Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter baking bonanza: Le Creuset cooking tool challenge


I had the extremely good fortune last week of being able to take home a Le Creuset silicone spatula and basting brush. Sometimes we get a couple of extra products here at ChefTools.com, which means free tools for our kitchens, and product reviews for you.

Christopher Kimball I am not, but I did put the Le Creuset tools through some paces this past Easter weekend, and I’m proud to report they did great. I have actually never owned a silicone tool before – I prefer wooden spatulas, turners, mixing spoons etc. But I was pleasantly surprised at how well these Le Creuset tools performed.

I made a loaf of French bread on Sunday morning, and I used the spatula to scrape down the side of a mixing bowl. The spatula (it’s the medium sized one) made great contact with the stainless steel bowl, and didn’t leave any extra dough stuck to the sides. The silicone conformed to the bowl’s shape and was nimble on corners.

Next, I used the basting brush to spread olive oil over the dough as I was preparing to let it rise. The bristles held the oil well. However, the bristles did pick up little specks of wet dough; I thought it would be a bit of a dish washing nightmare, but I was surprised to find that the silicone cleaned great. The dough came right off under the faucet, even off the inside bristles.

Later on Sunday, I made a cake. I do not like using a lot of sugar in frosting (I get sugar headaches), so I wanted to frost the cake with something light, but tasty. All I had was a couple of chunks of dark chocolate (the bitter kind). So, I melted it in the microwave, added a little soymilk, salt and strawberry juice (from the bottom of the strawberry container) and ended up with a nice, smooth frosting. I microwaved the chocolate in a cappuccino mug (it was all I had), which has steep sides. I used the Le Creuset spatula to spoon the frosting out of the cup and onto the cake, and to spread it. It worked great – actually, as I looked around my kitchen, I didn’t see anything else that I could have spread frosting with; and certainly nothing that could get around all the corners inside that cappuccino mug.

The Le Creuset tools were great, not to mention they look nice. The handles are sturdy and made of wood, and the silicone is wrapped tightly around it. Some of my co-workers took home these tools, too, so we’ll have more reports on how they perform. I’m curious to see how they do in a non-baking setting. Check back to find out!

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