Bakeware – What should you be using?

bakeware-set-of-4Silicone, aluminum, glass… with so many choices, it’s hard to decide what the best material is for your baking pans. We’ll show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type of pan, and help you pick the best one for your baking style.

Aluminum Bakeware

Aluminum is one of the most common types of cookware available. It’s popular because it is inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use. Aluminum heats evenly, meaning that your cakes and cookies won’t end up burned in some places and undercooked in others.

On the other hand, aluminum can be very difficult to clean. Non-stick coatings will wear away over time, and stains and rust are common. The chances are that you will have to replace your aluminum baking pans frequently, making the costs add up in the long run.

blinQ 6x2.5x10.25-in. Loaf Pan, Berry RedSilicone Bakeware

Silicone is a relative newcomer to the world of baking, but it’s making a big splash. People love it because can withstand the heat of the hottest oven, and then be popped straight into the freezer with no adverse effects. It is very light, flexible enough to store rolled up or folded into a corner of a cabinet, and comes in fun, bright colors. You can clean it easily by popping it into the dishwasher, and you never have to worry about rust or dents.

The major disadvantage of silicone is that it does not distribute heat well. Shallower pans usually work better than deeper silicone pans. Also, it is easy to scrape or puncture silicone, so you should be careful with the utensils you use to remove your baked goods from the pans.

Pyrex 5-pc. Glass Bakeware SetGlass Bakeware

Pans made of glass are not only attractive, but they also provide excellent heat distribution for even baking and pleasant browning. Glass does not dent or rust and you don’t have to worry about scratching it when you cut a pan of brownies or a pie. It can be cleaned in a dishwasher. You can also pop your bakeware into the microwave for reheating, when appropriate.

The main drawback of glass pans is that they can shatter under the wrong conditions. It is also heavy, which can make it difficult to store.

What is a Bundt Cake?

nordicware-sunflower-bundt-pan-cakeFor the uninitiated the Bunt cake is a dessert cake that is cooked in a Bundt pan. which is essentially a round aluminum cake pan with a hole in the centre.

The founder of Nordic Ware, H David Dalquist created the design in 1950, based on the pans that were used to make the Austrian and German bundkuchen (also known as kugelhopf or gugelhupf). He simply added a t to the word bund and this is now the registered trademark.

The European pans were made of heavy cast iron so Dalquist modified the design in aluminum which is much easier to work with and he introduced folds in the outer edge.

The design wasn’t readily adopted by the American public until a baking contest in 1966 where the nordicware-sunflower-bundt-panBundt cake took out second prize. This win raised the profile of the Bundt pan and they went on to become the most sought after baking pan in the US resulting in more than 50 million Bundt pans being sold since it was introduced.

Such is the popularity of the Bundt cake today that there is even a “National Bundt” day on November 15. This years winner was Anne Kornow from Dexter, Michigan with her ‘Mint Mountains’ dessert.

View this recipe and the recipes for the other top 10 finalists in the National Bundt Day competition.