Baking Brands I Swear By
By Savini Gauri
I'm back with another article for my Back to Basics Series. All bakers I know are always on the lookout for baking ingredient brands they can trust and rely on. Over the years I have experimented with my fair share of baking brands. I have been baking for over a decade and have seen the market evolve. From a time when there were hardly any baking ingredient brands available to now a plethora of options.
In this article, I will share my top picks for baking ingredients in a variety of prices and qualities. So that you can choose the one that suits your budget and is available to you easily.
Before we get started, feast your eyes on this Gooey Flourless Chocolate Cake (I'm having a slice as I write this article)
Before I dive into the list of baking ingredients I swear by, let's go through my list of top few baking tins and pans every baker needs in their kitchen:
An 8 or 9-inch cake tin: USA Bakeware Round Cake Pan, 9 inches I have had this one for years. If you plan to make multiple cakes or layered cakes I would recommend having 2-3 of these.
Square Baking Tin: Noble Foods Square Mould Tin Aluminium, 9-inch x 9-inch This has to be one of the most universal baking tins. It can be used to make square cakes, brownies or blondies, dessert bars, granola bars etc. And the best part? it gives your dessert clean and sharp edges.
Muffin Pan: Zollyss Non-Stick Cupcake Baking Pan, 12 Cups I recommend using a standard 12 cavity muffin tin. It's appropriately sized and 12 muffins are a minimum quantity you would want to make (in my opinion 12 is less, given how yummy muffins are).
9 inch Pie or Tart Tin: 9 Inch Non-Stick TART TIN with Removable Bottom I end up using my tart tin more than I use my cake tins and moulds. Somehow I love tarts and pies more than I love cakes. A 9-inch tin gives you 8-10 appropriately sized slices.
9X5 Inch Loaf Pan: Zollyss Carbon Steel Baking Tray I use this the most for making things like banana bread, pound cake and even quick breads. This baking tin is reasonably priced, non-stick, sturdy and durable.
**Please note that this article is not sponsored. **
All brands mentioned are just the ones I have been using for a while and love. So, let's get started.
1. UNSALTED BUTTER
Unsalted butter is a staple when it comes to baking. It is very commonly used and now easily available in the market too. If you are looking for something of decent quality that does not burn a hole in your pocket, I would recommend AMUL Unsalted Butter for all your butter needs. But if you are looking for something of better quality with a luscious texture and higher fat percentage, I would suggest using imported brands like PRESIDENT Butter and LUPARK Butter. These ones are more expensive, but they give fantastic results.
2. CREAM (REGULAR AND WHIPPING)
Creams are mostly used for making fillings, frostings and mousses. There are quite a few options available in the market and most of them are very budget-friendly. The most commonly available ones are D'Lecta Cream, AMUL Cream and MOTHER DAIRY cream. They can be found in most grocery stores. Then there are a few dairy-free options that are equally good. Tropolite does a great soy whipping cream. But my current favourite is the Urban Platter Coconut Cream. It has a great smoothness to it and a very subtle taste that does not overpower any of the other flavours.
3. CREAM CHEESE
Until a few years ago, it was impossible to find cream cheese that did not cost a bomb. Most people still recommend using Philadelphia Cream Cheese. There is no doubt that they make fantastic cream cheese. But now Indian brands have a lot to offer too. You can find equally good quality cream cheese at a quarter the price, if not less. I end up using MOOZ Cream Cheese and D'lecta Cream Cheese. Both these brands have a very high quality and consistent product. I would highly recommend both of them.
Again another staple. It is one of my favourite baking ingredients ever. The first thing I would like to say is, never use Compound chocolate. It's just a big no-no. If you plan on selling your baked good I would hands down recommend Callebaut Chocolate. However, if you are a home baker then I would suggest using the dark chocolate by Morde or even AMUL Dark Chocolate. Both of them are commonly available and are of decent quality.
5. COCOA POWDER
This is a very underrated ingredient. The quality of the cocoa powder being used can actually alter the richness and depth of flavour of your baked goods. The most budget-friendly and good quality product available is the HERSHEY'S 100% Cocoa Powder. If you are looking for something even deeper and richer there are options available but are more expensive. The best option available in India right is Hintz Cocoa Powder.
When it comes to vanilla there are a few variations available in the market. Depending on the type of quality you want and the budget you have there are multiple options. The most commonly seen one is Synthetic Vanilla Essence by Bush. I'm sure we've all grown up seeing this one. Then a slightly more expensive option is Vanilla Extract by Ossoro. But the best option according to me is Vanilla bean extract by Sprig. If you are really willing to spend and want the best possible flavour of vanilla, then go for vanilla beans. The most commonly available option is Vanilla Beans by Sprig. They are better than any extract or flavouring.
For most of my baking, I use caster sugar or superfine sugar. These are easily available in grocery stores. There is no specific brand I would recommend because most of them are pretty much the same. Similarly for brown sugar, most of my recipes call for soft light brown sugar since it gives the bakes an adequately dark colour without compromising on the appeal for the same. But if you can only find dark brown sugar around you, that is fine too. It's just that the final product will look slightly darker. Though some reliable brands are Trust, Dhampure and 24 Mantra.
8. BAKING POWDER
When it comes to baking powder availability is the most important factor. As long as your baking powder is stored in a dry and cool place there should be no problems with the result. I usually use Weikfield, Rex or Solar or any other brand you find in a grocery store near you.
The list of ingredients used in baking is unending. But there are a few places I would recommend shopping from. Though I would like to remind you that this article is not sponsored in any way. It is 100% based on all my personal choices and preferences.
The most common being Amazon.in for all sorts of baking equipment, tools and ingredients.
Urban Platter is also a great website for ingredients that are usually difficult to find.
Modern Bazaar is also great for fresh produce and baking ingredients. They even have some great options in their own brand's packaging varying from maida to all sorts of nuts and seeds.
I hope these ingredient brands help you add to your pantry.
Question: What are some baking ingredient brands you swear by?