I've been intrigued by these Wilton Bake-Even Strips for quite some time now. They claim that you'll get "moist, level cakes every time with no crowns, cracked tops or crusty edges." Who doesn't want that?! So today, I finally gave the strips a try with my dark chocolate cake.
I followed the directions exactly: fit the dry Bake-Even strip around the pan and thread the strip through the fabric loop, remove pan and run strip under cold water to wet (for best results soak strip in cold water for 5 minutes and remove excess water but don't wring), place strip on the counter and put the pan inside, cinch to tighten, add batter and bake as directed.
The results surprised me a bit. The cake without the strip did have a bit of a sink hole, which has happened before to me and can easily be leveled off, but it cooked at exactly the time I always bake this cake. The cake with the strip was a little more level but was not nearly done when the other cake was. I let it continue baking for an extra five minutes and then tested it to see if it was set. It was, so I took it out to cool.
When I went to turn my cakes out, the cake with the strip felt heavier and wasn't raised as high as the cake without the strip. Additionally, the cake with the strip was a bit more brownie-like in texture instead of cake-like. Maybe I needed to cook that one even longer?
Not quite sure I'm sold on the strips yet. Has anyone else given them a try? What was your result? I'd love to hear about your experience.