5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Christmas!

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5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Christmas!

If you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen this Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. We have put together a go-to guide on how to turn everyday ingredients, spices and herbs into different festive goodies! Here’s how to experience a delicious holiday season.

Read on to find out more. Happy Holidays!

1. Festive Spice Rub
A great spice rub for pork, chicken or salmon! Simply blend 4 parts sea salt with 2 parts of dried cracked rosemary until the mixture is fairly ground. Add 2 parts minced garlic and 1 part coarse ground black pepper until the spice rub is well-blended and you’re done!
Use a pestle and mortar if you can to allow the herbs to fully release and bring out its aroma and flavour! If you don’t have dried cracked rosemary, simply put dried rosemary into a disposable bag and pound it with a rolling pin until the dried rosemary breaks apart!

Recommended tools:
Cole & Mason Ceramic Pestle & Mortar
Cole & Mason INVERTA Flip Back Acrylic Pepper And Salt Mill

2. Spice Mixes for Baking
Prepare a batch of aromatic spice mix for baking cookies and pies, or store them in little glass containers as Christmas gifts for friends and family.

All you need is cinnamon (1 tbsp), nutmeg (1 tsp), ground ginger (1/2 tsp), allspice (1/4 tsp) and cloves (1/4 tsp). Simply grind these whole spices in  a spice grinder, give it a little shake-up with a whisk and you’re all set.

Try adding a dash of it into your apple pie filling before baking – the aroma alone adds an instant festive touch to your Christmas dessert table!

Recommended products:
Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder
Magisso Balloon Whisk
Jamie Oliver Pop-Top Spice Jars, Set of 5

3. Sugar? Yes, please!
Flavoured sugar is all the rage now – they are great as Christmas gifts, and add an instant burst of flavour to your culinary creations. Here’s two to get you started:

Lemon & Mint Sugar
What you need: Rind of 1 lemon, handful of fresh mint leaves, ¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Microwave the lemon rind and mint leaves separately until completely dry (make sure not to burn it!)
2. Finely chop the lemon rind and mint leaves
3. Add sugar and process till very finely ground

Basil & Lime Sugar
What you need: Rind of 1 lime, handful of basil leaves, ¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Microwave the lime rind and basil leaves until completely dry (make sure not to burn it!)
2. Finely chop the lime rind and basil leaves
2. Add sugar and process till very finely ground

Feel free to mix and match your favourite herb and fruit – strawberry and basil, peach and mint… the possibilities are endless!

Recommended tools:
Zyliss Fast Cut Herb Tool
Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Processor

4. Fancy Flavours – DIY Herb-infused Olive Oil
Herb-infused olive oil is a perfect way to jazz up a salad, drizzle over a plate of pasta, or as an appetizer served with slices of artisan bread! Instead of using store-bought herb-infused olive oil, try making it yourself! It’s simple and best of all – there are no added preservatives or additives! Here are some of our favourite flavour combinations:

Garlic & Chilli Olive Oil
What you need: 3 roasted whole garlic, red chilli flakes (4 tsp), 2 cups olive oil
1. Combine roasted garlic cloves, red chilli flakes and oil in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer
2. Allow to cool. Place garlic cloves into bottle and add remaining oil
3. Seal and refrigerate up to 1 month

Rosemary Olive Oil
What you need: 2 cups olive oil, 6-8 sprigs fresh rosemary sprigs
1. Combine oil and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
2. Allow to cool. Place rosemary sprigs into bottle and add remaining oil
3. Seal and refrigerate up to 1 month

Recommended tools:
Jamie Oliver Serving Board and Bowl
Jamie Oliver Big Drizzler

5. Christmas Snowballs! 
A perfectly creamy chocolate truffle is your answer when it comes to satisfying that sweet tooth this festive season. Add a few cracks of black pepper to spice things up – you’d be surprised that the combination works really well! Here’s a handy dandy recipe:

What you need: 150g chopped good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), 150ml heavy cream, 25g unsalted butter, cracked black pepper, toppings of your choice
1. Heat the cream and butter on low heat till fully melted. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Leave it untouched for 5 minutes
2. Stir until smooth. Add a few cracks of black pepper – taste and adjust to your liking!
3. To shape your truffles, use a melon baller or a mini-scoop and scoop the mixture. Shape it with your hands and place onto silicone baking mat or greaseproof paper to prevent sticking.
4. Coat with powdered sugar, nuts or any toppings you desire!

