My Favorite Essential Baking Tool

SplashProofThermapen-gallery.jpgSplash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen (Pink) Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking Wondering how best to spend your holiday gift money? Let me make a suggestion! Recently, I have given many press interviews on the new book and one of the questions that pops up with great frequency is: what is the one piece of equipment without which I could not bake well? My answer is always that it must be two. On a regular basis, I talk about my strong preference for weighing ingredients as opposed to measuring them by volume, and my favorite scale which is the MyWeigh. ---But in a pinch I could bake using measuring cups (perish the thought!) However, when it comes to the all-important temperature control of ingredients and mixtures such as syrups, I cannot live without a thermometer and it must be an accurate one. I have found the fastest and most reliable thermometer to be the Thermapen. And they have recently come up with a new model that is even a faster--3 to 5 seconds, and is also accurate to 0.7˚F/0.4˚C--whereas the original model and only brands read to only whole numbers. The new Thermapoen even comes with a certificate of calibration. Another important improvement is that it is now "splash-proof"--desirable in a kitchen environment. In instances where you are working with a very shallow liquid, this thermometer requires a mere 1/8 inch immersion to read accurately. (Inexpensive candy thermometers can require as much as a 2 inch immersion even to approach accuracy.) If you love to bake you deserve this thermometer. And treat it as the jewel it is, i.e. don't toss it into your kitchen tool drawer--gently and reverently place it in a spot where it doesn't get knocked around and is always at the ready.