Takashi Murakami Pixel Flower Pancake Pan – ARTnews.com
A luxury in the kitchen, in my opinion, is having hyper-specific cooking utensils and tools – a tamagoyaki pan, for example, or a cast-iron fish pan, or a humble but elegant mushroom brush. For flapjack fanatics, there’s the pancake pan, designed to make perfectly browned, even cakes. Now you can buy one designed by Takashi Murakami that turns dough into edible art: specifically, one of the famous smiling flowers that populate his anime and manga-influenced works.
Sold through the NTWRK app, a live video shopping platform, the pan features a pixelated flower based on what was supposed to be Murakami’s first NFT. Although that business has been suspended, pans fell as expected in mid-December, with 275 units selling at $40 a pop. Each features a sturdy, lightweight cast iron base (compatible with induction cooktops!) that can make a pancake about five and a half inches in diameter, and a pale turquoise handle adorned with five flower figures happy.
I put one of these babies through its paces one recent weekend, particularly excited to try a sourdough scrap recipe a friend recommended. But as the batter began to bubble, I realized the pan’s inherent flaw: its jagged edge that forms a dozen angular “petals.” Because my spatula wouldn’t fit under the tan edges, I resorted to using a butter knife to lift one corner before performing the flip. This bit of gymnastics can be quite tricky with circular panning; trying to land your pancake exactly within the angled contours of the pan is a grueling task that no one should have to face before breakfast. (To Murakami’s team credit, they released an edition of this perfectly round planter.)
That said, I had no issues with the paste sticking (I had pre-smoothed the pan) and managed to get pretty good definition on my second attempt, but don’t expect to get a perfect imprint on both sides of your pancake. The flowers certainly looked cute on my plate, but I personally don’t like breakfast pancakes enough to bother with such a laborious effort. Given the pan’s pleasingly compact size, I’ll probably use it one day for my pancake of choice, okonomiyaki, although the 8-bit pattern isn’t likely to transfer to a loaded egg.