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To whip up irresistible treats like a pro, you need the right tools. Just ask Jenna Hutchinson, who is known for the intricate pastel confections she makes at popular Winnipeg bakery Jenna Rae Cakes, which she co-owns with her twin, Ashley Kosowan. The two also put some of their best tips and recipes into a recent book, “Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats.” Here, the sisters share a selection of their essential tools that all home bakers should consider adding to their collection.
For a foolproof mix
“A hand mixer won’t get you far,” says Hutchinson, who has used a KitchenAid stand mixer since she started cooking seriously as a college student. She prefers the brand’s aesthetically pleasing Artisan Design Series, with a five-quart glass bowl large enough to keep an eye on her ingredients and make sure they mix well (but not too much). “Some recipes are really finicky, and that makes things a lot easier.”
KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $650, bestbuy.ca
To prepare the ingredients
“When I prepare a recipe, I love to put all my ingredients in pretty bowls. It looks organized and makes cooking more enjoyable,” says Hutchinson. She loves this set of seven bowls, made from recycled bamboo, for its wide range of sizes, holding 10 oz to 186 oz. They’re also handy for premixing dry ingredients, which is an easy way to get your kids involved in making a recipe.
Bamboozle seven-piece bamboo nesting bowl set, $100, food52.com
For perfect precision
For best results with baked goods, you’ll need scientific precision when following a recipe, which requires a kitchen scale. “When I first started cooking, I didn’t have any, so I just Googled conversions, but it never really worked well,” says Hutchinson. She prefers this streamlined option from fellow Canadian Anna Olson, which features a tempered glass top and can switch seamlessly between dry and liquid measurement.
Anna Olson Kitchen High Precision Digital Kitchen Scale, $60, thebay.com
For multi-step measurement
The sisters’ mother often used Pyrex measuring cups during their childhood, and now the tools are indispensable in their own kitchens. Hutchinson says they’re the best way to measure liquid ingredients because of the clear glass and clear markers. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe. “I recommend having several, so you don’t have to wash them between all the different steps,” says Hutchinson.
Three-piece Pyrex glass measuring cup set, $32, amazon.ca
To display your goods
Give your pastries the showcase they deserve. Hutchinson loves the chic look of the marble base of this 11-inch stand, and it’s big enough for a batch of cookies or a layer cake. “This one has a groove that makes it more airtight,” she says. “You can just proudly display your baked goods. It’s a great piece to have.
Flexzion Cake Stand with Dome Glass Lid, $180,amazon.ca