Everyone has baking questions! Figuring out the best way to do something isn’t always immediately obvious, so here’s 5 of our most commonly asked questions answered to give you a head start. If you have any other questions related to your baking or cooking, then please drop us a line, or pop into one of our stores and we’ll be happy to help you out!
Should I always line or grease a cake tin?
Modern materials such as non-stick and silver anodised coatings mean that your cakes stand a much better chance of coming out in one piece than ever before. Any cake tin for use with a sticky cake batter that requires a long cooking time should still be lined to be on the safe side. A non-stick sandwich tin may simply need greasing to ensure a good release. Silver anodised tins have strong scratch-resistant surfaces that release well. You a can run a small knife around the edge of one of these tins to help the cake come out. Silicone cookware is naturally non-stick so lining shouldn’t ever be required. Greasing the sides of a silicone cake pan can leave a sticky residue and shouldn’t be necessary.
What’s the best way to grease a baking tin?
That depends on what you are baking. For bread, a light coating of ground-nut oil is the best release agent. As a loaf tin ages a patina builds up on the surface so as time goes by it will require less and less oiling to release well. Non-stick pans will not build up a patina, so a very light oiling will help it along. For sponge cakes, unsalted butter is excellent as it won’t affect the taste. For fruit cakes nothing beats good old-fashioned lard as a release agent, unless of course you’re a vegetarian. Avoid using olive oil as this leaves a sticky baked-on residue which is very difficult to remove. For best results just wipe a small amount of unsalted butter over the interior surface of the tin. For fluted flan tins it is important to butter the inside of each flute. Your index finger is the perfect tool for the job! Once you have buttered your tin, put it into the fridge for ten minutes. The butter will harden onto the surface and stay in place for a little longer when the filled tin is put in the oven to bake.
How do I stop the cake mix from leaking out of the bottom of my loose based tin?
Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit snugly into the bottom of the tin. Grease it on one side to form a seal with the base of the tin and the other side so that the cake comes off easily when it’s cooked.
Can I put silicone bakeware onto a baking sheet when it goes in the oven & how do I turn my cake out?
NO! Silicone bakeware should be placed straight onto the wire shelves in the oven. If the cake pan or muffin sheet is too floppy then put it on an oven-safe rack to go into the oven. If you put silicone bakeware onto a solid sheet then the extra material will block the heat and leave your cakes with a soggy bottom. When turning out your cake, don’t be tempted to peel the silicone pan off too early. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the pan, on a cooling rack for ten minutes. In this time the cake will become firmer and shrink a little which will help it to peel away from the sides of the tin. Use a gentle peeling action to finally remove the cake from the pan and avoid pressing too hard on the base or you may leave thumb prints.
How do I line my flan tin with pastry, without tearing it?
Cut or roll out a disc of pastry that is 3-4 inches broader than the diameter of the tin. Gently lift it with a palette knife or over a rolling pin, and lay it over the flan tin. Little by little lift the edges of the pastry and allow it to settle into the tin - don’t try to press it in place yet. Get the pastry to the position where the edge of the sheet is all pointing upwards and the pastry is partially set into the tin. Roll an off-cut of pastry into a 1 inch ball and use this to press the sheet of pastry into the edge of the tin. The ball of pastry will prevent you from putting too much pressure onto the sheet and tearing it. Fold the top of the pastry over the top edge of the tin and blind bake it. The overhanging edge will stop the pastry from shrinking down the sides of the tin. It can easily be trimmed off later.