NordicWare Pro Cast Zoo Animals Muffin Pan  » Housewares  »
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  • Even though the muffins taste the same whether they're normally shaped or have a lion design, children will automatically prefer the cuter option

    • by roundabout

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      I am a big fan of the NordicWare range of bakeware so when I spotted this cute muffin pan on just before Christmas I had to buy it despite the fact that at $27 it cost far more than I usually spend on this type of product.  It’s not just a muffin pan though; this tray creates animal shaped muffins, ideal when you have children as ’strangely shaped’ food often tastes better than something that is (boringly) normal shaped.

      The muffin pan makes eight large sized muffins, the pan itself is shaped like an admission ticket into the zoo with the muffin cups being spaced around the ‘ticket’ to allow for easy filling and less mess if a muffin rises more than it should!  The eight animals are wonderfully shaped and once your muffins are cooked you’ll see there is plenty of facial detail on each one; the muffins are surprisingly chunky after cooking and providing you use a fairly dense muffin mix to begin with you’ll find these facial features are sharp and well defined after cooking.

      This is a non-stick baking pan, although I still use a butter spray before adding my wet muffin mix otherwise parts of the muffins will stick - this tends to be the extremities of the animals (noses, tails etc…) so definitely something to be

      avoided as the slightest damage to the muffin can spoil the overall look of them.  Lightly greasing the pan prevents this and the muffins will usually slide out just by tilting the pan, the occasional ’stubborn’ muffin can be coaxed out using a flat knife - this doesn’t happen often though and overall I’m happy with the shape of my muffins after cooking and releasing from the pan.  It’s made from heavy cast aluminum which ensures perfect conduction of heat, the walls of the muffin cups are thick so the sponge mixture cooks quickly and completely evenly for delicious results every time.

        The muffins are so detailed when cooked and cooled; you don’t always need to ice them as the details are all totally visible, if you have the time you can create some masterpieces with some coloured icing though so if I’m baking for a special occasion I always make the effort to add iced details.  My one issue with the pan is that the bottoms of the muffins always need slicing as to see the finished design to full effect they need to be sitting straight, obviously muffins rise so I’m always left with a too-rounded bottom!  A sharp knife is all it takes to even things out, and I know this can’t be helped, but it’s something ...

      • that irritates me every time I use this pan!

          I’ve found the best recipe to use is the one printed on the cardboard sleeve that wraps around the pan when new.  This is a basic muffin recipe but of a dense quality which is ideal for making sure the features of the animals are as pronounced as possible - cupcake mixture doesn’t work well because sponge is so bubbly, this is definitely made for muffins rather than more delicate cakes.  One exception to this is if you use a heavy chocolate cake mixture, or even fruit cake, but then you really need to ice the muffins as unless they are a pale golden colour you’ll lose the effect of the facial features.  The recipe provided can be added to for variety, I’m not saying other recipes don’t work but this one is a good starting point to teach you to get the correct consistency and density to your muffins.

          Cleaning the pan is easy, any splodges of stray muffin mixture will peel of and all it really needs is a wipe over with hot soapy water to have it looking spotless again. I’ve used my pan dozens of times and have never needed to soak or scrub it - it’s dishwasher safe but being such a simple item to

        clean it doesn’t seem worth the hassle of loading it into the machine!

        Having four children this unusual muffin pan is used the most of all the cake and muffin pans I own. Even though the muffins taste the same whether they’re normally shaped or have a lion design, children will automatically prefer the cuter option.  I don’t think any of them have an actual favourite as all the muffins are gorgeous - I personally like the cheeky looking chimp and when I’m in the mood for icing I love doing the clown fish as with orange and white fondant icing you can get a finish worthy of a place on Finding Nemo!  The bulkiness of the cooked muffins means they are rarely damaged as they come out of the tin, the only one I’ve ever had problems with is the whale shape as if that one doesn’t slide straight out the tail can break off unless I’m very careful. 

        I absolutely recommend this muffin pan for anyone who enjoys baking and wants something a bit more exciting than muffin shaped muffins.  It might seem pricey but it’s such excellent quality that it pays for itself within the first few uses; the muffins created are delicious and perfectly cooked, it’s easy to maintain and helps you to create something a little different from the norm. What more can you ask for?

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in February, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 5316021564620329/k2311a0216/2.16.12
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