Cake Pan Preparation
“greasing and flouring“….….”parchment circles“….Have you looked at a recipe and wondered what the author really meant by these phrases? what purpose does pan preparation serve in baking… is it really important?!
Most cake recipes call for pan preparation as the first step.
Fat based cakes use a Grease-Flour technique. “Greasing” is applying a thin coat of fat- usually butter/shortening on the cake pan. “Flouring” is the addition of flour to coat that fat, preventing it from melting into the cake batter while baking. This technique is important as it creates a barrier between the cake and pan preventing the fully baked product from sticking to the latter and instead allowing it to detach and come out as one beautiful piece !
Why is this process important? Cakes, particularly the ones high in sugar caramelizes on exposure to heat sticking to the metal pan. This hardens and sticks firmly to the pan when cooled down. The sides can be detached in this case using a blunt knife , but the bottom becomes impossible to remove away from. If you forget to prepare your pans, you are left with 2 choices – crumble the cake for making cake pops (tutorials coming up) or simply ice the cake and serve in the cake pan.
Foam based cakes such as chiffon and angel food use egg foam , also known as meringue, for leavening and to build the structure upon. Remember egg whites and fat do not go well together. The utensils and cake pans used for prepping foam based cakes needs to be grease free. These cake rise better when they have a surface which they can grip onto and climb when baking. The presence of any oil/fat prevents this resulting in deflation or what you call a “cake fall”. Line the pan with grease free parchment paper.
This article discusses three different techniques in pan preparation for fat based cakes, of which one could be used as per your convenience…
- Traditional Grease-Flour & Parchment circle technique
- Commercial Nonstick pan spray
- DIY nonstick pan gel