Archive for the Kitchen gadgets Category

Star Wars matcha biscuits

Posted in Baking, Biscuits, Kitchen gadgets with tags , , , , , , on 12/08/2012 by libbyplummer

Star Wars matcha biscuitsAs a sort of trial run for Bake & Destroy’s Sugar Slam III, I had a stab at knocking up a  batch of easy biscuits that required no icing with the help of my latest batch of Star Wars cookie cutters from Williams-Sonoma.

Star Wars cookie cutters

Apart from visiting family, the highlights of my regular(ish) visits to the US are the gluttonous American-sized portions of food, the history (on my last trip alone I saw a space shuttle, John Glenn’s Mercury Programme space suit and visited homes of George Washington and Edgar Allan Poe!) and the fact that we get to casually drive past the Pentagon every day.

And I get to pick up a paper version of The Onion to read in the airport bar on the way home.

And, of course, there’s the chance to stock up on baking paraphernalia at kitchen shop Williams-Sonoma. A tad overpriced it may be, but anywhere that stocks a sizeable collection of Star Wars-themed baking kit is alright in my book.

I’ve previously only made Star Wars shortbread with my embarrassingly extensive collection of Star Wars cutters, so it was time for a change – courtesy of a bag of matcha (green tea) powder that I bought on a recent trip to Japan.

Star Wars matcha biscuits

I’ll save the recipe until it’s perfected…

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Lomography cookie cutters

Posted in Baking, Biscuits, Kitchen gadgets with tags , , , , , on 10/12/2011 by libbyplummer

Lomography cookie cuttersI like biscuits and I like cameras so I was embarrassingly excited to find out that analogue photography specialist Lomography has produced a range of camera-shaped cookie cutters. The nice people at Lomo are giving away a cookie cutter with every online purchase – if you spend £120 (or USD or EUR) you get one free cutter, spend over that amount and you’ll bag yourself the entire set of eight for free.

What’s more, the Lomo chaps are running a Holiday cookie cutter competition, where you can submit your analogue cookie photos in the hope on winning some great prizes including cook books and Piggy Points to spend in the online store.

Han Solo in carbonite chocolates

Posted in Baking, Gifts, Kitchen gadgets, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , on 28/07/2011 by libbyplummer

Han Solo in carbonite chocolate

When I heard that Firebox was selling a Han Solo in carbonite ice tray I was on the case faster than the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel Run. Sorry – I know I bang on about Star Wars quite a lot on London Baking, but when there’s a chance to re-create one of cinema’s coolest characters in chocolate form, there’s not a second to be wasted.

Although it’s billed as an ice tray, it can also be used for other things like chocolate and jelly, so I set about trying to craft some chocolate that actually resembled the fictional carbonite compound that Han was frozen in (I clearly had too much times on my hands last weekend).

Han Solo frozen in carbonite

The nice people at Firebox very kindly sent me one of the trays to try out. Here’s the recipe for Han Solo chocolates:

What you’ll need:
150g chocolate
Black dusting powder (optional)

What to do:
It’s really not rocket science. All you need to do is melt the chocolate, pour it into the mould and leave it to set, but if you want a few pointers then please do read on.

Han Solo in carbonite ice tray

You can use any type of chocolate you like – milk, plain or white – the higher the quality the better. If you want to make your Han Solos grey like mine then you’ll need to go for white chocolate. To melt the choc, pour a small amount of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that it’s simmering gently. Then break 150g of chocolate into small pieces and plonk in a heat-proof bowl and sit the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that there’s some distance between the water and the bottom of the bowl. Stir until the chocolate is melted and then remove from the heat.

If you don’t intend to colour your chocolate, then simply pour it into the mould – it should be just the right amount to fill each segment to the top. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula and clean off any access around the edges (this will make it easier to pop the chocs out of the mould once they’re set). The chocolate should set at room temperature (provided that it’s not a really hot day), or you can bung the mould in the fridge to speed up the process. The temperature of your kitchen or fridge will determine how long the chocolate takes to set, but it should be solid and ready for scoffing within a couple of hours. Once set, simply pop the chocolates out of the mould.

Han Solo chocolates

To make ‘carbonite grey’ chocolate, you’ll need to add some black dusting powder (a little at a time) to white chocolate and stir until you get the colour you want. Water-based food colours are a no-go as they won’t mix with the chocolate.

For more photos of the mould and the chocolates that I made, head over to my hands-on write up at Pocket-lint.com.

The Han Solo in carbonite ice tray is available from Firebox for £9.99.

All hail my new KitchenAid processor

Posted in Baking, Kitchen gadgets with tags , , , , on 03/03/2011 by libbyplummer

KitchenAid processorI’ve been promising myself one of these for about a year now and it finally arrived today. Huzzah! I haven’t the faintest idea how to use it yet and it comes with about a million different accessories (I exaggerate). It seems fitting that today is World Book Day as the instruction manual is about the same size as War and Peace, but I look forward to working my way through it if only to stop my new kitchen contraption from becoming the world’s most expensive paperweight (it’s bloody heavy).

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Star Wars spatulas? Hell yes.

Posted in Baking, Kitchen gadgets with tags , , , , , , on 22/02/2011 by libbyplummer

Star Wars spatulasMy brother and sister-in-law came over to visit from the US of A this weekend, bringing with them not one, but two Star Wars spatulas for me! Being a huge nerd and a big fan of the films as well as a keen baker, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that US kitchen store Williams-Sonoma was offering a range of Star Wars goodies.

Star Wars cookies

I’ve already kitted myself out with two sets of cookie cutters and some cupcake kits and using a Jedi mind trick, I managed to convince my brother into purchasing these Darth Vader and Stormtrooper spatulas for me. He did, however, ensure that these were packed into his wife’s luggage on the way over to avoid any ‘imperial entanglements’ (aka the potential embarassment of an airport security officer pulling them out of his bag in front of his fellow passangers).

Bravo, Williams-Sonoma – the force is strong with this one.

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My bullet-proof oven gloves rock!

Posted in Kitchen gadgets with tags , , , on 13/01/2011 by libbyplummer

Alright, I admit it – they’re not going to stop me from getting shot (a drive-by on my fifth-floor flat’s kitchen window seems unlikely anyway) but they are constructed partially from Kevlar – the material used for making bullet-proof vests and combat helmets. The item in question is the Ove Glove. As the name suggests, it’s a hardcore oven glove that gives you a bit more dexterity than the usual mitten-like affairs.

You can use the glove whether you’re right- or left-handed, but luckily I’m fully tooled up with two that I got for Christmas from my big bruvver and sister-in-law (rest assured, they did get me lots of other presents too). I’ve already used them for getting stuff out of the oven and if the unintentionally hilarious photos on the box are anything to go by, you can also use them for soldering and changing lightbulbs. *unsuccessfully tries to supress a snigger*