Who doesn’t love the Great British Bake Off? Come Wednesday morning, the office is buzzing about what sweet treats are to come on the evening’s show (BBC1, 8pm), and come Thursday, there’s a serious dissection process going on with my colleagues comparing which bakers they like best and least, which recipes they might try out and, most importantly, what we thought of the critique from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. At home, the process is much the same, with even the other half getting involved and last week, he had a friend over who also had his say. That’s the great thing about the Bake Off, it appeals to young and old, male and female – all of whom like cake.
Aside from office/home chatter, my inbox is flooded with all things Bake Off related, including the latest utensils, high-tech gadgets, innovative appliances and a few pretty aprons – making me eager to get in the kitchen to cook up some treats to bring into work (so I don’t eat them all myself!). Having just put to bed a fantastic Real Kitchens magazine (free with the October 2014 issue of Real Homes, out now), I am full of ideas about how to update your kitchen with the latest on-trend look, how to make the most of storage space, introduce a splash of colour with worktops or flooring and also which culinary gadgets to keep an eye out for in the coming months.
Plus, with Christmas list writing time just around the corner, I thought I’d round up a few of the latest top gadgets for the keen baker, which would make a great present too (hint hint!). So if you’re updating your kitchen as part of a home-improvement project or just want the best mixer to bake the perfect rum baba, here’s the latest…
|Great for adding a pop of colour into your kitchen, Smeg’s appliances come in a range of bright and pastel colours. This freestanding TR4110 dual fuel range cooker in pink, £1,999 is from John Lewis and has a AA rating for energy efficiency. With plenty of space in the main and auxiliary ovens, as well as a two grilling levels and seven hob burners including two rapid burners, you can bake multiple breads and cakes easily.|
|With a variable speed including a turbo mode for super fast blending, the Stellar 750w stick blender is a quick and easy way to pulverise both sweet and savoury dishes. The detachable model makes it easy to clean and store, while an ergonomically designed grip makes it a comfortable gadget to use. Simply turn the illuminated top dial to set the blender to your preferred speed. The stainless steel blades are dishwasher safe. £34.99, Captain Cooks.|
|Great in the kitchen and even better as a gift for someone enjoying the latest juicing craze, the Dualit Dual-Max juicer is stylish and compact, powerful and easy to clean. With an 800W dual-speed motor, it makes light work of both hard and soft fruit and vegetables, while an 800ml storage jug with froth separator ensures the purest juice. It costs £99.99 and comes with a selection of healthy recipes to give you plenty of ideas for the best healthy drinks.|
|Make a statement in your kitchen with this latest coffee maker from Nescafe. The Dolce Gusto Oblo is available in black, white, orange (shown) and red. Perfect for bringing you cafe-style coffee at home, with a range of settings for Americanos, cappuccinos and lattes, it costs £89.99 and is available from major supermarkets. Drink pods cost £3.68 for a pack of 16 direct from Dolce Gusto.|
|Ever wanted to recreate dishes as tasted in the UK’s top restaurants? Sous vide cooking is a popular way of preparing meat and fish in the best professional kitchens and now you can do it at home too. Using vacuum-sealed packs in a bath of water to cook ingredients, the SousVide Supreme Demi in black provides an easy way to prepare gourmet meals. It holds 8.7 litres of water with a push-button operation for easy use. It costs £250, Sousvidesupreme.com.|
|The essential piece of kit for any Bake Off-style kitchen. The KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer in Ice Blue costs £429 from John Lewis. Complete with 4.8 litre polished stainless steel bowl, 10 motor speeds and optional attachments including a dough hook and food grinders, it has a quiet operation and is easy to clean. An additional plastic guard will also prevent splashes while it is in operation.|
|Ensure perfectly browned toast with this latest contemporary Vision toaster by Magimix. With a transparent central panel bordered with stainless steel and bright orange, it’s a stylish and practical kitchen addition. It costs £140 from John Lewis|
And with this week being pies and tarts week, I can feel the excitement building at Real Homes HQ already. Have you been inspired by the Great British Bake Off this week? Which kitchen gadget could you not be without?