Trend watch: Individual desserts

Baking a single slice of pie and a cake that makes everyone happy.

Little did we know that the cupcake craze was actually a symptom of a much larger desire for individualized desserts. Sure, we've always had tartlets, creme brulee, and pudding. But lately we've noticed a couple of ideas for turning normally communal desserts into single-serving affairs.

The Baker's Catalogue
For example, why bake a whole pie when you can bake individual slices in one of these pans? The 2/3-cup, wedge-shaped stoneware pan, which we first saw on Baking Bites, bakes a perfectly sized slice of pie (or other pastry) so you don't have to worry about the crust falling apart or the filling oozing out of your slice--if you're the kind of person to worry about that. I am not that person, and I imagine that I would end up using these pans to serve nuts or olives at a Trivial Pursuit-themed cocktail party.

The next example: the S-XL Cake Mold, spotted on design blog Core77. The unusually shaped silicon pan eliminates the labor of manually adjusting the size of your cake slices for both dieters and those with hearty appetites; just cut along the obvious divisions to get a range of slices from small to extra-large. Of course only a masochist would want to frost the highly varied result; best stick to a dusting of sugar or a thin glaze.

Normally I'm all for having things just the way you like them, but I'm not sure how I feel about encouraging dessert-related isolationism. I really enjoy the shared experience of cutting into a cake or pie, dishing it out, and debating who gets the biggest piece or the one with the most filling. Do you agree? Or do these pans seem right up your alley? Let me know in the comments.

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