For me, baking a cake is usually a well-thought-out, ceremonial process. But like many home cooks, there have been times when I have taken on a cake project without having the proper equipment. There's nothing more frustrating than putting time into a cake batter only to discover upon pulling it from the oven that it has stuck to the pan, or that the mold has warped and the cake lost its shape. Pastry chef Buddy Valastro, of the television show Cake Boss, has a line of cake pans that make the job easier. The square pans come in a set of three sizes (6, 8, and 10 inches) and are made out of commercial-quality aluminized steel with a reinforced wire rim that prevents them from warping. Their best feature, though, is the quilted nonstick surface, which allows for even heat distribution and means you don't have to grease them. I did a test run with a red velvet cake recipe; after it had set and cooled, the cake popped out fluffy, evenly baked, and perfectly square: a cause for celebration all its own.
Cake Boss 3-Piece Square Cake Pan Set, $34.99 at DiscoveryStore.com
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