Product review! I rarely write about kitchen tools, but this one is my new favorite.
Several years ago, a woman I worked with became one of those Pampered Chef hostesses. To avoid having the actual party at her house, she just passed the catalog around at work and we all ordered. Frankly, I prefer it that way. Nothing I dislike more than baby/bridal showers, make-up/ makeover evenings, or Tupperware parties. (Although, I'll make an exception for pedicures, especially when it involves the Scary Feminists. Love me a pedicure and love me the Scaries!)
So, I ordered this pan from Dana via her P.C. catalog. When it arrived, it intimidated the hell out of me. I mean, this is not your grandmother's aluminum bundt cake pan by any means. This is a PAN. With emphasis on PPPPP-AAAAAA-NNNNNNN. PAN. Of course, being the good, adventurous cook that I am, I did the sensible thing with this new tool. I promptly put it in the cupboard with the other cake pans. Which is where it has been for the last two years.
Until last week. Finished with dinner one night, I decided I wanted cake. So, ignoring the standard directions on the back of the box, I grabbed a box of Duncan Hines marble cake and added four eggs, one stick of butter, half a cup of sweetened condensed milk, one cup of water, and a package of vanilla pudding. I set the oven at 350 degrees and then I decided it was finally time to use my fluted pan from Pampered Chef.
I dug it out of the cupboard (it cried for joy when I did), read the instructions, rinsed it out with hot water, patted it dry, sprayed it with Pam, and poured in the batter. Forty minutes later, I took the cake out of the oven, inverted it on a wire rack to cool, and let it rest for 20 minutes or so before my patience ran out and I cut a slice and ate it warm.
The result was decent. I mean, it's marble cake from a box. You can't expect too much, can you?
Or can you?
The next morning, I cut a slice to take to work in my lunch. Little did I know what was in store for me. Around 1:00, I bit into my cake, died, and went straight to heaven. This was the moistest, densest, yummiest cake I'd eaten from a box in a long time. Certainly the rich recipe modifications I make to the boxed mix contributed to the moistness, but this was beyond superlative. (There's that word again. I've used it twice this week. And I digress. Again. Sorry.) Maybe I'm reading too much into it or endowing the tools with too much power, but I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, as they say in the faith of my upbringing, that my Pampered Chef fluted pan had a hand in the delectable outcome of this cake.
And the best part: it has stayed that moist and yummy all week. I had the last piece after dinner last night and it was still good.
So, if you like to bake, find yourself a Pampered Chef hostess and get one of these pans. To steal a phrase from the dude at the Men's Wearhouse, "You're gonna like. I guarantee it."
Photo copyright: The Pampered Chef (fluted pan) and D.C. Confidential (cake)