baking in pyrex bowl or kitchenaid mixer bowl
a friend wants to make a "belly cake" for her oscar party for the juno dish. neither of us feel much like buying a pan just for this. would a pyrex mixing bowl work or am i risking life and limb? what about a kitchenaid bowl? i saw martha do a monkey cake in a stainless steel bowl...i have some cheapies from target, but they're very very thin.
cook times, recipes, and belly button (there's an innie/outie debate) suggestions all welcome!!
I have used my kitchenaid bowl to bake a cake in before. But, it's a bit tricky, because it will be done in some parts before others. If it's possible to put a metal skewer in the middle and get it stay upright, that would really help.
I'm a bit concerned that the kitchenaid bowl won't give you the perfect shape. But, you could carve it if need be.
Also, many cake decorating stores rent specific pans for a nominal fee. That way you don't need to buy it and store it.
Depending on your KitchenAid mixer, the bowl may be less than suitable. I know with my small one, the instruction booklet said not to even put it in a dishwasher, so I'd be very hesitant to use it in an oven.... I'd hate to have it warp/deform and have to buy a replacement at $50-$60.
A Pyrex bowl may be a better choice - especially if it's marked as heat-safe - but like milklady noted, some parts may get done before others, so the results could be less than chowish.
If rental pans aren't available where you are, I can suggest a couple of different options:
1) Instead of a 3-D belly, do a Juno profile by baking a round 8" cake and a rectangular 9"x13" cake. On a serving platform (could be as simple as a piece of cardboard at least 15"x 15", wrapped in foil) put the rectangular cake 1" in from the corner. Cut the 8" in half and put the cut side up against the long side of the rectangle - that's her belly. Cut a little of the rest of the of the round cake to put above her belly, to finish off her top. Decorate as you like.
2) You could try a 3-d belly by doing a triple stack of layer cakes, carving to shape, then frosting... that would ensure that all layers were evenly cooked.
I've used stainless steel bowls to bake half sphere shapes and they work fine. Just make sure to butter well. You could also use a bundt pan, and fill the top hole w/ an upside down ice cream cone. When you frost, it'll be half a sphere and ridges can be covered up.
I have used my Kitchen Aid mixer bowls to form baked Alaska's and other cakes w/o a problem. The bowl has to be oiled well and it cannot be lined with parchment but they work fine. I would start with a slightly lower temp, as it will take a bit longer to get the deep inside of the cake to set. I like to use a disposable chopstick to check doneness in the center of mounded cakes.
Cakes are baked at a relatively low temperature, so unless the Pyrex bowl is marked otherwise, they should be fine. You need to be very careful about prepping the pan, but I don't see that you would have a problem.
I agree with Milklady about cake decorating stores renting pans.
I would not want to risk ruining my Kitchenaid bowl. There is a difference between pyrex mixing bowls vs bowls made for the oven. If you decide to use a pyrex mixing bowl, make sure you do not put it down on a cold or wet surface when it comes out of the oven.