Cake pans and stand mixers
Would like to know if anyone has recommendations on brand names of good quality cake pans that professional bakers use? I only have access to Wilton in my neck of the woods but would like to know how to go about purchasing heavier gauge high end ones. I live in Worcester county about 50 miles west of Boston, and about 45 mins from Providence RI too. Are there any good supply places you know of. All I have is Michaels and AC Moore and of course Walmart.
Secondly, need to ramp up from a hand mixer to stand mixer. Never owned one before. I know KitchenAid have the edge on the market, but can anyone give me insight as to what to look for in terms of size of motor, bowl size, tilt head or bowl lift. I plan on making wedding cakes in the near future and am getting geared up in terms of equipment.
I reported this post so it will be moved to Cookware, where you'll get more input. I would suggest you plan a trip to a restaurant supply store in Worcester, Boston, or Providence, although you can find great used professional quality bakeware and appliances on eBay, and of course there's plenty of new equipment on Amazon and the myriad kitchen equipment sites.
Call a few bakeries in your area and ask where they get their pans. You might also check newpaper classifieds for auctions on restaurant equipment, since it's a business with a high failure rate.
I like Parrish Magic Line pans. They come in all sizes and are very well made. I've been using my 8-, 9- and 10-inch diameter round cake pans for over 15 years now. Since they are aluminum I don't put them in the dishwasher, but I don't mind hand washing them. And they are made in the USA.
I have had a good luck with Chicago Metallic. Even if you can't get them locally (Sur La Table has them, though probably at slightly higher prices than commercial outfits), they should be easy to get online.
With the stand mixer, most people seem to recommend the lift-up bowl style instead of the type where the head tilts up. We have a KA Pro 600, used for both sweet stuff and yeast breads, and like it quite a bit. I think the bowl is slightly larger than on the cheaper Kitchen Aid stand-mixers also. I wasn't sure how much we'd use it, since obviously there's some overlap with a food processor, but it does make certain things easier, especially things where you need to cream sugar and butter / shortening, or whipping egg-whites.
If you're planning on making wedding cakes in the future, I wouldn't get anything lower than a KitchenAid pro600. It's not the power you'll need for cakes as much as the bowl capacity.
Wilton cake pans might not be the best heavy duty ones but I've had mine for over 15 years and they're still going strong. I don't, however, have a professional wedding cake business so don't know how they'd stand up to that.