We had guests (okay, the missionaries) over for dinner tonight. I decided to get fancy with dessert after Cody rolled his eyes when I busted out the box cake mix (I think he believes I’m getting lazy in my old age.)

In my Martha cookbook is a Caramel Banana Cake with Mascarpone Frosting.

All you foodie people are all “ooh! ahh!”

Well guess what? I’m not giving you the recipe because the cake was kind of nasty. But everything about it’s creation was perfection. Why perfection? Because this was my first fancy cake with my fancy new Frigidaire Professional Series oven.

I have cooked and baked and loved to cook and bake for years.

I have won awards for baking.

This is the first time I did some serious cooking with a high end stove.

And yes. In all honesty I could tell an enormous difference.

If you love to cook and have been cooking with your landlords entry level stove for the last ten years? Your entire kitchen life will change.

If you like to cook occasionally but don’t live or die by sauteing and roasting? You’ll notice how much easier things become.

If you have every intention of learning how to cook? Starting with a nice stove will give you amazing confidence and an edge.

If you’re my sister in law and can’t even make canned tomato soup without calling me first? Well. A new stove certainly can’t hurt, but seriously? Get help. (also? xoxo.)

So for those of you who “get” cooking? I give you reasons to spend that extra money on the professional series line. For those of you who don’t “get” cooking. Just imagine what the cake could have tasted like if it had tasted good.

First? The oven rack that appears as if from no where. (Okay, so it appears from the oven but it comes out WITH the door! Ever had to slide a peel full of dough onto your baking stone? Then you’ll know how impressive and handy this is.)

brilliant oven rack

(Before anybody asks, it’s a baking stone, and I keep it in my oven all the time.)

I’ve always been a snot about oven thermometers. Mostly because I’ve always had a crappy oven that was off as much as 30 degrees in any direction. With this new oven? I just have the oven thermometer to rub in how spot on it is. No rotating cakes halfway through. Evenly baked. Even a really goopy thick cake like this banana mess.

baking cake

Next? The range. I chose the gas range. Anyone who likes to cook should technically prefer cooking with gas. Even heat. REAL FIRE! Melting butter on my old range? Turn away for a second and BURN BABY BURN. This new one? Perfect browning. No burning.

sweet bubbly butter

Which makes caramelizing bananas even easier. Almost too easy. Not even sure if caramelizing bananas is supposed to be easy or not. But it is with this stove.

caramelized bananas

You’ll have to excuse the fact that I don’t use the m word. But the cake? Was m. The perfect texture for a cake. (Texture? SCORE. Taste? Fail. Sadly.)

banana cake

The bananas (which looked an awful lot like squiggly bacon) went between the layers of the cake.

caramelized banana filling

Then I smothered Mascarpone frosting all over the cake. Frosting makes everything better.

mascarpone frosting

Only I wasn’t just smothering frosting. I WAS MULTITASKING! (Man cannot live on cake alone, however a PMSing woman totally can.)

multitasking

Nothing burned, nothing overcooked and oh so much room for all of my biggest pots and pans.

The cake turned out just like the picture. I drizzled it with some caramel I made on the simmer burner. (Side note, five burners. The oblong oval one in the middle, a PowerPlus boil burner front right (I do wish it was on the left, it’s kind of a wonky burner (wonky meaning it’s either ON! HIGH! AND BOILING! or just kind of on and simmering, not much of a middle ground) and I use the front right burner the most and “used most” and “wonky” don’t go together.) a simmer burner right rear and two regular burners on the left.)

caramel banana cake

I must say this is one review that I would be doing in my head even if I hadn’t received these appliances (yes, for free) from Fridigaire to review.

Believe me, now that I’m a homeowner I know what it’s like to hand over a whole bunch of money for an appliance you’re responsible for (I’m looking at you fridge and dishwasher, both of you have totally proven your price, and for this? I thank you.)

I hope you can trust me when I say I take this review SEER-EE-US-LEE.

And that I owe the world (or at least my family) a pretty AND tasty cake (seriously, the kid wouldn’t even touch it.)

“I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive Campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Frigidaire and received a Frigidaire Range/Microwave to facilitate my review.”

Comments

  1. Seriously jealous! As in the drooling type of jealousy!

  2. The get help comment? Serious low blow! I did get help. I called you! (P.S. xoxo)

  3. And all I can say about the simmer burners, boil burners, regular burners is… Huh?

    Casey Reply:

    @Olivia, It’s like having three different calculators. Basic. Fancy. And can do your taxes.
    Does that make more sense?

  4. I don’t use the m word either. I think it’s in the top five most disgusting words in the English language.

    The cake is super pretty. Sorry it wasn’t tasty. Was the frosting good?

    Casey Reply:

    @Kim, The frosting may have been the worst part.

  5. it was kinda nasty? That is so sad! Looks like something I would want to eat while I watch the Biggest Loser.

    Casey Reply:

    @designHer Momma, I’m not even sure the Biggest Loser people would have eaten it. Not worth the calories.

