Friday, March 7, 2008

Tools I love, part 1.(aka Ode to a Stand Mixer)

My stand mixer. Its my baby, and its wonderful. I have a grain mill (which has never seen a drop of wheat) and a food grinder.

The grain mill attachment is an amazing, amazing device. I can grind my own flours from grains, as some flours just still aren't available, or perform much better when fresh ground. Such as sweet rice flour. I grind a flour from a medium grain rice which works really well as a porridge. Its like cream of wheat, without the wheat! I've also ground a sweet (small/sushi/arborio) rice flour fresh to use in angel food cakes and such. I don't use it as much as I could just because of storage space/lack of organisation.

The food grinder is fabulous. I tend to grind my own meat, as much as possible, but it can be used for veggies and fruit as well. I made a wonderful quince mincemeat a few years ago with it.
And if you are Jessica Seinfeld, you can hide all the ground-up veggies you want. I can't guarantee that gluten-free brownies with broccoli will be tasty though.

My stand mixer itself is invaluable. I have two bowls for it. It kneads the gluten-free bread so much better than I can. It makes wonderful angel food cake... It is my baby. Now granted, I do covet other attachments for it... I'd love to try making gluten-free fresh pasta, and I would love the water bath attachment. I could make custards, etc...

My Silpat. This is fabulous. I wish they made silpat for everything. They will probably figure out in a couple of years that it is as dangerous as asbestos... but in the meantime, this is great stuff. Gluten-free stuff doesn't always have a lot of internal structure, so it helps to have a backup. You can let the food cool on the silpat, and then peel whatever it is off. You can use parchment paper instead, if you must.

I have adjustable measuring cups which I bought from (warning, the previous site is a tad addictive, you will find yourself buying stuff you have no use for). I can use one cup, its small enough to deal with all the little bags of ingredients... the only drawback is that it doesn't work with liquids.

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