The best thing about these truffles is that you can customize and personalize them however you like! We love the combination of chopped pistachios and dried cranberries!

Recommended tools:
Cole & Mason CRYSTAL Acrylic Pepper Mill
Giesser Melon Twin-Baller

ToTTful Christmas Gift Guide

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ToTTful Christmas Gift Guide

The holiday season is once again upon us.

Shop for gifts early at the ToTTful Christmas Sale to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping!

With more than 100 carefully selected kitchenware bundles going at up to 50% off, it’s easy to find the perfect gift.

Need help with your selection? Here are some of our favourites:

1. Nordic Ware Cake Pops Baking Pan and Meri Meri Santa Cake Pop Treat Kit (Bundle Price $60, U.P $85.75)

Ideal for baking enthusiasts, this exclusive bundle comes with Nordic Ware’s 2-piece pan and the adorable Meri Meri Cake Pop Treat Kit which includes 6 stand-up Santa cake pop holders.

2. Magisso Carafe + Mini Serving Cup, Set of 2 (Bundle Price $69, U.P $99.80)

You can never go wrong with a Red Dot Design Award winner! Made out of Magisso’s Naturally Cooling Ceramics, the Magisso Carafe and Mini Serving Cup keep your drinks cool for one to two hours. Simply soak the them in water for a minute or two before use.

3. Jamie Oliver Large Oven Dish (Yellow) + Wooden Salad Server + Single Oven Glove (Bundle Price $42, U.P $64.70)

Pretty yet practical, Jamie Oliver’s dining ware has won the hearts of home cooks everywhere. This bundle includes 3 items – a cheery and versatile Large Oven Dish (Yellow), a rustic Wooden Salad Server and a Single Oven Glove. You simply cannot beat this value, so grab a set for yourself while you’re at it

4. Nordic Ware Oven Essentials Roaster + Fold Up Roasting Rack (Now $64, U.P $90.80)

Like Mac and Cheese, these two roasting essentials by Nordic Ware are simply made for each other. Prepare a small roast in the Essentials Roaster while achieving the perfect crisp outside with the Fold up Roasting Rack. No more uneven roasts at the dinner table

5. Cole & Mason 6-Jar Herb & Spice Rack (now $36, U.P $51.90)

Chic and sleek, the Cole & Mason 6-Jar Herb & Spice Rack is ideal for the style-conscious home owner.  The spice jars are made of beautifully blown glass and chrome accents. The caps twist to close/open, pour or sprinkle spices.

6. Jamie Oliver Embossed Mug, Set of 4 + Embossed Serving Jug (Bundle Price $43.90, U.P $62.80)

The Jamie Oliver Embossed Mug and Jug bundle would make lovely additions to any home. White with accented handles, the collection adds a pop of colour to the dining table while retaining its understated charm. A great gift for new homeowners, or anybody who would like to give their dining ware collection and affordable facelift.

7. Jamie Oliver San Acrylic Jug + San Acrylic Goblet (Bundle Price $45. U.P $64.80)

The vintage inspired Jamie Oliver San Acrylic Jug and Goblet are dishwasher safe and shatterproof, making them awesome gifts for families with children and pets. Durable and easy to clean, the bundle is also great for serving up sodas at picnics and porches.

Shop our ToTTful Christmas Sale from 14 November – 27 December 2015 at both Dunearn and Suntec outlets!

