It’s Tuesday. It’s nearly eight o’clock. Which means, in my house anyway, that it’s Great British Bake Off time! I can’t get enough of Mel, Sue and the crew. I want Mary Berry to be my nan. I hang on every word of Paul Hollywood’s withering analysis of the technical challenge. Every kitchen task is now preceded with a cry of ‘on your marks, get set, bake’ – even if it’s just to reheat a cup of coffee in the microwave.
But for a gadget obsessive such as myself, the best bit is spotting the appliances that our Great British Bakers are using. Here are a few that I’ve noticed so far…
The oven B46C74 Series 5 AquaAssist built-in single oven, around £1,200, Neff
Why I think they love it Surely it’s that clever SlideAway door that drops down and then slots away underneath the oven leaves our bakers hands free to prod their pastries or assess their sponges. Then the telescopic rails make them easy to retrieve. Aah, no more baking burns! Or how about the CircoTherm technology that does away with the need for preheating? Or the bread mode that allows you to cook crusty loaves on three levels of the oven at once.
The warming drawer N22H40 290mm warming drawer, around £400, Neff
Why I think they love it Warming drawers aren’t just there to keep your plates hot – they’ll do a fine job of proving dough or melting chocolate… for a ganache perhaps? This extra large example even has a utensil warming function if you happen to need a hot knife to run through butter.
The fridge FAB30QAZ fridge freezer in Pastel Blue, around £1,100, Smeg
Why I think they love it Aside from it being as devastatingly handsome as Paul (did you hear he’s doing Strictly? I’ll try and avoid the bun jokes for now), the FAB30 offers a large 242-litre fridge capacity – that’s more than enough space for all the contestants to leave their puff pastry to rest. And the A+ energy rating means it’s extremely efficient. There’s a 68-litre freezer on board, too.
The timer Big Button timer, £6.49, Salter
Why I think they love it When your hands are caked with dough and you can’t see the mille-feuille for the macarons, you want a timer that’s easy to use and will help you time things to the last second. This model indeed ‘does’ seconds as well as minutes, and is magnetic so you can plaster it to the oven – right where you need it – or alternatively use the in-built stand to prop it up on the countertop. And it’s big buttons are easy to jab at, even with the doughiest fingers.
The mixer Artisan stand mixer, from £429, KitchenAid
Why I think they love it Well it’s certainly good-looking enough for telly. But the real reasons bakers worldwide love the Artisan are its solid design (seriously, it’s built like a classic car), easy operation and silky smooth results. Every one comes with a steel whisk, a ceramic dough hook and a ceramic flat beater, so you’re prepared for most baking eventualities, and the mixer’s planetary motion stops ingredients from stubbornly sticking to the side. I’m sold.