Archive for: pan
Fall holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving prompt the creation of all kinds of shaped baking pans. While there are all kinds of pans available during the rest of the year, the number of pumpkin and other fall themed pans reflects how closely we associate certain icons with the fall and that many of us do more entertaining – from small dinners to big parties, from just family to a big crowd of friends – than we do at other times of the year. I suspect that cakes baked in the Dimensions Mini Pumpkins Pan will be a hit wherever they’re served. This funky looking pan doesn’t waste any space on filler between the pumpkins, but instead looks like a pumpkin patch captured in heavy duty cast aluminum. The pan bakes eight half pumpkins for a total of four 3D miniature pumpkin cakes. You can use any cake flavor so long as you fill the cavities no more than two thirds full (to avoid having the cake overflow the molds during baking), though pumpkin cake seems like a natural choice for these. The pan gives them a well defined shape and even bakes the design of a stem surrounded by leaves on the “top” cakes.
After they have cooled the cakes can leveled with a sharp knife and can be sandwiched together with a small amount of icing or caramel sauce. Green icing could highlight the “leaves” on the pumpkins, or you can plate them as-is to create your own edible tabletop pumpkin patch.
Several months ago, I spotted a new pan that was being introduced for summer baking: a stuffed cornbread pan. This particular pan had a large spike in each of its muffin-sized square cavities onto which you could place anything that you wanted to stuff inside of your cornbread, from a piece of cheese to a jalapeno. The idea was good for cornbread because that is a type of baked good where you don’t really see too many mix-ins. Chicago Metallic has now expanded this idea into a Cupcake Surprise Pan. This nonstick cupcake pan has standard-sized cavities, each with a metal spike for holding mix-ins in place. The spike is also nonstick, and even sticky things should slide off easily when the pan is still warm from the oven.
As with the cornbread, this is an interesting idea because some fillings are quite heavy and usually sink to the bottom of cupcake batter during baking. You could skewer a caramel or a peanut butter cup and be sure it will still be at the center of your cake. You could also use a piece of fruit or a chocolate truffle (for a molten chocolate cupcake effect). Soft fillings, such as peanut butter and cream cheese can be chilled so they hold their shape before putting them in the pan. The pan does have its drawbacks, however, because the fluffy cream fillings that are usually associated with cupcakes still need to be piped into the cake after baking. That said, the pan does give you the freedom to be quite creative with whatever you put into your cupcakes – and you can always leave those spikes unskwered and bake a regular batch of muffins in the pan, too.
Ghosts, jack o’ lanterns, witches and skeletons all say Halloween, and as far as baking pans go, not many of them say it louder than Wilton ‘s 3D Skull Pan, which will create quite the centerpiece if you’re looking for a creepy cake to make this Halloween. The pan bakes a well proportioned skull that grins up at your from its place on the serving plate. Cleverly, the face of the cake is angled upwards, so you can easily see all the the skull’s features and can easily decorate it. The nonstick pan holds 10 cups of batter and bakes the cake in two halves, which are easy to stick together with a big dollop of icing (or a short skewer or two) before decorating or serving.
I’ve had good success with Wilton’s 3D Dimensions pans in the past. Cakes tend to come out easily and they really take on the shape of pan, so you won’t end up disappointed with fuzzy details. Not Martha managed to find one of these pans in her area and made a tasty looking pumpkin cake with it, if you want to take a peek at how the finished cake looks.
I’ve seen this pan in several craft/cake decorating stores in my area, including Jo-Anne Fabrics and Michael’s, but it appears to be sold out many places online. There are some online stores where you can buy it, although checking out local places instead of ordering online might be the best way to go as it gets closer to Halloween.
There are many symbols of fall, from brightly colored falling leaves to freshly baked apple pies, which makes it easy to decorate your house or table for the season. It also makes it easy for cake pan manufacturers to come up with inspired designs that are absolutely perfect for celebrating the autumn season, like the Fall Icon Cakelet Pan. This pan has 24 mini cupcake-sized wells in four different seasonal shapes, including an acorn, a pumpkin, a pinecone and a walnut (The walnuts look just like some delicious walnut cakes I had in South Korea). The pan is detailed, and the finished cakes come out looking good enough to eat. The pan is made of nonstick cast aluminum, but because of the level of detail, using a pastry brush to coat the insides of each well with oil or melted butter before baking would be a good idea to ensure that you get the best results you can.
Use a pan like this for baking miniature cornbreads or pumpkin breads. The baking time for most recipes will be 10-12 minutes, or about the same as a mini muffin. You could even press cookie dough into the cavities to make fall-shaped desserts. When your cakes have baked and cooled, use a little bit of frosting (or butter, if you’re going a savory route) to sandwich them together in pairs so that you get the full visual effect of having bite-sized bits of fall on your table.
While it’s nice to see elaborately shaped pans creating intricate masterpieces out of cake around the holidays, as the Cornucopia Bundt Pan does, it can also be nice to see pans that are a little bit simpler but still get the job done well. Nordic Ware’s Harvest Classic Baking Mold is just such a pan and it is easy to love the look of its finished product. The pan features the simple design of a large pumpkin and an ear of corn, but the design comes through clean and clear in the finished cake, with no deep angles for the batter to get stuck in, like some of the more intricate bundt pans to. It is made of aluminum and has a nonstick finish for and easy release. Although it could be used for a cake, this pan would really be perfect for a batch of cornbread or pumpkin bread on a holiday weekend.
The pan holds 8 cups of batter, which is about the same as a 9-inch round or square cake pan. At about the same depth, you won’t need to significantly adjust the baking time, either. That is also about the same volume as a 9×5-inch loaf pan, so you could modify a favorite quick bread recipe to work in it, too, although you would have to adjust the baking time down to account for the fact that the pumpkin-shape creates a much shallower bread than a loaf pan does.