Are you ready for some Christmas Baking fun??? I hope so!
I do get sent the neatest things. Recently the Eddington's people sent me some really cute baking tins to use over the up and coming holidays.
One of the pans they sent was the Chicago Metallic Gingerbread Man Pan. Plain gingerbread is so tasty, but it is even tastier when you bake it in Gingerbread Man Shapes!
Chicago Metallic, founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1898, use their primary expertise in providing commercial quality bakeware to offer consumers the very best in home-baking performance. Chicago Metallic's square and rectangular pans are folded at the ends, to provide a triple thick layer at the corners, to reinforce the rim, increase strength and resist warping. The lips of the pans are also reinforced with a sturdy steel rod, which is curled inside the rim, to provide additional strength and warp-resistance. 35.5cm x 27cm x 2.5cm (13.9" x 10.6" x 1").
I thought the gingerbread men were really cute and a really delicious recipe was included on the cardboard wrapping of the pan. (see below)
My decorating skills are a bit naff . . . I don't think I will ever be a great cake decorator, but the gingerbread men turned out cute nonetheless . . .
I gave them names according to my decorating skills . . . you just have to laugh at yourself sometimes don't you? Being able to laugh at yourself is what makes things like this so much fun.
Over all the pan performed very well and I was pleased with the way the gingerbread-cakes turned out. I had been under the impression that the men would come out with the eyes and buttons impressed into the cakes, but this didn't happen. No matter . . . the icing I made sort of took care of that!
*Gingerbread Men Cakes*
1 1/2 cups plain flour (150g)
1/4 cup packed soft light brown sugar (50g)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TBS unsweetened Cocoa powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup shortening (110g)
1/2 cup mild molasses (125ml)
1 large free range egg
1/2 cup hot water (125ml)
Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3. Lightly spray the gingerbread man pan with nonstick cooking spray or something similar.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside. Beat the sugar and shortening together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir together the hot water and molasses and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the dry ingredients, beginning and ending with dry. Spoon the batter into each man filling them about 1/2 of the way up. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until well risen and the tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out carefully. Repeat as needed until all the batter is used, wiping the pan clean and re-spraying in between bakings.
Decorate as desired.
Mmmm . . . tasty. The pan is available at most cookshops in the UK, and I found it at Amazon (UK) for £13.10 which was a £7 saving on the regular retail price. I am sure you can find it on the North American Amazon page as well.
Oh, and it is dishwasher safe and cleaned up like a breeze.
The other pan I was sent was the Eddington's Christmas Tree Muffin tin. This one bakes 12 muffins at a time. It is not quite as heavily built as the Chicago metal tin, but it's pretty sturdy and also nonstick.With 12 perfectly shaped Christmas Tree cups for the most perfect muffins. The pan is cleverly designed to conduct heat quickly and evenly, to ensure all baked foods are consistently cooked through. Non stick and easy to clean.
And it was.
I chose to bake my Nigella's Christmas Morning Muffins in it and they turned out lovely. Not huge, but then we don't really need to be stogging ourselves with HUGE muffins anyways do we? The pan performed perfectly well.
*Christmas Morning Muffins*
These smell like Christmas when they are baking . . . spicy and fruity. Yummilicious! (Adapted from a recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson)
250g Plain Flour (1 1/3 cups flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g Caster Sugar (1/3 cup)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Zest and juice of one orange or two clementines
Approx 125ml Full Fat Milk (1/2 cup)
75 ml Vegetable Oil (1/4 cup)
1 large free range Egg
175g Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup plus 2 TBS, or 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS each cranberries and chocolate chips)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter a 12 cup medium muffin tin, or spray a tin really well with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange rind in a large bowl. Whisk together the orange juice, oil, milk and egg. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and mix just to moisten. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips (if using.) Divide the batter equally amongst the muffins cups. Combing the topping ingredients and sprinkle over top.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar if desired to serve. Serve warm.
This pan also performed really well and clean up was a breeze, although it needed to be washed by hand as it is not dishwasher recommended. Not a problem though as it is nonstick and very easy to clean.
This pan is also available in most cookware shops and I found one on Amazon (UK) for only £7.42, which makes is really affordable.
All in all I was really happy with the way both pans performed. They add a bit of fun into Christmas don't you think??
Many thanks to Eddingtons for sending me these pans to test and also to Miriam at Shrewd PR for sending them to me.