  6. Wait, have we talked about this before? I HATE THE M WORD!!! It makes me dry heave. I also hate her evil cousin, the C word, as in cre*my. GAG.

    Also, I covet your oven. Our new-to-us house has one of those crappy flat-top electric ranges. It makes me want to cry every time I use it.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jen L., I used a flat top for the first month we lived here.
    I did cry every time I used it.

    Tiffany Reply:

    We have a flat-top in the house we’re buying, WAH!! I hate those things.

  7. Does this mean you will have to give the oven back? I hope they let you keep them! I’d love one sent my way (how about doing a giveaway for one?).

    Casey Reply:

    @Mindy, It’s mine to keep! Frigidaire is giving away a washer and dryer…does that help?

    Mindy Reply:

    @Casey,

    it does help

  8. I need these appliances in my house! I am so jealous! I don’t love to cook, but I like it. I think if I had a better oven/range I would do it more happily. It is on our list of things to do, but man that list is LONG! I am glad I have a dishwasher. I have done enough dishes by hand to last me a LIFETIME.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jenny, I write our new dishwasher love letters. And yes, cooking in an oven that you know works? Makes a HUGE difference.

  9. I’ve had mine for two days and I’m too scared to use it.

    By “it,” I mean the microwave.

    The oven? I should not be allowed to be in the vicinity of such a piece of equipment.

    Also, what in the world does “slide a peel full of dough onto your baking stone” mean???

    mommabird2345 Reply:

    @Emily from Mommin It Up, Thank you I was wondering what “slide a peel full of dough onto your baking stone” meant too.

    Casey Reply:

    @mommabird2345, I answered Emily below…not sure how to answer both at the same time. fail.

    Casey Reply:

    @Emily from Mommin It Up, The microwave is just as foolproof as the oven. Promise. Read the manual. Pay attention to the little list on the inside.
    Want me to come to Dayton for lessons!?

    Casey Reply:

    @Emily from Mommin It Up, A peel is a big (BIG!) flat wooden spatula used for getting dough straight onto a baking stone. You know when they slide pizza into those brick ovens with the big wooden flat thing? That’s a peel. I use the stone as my pan when I make bread or pizza. It makes stuff crispier and chewier.

  10. I have to admit, I’m seriously jealous of this new kitchen. I want every single appliance you’ve been testing. I am a huge cook (especially in this economy) and I wish I could afford everything you’ve got. I will lustfully read every post you do on food and try to imagine myself cooking with you ;)

    Casey Reply:

    @DWJ, I was seriously blessed to have this opportunity, it freed up our appliance budget to get a nicer dishwasher and fridge. At least I can promise you that an investment in good appliances IS worth it seeing as I’m right there with you with loving to cook and loving to save money. Why eat out when you can make it better (and cheaper) at home?

  11. What is the M word? Love your oven. What kind of cake pans are those? I still use my grandmothers.

    Casey Reply:

    @Tiffany, Moist. *shiver*
    They are Airbake pans. They’re double layered with a pocket of air in the middle. A little more tricky to wash but as far as baking they’re foolproof. But if your grandmothers are those heavy metal kind? You can’t go wrong there either. It’s the flimsy ones that chip that I can’t stand.

  12. mommabird2345 says:

    Why didn’t the cake taste good? It looks yummy.

    The appliances…….awesome.

    Casey Reply:

    @mommabird2345, Eh, it tasted like really weak banana bread, which is what I should have made. And the frosting wasn’t sweet enough to compliment the cake so it was just kind of a big let down.

  13. Amy in StL says:

    I’m drooling over your oven, instead of the cake. Is that wrong? Does it make it more right because I have the crappy 20 year old oven in my rental that varies wildly in temperature and I do LOVE to bake – just not so much with this oven. *sigh*

  14. I officially have oven envy! I love how opening the door automatically pulls out the rack! Brilliant! And I’ll bet you don’t have to wait 2 days for your oven to heat up to the right temperature…
    Enjoyed your review!

  15. Love it, love it, love it. Now make your delicious cinnamon rolls! (And send me some.)

  16. Ohh, Betsy! says:

    Oh Casey, the pictures of the cake look so good (although I’m not a fan of bananas). I think anything you make would be perfection. Miss you.

  17. So wait – the cake was bad?! That seriously almost ruined my whole night.

    And now I want to go bake a cake.

    You know… if you have any of this nasty cake left over… I’d be happy to take it off your hands. Even if it’s gross… I mean… can cake be gross? I don’t believe you.

  18. It makes cooking fun doesn’t it? I might actually get good at it…!

  19. a rack that comes out when you open the oven… GENIUS.

    too bad only the rich can afford such a thing. ;)

  20. Drool… Oven…. Perfection!

  21. I could probably NOT be on Weight Watchers for a while to eat some of that cake. YUMMMMM.

  22. Mmmm yummy! I want! I need to go to bed. It’s 11:20 and now i wanna bake. :)

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