Seeing Red this National Day

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Seeing Red this National Day

Get in the mood for National Day with these red hot picks from ToTT that are sure to brighten up any kitchen!

1. KitchenAid Artisan® Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Empire Red

Make your favourite cakes and multiple batches of cookie dough easily with the 5-quart/4.8 Litre stainless steel mixing bowl that comes with a comfortable handle. With 10 speeds, the stand mixer will quickly become your kitchen’s culinary centre as you mix, knead and whip ingredients with ease. And for even more versatility, the power hub fits optional attachments from food grinders to pasta makers and more.

2. Microplane Cube Grater in Red

The Cube Grater by Microplane has three convenient blade styles- fine, ribbon and coarse. Makes preparing your favourite dish easy as pie! The Cube Grater’s dual-purpose catch feature can also be used as a measuring device and a protective cover.

3. Quench Martini Master in Red

Whether you like your Martinis shaken or stirred, mastering making the secret service’s most popular cocktail is now super easy. Use the Martini Master’s jigger to measure two shots of Gin and one of vermouth, add into your cocktail spinner (yes, we disagree with your cocktail mixing methods Mr Bond!) with lots of ice, after the gin and vermouth are mixed together pour into a classic martini glass and use the handy zester to create a beautiful garnish for your Martini. Add an olive for an authentic look.

4.  Theo+Co. Pizza Perfector in Red

The Pizza Perfector takes the hard work out of making a great pizza. You know you are in good hands as the appliance is developed by triple-world Champion Pizza Maker Theo Kalogeracos.

Frustrated with not being able to find a competent domestic pizza cooker for his private event engagements, he decided to develop his own. The Pizza Perfector is a uniquely designed piece of equipment that can make anyone cook consistent pizza like a World Champion.

5. Jamie Oliver Pasta Machine

A new and improved Pasta machine from Jamie Oliver, for a smoother pasta making experience. Impress your guests by creating a variety of home-made pasta types (including lasagne, spaghetti, fettucine and tagliatelle) which are healthy and of high quality too. A staple in every contemporary kitchen.

6. The Cooking Doctor Macaron Pastry Set

Packed in an exclusive box, this pastry set contains a double-sided silicone pastry mat, 6 medium size nozzles, an adaptor, a large silicone piping bag and a recipe booklet. Perfect for own use or as a gift.

The mat can be used to make 30 traditional standard macaron of 3.8cm, 8 large (5 cm) macaron or whoopee pie, heart and flower shaped macarons. The mat is made of premium silicone to ensure that it is 100 % non-stick, and with even heat distribution, it is guaranteed to produce macarons with feet.

This set will suit any home baker, as the piping bag is washable and the nozzle can also be used for cupcake or cake decorations. The classic swirl on cupcake, round nozzle for macarons, rose and leave decorations, and even fancy grass shape for novelty cupcakes!

7. Nordic Ware Bavaria Mini Bundts Pan in Red

The Bavaria Mini Bundts Pan from Nordic Ware is perfect for creating bite-sized Bavaria bundt shaped cakelets. The non-stick coated aluminium of the Bavaria Mini Bundts Pan ensures even baking with quick release and easy cleanup. Now, you can create bundt cakelets of a more unique shape with the right amount of rising.

8. de Buyer Mandoline Swing Slicer in Red

The Mandoline Swing Slicer from de Buyer is made from durable stainless steel & composite polymers and with blade produced in Thiers, the French famous town specialized in professional cutlery, this slicer brings professionalism into your kitchen. Technique is inspired from de Buyer’s professional model.

8 Berry Recipes for Summer

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8 Berry Recipes for Summer

The quintessential summer fruit, berries are chock-full of anti-oxidants and a wonderful way to brighten up drinks, dessert and mains. Here are 8 of ToTT’s favourite recipes from around the web!

