8-inch Round Cake Pan – The pan they sent is made in the USA from recycled materials by USA Pans. It has a non-stick coating and is a great sturdy weight. When I used the pan, I gave the bottom a light coating of non-stick spray with flour. The cake came out with no problem whatsoever.
Cake Strips – Cake strips wrap around an 8 or 9-inch pan and help your cakes rise evenly without creating a dome. You soak the strips in water, squeeze out the excess and wrap the strips around your pan. The moisture helps keep the temperature around the edges of the pan down so the sides don’t cook as quickly. The result is a more evenly baked cake and no doming. That’s the theory, at least. Now, I didn’t do a side-by-side test (why didn’t I think of that before?), but I will say that my cakes came out perfectly flat (yay for stacking!) and without tough edges.
King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend – When I visited King Arthur Flour this week, I learned that different brands of flour vary significantly in the protein content. In other words, the gluten levels in many other flour brands can vary from one bag to the next. As I’m not a pro baker by any means, I didn’t quite understand what this meant. As it turns out, one bag of flour might be slightly high in gluten… great for a bread, but not for a cake. Another bag of the same brand might have much lower gluten content, making it good for the cake, and not for the bread. King Arthur Flour strives to keep the gluten content as consistent as possible across a type of flour. If your cake comes out great with one bag of flour, it will come out great (assuming you follow the same directions!) with a different bag of the same type of King Arthur Flour. The Unbleached Cake Flour blend has no chemicals. It’s just flour and cornstarch and it produced a yummy cake!
Pineapple Juice Powder – This is pretty much what it says it is. It’s dehydrated pineapple juice and it’s potent stuff. I used 1/4 teaspoon in my frosting (as recommended on the package) and could detect a subtle taste of pineapple. If you really want to experience a strong flavor, you could certainly add more, but don’t forget that pineapple juice is very sweet. I wouldn’t go crazy in a sugary frosting because it will just be too sweet (and I don’t say that very often). The powder comes in 8-ounce packs and at 1/4 teaspoon a shot, this stuff is going to last me forever. They also have Orange, Lime and Lemon Juice Powders. I might have to scoop those up in my next shopping run!
King Arthur Flour is an employee-owned company that is more than 200 years old. Long before I knew that they had such a consistent quality of flour, I knew that they carried fantastic products for baking. I’ve got more to say about the company, plus details about a class I attended there this past weekend, but that’s a whole new post…