Product Type: Kitchen Craft gadgets
Newest Review: ... which a lot of people use to test cakes, except the end isn't as sharp. The cake tester is approximately 16cm's long and made from stainle... more
It's BEST To TEST..!
Member Name: Wee_Jackie_163
Advantages: Works well & Easy to use..
Disadvantages: Not 'essential' & Feels gimmicky..
It was whilst I was shopping online at www.amazon.co.uk a while ago that I was using a gift voucher to purchase some much-needed baking trays and new cake tins as my other ones were looking rather worse for wear. I had a couple of pounds left on the voucher and decided to pop the "Cake Tester" gadget into my virtual shopping basket to use up the rest of the voucher.
When the Cake Tester arrived, I was rather unimpressed by its appearance, I must admit. Comprising of a metal 'rod' that is very thin, the Cake Tester looked rather like an everyday 'skewer' item and I found I was scolding myself for purchasing an item that was rather useless. This initial impression has proven to be incorrect, however, as I have found myself reaching for my trusty Cake Tester more and more in recent times.....
Firstly, the Tester is extremely easy to use. It's purpose is very simple, being designed to (of course!) test your home baking to see if it is ready. The appearance of the Tester is very simplistic and basic, I must confess, with the stainless steel 'rod' being very similar to your average skewer. The tip of the Tester is slightly more rounded than this however, so it's end is not as sharp as that of a skewer that is expected to pierce meat and kebabs, for example. The Tester is very lightweight as you would expect and this makes it easy to use, with nothing feeling cumbersome or fiddly which would put me off from using it. In addition, I don't find that the metal 'rod' is at all bendy, so it is more than capable of coping with its intended use.
There is a plastic 'tab' at the top end of the Tester and this is made of robust white plastic, with the words "Cake Tester" appearing in bold font. The plastic 'tab' never gets overly hot so that it becomes difficult to handle, and it's bright white colouring makes it stand out in the kitchen drawer, so it is easy to locate at times when I am busy or preoccupied. I haven't found that the plastic 'handle' or 'tab' feels particularly flimsy, even though the Tester feels quite lightweight in my hand.
Anybody who regularly bakes at home will know that it can be rather difficult at times to tell if cakes are ready, purely based on their appearance. Of course, a little experience goes a long way with a hobby like home baking, but I do find that large cakes in particular can look lovely and golden and be 'sponge-like' to the touch, only to reveal their insides which are not quite reached their full sponge potential, and would have certainly benefited from a few minutes more in the hot oven. This can be hard to judge, based on appearances alone, and so this is where the trusty Cake Tester comes in.
The centre of the cake (particularly when cooking a large square or round shaped cake) is where the answer to the conundrum lies.... The Cake Tester can be (carefully!) inserted into the centre of the cake and removed quickly before undergoing an inspection. This little test will quickly tell you if your cake is fully cooked in the centre or requires a few more minutes, by way of particles of sponge mixture sticking to the metal rod of the Cake Tester. If the rod is completely clean when it is removed from the centre of the cake, then your cake is ready of course, and should be removed from the oven and allowed to cool. If, however, there are any sticky crumb-like particles clinging to the rod's metal surface, then your cake is slightly underdone in the centre area and a few minutes more cooking time should be allowed, before repeating this process and testing again.
I knew about this 'testing method' a long time ago, long before I purchased the Cake Tester that I use nowadays. I used to use a very small butter knife to test the centre of the large cakes that I bake frequently, and to be quite honest this worked just as well as the Tester, in terms of revealing what the cake's core was doing, at least. One significant flaw of using this small knife however, was that it left a long 'scar' on top of my cake's beautiful top layer - rather annoying to say the least. I do usually ice and decorate my assorted creations, but it is fair to say that I can enjoy this part of my baking much more since having the need to disguise cake 'scars' has been removed!
The Cake Tester washes very easily, with a little washing up liquid and some really hot water being more than ample to remove any cake mixture and crumbs that may have clung to its metal surface. I do believe that the Tester is suitable for washing in the Dishwasher, but have not tried this for myself. I have had my own Tester for several months now and there is really nothing noticeable in terms of wear and tear to the item, so I feel this does confirm the points I made earlier about it feeling quite robust.
All in all, I am quite happy to recommend my Cake Tester Gadget, but I do feel that a normal, metal kitchen skewer would probably work just as well. I paid only around £1.90 for the gadget from Amazon (which included postage costs) and would certainly not recommend paying much more than this price as it is quite a basic item. That is not to say that it is rather handy and useful to have to hand when I am indulging in my favourite hobby of baking cakes, but I couldn't say that it was an essential item to have at home, and it has a rather 'gimmicky' feel about it if I am being honest.
The Cake Tester is available to purchase on both eBay (www.eBay.co.uk) and Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) where prices vary greatly, but you can generally purchase the item for around £2 including postage costs.
Summary: It's not an ESSENTIAL item, but it does work well..
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