1. Very Berry 

First, let’s kick things off with this tangy Very Berry Spritzer by Deliciously Sprinkled. Perfect for summer parties, this concoction combines the tartness of lemon-lime soda and sweetness of berries beautifully.

2. Summer Berry Smoothie

Craving for something more decadent? Look no further than The Messy Baker’s Summer Berry Smoothie. With bananas, an assortment of berries and added protein, you’re basically getting breakfast in a glass. This highly customisable recipe can also be made vegan by replacing cow’s milk with nut or soy milk.

3. Nuts About Berries Salad

Who said berries were only meant for dessert? This delightful recipe from I Heart Nap Time tosses berries and fresh spinach together for a refreshing salad. Topped with homemade cinnamon sugar almonds and a light poppy seed dressing, this salad is sure to please.

4. Grilled Chicken with Blackberry Sweet and Sour Sauce

Reminiscent of turkey and cranberry jam, this dish by Jaden at Steamy Kitchen will make you feel like you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in July. Featuring fresh blackberries and cognac, it’s great for weekday dinners, yet fancy enough to impress guests. Best of all, you can cook it in under 30 minutes.

5. Blueberry Yoghurt Cake

If berries and savoury dishes aren’t your thing, whet your appetite with this wholesome Blueberry Yoghurt Cake by Simone’s Kitchen. Greek yogurt and lemon zest complement the natural sweetness of blueberries perfectly, resulting in a dense loaf that’s rich in colour and taste.

6. Roasted Berry Sauce With Cardamom

Psst, we’re going to let you in on a secret. Did you know that berries taste even better when they’re roasted? Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast Blog claims that roasting berries brings out their sweetness and intensifies the flavour. With such a convincing recipe, who’s to disagree? Have it drizzled over ice-cream, pancakes or s’mores.

7. Yogurt Ice Pops With Berries

What could be better than a popsicle on a sweltering day? A yogurt ice pop of course! We love how simple and foolproof this recipe by Fany Gerson is. Perfect for an afternoon with the kids.

8. Berry Mascarpone Almond Tart

Did you really think we’d end this list without a classic berry tart? We reckon nothing encompasses the spirit of summer better than this stunner by What She’s Having. A sight to behold, this tart is as delicious as it is beautiful.

Here are some items from ToTT for your berrylicious adventures!

Zyliss Smart-Touch™ Salad Spinner

The award-winning Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner features fast-action pump dry technology, bringing fun and ease to salad preparation while cleansing greens, berries, and herbs of dirt and other impurities. The easy to use one-pump lever creates a smooth spinning action while delivering speed and yielding quick, effortless results. Eliminate watery salads and keep produce fresher and longer, with the use of this precision engineered and high-performing Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner.

PERLE Salad Servers 2-Pcs Gift Set

This PERLE Salad Servers Gift Set from Regent features generous bowls for serving salads, as well as a variety of other foods. One of the bowls in this set has soft-edged prongs, creating a fork-like design. Made of high quality stainless steel with a high gloss polished finish, features a simple and elegant design that will mix well with your existing flatware pieces.

Plastic Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 4

Keep the kids cool this summer with this wonderful set of eight ice lolly makers. Just add your favourite juice, fruit or yoghurt for a delicious and healthy snack that the whole family will love.

Pro Form Quiche/Tart Pan

Makes lovely tarts and quiches with a self-crimpled edge with this 10 inch quiche/tart pan from Nordic Ware. This pan has removable bottom, which makes for easy release and serving.

Be the Hari Raya Hostess (or Host!) with the Mostest

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Be the Hari Raya Hostess (or Host!) with the Mostest

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! In this week’s guide, we share 7 useful hosting tips for this festive season.

1. Prepare ingredients in advance

Everyone knows food prep is one of the most tedious things to deal with, no matter how skilled you are as a home chef. Do your shopping and preparation 2 days in advance and make it a family affair! Be the boss of your kitchen and delegate tasks to spouses and siblings while children do simpler things like peel vegetables.

