It might surprise you that Chef Anthony Sasso believes that one of the most indispensable kitchen tools is a cake tester. After all, working at New York’s La Sirena restaurant, he’s cooking much more often than he is baking.
Still, “Everyone needs a cake tester in their kitchen,” he told Food & Wine when he recently stopped by for a fun Facebook Live to make a chickpea salad and avocado hummus off the restaurant’s menu.
Of course, when you take into account what Sasso’s using his for, his endorsement makes a little more sense.
“These little cake testers, they’re not just for baking,” he explained. “The best way to know that a fillet of fish is perfectly cooked, for instance, is to use this thing. You can poke it into any roast meat or roast fish, and as soon as the tip of that is warm to your palm when you pull it out, you know your fish is perfectly cooked.”
So, what is a cake tester, anyway? If you’ve ever baked at home, you might be familiar with the process of quickly inserting and then removing an ultra-thin object, like a toothpick, into the center of your cake to check its “doneness.” If the tool comes out clean, your cake is done; if it comes out covered in bits of cake, you’ll need to let it sit in the oven for a little more time. The role of a real cake tester, often made of steel or another metal that can withstand high heat, is to stop you from going through box after box of toothpicks. Instead, you can simply wipe off the steel, then reuse the tool time and again.
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And while toothpicks aren’t the priciest thing around, they really can add up...meaning there’s an element of thriftiness at play here, too.
Sure enough: “It’s a few dollars each, at most,” Sasso informed us. “I mean, it’s basically something like a long, thin, unraveled paper clip. But I’m telling you, it really comes in handy.”
Okay. We’re sold.
Get your own here.