Dessert is many people’s favorite meal, even if it’s not the healthiest. You can, however, indulge from time to time, and make your desserts healthier if you make them yourself. To do that, you’re going to need specific kitchen tools, and here are eight that will help you make desserts like a pro.
1: Blow Torch
Don’t run out to your garage or shed and grab that type of blow torch— instead, consider buying a chef’s blow torch to take your desserts to the next level. This neat little (or large) kitchen tool is most notably used for caramelizing the sugar on top of a crème brûlée or for lightly roasting meringues. They can also be used for hot vegetables, charring garnishes, melting cheese, and even making s’mores.
You probably already have a typical mesh sieve somewhere in your kitchen, but they don’t always get the job done. A chinois is a fine-mesh metal sieve that is usually in the shape of a cone. This kitchen tool allows you to get a more velvety texture when straining a sauce to go on top of a cheesecake or other dish. Like a kitchen blow torch, a chinois can also be used outside of making desserts, such as for straining soups and stocks.
3: Digital Thermometer
This is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to making desserts and other dishes. Just make sure that the digital thermometer you choose has a thin sensor so it doesn’t leave obvious holes and marks in your desserts. It may even be helpful to have a different digital thermometer for other food dishes, such as your meats and deep fryers. This helps to eliminate cross-contamination— which is necessary even when washing all of your kitchen tools thoroughly.
4: Electric Scale
This handy kitchen tool is small and discreet enough to store on your kitchen counter, and may also become your new favorite kitchen gadget. Baking desserts requires precision and consistency, and having an electric kitchen scale will help you measure your ingredients correctly. Some scales can even convert measurements for you, so you won’t have to Google weight conversions in the middle of baking.
5: Piping Bags and Nozzles
Piping bags are used to decorate a cake, pies, and other pastries, and they can also be used for squeezing batters and other puréed items onto baking sheets. Many people will tell you that you can just use a Ziploc bag instead of investing in a piping bag— and you can if you’re not always going to make dishes that require a piping bag. However, a piping bag is much more stable and you’ll find that this is a great investment if you make a lot of pastries.
6: Stainless Steel Bowls
Stainless steel bowls and other cookware are the most durable and long-lasting types of kitchen items that you can come across. Their non-stick surfaces are ideal when making chocolate and other sticky desserts, and they last for decades compared to plastic, glass, and other materials—allowing you to save money in the long run. Stainless steel is ideal for mixing, boiling, sautéing, and baking so this type of cookware can also be used outside of making desserts.
7: Whipped Cream Charger
A whipped cream charger is a steel cylinder filled with nitrous oxide (N2O) to prevent whipped cream from oxidizing inside the cylinder. This kitchen tool will allow you to make your own whipped cream to add on top of pies and other desserts. Exotic Whip now sells whipped cream chargers to U.S. residents, and you’ll be able to feel like a professional baker with this device.
Many people (including some chefs) will use a cheese grater instead of a zester— which can work just fine— but a cheese grater will also remove the white pith underneath citrus fruits, which usually have a bitter taste. You’ll have to be really careful using a cheese grater to make sure you don’t get this part of the fruit— or you can invest in a zester. A zester is made for removing the thin layer of the citrus peel to add that extra burst of flavor to your dishes.
Even if you don’t make desserts (or any other dishes) that often, many of these kitchen tools are still good to have. They may even motivate you to start making more delicious dishes at home, as opposed to ordering in or eating out— saving you money in the long run.