2. Accommodate dietary restrictions

When planning your menu, remember to include at least one child-friendly and vegetarian dish for your guests. Also, not everyone has a belly of fire like you do, so make sure you have a non-spicy dish in your arsenal. ToTT loves this recipe for pizza – just replace pepperoni with a halal option like chopped beef dendeng and you’re good to go. We also recommend getting your pizza done with Theo & Co.’s Pizza Perfector. You can thank us later.

3. Serve dishes in cookware

Instead of dishing out culinary creations on serving plates, why not serve them straight from the pan? You won’t just be saving time doing the dishes – pans keep food warm for longer and you’ll just have to place it back on the stove whenever you wish to reheat!

4. Beat the Heat with Detox Water

Chock full of vitamins, detox water makes a refreshing and colourful beverage that is sure to be a hit with your guests. Simply toss some slices of citrus fruit and cucumbers into filtered water and leave overnight.

5. Try a Chalkboard Menu

Chalkboard menus are an easy and inexpensive way of jazzing up potluck style feasts. Also, they save you from having to explain dishes over and over again to curious guests.

6. Label Cups

Here at ToTT, we’re all about doing our part for the environment. If you have to use disposable cups, use those made out of bioplastics and provide guests with a marker to label their cups. That way, you save the earth and your cups.

7. Kiddy Corner

Create a child-friendly corner of your house with toys and electronic gaming devices to keep the young ones busy.

8. Seal the meal

Got any leftovers or half-finished snacks from the day? Keep food fresh by sealing it in air-tight containers like the Large Pop-Top Storage Jar by Jamie Oliver, or Lexliving’s Silicone Flip Tight Lid Storage Box.

Summer Picnic Must Haves

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Summer Picnic Must Haves

Salad, Sand and Sea

Whether you’re hitting the park or the beach, keep things super fresh with this handy salad container set. Westmark’s Salad Butler has a practical carrying handle, along with 4 clip locks and integrated transport container for the safe and clean carrying of your greens topped with your favourite dressing. With Salad Butler, take your salad from kitchen to coast with no fuss at all.

1. Kueh Dadar

A Sink your teeth in a local Peranakan delicacy made from pandan flavoured crepes with shredded Gula Melaka coconut filling.This sweet coconut stuffed pancake roll is usually served as a snack at tea time that goes wonderfully well with coffee or tea!

Recommended equipment: Nordic Ware Traditional French Steel Crepe Pan

Pack It and Bag It

Pack light with Lexngo’s Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box. Made of food-safe silicone, this lunch box is perfect for transporting healthy meals or for food storage. It has two compartments which allow for separate food management of fruits, salads, and your main course. The unique 3-in-1 spork utensil conveniently stores inside the airtight cover. For space-saving storage simply collapse the flexible silicone container to 1/2 the size.

Super Sandwiches 

Ditch your usual plastic sandwich bags for a greener and healthier option. These Paper Snack and Sandwich Bags by If You Care are made in Sweden from the unbleached pulp of Scandinavian spruce trees – a natural, renewable resource. If You Care Snack and Sandwich Bags are also greaseproof, and provide a natural barrier which prevents grease or fat from penetrating.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Finally, wash down your scrumptious picnic spread with ice-cold lemonade in these Toot Sweet Blue Party Cups by Meri Meri. Each packet contains a dozen 266ml hot or cold cups. The blue striped pattern is perfect for parties and picnics, so grab a stack for your picnic basket today! Also available in pink.

Gifts Dad Will Love

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Gifts Dad Will Love

Father’s day is around the corner, but fret not if you haven’t found a gift for dad! Here are 5 gifts from ToTT that Dad is sure to love.

