September 14, 2009

Easy Bake

Will razzes me all the time about my cooking equipment. See, I never throw anything away. Not even the blackened warped loaf pans that were my parent's castoffs when I moved into my own place. Every few years he secretly tosses my cookie sheets and replaces them with versions that lie flat and aren't covered with black splotches. When we moved into this house and I was attempting to squeeze way too many pans into our cupboards, he put his foot down. "Throw them out, buy new ones, those are TOO OLD!" So out went a few of the worst offenders, including my set of cake pans which, to be honest, weren't even round anymore. "I wont be able to make any cakes!" I threatened him, but got no sympathy. So I've been cake panless for a month or so. Actually, that's not strictly true, I did break down and buy one to make Briton's birthday cake. Which needed three layers (pour, bake, cool, remove, wash, dry, repeat two more times, what a pain)

Over Labor Day weekend we visited Wills Grandparents in Kentucky. Amidst the showing off of the children and the trimming branches off the trees so Grandaddy wont try to do it himself, I was puttering in the garage while Briton pretended to drive the 1955 Chevy truck that's been there as long as I've been visiting their house. One side of the garage houses the truck and the other houses boxes and baskets full of stuff that was kept after a relative passed away several years ago. A glint of aluminium caught my eye and when I went to investigate I found three cake pans stacked together. Only they weren't ordinary cake pans. All three had a flat strip of metal that could be spun around the edge to pull the cake away from the pan. No butter, no flour, no trying to slip a fork or a knife or a spatula carefully in and under the side of an obstinate cake to ease it out. I'd never seen anything like them. Maybe they're common place, or were, who knows, maybe that's a chapter in culinary equipment that passed me by without my noticing, but hey, I thought they were cool.

When we left for the weekend Will's Grandmother gave me two of the pans which she had forgotten were even out there. So now I am the proud owner of two very cool cake pans. And since I had these nifty new pans and we were having a movie night Friday I decided to test them out with a Victoria Sponge for the kids to eat while the grownups feasted on Peach Cobbler.

In honor of our new family member I used Nigella's recipe which was good, buttery and not too sweet, but kind of heavy, although I think that's because I didn't whip the eggs enough. I think next time I make one I'll use a genoise batter and make it nice and light. But the pan, the pan was cool!

I have to admit I was a little nervous about not buttering or pam-ing or flouring in any way, but in the name of experimentation, I went cold turkey and poured the batter straight in. When it came out I let it cool and gave the little knob handle a spin and PRESTO! Out came the cake. I'm in love....