A Shopping Guide to Sauté Pans

Cooking is a wonderful way to express yourself and for many it is a pastime that can be really loved and enjoyed. To make life easier for you when you are cooking it is important that you have the right cookware and tools for the task at hand. By using this shopping guide to sauté pans you will be able to understand what you should be looking for in the perfect pan and what you should be avoiding.

Design

A good sauté pan will have a base that is wide and flat that gives plenty of surface area for cooking. The sides of the pan should be straight and not too shallow so that the food that is being prepared inside does not spill out when the pan is being moved from side to side. The idea of cooking with a sauté pan involves browning the food in it quickly or heating ingredients for prolonged periods. In short a sauté pan is quite a good all-rounder in the kitchen as it is so versatile.

Materials

Sauté pans must be excellent conductors of heat as amongst other things, they are used to brown food. It is therefore a good idea to choose one that is made from a metal that is heavy gauge. Copper sauté pans are some of the most popular types as this metal will conduct heat very well and as it can cool quickly; it will not burn food when taken off the heat, unlike some other pans. So if you like to cook foods that have very specific cooking times, a pan made from copper will be the perfect choice.

Pans made from stainless steel are also good, but you must make sure that you select one that has a copper disk that covers the whole of the underside as this will help to prevent hot spots. Don’t go for sauté pans that have a non-stick surface as they can often reduce the heat of the pan, leading to poorly and unevenly cooked food.

Other requirements

A good sauté pan will have a long handle that will not get hot even when it has been in use for some time. If you are buying a stainless steel pan try to find one that has a hollow handle or one that is made from a different metal. Both of these types will have cooler handles which prevents you from getting burnt. If the pan is quite large and becomes heavy when it contains food a sauté pan with a helper handle at the opposite side can be useful.

For ease of use a sauté pan that has a lid is worth buying as it will allow you to cook even more dishes. Inspect the lid carefully and make sure that it fits correctly on the pan; there should not be any gaps between the two surfaces as this can reduce the heat within.

What to avoid

As well as knowing what you should be looking for you should also know what to avoid when buying sauté pans. Cheaper products might seem attractive if you are on a budget, but these are usually low end and will not last. Similarly pans that have any dents in them will not conduct heat properly and can make life difficult in the kitchen.  Visit http://www.cooksparaphernalia.co.uk to select from a range of sauté pans.

ConclusionSauté pans are a great addition to any kitchen and when you know what you should be looking for buying one is a simple task.

02 Apr 2015

Gluten free desserts: Mixing it up with packet cakes

Here’s something I didn’t know: you don’t have to just make packet cakes, with packet cakes. Confused? Well, I had always assumed that if you buy a sponge cake mix, that you have to make, well, a sponge cake. Turns out, you can be super creative with the humble pre-packaged mix.

Here are some delicious ideas from the clever crew at Well & Good for some gluten free desserts:

Apple Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet (400g) Sponge Mix.
  • 3 tbsp soft margarine (or butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 large apple diced

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 190°C (175°C fan forced)
  • Grease or line a 20cm round tin.
  • In a large bowl combine water, eggs, margarine/butter and cinnamon with the sponge cake mix. Mix with an electric mixer on a high speed for 3 – 4minutes or until smooth, and fold in apple stir until evenly dispersed.
  • Pour the batter into prepared tin and set to bake for 30 – 40 minute.

Need some inspiration for an Aussie favourite? Try these Lamingtons:

Ingredients:

  • For the Base
  • 1 packet (400g) Sponge Mix.
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • For the Chocolate Dip
  • 5 tblsp clear jelly crystals (Aeroplane brand is gluten free)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • For the strawberry ‘jam’
  • 8 tblsp clear jelly crystals (Aeroplane brand is gluten free)
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 cups of Icing sugar

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C (175°C fan forced)

In mixing bowl combine water and eggs, with the sponge cake pouch. Mix to a smooth batter.

Grease a Teflon square tin 18cm, and pour batter for a flat even spread.

Set to bake for 30 – 40 minutes, and rest in the tin to cool.

In a medium bowl combine plain jelly crystals with boiling water and stir, add cocoa and icing sugar and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the ‘jam’ ingredients.

Leave the chocolate dip cool to room temperature. Cut the sponge to you preferred size. You can now add the jam between 2 slices of sponge and layer them together. Dip your sponge fingers in to the choc dip and gently roll in the coconut.

Put your prepared Lamingtons in the fridge to set.

Two delicious desserts with gluten free sponge cake mix as their base!

25 Mar 2015

Cooking Ideas for Healthy Cheesecake

Everyone loves dessert. For the past few hundred years we’ve been enjoying it as a finishing touch to our meals. Even before that people enjoyed sweet delights. Obesity was not very common. You could have your cake and keep fit too. However, with today’s farming methods and abundance of harmful ingredients they stick in our very food, many people have had to choose health over dessert. While of course you have to make sure to be balanced, it is possible to combine wellness with dessert.  How so?

It’s difficult to find good sweets out, but if you like to cook at home, or at least like the end results, there’s a site that contains recipes to all kinds of healthful delights that you’ll find very helpful.  It’s called Diet Well, and you’ll find recipes for healthy cheesecake, doughnuts, cookie dough, brownies, and more. Enough said? Head on over to the site and check out their products and resources that will help you make a dream dessert that’s good to your body!

02 Feb 2015