For the Gadget-Loving Dad:

Indulge your gadget-loving dad with arguably the meanest cooking machine around – the Sousvide Supreme. The award-winning SousVide Supreme is the world’s first water oven designed to make the gourmet sous vide cooking technique easy and affordable. Sous vide cooking locks in the juices and flavor and preserves the nutritional quality of the food. The result is incomparable taste and texture: steak perfectly cooked edge-to-edge, vibrant vegetables, juicy tender chicken breasts, and ribs with the meat literally falling off the bone. All at the push of a button.

For the Multi-Tasking Dad:

Reward your old man for his love and dedication to the family with something as efficient as he is. With five separate cooking options, The Cuisinart® Griddler® can handle everything from pancakes to sausages to grilled cheese to steaks, hamburgers and panini. A floating cover and one set of reversible plates that snap in and out turn the Griddler® into a Contact Grill, a Panini Press, a Full Grill, a Full Griddle, or Half Grill/Half Griddle. Dual temperature controls ensure everything is perfectly cooked.

For the Dad Who Loves His Beer:

Remember that time dad gave you your first sip of beer? Honour that memory with the Beer Can Marinade Chicken Roaster by Nordic Ware. This grill or oven roaster lets you make iconic beer can chicken in  two different ways. Use the cone inside of the base or separately. The wide base holds liquid and spices of your choice and may also be used to hold and roast vegetables. The roaster infuses flavour while locking in moisture, giving you chicken that’s crisp on the outside and oh-so-juicy on the inside.

For the “Anything” Dad:

The “Anything”  type of Dad can be hard to shop for, simply because he’s so easygoing. ToTT recommends this foolproof choice – the Pizza Perfector by Theo + Co. Developed by triple-world Champion Pizza Maker, Theo Kalogeracos, the Pizza Perfector takes the hard work out of making the world’s best pizza. With the Pizza Perfector, dad too can cook phenomenal pizzas like a champ.

A Tribute to Mom: Interview with The Cooking Doctor

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A Tribute to Mom: Interview with The Cooking Doctor

It’s always fascinating to learn where a chef first got her roots in cooking.

This Mother’s Day, we invite The Cooking Doctor, Dr Jehanne Ali to give us a peek into her life and how she manages being a Mother, Chef and Doctor all at once!

1. How has your mother’s cooking influenced you as a chef?
Food always brings back memories. Little did I know that those years growing up watching my mom tempering chocolates, or running back eagerly from school for the sweet smell of cookies baking in the oven, would shape my passion today. My mom is an excellent baker, who also taught on continental pastries and cakes. It was from her that I learnt my fundamentals of baking.

2. Are there any particular dishes that instantly remind you of Mom?
When I was in medical school in the UK, cooking was not a luxury but a necessity as the halal food scene has not really taken off, like now. I missed my mom’s Sambal chicken, so every time I cooked that for a meal, it instantly reminded me of her. I am also a big fan of her Chocolate Roulade (swiss roll) so she would always baked and carefully packed for me every time I came home for vacation. Those swiss rolls still remind me of home. My mom has kindly shared the recipe with me, so here I am passing it to you. (Recipe here)

3. Would you be able to share a particular fond memory of when she cooked it?
There was one afternoon when I just came back from school and I saw Mom making her chequered swiss rolls for friends. I must be around 8 or 9, and I sulked that she has forgotten to make my favourite roll. That was when she pulled out the fluffiest roll still warm on the pan, and asked me to spread the melted chocolate on top. I was ecstatic, as that was perhaps the first time she ever let me use her kitchen tools!

4. Being a mother (chef and doctor, too!) yourself, what advice would you give to busy working moms who want to start cooking for their kids?
I am glad to see the current trend of kids being encouraged to cook and bake from early age. I think it’s important to shape the young minds to start eating healthy and wholesome home-cooked food. Even with a busy schedule I think it’s still possible to fit in cooking time after work. Weekly menu planning is essential as it will help to expedite grocery shopping and preparation.

