When baking a cake, the recipe usually requests greasing, or greasing and flouring the pan for easy removal after baking. Butter, a hefty squirt of cooking spray, or a slick covering of coconut oil usually does the job. Even when the pan is properly treated, a layer of parchment paper facilitates a clean removal of the cake.
Last weekend, I started watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix, where amatuer bakers congregate in a huge tent tricked out with kitchens to compete for a title of Star Baker. During a cake challenge, I noticed that most of them lined their square pans with parchment paper that hung over the sides. When it was time to remove the cake, they simply grabbed the over-hanging paper like handles, and lifted the cake right out of the pan.
By doing this, they avoided the cake getting stuck, or deflating a bit as they flipped the pan over and banged on it a bit to get the cake to fall out.
While I have used this technique before on specific items ( like my marshmallows,) it is now going to become common practice on all of the cakes, brownies and bar cookies that I bake in square or rectangular pans. No more scars in the bottom of cake where a little piece got torn. No more fighting with the caramel that clings steadfastly to the side of the pan when making pecan pie squares. I am a little embarrassed that I haven’t been doing this all along!
A squirt of cooking spray in the pan helps to keep the parchment smooth and in place, and another squirt on top of the paper keeps things from sticking. The rest…pure genius!
Photo: Good Life Eats
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