Pros: It really works, and is worth every penny.
Cons: Might seem pricey to some.
When it comes to cooking, I can honestly say that I am not half bad in the kitchen. When it comes to baking breads, or any types of cakes, I am normally a disaster waiting to happen.
I was very excited to receive my Culinique Surprise Inside Food Molds, and nervous at the same time. I was nervous because when I had checked out the website, and saw all of the things this product could do, I was afraid I was going to end up burning, or ruining whatever I tried to bake. Usually when I see something like this, it is made out to look easier than it is.
These Food Molding System comes with 2-9", shiny metal Aluminum molds. They are nice and durable, yet light. The price of these food molds retails at about $30 for the set. Both of the pans are the same size. Each pan reminds me of some sort of strange looking gelatin mold, with a handle in the middle. Each pan has a side A, and a Side B. One side is for the shell, and one is for baking fillings.
This system comes complete with a step, by step guide explaining how to make the shells, where to pour your batters, and where to place your filling. After explaining these methods, the booklet then gives 11 helpful hints on how to easily work with these molds. After giving these hints, Culinique then gives some pretty great recipes.
What can I do with the Culinique Surprise Inside Food Mold?
Well, I was assuming I was just going to be getting just another cake pan. Was I wrong! You can make so many beautiful creations. This system isn't just for cake baking. You can make your main dish (meats or vegan) out of this system, as well as many rice dishes, desserts, gelatins, vegetables etc. Culinique even gives directions on how you can make a centerpiece using flower petals and other ingredients, along with this system.
In addition to the great recipes, the list continues on with a number of different shell suggestions, as well as different fillings you could use. Due to the questions I have about copyrighting, I am not going to list the names of the cakes or recipes listed in the booklet.
But What is so Special About THIS Product?
Have you ever bought a cake with filling in the middle, and wondered how they got the filling there? It looks very complicated. With the Culinique Surprise Inside Food Molds, you can make elegant, perfect cakes with just the right amount of filling in the middle each time. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to be able to do this. If I can do it, YOU CAN TOO!!!
I read the booklet about 3 or 4 times in order to make sure I read the instructions properly, and to insure I was going to pour my cake batter in the right side. I prepped the pans, with a bit of cooking spray so that the batter would not stick.
I had purchase a store bought cake mix, and followed the directions for mixing, and then I poured and spread the cake mix evenly into the molds and then I baked them according to the cake package directions.
While I had my cakes baking, I ended up making a large box of (not instant) chocolate pudding. Then after my cakes came out, and removed from the pans, I waited for them too cool along with the pudding.
Removing the cakes from the molding was SO easy!! I can't believe how they basically slid right out of the pans. I have never had a cake baking experience go that smooth. The edges of my cake were in perfect shape, identical to the molding. Each cake had a perfectly shaped tunnel just waiting to be filled. I can't believe how easy this was. I don't want to seem redundant, but I am so pleased with the ease of this system. I can't help it.
After the cake and the pudding reached the same temperature, I began to fill the tunnels with the pudding(both tunnels). I am so glad I purchased the larger pudding size box, because with the first cake that I made I underestimated the size of the tunnels and ran a bit short on pudding. My husband assured me that he did not care what the cake looked like, he was ready to eat it NOW. He did not want me to bother making a special trip up to the store for more pudding. The kids agreed, and I was outnumbered.
I was a bit nervous, because I was afraid to flip one of the filled cakes over onto the other cake, especially since I knew I did not have enough pudding. I held my breath, and flipped the cake over onto the other filled cake. VOILA!!! PERFECT FIT! When I went to cut the cake you could not even tell I did not have enough pudding.
It was so beautiful just as it was, I did not want to frost it. I ended up frosting it and it was the best looking cake I had ever made.
My Second Attempt
I am a vegan, and most of my diet consists of vegetables, rice, and a variety of different beans. I wanted to try and make a rice mold, and then fill it with one of my bean mixtures. Was this ever so beautiful.
I end up using this product all the time when I make rice and beans. I like to make a rice mold, and then fill the tunnels with the beans, chili, or whatever I can come up with. I have had perfect results.
I do not make enough for two molds. One mold is all you need. After flipping your mold over, I fill it with my filling, and that is it. It is beautiful with only one layer.
I like to fill my rice rings with vegetables sometimes. I will make a vegetable stir-fry and add that to the tunnel. Sometimes I make a brussel sprout and cheese mixture to fill the tunnels up over a seasoned rice ring. Really the creations you can come up with are endless. The booklet gives you plenty of ideas.
During the week, sometimes I fill the molds up with veggies in one, and fruit in another. I will make a low-fat bean dip that will sit in a small cup that I will place in the middle of the mold. The mold has a raised area in the middle perfect for setting a cup of dip on. I will make a fruit dip for the other. This makes a beautiful arrangement, and makes for a tempting healthy snack.
I have not tried these molds with gelatin yet, but I am going to once the holidays are over. My Auntie has a great filling with sweetened cottage cheese, and non-dairy whipped cream that I know would be great to fill the tunnels with.
I plan on using these molds to make some beautiful cakes with a cream filling, that I am going to decorate with edible candy turkeys that my son will be making.
I would also like to have my cakes made, and have my molds ready for a veggie platter or two. These molds will really come in handy with the holiday season. My daughter who is only 13, loves this system as well. She is always experimenting with them.
Cleaning the Molds
There was really nothing much to clean because nothing sticked to them. I hand washed my molds, and then dried them with a paper towel. They look great, even after use.
I am not afraid to use this system any more. It was easier than I thought is was going to be. The Culinique Surprise Inside Food Molds are fun, practical, and makes it look like you spent hours cooking in the kitchen. People will want to know how you did it? I am very pleased with mine!
I can't say enough about the website. Please be sure to check out the website. It contains the recipe list and recipes to the booklet. It also gives you a visual demo on how the the molds work. It also gives you many ideas on what you can do, and how you can garnish your cakes. It also gives a listing on the other products they have available. Sometimes seeing is better than reading. I would have never thought to come up with the ideas they had. It is also nice to know that if I misplace my booklet, there is a website I can go to, to find all of the information.
*Update* It appears as if they change their website around from time to time. So you never know what will be added or removed.
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