Top five kitchen gadgets for National Baking WeekDitch ready meals and discover your inner Delia

17 October 2011

National Baking Week 2011

National Baking Week 2011 runs from 17-23 October

If the Great British Bake Off has got your whisk twitching with excitement, then why not use National Baking Week as an excuse to practice your kitchen skills?

Kicking off today, National Baking Week aims to get Britain into the kitchen and baking, and it seems most of us are just poised for an excuse to do just that, as John Lewis recently reported sales of home baking aids had soared by 15%.

We've compiled our top five cooking gadgets to help you put the icing on the cake (and get it in the oven, too).

Why bake? 

Which? kitchen gadget expert Lisa Galliers says: 'Not only is baking or cooking from scratch a useful life skill to learn, but it can be fun and healthier to, as you'll know exactly what's going into your food. 

'If you need to cut down on salt, sugar or fat, or have to follow a particular diet, then cooking your own food can help.'

Five great kitchen gadgets

1. Bake your own bread

According to a recent report, a third of loaves contain as much salt per slice as a packet of crisps, but we know it's possible to make bread with reduced salt levels, so make your own and leave shop bought bread on the shelf. Watch our video guide on how to buy the best breadmaker for our expert's tips on what to look for.

2. Take the hassle out of preparing food

Grating, slicing or chopping lots of fruit or vegetables can be a real chore by hand, but it doesn't have to be. Food processors can tackle tricky tasks in seconds. Your carrots will be grated before you know it and courgettes sliced in the blink of an eyelid. We reveal the best and worst food processors in our food processors review.

3. Experiment with slow cooking

Cooking with a slow cooker uses less fat than other methods, and slow cooking is suitable for cheaper cuts of meat, making dinner healthier and cheaper. 

It's not just main meals either, stock is very easy to slow cook, and deserts can be made in a slow cooker, too. Find out what to look for when buying a slow cooker.

4. Make a sweet treat in an ice cream maker

We all deserve a treat now and then and while ice cream isn't the least calorific treat you can have, making your own from fresh ingredients could make it that little bit better for you.

It's simpler than you'd think if you use an ice cream maker - just check that the main bowl will fit inside your freezer first. We measure bowl sizes when we test ice cream makers and reveal the dimensions in our reviews, so you can check before buying. Our expert guide explains how make your own ice cream.

5. The ultimate kitchen gadget

A kitchen machine, like the iconic Kenwood Chef Or KitchenAid Artisan, is an expensive purchase, but is very versatile. 

They have many accessories meaning they can be used to knead dough or whisk large batches of cake batter - some even have jug blender or food processor attachments.

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