I am also a firm believer in quick healthy meals. For example, with a weekly batch of pizza dough you can always create weeknight pizza in less than 20 minutes! Kids should be allowed to help in the kitchen as this will build their confidence, and make them want to eat more as they have cooked the food!
Always stock up the pantry with wholesome ingredients and kid-friendly tools. Think colourful spinach pasta, fancy cookie cutters or even some good quality chocolates. Best trophy to Mommies who bake impromptu brownies!
Recently I’ve launched a range of healthy Deli products under my daughter’s name, Mishalle. These include healthy low-fat Granola for breakfast or parfait (Check out the quick & easy recipe here!), tomato relish for pizza base or pasta sauce, chilli jam for dipping sauce, multigrain bread mix for quick and healthy breads, and some spice mixes such as za’atar for your quick but delicious meals!

5. Last but not least, what do you think are some of the most essential tools to have in the kitchen for busy working moms?
I do suffer from gadgetitis, so I am a hoarder of all things gadgets! Jokes aside, a well-equipped kitchen does make a big difference in food preparation and cooking time. I swear by good-quality casseroles or dutch ovens that are perfect for pasta sauces, stews, rice and even bread. Of course my very own ‘The Cooking Doctor’ silicone baking mat for baking! Its nonstick fibre element makes it versatile — from kneading or rolling to even baking pizzas, macarons or scones. You also need a good set of knives, a few baking tins and a good wok!
Every mom deserves a little pampering on Mother’s Day, treat mom to Dr Jehanne’s Mocha Roulade and shop the essential bakeware needed for this recipe here!

Guide to Buying Saucepans

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Guide to Buying Saucepans

Not all cookware with one long handle can be considered a saucepan. A ‘real’ saucepan should have these defining attributes:

First, it should have vertical sides (unlike, say,  skillets or frying pans). Second, the height of the pan should be of similar length as the diameter of the pan. Finally, most saucepans have a capacity of less than 2 litres;  any pan with a larger capacity automatically falls under the ‘sauce or soup pot’ category.

Here are some tips on finding the right one for your kitchen:

1) What is your purpose?
Saucepans typically range from 1 to 2 litres. A 2L pan should be sufficient for a household of four. Larger 4L saucepans would be tiresome to hold since it has only one handle.
If you are a heavy user, consider investing in better quality pans for prolong its lifespan. Choose a size that best suits the number of people in your household.

2) Specialty saucepans
Most saucepans come with vertical sides but there are specialty saucepans in the market with unusual shapes or other unique features:

Saucier: This saucepan has a wide top and round sides which facilitates evaporation as they increase the surface area for evaporation to occur. The shorter side makes it easier to access to whatever you are cooking so stirring is made easier. Puddings, custards and risottos will be cooked perfectly in a saucier.

Windsor pan: This pan has a sloped side extending from the base of the saucepan. The flare sides allow sauce to be dissipated at a faster rate as there is a bigger surface area for evaporation. This design is great for sauces but not as versatile as the classic design.

Milk pan: This pan is essentially used for heating milk hence its name. The rim of this small saucepan has a slight indentation which allows the milk to flow out of the pan in a smooth, thin stream. A milk pan is  good for reheating small amounts of liquids.

3) Materials
The most common materials used to make saucepans are copper, aluminium, cast iron, stainless steel and a combination of different materials. Every material has its pros and cons so pick the one that suits your needs best. One point to highlight is to check if your saucepan is oven-safe if you regularly need to put your cookware in the oven for the last leg of cooking. Generally, cookware that has a plastic or wooden component should not be oven safe unless stated otherwise. Non-stick coated cookware should not be heated above 250° C as well.

