If you been baking for as long as I have, you have seen how throughout the years more and more improvements are being made with methods and equipments. One of those have been the slowly and steady move from the traditional baking pans to baking with silicone made pans.
I have used silicone baking pans before and have mixed feeling about them. Some worked, while others were complete flops. I do have to be honest the flops were on the cheap end of the spectrum. But, my main concern was their general flimsiness and my visions of overflowing batter as the pan/cups folding unto itself creating a giant mess. Can you imagine cleaning an oven full of spilled batter? No bueno.
So when Rizzi from The New York Baking Company approach me and asked me to review their silicone baking cups I was slightly reluctant.
But, my love for testing baking equipment won and I responded that I was in.
This happen a couple of weeks ago and it has taken me this long to do this. First because my first attempt – a Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake recipe was a total fail – not the equipment, but the recipe. The cups worked like a charm.
I had to schedule a redo, except that thinking of what to do in order to use the baking cups was a challenge in itself – I mean, I was totally drawing a blank as to what to bake, cook or use them for. Which told me two things:
- I do not bake that many recipes that required a cup and
- I have taken a lazy approach to baking as of late
I was really going out of mind thinking about this since I had a deadline to meet and nowhere in sight was inspiration knocking on my kitchen door. My husband finally told me to “quit” over thinking it. The opportunity would present itself when I least expected.
My husband was right. (psst, don’t tell him that I wrote this here)
“THE” opportunity happened in an early Sunday morning. Walking into the kitchen, I spotted some bananas and thought to myself, these are ready to make banana bread, and then the idea turned into banana muffins! And of course the light bulb moment struck and voila, banana muffins using the silicone baking cups.
The next dilemma, was do I use the silicone cups as “liners” to my traditional 12-cup cupcakes pan? Or do I daredevil it?
I choose to daredevil it… See, I take testing equipment very seriously, so I figure if the cups were going to stand up to their promise, they were going to go into the oven as is, filled with batter, and not as liner to my traditional cupcakes pans, they were in all by their lonesome self on a sheet pan.
To grease or not to grease the cups was the next question and I opted for ‘not’ trusting the silicone would work its releasing magic. (on my failed attempt at the cupcakes, I choose to go “dry” and some of my cupcakes did not easily release).
BANANA NUT MUFFINS
makes 12 muffins
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup of milk
- 3 medium ripe bananas (about ¾ cup mashed)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup of chopped nuts (I use walnuts, but you can use anything you like)
Turn oven to 400°F, grease twelve 2½-inch muffin cups, in my case I prepare 12 silicone cups – I did grease mine, the last time (on the fail episode) I left them dry, and some of my cupcakes did not easily come out – so this time I grease them up.
In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredient – flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside
In another bowl combine your wet ingredients – mashed your bananas; add the milk, egg, oil and vanilla extract.
Stir your wet into the dry ingredients just until moistened. (Batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepare cups, filling each two-thirds full.
Bake in oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in cups for 5 minutes, and then remove from cups and serve warm.
Unlike before, the muffins popped out of the mold in a snap. – So greasing them up was the way to go.
My final though: I like them, I was a bit skeptical before, because when they arrived they were very thin and small and thought, oh, oh.. They are not going to stand up to the test of time.
But, it was not the case, they worked as intended. Would I get rid of my old trusting 12-cup cupcake pan? Hmmm, not yet, since I’m going to continue to put these to the test. And once they meet my expectations, then and only then the traditional pan will put out to pasture.
- Better for the Earth – silicone baking dishes can be reused a couple thousand times before they need to be replaced
- Better for the Earth (part 2) – the silicone can be recycled when you’re ready for a new set
- Cups heat quickly and bake evenly with no burnt or dark edges or bottom.
- Removal from pans is super easy - a slight twist or gently pulling on the sides and roll out your baking.
- They’re freezer, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and oven safe.
- Bake, store, freeze and reheat right in the pans.
- No rusting or staining.
- No need to alter your batter or temperature - bake as usual.
- Lightweight and storing is easy-peasy
- A Challenge to clean –I put them in the dishwasher and some of the crevices still had batter on them, so I had to wash them by hand – not very convenient for some.
- Not disposable – Finally, if you want to make cupcakes, it is much easier to handle and frost the cakes if there is a wrapper on the cupcakes (the silicone needs to be removed before serving unless you want to risk losing them when they are set randomly around the room after serving).
- Second, they don’t come with directions, and maybe if they did, all of these tips can be included in them.
- Coat the liners with a thin layer of vegetable oil or non-stick spray. The method of “seasoning” the liners will only be needed for the first few uses.
- Do not use knives or sharp objects - they could damage your cups
- Never use on an open flame or on stovetop burners.