Here’s a funny kitchen helper…

…for all people who like to bake their own tarts and cakes. It’s nothing else in fact than little bone-shaped morsels made of ceramic and produced only for weighing down your shortcrust pastry while baking it “blind”, which means: before really filling it. People have weird business ideas, don’t you think?

I’ve been offered the little stones who replace the dried beans (or lentils) I had used so far, never ever knowing whether they were still good for cooking after being used as this kind of, well, dead weights. Their replacements, the ceramic stones, are sold at a kitchen store nearby, the people there charge you 10 Euros (12 US$) for a stylish purple net with enough bones to fill a standard tart. That’s ridiculously expensive for such unsophisticated fare, yes, but I have a feeling that this product might stay with me for long. My first shortcrust pastry crafted with a little help of my new tiny friends came out of the oven perfectly – and very evenly – cooked. And it was a good feeling to just fill the stones in their bag again instead of trashing two handful of beans.

Baking blind with a little help from new friends: ceramic stones.

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