Some of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s favorite kitchen tools are borrowed from the bathroom.
A toothbrush cleans mushrooms and removes food stuck in zesters and graters.
Dental floss looped taut around the index fingers is perfect for cutting cheesecakes; it’s sharp and thin and doesn’t stick to the cake, says Beranbaum, whose 11th cookbook, “Rose’s Baking Basics,” is out this fall. The trick works best with plain or lemon curd-topped cakes.
In fact, her grandmother worked at a candy store and used dental floss to hang rock candy. “I’ve always understood the concept of making do with things on hand,” says Beranbaum, also the author of 1988’s breakout, “The Cake Bible.”
Another item in her toolkit: a small hair dryer, good for tasks that don’t need aggressive heat. A quick pass with the dryer sets chocolate decorations or brings the shine back to dulled chocolate glazes or fruit tarts.
“I never use a hair dryer on my hair anymore,” she says. “It’s only for my desserts.”