I've wanted to try out silicone baking pans for some time now. My silicone cookie sheet liners are great and my silicone spatulas are stain proof and fairly heat resistant. So when I found this silicone heart shaped muffin pan on clearance for $2.99 (at Williams-Sonoma if you can believe it!), I thought what do I really have to lose? I mean, that's less than I spend on a latte at Peet's.
The big advantage to silicone bakeware is that it's supposed to be nonstick. No more buttering and flouring especially when you have fancy shapes like shells or bundts (or simple shapes like rectangles or hearts). No more worrying about whether or not your cake will come out of the pan intact. Well, maybe I got a dud because I had a lot of trouble prying some of the brownie hearts out of the pan. And even though the molds are soft and floppy, making it relatively easy to push out any sticking brownies from the bottom of the molds, 5 of 12 brownies didn't survive the extraction process. May they rest in pieces.
I usually don't have trouble removing my baked goods from (metal) pans since I butter, flour or line when necessary. Maybe if I had buttered and floured the silicone? But that defeats the purpose of using silicone. I don't know if I'll try the silicone pans again. Part of me wishes I spent the money on lattes instead. As disappointing as this first silicone pan experience was for me, at least I had some brownies to console me.
Chocolate Brownie Hearts
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp (1.5 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 325ºF. Butter the wells of a heart-shaped muffin baking pan (or a regular muffin pan).
Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth and blended. Let cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg and vanilla until light in color and doubled in volume. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then the flour mixture just until combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the prepared pan and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a brownie comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes.