I purchased this pan last year for two reasons, it was on sale and I was curious! The sale price was exceptional given that recently I've seen these pans selling for over $10 so that's always a cause for celebration...saving money. The curiosity as to just how this darned thing would actually bake a cake was what really got the better of me and frankly, I just had to investigate.
Of course, when one decides to take on the opportunity to explore, particularly something new, they must always place certain safeguards into position. Least of which should be to know when is the proper time to try something new. When one is going to be graded on something, tried and true will always prevail.
My youngest daughter was enrolled in a Culinary Arts class last year and I found it of the utmost importance to ensure that she have quality tools and ingredients to work with as she prepared her all important class project at the end of the term. Her career goal is to become a Chef and she was just a bit nervous about her final assignment and wanted everything to go like clockwork.
Enter...Madame Bundt! As my daughter scoured the internet for just the right delectable dessert that would properly reflect her heritage and family roots, I decided to take stock of my many culinary tools. I wasn't certain what she had in mind yet but I wanted to be prepared just in case we needed to purchase a few things.
When she announced that she wanted to create a gorgeous Bavarian Strawberry Cream and she showed me the photo of it, I realized there was some shopping that needed doing. Specifically I needed to hunt down a bundt cake pan. I'd always had very good luck in finding reasonably priced items at a local Loblaws Grocery store, I figured we'd try there first. Luck continued to stay with me on that expedition as we came across a shopping cart overflowing with all kinds of bakery goodies including the KitchenAid Silicone Bundt pan.
As I picked it up I laughed as the sides caved in and the pan wobbled in my hand. My daughter rolled her eyes as though to say "Mother you are an embarrassment sometimes!" Draping her arm around my shoulder and drawing me near she whispered, "It's cookware mom, you aren't suppose to laugh at cookware!" then she poked the bottom of the pan and it quickly turned inside out. That was that, this pan was just too much fun and I thought the color was great too. I had to buy it just to see whether or not it lived up to the claim that it was a non-stick ware that could be placed in the oven, the freezer, the microwave and the dishwasher. It also claimed that it would not hold aromas of past foods baked in it. This particular one claimed to accept a temperature of 450 degrees, which in our case wasn't going to be an issue given the dessert was not going to require baking. I wanted the pan for aesthetics and presentation purposes only.
If you are familiar with Bavarian Strawberry Cream desserts you are probably aware that these are made with gelatin, cream, whip cream and strawberries...yum, yum. Well, the one thing we discovered that the silicone products are not very good for are setting anything gelatin based, adding whip cream to the mix just tends to add to the problem.
When all was said and done, the setting of the dessert didn't turn out as expected the first time around despite following the directions to a 'T' and I can only assume that perhaps silicone doesn't play nicely with something that is just as wobbly as it is. Our second attempt fared much better and the solution to our problem this time was to add shortcake to the dessert. It seems that this had been a 'happy accident' in the end as my daughter garnered an A+ for her 'divine dessert', perhaps the shortcake addition was exactly what my daughter's 'grandma', an incredibly skilled baker in her own right would have done. The pan itself may be a great idea but to be honest, I've used it once since that first time. Our first attempt actually landed dessert face down on the kitchen floor as we tried to jockey it out of the fridge. Let's just say that had our dog been grading the results, she would definitely have given it paws up. We chose not to tell the teacher of our initial disaster or that this particular dish did not require the stabilizer we added to it.
I did bake a conventional cake in it but I guess I'm a little bit set in my ways when it comes to baking anything and I believe that my cakes should not wobble too and fro as I am trying to place them carefully into a freshly cleaned oven.
I still have the pan, crumpled into a corner of my baking cupboard, waiting patiently for me to grab it again and try one more time to learn to love it. Unless you are very careful with this particular pan at least, most of the ingredients you are trying to bake tend to want to pour out of the sides of the pan before you can get it to the oven. Once in the oven the baking process is straight forward and the end result, which doesn't take as long to bake as it might in the conventional tin bakery pan, is actually quite nice. The cake I did manage to bake in it it came out of the pan all in one piece although I still had a bit of wobble going on while transferring the finished product to a serving plate but none of the cake remained stuck to it as sometimes happens. A quick spray of some Pam seems to work well although it doesn't adhere quite as well to the sides as in a conventional pan.
Overall, I can recommend these silicone pans, especially the bundt one, if you are looking for a quick clean up, easy removal type of pan that offers the unique style of the traditional bundt cakes. Stability and ingenuity in getting it safely to your oven or microwave must be left up to personal preference but in the end and in hindsight, I would recommend using another container to house the pan inside of at least until the contents have had enough time to set so that moving the pan won't cause accidents or spillage.
Not quite the kitchen bakery tools I am fond of but the learning experience and the calming of my curiosity were worth the purchase and of course helping my daughter with something she hopes to pursue as a career...priceless of course.