A traditional round cake pan (either or both 8 and 9 inch sizes) is an essential. Choose good quality, seamless, heav metal pans. Remember - dark steel pans means adjusting down the oven temperature. Less usefull, but handy to have is a springform pan. These pans open on the sides to release the finished cake. Very handy to have if the cake is delicate and might stick to the pan.
Can any good brand of chocolate be used for dipping strawberries and still set up hard when cool? If not, can anything be done to it or added to the melted chocolate to ensure it will set up hard to the touch?