When we saw this idea on Eileen and Dogs blog, we knew we had to try it for ourselves. We quickly located the Pyramid Pan on eBay and waited patiently for it to arrive in the mail. Apparently they are also available from Woolworths, and probably other homeware-type stores too (though we have been keeping our eyes peeled, and haven’t seen it in Woolworths, Coles, or Spotlight). The Pyramid Pan’s actual use is for low-fat roasting, so the meat doesn’t sit in the fat.
To make my treat batter i used a fairly unscientific recipe of approximately the following ingredients:
1c cooked chicken (chopped) OR 1/2c cooked bacon (chopped)
2-3tbsp light cream cheese spread
1/2 – 1c tapioca flour
Water to reach desired consistency
Put the meat and cheese spread in a food processor and blitz until it looks disgusting (like creamy cat food or tuna). Then add the egg and tapioca flour and blitz a little more. At this point it will either form a dough-like ball or it will look quite sticky and pasty. Finally, add some water to achieve a…smooth, yoghurt-like consistency. Smooth is MUCH easier to work into the Pyramid Pan than a thicker/stickier batter.
Dump the batter onto the Pyramid Pan, and use your spatula to work it into all the little holes. By some reports from other people who have tried this, spreading the batter can be quite time consuming. I found that with the smoother batter and my flexible silicone spatula that it was very easy and quick. When all the holes are filled with batter, scrape any excess off with your spatula.
Now we made two batches, and concluded that our second attempt was best. The first we baked in a fan-forced oven at 180C for 7-8 minutes. The treats around the outer rows were well cooked, but the inner ones were a little squishier (maybe your dog would prefer this). The second batch we baked at a lower temperature of 160C for about 15 minutes, and the treats were more evenly cooked and crispy.
Once baked let the tray cool enough to touch, and then lift the corners so that all the treats fall into the centre (it’s really satisfying to do this part).
We’ve tried a few different storage methods (sandwich bag, plastic container, fridge, freezer, cupboard), though as they are preservative free your best bet for storing large quantities of these treats would be the freezer (just pull out a small amount as required). The drier you bake them the better they would last outside of the freezer (we’re guessing).
The Pyramid Pan itself was a piece of cake to clean. It was pretty much clean once the treats fell out, but a quick shake off and a rinse did the job just fine. It is also dishwasher safe if you would prefer to pop it through for a thorough clean.
Finally, of course, we had to check if Wilbur liked our baking…though frankly his judgement can’t be trusted, he’ll eat just about anything! He gave them two paws up! We will probably be back in the kitchen tomorrow to finish off the ingredients we bought, and we might try some peanut butter flavoured ones too.
*edited to add* Both the humans in the house can confirm that the bacon/cheese recipe tastes just fine, but Wilbur wondered why we were tasting his treats!