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Nordic Ware Bundt Pan is perhaps one of the most famous bake ware in America. The bundt pan otherwise known as the Fluted Tube Cake Pan is used to make a bundt cake. While it might seem like an American invention, the bundt cake actually has its original in Germany. It is a derivative of a German Brioche cake called Gugelhupf. In the northern german region, they are known colloquially as Bundkuchen, which is a combination of Bund and Kuchen. Both Gugelhupf and Bundt shares the distinct half round shape with distinct ridges around the side. In the center, there is a tube that leaves a hole in the cake. This helps the cake cook faster and promote browning. This article or review will give you a closer look at how their pan was made and marketed. Just thought it would be interesting for those who care!
Nordic Ware Bundt Pan Review (Vintage) Quick Summary
|Categories||Nordic Ware Bundt Pan 12 Cup Natural|
|Colors||Silver and Gold|
|Place of Manufacturer||USA|
|Thoughts||The original maker of the Bundt pan. Even after 50 years, they are still one of the best Bundt pan manufacturer around. Their pan produces cakes that has the best ridges and shape. And it is still made in USA.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan|
History of Nordic Ware
Nordic Ware was founded in 1946 by a couple Dotty and Dave. They started the company with only 500 dollar and specialized in Scandinavian cookware. Some of the items they sold were Rosette Iron, Krumkae Iron, Plattone Panne pan and the Ebelskiver pan.
Somewhere down the the line they introduced their bundt pan. Since the word Bund couldnt be trademark, Nordic Ware added the word T to their pan. Hence the name Bundt pan. However, things did not start so well. The sale was so poor that it was about to be discontinued. luckily, it was mentioned by New Good Housekeeping Cookbook and it slowly gained in popularity.
In 1966, baker Ella Helfrich took the pan and used it to win second place in the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. She won 5,000 dollar and Nordic Ware got more than 200,000 order for the pan. It soon became one of the best selling pan in America.
Vintage Nordic Ware Bundt Pan Marketing
The pan that I have looks like it was made around the 1960’s. The version that I have is an all aluminum construction. There are different version as well with Teflon which was marketed as Dupont Teflon. What is interesting is that during this era, their Teflon coating actually has a brown color. This is in contrast with the black coating that we know today.
Preventing the Bundt Cake from Sticking
On their box, they have two methods for using the Bundt pan. One is for the Teflon Version and the other is for the All Aluminum one.
Teflon Non Stick Instruction
In their instruction, they stated that the primary reason Teflon is used is to aid in cleaning, not to prevent sticking. A big difference from today marketing. They recommend that you grease the pan and dust it with flour prior to using. After you bake the cake, wait 15 minutes before flipping over the pan.
They state that minor scratches will not impair the ability of the Teflon coating to stick. But metal utensils should not be used. Nylon product are preferable. When cleaning it, you should not use metal scourer or abrasive cleaner. Only soft sponges should be used. The same recommendation that you get today. Unfortunately no one listens to this.
Aluminum Non Stick Instructions
This is where it gets interesting, their instruction for making the aluminum nonstick is the same as seasoning a cast iron pan. However, they call this method tempering. Their instruction to temper it is to clean the pan and dry it thoroughly. You then grease the pan with unsalted shortening and bake it at 250-300 degree for an hour. If its anything like seasoning a cast iron pan, repeated seasoning will make the nonstick better. Eventually it should turn black.
$5,000 Tunnel of Fudge Cake
On their box, they even have a recipe for a “Tunnel of Fudge cake” and the “Gather Round Pound Cake”. This is no doubt in reference to the Ella Helfreich winning prize. Interesting enough, the side marketing even stated that they were featured in a Leading Women’s Magazine, but not the magazine itself.
You can find the full recipe in the picture below.
Nordic Ware Bundt pan Construction and Performance
Nordic Ware Bundt pan is made of an All Aluminum construction. Manufacturer do this for a few reason. They are light, conduct heat well and they are cheap. Usually, you don’t want an all aluminum pan because they can react with acidic food. But if you are baking a cake, this really isnt that much of an issue.
The model that I have is for a 12 cup capacity, but these days you can get miniature version as well. While I personally prefer the smaller one, the bigger one are better for serving a family.
One of the biggest issue with baking cakes is how long it takes. You need to keep it at an even low temperature to promote browning yet at the same time get a nice crust. Because of the way the bundt pan is designed. You get past these hurdle. The tube in the center ensures that the center is baked through. An Aluminum constructions helps and aids in developing a nice crust. The ridges on the outside also maximizes the amount of surface area that is in contact with the metal. This ensures that you can get the maximum amount of maillard reaction. Overall, the way the bundt pan was design is pretty ingenious.
Nordic Ware Bundt Pan Thoughts
Today, Nordic Ware is still considered to be one of the best Bundt pan around. America Test Kitchen rated them as one of the best you can get. They noted the ridges and the appearance of the resulting cake as one of the best.
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