Six Essential Tools for the Aspiring Pastry Chef


Six Essential Tools for the Aspiring Pastry Chef

With the skyrocketing cost of living, many individuals are looking for side hustles that leverage their existing skills for a bit of extra cash. If you already enjoy baking, you may consider creating a home pastry business, where you use your own kitchen to fulfill small orders for a more tight-knit clientele. 

Before you get started on this venture, it’s important to know the laws around cottage food, or home kitchens, in your area, as they differ by region. You might need to undergo certifications or have your kitchen inspected by a food safety commission, which may be slightly strenuous, but it affords you a much faster and cheaper way to open your own pastry business than purchasing a professional kitchen.

When you’re ready to stock your kitchen with everything you need to open a home pastry business, these purchases will be invaluable allies in creating great baked goods. 

Stand mixer

This is an absolute must-have for any home chef, as it can be used to make everything from bread dough to meringue. Though it does take up a fair bit more space than a handheld mixer or a stick blender, these products generally have a stronger engine than their handheld relatives because they don’t need to sacrifice strength for weight. Most high-level stand mixers, like the trusty Kitchenaid, also come with different attachments, like paddles, that let you do more than just whip light mixtures.

Cream charger

If you’re going to make whipped cream on the regular, you can’t get by with just the store-brand whipped topping: you need to be able to generate large quantities of cream in a cost-effective and efficient manner. A cream charger setup, which includes the charger, dispenser, and regulator, will allow you to top up a huge quantity of pastries at a time, so you’re not wasting time or product. Look for larger canisters, as these are usually cheaper per serving than the tiny whippits you might be more familiar with, even if the upfront investment seems more expensive. Some companies, like Exotic Whip, even make flavored chargers and flavor drops, which can help differentiate you from other companies in your area.

Bench scraper

If you’re transitioning from purely a home chef to a professional baker, you may not be familiar with this tool, which is usually found in bakeries rather than the average kitchen. However, you’ll soon learn that it’s one of the most versatile and convenient tools you have, as it can be used for multiple different purposes: scraping surfaces clean, dividing dough, and smoothing the sides of cakes. With its straight metal surface but mostly dull edge, you won’t need to worry about scratching your work benches while cleaning them, and you can also rest assured that you won’t tear the dough when cutting it. 

Offset spatula

This is an absolute must if you make cakes, as making perfectly smooth cake tops is nearly impossible without this tool. They come in multiple sizes and widths, so you’ll want to get an array of them for your different needs throughout the kitchen. Like bench scrapers, you can use these to smooth sides, but they also work very well for other purposes, like frosting cupcakes or moving small, delicate pastries from a baking sheet to a display. 

Pastry bags and tips

Cakes need some decoration, and pastry bags are the easiest way to do this. You can attach different tips to make unique designs, including roses, stars, and edging; this also allows you to make small batches of colored frosting, as you can simply mix it right into the bag. For a truly remarkable touch, try arranging several colors of thicker frosting inside the pastry bag itself and using a notched nozzle to create multicolored rosettes.

Pastry cutters

There are numerous cutters on the market, and each works slightly differently. Some cutters have one wheel, good for slicing off the edges of pies, while others have multiple cutting edges that you can roll or wheel across the dough. What type will work best for your operation depends on what kinds of pastries you make, but you’ll definitely want at least a few types on hand to help ensure uniform sizes of your products. 

Start small and work up based on your needs

Of course, you likely have many of the things you need as a pastry chef from your own everyday cooking, but these are items that aren’t typical in the residential kitchen and will need to be added to your repertoire. It’s tempting to think you need every possible gadget on the marketplace in order to make professional baked goods, but this might do more harm than good: a cluttered kitchen makes it hard to work, and too many extraneous purchases cut into your bottom line. 

Instead, make do with what you already have from your home baking, buying only items that you wouldn’t have on hand for normal cooking. As orders roll in and new needs arise, you can add more specialized products to your arsenal.

A home pastry business is a highly rewarding way to connect with your community and make a little extra profit, and these six tools will help improve your efficiency and quality at a relatively low cost. 

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