Any advice from Baking fans?
I recently bought a few baking books (Nick Malgieri's Bake being one of them) and fancy trying my hand at some of those recipes. Anyone can offer any advice regarding the tools that I will need to buy and also which brands are better than others?
This is a very open ended question. Without knowing too much what you are looking, I think Chicago Metallic is a good starting point.
I'm not sure what you're looking to bake, and I don't have expertise on brands. I typically pay attention to the ATK reviews.
That said, you definitely need a set of mixing bowls. I use a graduated Pyrex set I got when I got married and that has worked fine. I use my KitchenAid mixer at least weekly, but you could probably use a handheld mixer or even a whisk/wooden spoon for most purposes. (I don't know that for sure - my KA is a hand-me-down that I've never had to bake without.) I have two Pampered Chef wire whisks that I love, and several spatulas of varying brands and firmness.
Of course you need a set of measuring cups and spoons. I have two sets of each and 2 one-cup and 1 two-cup liquid measuring cups.
Less necessary, but still well-used in my kitchen: I use a microplane zester pretty often. I have two Silpat silicone baking sheets that I use often, but you can also use parchment paper to line a baking sheet. I have offset spreaders (one large, one smaller) and a metal bench scraper that I use often enough to keep around. I used a dessert wine bottle for years as a rolling pin before I got my wood tapered one. I have a silicone and a regular pastry brush, also a few pastry bags and tips. Also a set of graduated biscuit cutters from Williams Sonoma, but I wish I had one with more sizes.
My most used baking dishes are an 8x8 Williams Sonoma gold pan, a 9x13 WS gold pan or Pyrex baking dish (I like the WS because they have square edges), 8" or 9" round cake pan, a Pyrex loaf pan (but I wish I had a better one), and two cookie sheets with only one ridge. Also three cooling racks, but I got by with two for years.
I use everything I listed, but I added as needed (and there's plenty I don't have!). I would suggest looking at the recipes you want to try and seeing what you need for just those things. Add as you need it. What are you going to start with?