victoria sponge or cream scones? Chocolate cupcakes or maybe savoury flans? Whatever your baked favourites, there's no doubt that the pandemic has produced a new wave of bakers who had never tried their hand at this wonderful pastime before.
Perhaps inspired by hit TV shows as well as the restrictions of lockdown, more of us than ever are having a go at baking projects, and really enjoying a sense of achievement in the process. After all, nothing takes better than baked goods you've made yourself - and oftentimes the finished results are better than something you'd buy at the shops.
Baking is also a fantastic activity to enjoy with children, who can start with simple fairy cakes - or even the classic chocolate crispy cake - and grow from there as their skills and confidence evolve. So now is a great time to stock up on baking equipment and baking tins as the summer holiday starts and get prepared for a summer of treats!
The baking equipment you need
Demand for baking tins and other equipment has been so high at Wares of Knutsford that we've now created a special category that holds everything you need for your cakes, bakes and kitchen products. You'll find mixing bowls, baking tins, baking pans, pudding basins, baking tools, cake-making accessories and pie dishes. In fact, we have so many baking pans that we've had to make categories for them all - so you can stock up on essentials such as loaf tins, baking sheets, mini cake tins, deep cake pans, quiche tins, sandwich pans, springform cake pans and fancy shaped cake pans.
Mason Cash Baking
Our Mason Cash range is always very popular, and this British brand has been around since 1800! The brand sells some wonderful mixing bowls and baking dishes in beautiful glazed ceramics, and these hard-wearing pieces will last a lifetime if they are cared for. Even better, they look wonderful as display pieces on a Welsh dresser or a shelf in the kitchen, especially if you love that vintage feel.
We sell sugar sifters which are essential when you are working with flour and sugar for cake-baking as they improve the texture of the finished recipe. And we have plenty of icing bags and nozzles for fancy icing finishes. Don't forget your scales either. With cooking, you can be more intuitive about ingredients and their amounts, and adjust to suit your own taste. But with baking, you have to stick to the proportions and weights laid out in the recipe very carefully, or the cake may not rise or have the right texture.
Baking tips for success
1. Use a good recipe. Whether you find a recipe with a great set of reviews online, or discover an old handwritten one that your Grandma stored in a book, your recipe is your foundation - so pick wisely!
2. Use the tin that is described in the recipe as a different size will affect the outcome and the cooking time. Line it with baking paper or choose a springform or silicone dish.
3. Heat the oven in advance.
4. Gather your kitchen baking equipment before you begin and check that your work surface is clean.
5. Weigh out everything carefully and use just one system - metric or imperial.
6. Add as much air into your cakes as you can - cream the ingredients well and try a balloon whisk to fold in air. Don't whisk the mixture or it will become dense and result in a heavy cake.
7. Get your cake straight into the oven - as soon as the raising agent is added it will start to work.
8. Place the cake on the middle oven rack and keep an eye on it - check that a skewer comes out dry when it's ready. If it starts to brown before it's cooked, add a little damp greaseproof paper.
9. Check the instruction for cooling. For a sponge, this will usually mean placing the cake on a wire rack, and for fruit cakes, it will usually mean leaving the cake in the tin to cool.
Easy recipes to try with the kids
Basic fairy cakes are a really good recipe to try with children as they can have plenty of fun decorating their finished results. Line up plenty of little cake cases and drizzle on icing coloured with natural food colouring, and plenty of sprinkles.
Another good recipe for using up food and for child appeal is the classic banana cake. There are so many recipes online and it's great with added extras such as walnuts, chocolate chips or maybe even a little peanut butter!
Keep in touch
What are your baking plans for the season ahead? Let us know at Wares of Knutsford and sign up to our newsletter for all of the latest product news, releases, offers and inspiration. Our team are also on hand for any questions that you might have about baking equipment, baking pans and other baking essentials.