“ Brand: BlissHome / Product Type: Cooling Rack „
We've got a couple of different cooling racks in our kitchen, and it's kind of hard to tell the difference between them in terms of what works best. The farringdon rack we used the most - I find it fits in and out of the drawer nice and easily, lower legs and all that. However, there are benefits to this Blue Shoots rack.
I don't remember purchasing it, it's highly likely it was one of my wife's proud purchases. If you're after getting one then it'll cost you well shy of £10, and although there are cheaper options, this one retains quality. The rack is 40x25cm, big enough for most purposes and just about ideal for fitting two cakes on, which is particularly useful if you're baking a double sponge. The idea is to let your baked goods rest on this rack and allow the air to get to them.
I find with other racks, and this includes the Farringdon one, that if you've baked something that weighs a bit, then you have to be somewhat careful about placing it on the rack. Some racks can buckle slightly in the middle, or tip on the edges. The Blue Shoots rack though has a bit of reinforcement with two solid metal strips stretching widthways across the rack, effectively splitting the rack into thirds. This allows the feet to be placed slightly closer to the ends and for there to still be an element of support in the middle.
The rack is a wire mesh, interweaving strips of metal that are malleable and allow for bounce. Really thin, they allow air to get to the base of whatever you've placed on them, and it really aids the cooling process as well. There's good height on the rack, allowing for a clear margin underneath which again sets it above many others which sit lower and sag, severly reducing the amount of room underneath the resting baked goods for airing.
It's a bit of a pain to wash at times, but it really depends on what you've used it for. Simple baking doesn't really need much of a wash - it's much easier to get a soft bristled brush and wipe away crumbs and bits of cake from the bits where the threads cross. However, if you've got it particularly mucky then once you get it wet, I find it's a good idea to be methodical with this, again with a brush but going along the underside of the mesh. The top side is smooth to ensure there is a flat surface across the threads. While the underneath is the same, bits often get stuck in the corners of the small squares.
Really, this is a lovely product. It does the job we need it to and there have never been any issues with using it, cleaning it or storing it. It sits on top of other things in our drawers and is very light but strong. I can't see the need for us to ever have to buy a different rack, as this one should serve our purposes indefinitely. Worth a purchase.
I would imagine the Blue Shoots Cooling Rack is something that the vast majority of kitchens will have, though if you aren't such a dab hand at baking cakes and buns they you could be forgiven for not having one. If you do enjoy cooking your own creations then this is something you are likely to require. When I remove cakes and buns from the oven it is vital to allow them to cook before icing and serving.
The Blue Shoots Cooling Rack is well proportioned at approximately 40cm x 25cm. It is therefore a rectangular shape and as it is slimline with small wire feet it is compact enough to store away. Cooking racks are great for allowing buns and cakes to cool and allows air to circulate and heat to escape. If you make the mistake of leaving your creations on the baking tray then you may find yourself left with dry and overcooked food that tastes a lot less appealing than it appeared when you first removed it from the oven.
The Blue Shoots Cooling Rack consists of a sheet of wire meshing, this mesh is reasonably fine. The mesh is supported on a frame which is of a slightly thicker guage wire. The frame also forms the feet on which the rack stands on and so the look and design is very simple indeed. Priced at around £5-£6 online I think this is very reasonable. I have seen these in homeware stores for around £10, so I think if you are looking for the best value you should opt for the internet. I have never had any disasters with desserts sticking to the tray and I make sure I use a mild cloth when cleaning the rack as opposed to a harsh pan scrubber as I want to protect the coated surface of the wire mesh to ensure I don't have any issues in the future.
This cooling rack is an extremely simple product for the kitchen, and whether you bake buns, cookies, cakes or biscuits you will find it improves the taste and texture of the finished article. The frame and mesh is very sturdy and resilient and although mine never bares a heavy load it has yet to show signs of wear such as bending out of shape. A robust kitchen accessory and worthwhile for any aspiring or established sweet chef.
As a keen baker there are a good few items that I own in my kitchen that I really wouldn't be without and this cooling rack has got to be one of them. Not only is it important to get the cakes out of the tin quickly so that the cooking process stops (although not too quickly) but the idea of having to wait for the cakes to cool down is something Jack hasn't got the hand of quite yet as so anything we can do to cool them down quicker is a god send in his eyes.
The cooling rack is by far the most hygienic option we have come up with because he also hasn't mastered blowing on things without creating a spray of saliva which isn't great when baking for other people either!
==Price and Availability==
There are a lot of different variations of cooling racks you can get and I own probably the most basic of the ones available. The prices do range from a mere couple of pounds up to around £10 for a more extensive size and design.
I opted for the most easy to store one which cost the least at around £2 and if I remember rightly I bought it from Matalan of all places. This goes to show that these cooling racks can be found in a multitude of shops as it is pretty much a baking must have.
==Look and Design==
Like I said mine is the easiest to store mainly because of its rectangle shape which measures 46 cm x 32 cm. The rack is made up of a relatively thin wire with the majority of the mines going in a horizontal position. There is a couple of support wires fixed underneath which run down vertically and these give the rack a little bit more sturdiness.
There are four little feet which hold the rack up off of the work surface and allow the air to circulate under the cake/cakes and aid in the cooling of the baked item. These feet are made up of the same wire as the entire rack and are incorporated into the design rather than fixed on which make the whole item more or less unbreakable.
Every time I bake anything I tend to get this rack out in order to cool the item down and free up the baking tray I have used so that it can be washed up with the rest of the dirty dishes from the baking. I have always kept it in the inside edge of my lower kitchen cabinet so that it is within easy reach and it doesn't' take up too much space in the cupboard itself.
I do always feel that when making Rock Cakes I could do with another cooling rack as making any more than half a dozen does result in a pile up of the cakes but I tend to stack the cakes up on top of each other when making large batches and this never seems to be a problem and the rack can easily handle the weight from this too.
I find the rack really easy to clean and the majority of the time I only give it a wipe over with a cloth as it doesn't really get dirty but just a little covered in crumbs. Most of these will eventually fall through the wires as the space in between wires are quite large.
I must say (and have already) that this is truly a must have item for any keen baker and even when buying it cheaply like I have done I still find that the quality is good and you don't have to spend out a ton of money to get a half decent item.
I have no complaints with this cooling rack and have had it many years and it is still looking good as new. The metal wiring that it is made from hasn't got any signs of rusting but keeping it clean and dry has probably helped this a lot.
It is a top scoring product which I am happy to award a 5 out of 5 star rating and I would highly recommend it to everyone!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.