Not everyone is a master in the kitchen, but all they really need is the right tools. I’m not talking about measuring spoons, fancy utensils or the most expensive appliances to make delicious meals and snacks. Now, there’s actually a tool in the kitchen that makes sure what you’re cooking comes out how you want it to – a system called the Perfect Bake. The Perfect Bake is a digital scale and accessories that you pair with your smart phone or tablet and leads you through recipes you didn’t think you could make with what you have on hand.
I first saw the Perfect Bake last spring at IHHS and was intrigued by the idea. Not only can it help you make the recipe you want but can search by what you have in your cupboard. It lets you scale the recipe to make the exact amount you want, and each item actually works as an independent unit when not used as a set. So when Perfect Bake asked if I wanted to try out a unit, I was more than happy to give it a go. You see, Perfect Bake has a variety of recipes, including some for gluten free diets, dairy free, vegan, holiday focused and more. You can add more recipe “packs” too to get the ones you want. The recipe library is being updated constantly and you can continue to add to your recipe stack.
Probably one of my favorite things about the Perfect Bake right out of the box is digital scale that runs on batteries – you wont need to plug it in and find a place near to a plug to get it to work. It runs on 3 AAA batteries, and while the box says they’re not included – mine were. Without using the app at all, you can use the scale and change the units to fit the recipe you’re doing.
To connect your Perfect Bake with your phone you simply unwind the cord that is snapped around the base and plug it into your headphone jack. The Perfect Bake 2.0 is Bluetooth compatible. When I first connected the Perfect Bake to my phone it left off a loud beeping noise until I selected an option for it to recognize the app. This was only a step I had to do in the initial set up of connecting the app with my phone.
The next step was actually pretty simple – select a recipe that makes sense to you! I went with an old staple – chocolate chip cookies. When you’re ready to bake – just hit “BAKE” and it will lead you through the recipe step by step. Not only does it tell you which of its bowls to use (ones that are big enough for the ingredients you’re working with) but with the scale it measures the ingredients as you put them in. You can watch the line go up until you’ve got the right amount of ingredients in the bowl – no measuring required! Be careful not to overfill your ingredients or you will end up getting a warning and have to remove some to get it to balance out again. I accidentally added too much oat flour and then couldn’t get it to balance out right away.
The scale also works with your existing bowls and kitchen tools. Just balance the scale to zero once you put the bowl on and continue to work. You can also advance to the next step or go back by the up and down arrows on the scale.
When you’re ready bake the Perfect Bake App is ready to help you there too! Each stage has a timer that you can hit and it will time each recipe perfectly with your oven. The timer will chime when it’s time to take everything out of the oven. The app also has a timer so you mix items the correct amount of time to get the consistency you’re suppose to. No more guessing or setting separate timers for different things.
Don’t think that the Perfect Bake just gets your through the recipes. It actually helps you portion out and measure things properly too. The only draw back for placing the cookies on the cookie sheet was you had to reset the scale on the app each time you added a cookie. To me this was a bit tedious, so I just used my disher – which may have been a slight problem for the recipe!
Did my cookies come out perfect? Not exactly They spread out more than they should have because I placed too much dough on the baking sheet. But, that being said – it was extremely easy to adjust this on the next batch and we had less spreading. The cookies spreading like that, however, reminded me of when I made cookies before I was gluten free – my cookies always spread like this! So it was more of a “normal” baking experience for me.
I loved how easy it is to use the Perfect Bake, and how customize-able it is. I often run out of random ingredients so it will be nice to find alternative recipes when the mood to bake strikes me. And, it takes a lot of the guessing out of baking. The Perfect Bake comes with virtually everything you need to get started in the kitchen, except of course food. A Perfect Bake starter kit will come with the digital scale, three mixing bowls that nest when not in use, an oven thermometer and a stand for your phone or tablet. All of the recipes are accessible within the app and updated constantly. The Perfect Bake set starts at around $49.99 and be more confident in your cooking.