How to Use a Shaped Cake Pan

Опубликовал Admin
7-11-2017, 18:00
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Cake pans come in a variety of shapes, everything from animals to letters. Working with shaped pans can be an exciting challenge for any baker. To create the best shaped cake, spend some extra time greasing and flouring your pan. Adding any extra supports directly into the batter before baking will make your cake sturdier, too. When the cake is done, take care transferring it from the pan to the cooling rack. When you get comfortable enough using your shaped pan, feel free to experiment with varying ingredients to add even more flair to your cakes.

Staging the Pan for Baking

  1. Use the included recipe as a starting point. Most shaped pans include a piece of paper, usually stuck to the pan, with an image of a completed cake and a basic recipe. It’s a good idea to make a test cake using this recipe, as it will give you an idea as to how much batter the pan will hold and what baking time/temperature is best.
  2. Measure the volume of the pan. If your pan doesn’t come with a recipe with guiding measurements, then you’ll need to figure out on your own how much batter it will require. The best way to do this is to fill up a measuring cup with water, add the water into your pan, and stop when you reach ¾ full. The amount of water that you added is the volume of the pan.
    • As a general rule, most shaped pans hold either 10 or 12 cups (2.3 to 2.8L) of batter.
  3. Grease the pan. Get a paper towel or pastry brush, dip it into a bit of oil or shortening, and rub it all around the inside of the pan. Make sure to get into every dip or gap in the mold or the final cake might stick to the interior. If you want a faster option, you can apply a layer of nonstick spray, such as Baker’s Joy.
    • Some bakers prefer to use butter to coat their pans. However, the water content of butter can make it less effective than pure oils.
    • Nonstick spray can get really slippery on floors, so always spray your pans over the sink.
  4. Flour the pan. Grease alone will not keep cake batter from sticking to the sides of the pan while cooking. You must also apply a thin coating of flour to every interior part of the pan. The best way to do this is to put a spoonful of flour inside and then jiggle the pan around until the flour coats everything. Turn the pan over and dump out any excess.
  5. Fill the pan ¾ full with batter. Unless the instructions state otherwise, pour mixed batter into the pan until there is a bit of extra space at the top. This will allow the cake to rise without spilling out of the edges of the pan. If you accidently pour too much batter in, just get a spoon and move a bit of it out from the center to an extra bowl.
    • If you end up with extra batter, go ahead and make a few cupcakes in a separate pan.
  6. Add any support structures. Some shaped cakes will require extra support after they come out of the oven. Prior to baking, look over the pan and consider whether or not any stand-alone sections will stay upright without extra help. If so, go ahead and insert some food grade bamboo skewers or toothpicks into these areas.
    • For example, if you using a 3D animal-shaped cake pan, then it’s a good idea to think about if the head or ears will stay upright post-baking.
    • If you add supports in to the batter, be careful when serving the cake to others. It’s usually a good idea to leave the supported areas uneaten.
  7. Remove any air bubbles by tapping the pan. Once the batter is in the pan, pick it up and gently tap it against the countertop a few times. This helps to bring air bubbles up from the inside of the batter to the surface. Batter with bubbles can lead to gaps on the sides of the cake and a drier taste.

Baking Your Cake

  1. Place the pan on a cookie sheet if the shape is deep. If the pan is larger with deep pockets for batter, then there is a possibility that the bottom will burn before the inside is fully cooked. To keep this from happening you can set the pan on a baking sheet and place it on the middle rack to bake.
    • Be aware that, depending on the size of the pan, you may need to remove the extra baking racks from your oven to fit everything in.
  2. Tie two-part molds together with baking twine. If you are working with a 2-part shaped cake pan, then it’s possible that these parts will separate and spill over with batter when baked. To keep this from happening, get a 2 to 4 long pieces of baking twine, loop them under and around the pans, and tie them firmly. This will keep the batter inside the pans during baking.
    • Only use baking twine, not another type of string, as it could catch fire in the oven.
    • When the cake is finished, let it cool before removing the twine.
  3. Adjust the suggested baking temperature as needed. The majority of shaped pans cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). But, it’s best to check the baking instructions or recipe that came with the pan for guidance. As a general rule, shaped pans with deeper grooves may require an increased temperature or baking time.
  4. Set a timer for the minimum baking time. Consult your recipe to see what the shortest possible baking time is for your cake. Get a standalone baking or oven timer and set it immediately after putting your cake into the oven. Checking on your cake as soon as possible can keep it from burning.
  5. Check for doneness with a toothpick or skewer. See if your cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer into the deepest part of the pan. If only a few crumbs remain on the skewer, then your cake is done. If batter is on the skewer, put the cake back in for 2 minutes and check again.
    • If you check in a more shallow area, then it’s possible that the entire cake will not be cooked. This is especially important when working with complicated shaped cakes.
    • When the cake is finished, make note of the total baking time. That way you’ll know the exact time and temperature for baking the next time that you use this pan.

Handling Your Cake Post-Baking

  1. Let it cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan. When you can place your hand on top of the cake and only feel warmth, not open heat, it is ready to be removed. A hot cake is more likely to crumble than a cool one. If you place icing on a hot cake, it will simply melt off.
  2. Loosen the edges with your fingers. Before you remove the cake from the pan, feel around the top sides with your fingers and gently try to pull them off the pan. Don’t try to go too deep or you’ll risk splitting the cake at the edges. Some bakers advise sliding a butter knife along the sides of the pan, but this doesn’t always work well with shaped cakes, as it’s more likely to cut the final product.
  3. Flip it onto a cooling rack. When your cake has cooled enough, place the cooking rack on top of the pan. Apply a bit of pressure to keep the pieces together. Then, flip everything over so that the cake falls out of the pan and on to the rack. If you are working with a 3D cake, then you want the flattest part of the cake against the rack.
  4. Make note of any stuck areas. Ideally, your cake will come out of the pan cleanly, leaving no pieces behind. If the cake sticks or breaks, then look inside the pan to identify the problem spots. In the future, these are the areas that you’ll want to spend some extra time greasing and flouring before baking.
  5. Use icing for decoration and to stabilize your cake. In a 2-part cake, apply icing to the gap between the sections in order to hold the entire cake together. If you run into any trouble removing your cake from the pan, you can also apply a bit of icing to the broken bits and use this to hold them onto the cake. Icing can also be used to accent certain elements of a shaped cake.

Tips

  • Wash and dry your pan carefully after each use. This helps to keep your pan from rusting.

Warnings

  • Silicone pans are very popular with bakers. However, be aware that silicone doesn’t always work well for deeper shaped cakes.
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