Material Thermal Quality Maintenance Reactivity Hybrid Price Range
Copper Excellent conductor of heat Constant polishing to prevent tarnish Reacts with acidic food items like tomatoes and gives off a toxic compound Some Copper saucepans’ interior has been lined with tin to prevent the reactivity. Expensive
Cast Iron Good heat conductor and retains heat very well Needs to be constantly seasoned after every use to prevent rusting Non-reactive Teflon and porcelain enamel has been introduced to the interior of the surface to prevent rusting Coated cast iron is more expensive Than raw cast iron
Stainless Steel Poor heat conductor Easy maintenance; usually dishwasher safe. Non-reactive Inner core of the saucepan can be fortified with copper or aluminium to increase heat conductivity Inexpensive
Aluminium Excellent conductor of heat Tends to warp  under high heat and easily scratched Similar to copper, reactive to acidic food items Anodized aluminium is the improved alternative where an electrochemical process is undertaken which makes the aluminium non-reactive, scratch and warp resistant Anodized aluminium is more expensive than raw aluminium

4) Handles
Look out for pans with medium-length handles as your hands are constantly gripping it. A longer handle means you are further away from the heat. A sturdy handle is a must, so get a saucepan with handle securely attached with heavy screws or rivets. Although some handles are heat-resistant, it’s still safer to use an oven mitt when removing the saucepan from the oven. ‘Heat-resistant’ does not necessarily mean heat-proof and it might still be too hot for your hands.

The de Buyer company was founded in 1830 and has been creating and manufacturing the best kitchen and pastry utensils for the professional and the hobby chef.

Guide to Essential Measuring Tools

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Guide to Essential Measuring Tools

Baking requires precision and hence is more like a science rather than actual cooking. Mess with the correct ingredient ratio and you have just wasted precious hours in the kitchen. Take guesswork out of your hands with these measuring tools and let them give you the confidence for a successful bake.

Measuring spoons
Measuring spoons usually come in 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon measures. These spoons can be used for measuring wet and dry ingredients. When measuring dry ingredients, remember to level off the ingredient to get an accurate amount. For maximum convenience, having a designated set of measuring spoons for both dry and wet ingredients is recommended. This means no need to spend time on washing when switching from dry to wet ingredient or vice versa. Additionally, choose measuring spoons with narrow surface areas instead of round ones so that you can scoop directly from narrow neck containers.

Measuring cups
Liquid measuring cups spot a distinct handle and sprout for easy pouring and sizes range from 1 to 8 cups. A 2-cup (500ml) size should be sufficiently versatile for most applications. Measuring cups made of glass would be ideal as you might need to measure hot liquids. For dry measuring cups, the volumes range from 1/4 to 1 cup and are usually available without a sprout in stainless steel or heavy-duty plastic. Avoid measuring cups with sprouts as they might affect the measurements of your ingredients.

Kitchen scale
Kitchen scales measure ingredient mass rather than volume. This handy gadget offers precise measurements for any type of dry ingredient even in large amounts. It does not have the same limitation as measuring cups and spoons which can only provide accurate measurements in cases where added amounts correspond with designated increments. You can choose between manual or digital Kitchen scales. The more expensive digital scale, which can measure ingredients up to 0.1g accuracy, would be a better investment for serious bakers.

Kitchen thermometers come in various types such as digital, dial or pop-up which serve different purposes. Digital thermometers are handy when you need to check on the doneness of your cakes or pies. They are the most accurate as they can measure to 1°C accuracy. Thermometers are also useful for cooking. A cooking thermometer saves you the hassle of having to cut into the meat to check for internal temperatures. Choose those with long inserts so that inserting into thick cuts of meat (like a whole turkey) can be done easily.

The humble timer can be a lifesaver when you are busy multi-tasking in the kitchen. It helps you manage different cook times of different dishes to avoid under or overcooking. A timely beep alerts us from other tasks at hand. Some digital thermometers come with multiple alarm options which allow you to set different timings at the same time.

Weigh ingredients wet or dry with the Jamie Oliver Electronic Wet n Dry Kitchen Scale. Capable of weighing up to 5kg, this scale features a sleek stainless steel design that you can use with or without the bowl. With an easy to read large digital display and a dishwasher-safe design, this is a must for an aspiring cook!