Sunday, March 14, 2021

two new members of the team

My American coworker is married—as you know because I never fail to mention this—to a Korean woman who is a professionally trained chef.  My coworker tells me that, when his wife buys baking-related supplies, she uses a Korea-based service called B&C Market.  So at his encouragement, I went through the annoyingly arduous process of signing up to B&C to be able to order products online.  My coworker assured me that B&C was super-quick with delivery; I decided to order two cake pans that I've been coveting for a couple years, and sure enough, the pans arrived a day after I ordered them.  B&C doesn't mess around.  Behold the two new members of my culinary team:

Up top is what is known in the business as a springform pan.  The pan, made by a company with the strange and kitchen-inappropriate name of Messe, comes in two parts:  a ring-shaped "wall" that defines the sides of whatever you're baking, and a circular bottom to support the baked item.  The idea—if you're baking, say, a cheesecake—is that, when the cake has been baked, you take it out of the oven, let it cool down, then pop a buckle-like lock on the pan's side to widen the circular wall and lift it away from the cake.  This eliminates the whole "use a knife to dig around the edges" problem associated with some kinds of cake removal.  This pan's dimensions are 24 cm across and 7 cm high (that's 9.45" x 2.76" for my Amurrican readers).  I can use this pan to make cheesecakes, pizza rustica, Chicago deep-dish pizza, etc.  I can probably use the pan to make pies as well, but I'll have to study up on that.

Next to the springform pan is my spanking-new, 10-inch (25.4 cm) Bundt pan by Chef Made.  In my family, such a pan had only one purpose:  to make rum cake.*  Alas, I'm not in possession of our family's rum-cake recipe, so I'm going to forge ahead and start my own heretical rum-cake tradition, especially now that I've acquired a bottle of Bacardi rum, which finally appeared in my downstairs grocery.  (The 151-proof Ron Corino rum, which I still have, has so much alcohol in it that there's barely any rum flavor.  The Ron Corino is marginally tolerable for bananas Foster, but I would never use it for rum cake.)

I think the next thing I need to buy is a proper Tupperware-style cake dish with cover (like this, which is the type my mother owned) so I can safely transport my baked creations without fear of marring or destruction.  More on that front as things  move forward.  Meanwhile, expect photos of new types of baked goods to appear on this blog later this year.


*I'm exaggerating a bit.  Yes, our family made a rum cake that was the talk of the town, but we also made the other standard cakes you'd associate with the Bundt-pan shape:  vanilla yellow cake with drizzled lemon frosting, vanilla-chocolate marbled cake with chocolate drizzle, etc.  But most of the time, the Bundt pan was used in the service of the mighty rum cake.


Charles said...

Springform pans are definitely awesome for the applications you mentioned. Just make sure you don't use them for very loose batters because they will leak.

I do not have a Bundt pan, although it would be nice to have one--I'd probably use it to make pound cake, though. Maybe by the time you've nailed down the rum cake recipe we'll be able to get together and share it! I don't want to jinx anything, but it does feel like we are approaching the end of the tunnel here.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks for the warning re: runny batter. I will definitely follow that advice.

I'll be engaging in rum-cake experiments soon. I'm still trying to decide whether I want to get close to our family's recipe (which, truth be told, originally came from another family), or whether I should just strike out on my own and create a new tradition. I used the term "heretical" in my post; I think I'm leaning toward that way of doing things.

Charles said...

I say strike out your own. Innovation and ingenuity are what will drive us forward!

Kevin Kim said...

Heresy it is, then!