Silicone Baking Moulds

With all the baking I've done over the last week, I've often had a thought cross my head that went something like this: damn, these silicone baking molds are amazing. I can't believe I've actually had to be persuaded to try one! I've always used old, metal molds and, to quote conservatives everywhere, they've always been good enough for me.
Then I bought a silicone muffin tray, mostly because I was tempted by the possibility of easily extracting the muffins from it, as opposed to the horror story my Mother told me about her one attempt to bake muffins using old metal molds. And let me tell you, a silicone muffin tray is one of the best cooking gadgets I've ever come across.

Not only can you pour your cake mixture straight into it (when I was a kid, one of my duties was to cover baking molds with grease and flour or breadcrumbs - not doing that meant not taking the baked goods out, ever), but you pop your muffins out of it like pills. It washes much easier, too. It can be bent or rolled or squeezed any other way, fitting nicely in your cupboards. It doesn't go clang-clong like metal things. It can't smash like ceramic things.  But my favourite thing about it is that you can also use it for freezing things.

Seriously, this does not sound like such a huge deal, but it is. I've heard of people using some special freezing bags, or containers or whatever, and no wonder, because freezing food is a great way of stockpiling it. But seriously, why buy special containers? Multi-purpose things are wonderful, a silicone mold can be used in a temperature up to -40 C (or should I say "down to"?) and, here comes the best part, you can easily take the frozen stuff out of them afterwards. This means you can use, say, a muffin tray to freeze a number of muffin-sized portions of, say, tomato sauce, and then you can pop the sauce out and keep it heaped up in any old plastic bag. I have a bag like that in my freezer, with twelve "pasta sauce pills" ready and waiting, perfect size for a meal for one. I've also used a larger, oblong mold to make a few bricks of soup, wrapped them in food foil, and piled them up. The mold, meanwhile, can serve other purposes.
I've seen some tales on the web of silicone bakeware melting and doing various horrible things, but I've never experienced that. One of my molds did give out an "odor of burning plastic" (you know the one) on first use, but it was definitely not burning, nothing happened to it or the food, and it was the cheapest one. Silicone kitchenware is not biodegradable, but apparently it can be recycled, so that's something to keep in mind, too.
All in all, I definitely recommend getting one of those babies if you do any baking. Frankly, I only started baking on my own once I had them.

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