Springform Pans are round cake pans that have detachable sides and bottoms. Both sides are joined together by a band that interlocks to secure the pan. What this means in essence is that a springform pan is like two pieces of a puzzle that when joined together forms a cake pan.
So before you add your batter to the pan you have to securely lock the parts to form a whole.
Springform pans are useful for recipes that cannot be turned upside down for removal without damaging the cake or dessert. They are best suited for those delicate recipes such as complicated and elaborate ice cream cakes, cheesecakes, fourless chocolate cake, bread pudding, frozen mocha torte, fruit tart or perfectly crusted tarts.
Every kitchen whether commercial or home kitchen needs to have a minimum of two sprinform pans. You can only avoid them if you want to keep using hacks and alternative measures. The reason is because of the design of springform pans.
Once your cake or dessert is baked, you unlock the bands holding the sides; you can either leave the cake or dessert on the base of the pan or slide it unto another serving plate or platter.
Although you can make the recipes mentioned in regular baking pans, springform pans reduce the risk of damage to your beautiful treat.
How to Use Springform Pans
A springform pan is relatively easy to use and is actually your best bet to getting professional looking results for delicate recipes. Some people don’t get the benefits of springform pans because of improper usage. Below are a few tips on how to get the best from your springform pans.
Before you pour your batter into the pan you have to first make sure that the sides and the base of the pan are securely locked in place. Be certain that they fit as they should; this would help reduce or even totally prevent leakage. Once that is done, pour in your batter and bake.
Second step is to allow your baked treat to cool completely. After this, you use a spatula or butter knife to loosen the edges of the cake before unlocking the sides. Please note that if your pan is advertised as a non stick pan, you have to use a silicone or rubber spatula to loosen the edges.
It is always recommended never to use sharp objects on non stick cook or bake ware. The reason for this is that the sharp object would chip away at the non stick coating of the utensil or bakeware.
Finally, when you remove the sides of the pan, you can either leave the dish on the base or gently slide it unto another plate/platter. You can also just place the baked treat with the base on the serving platter.
Another thing to note is that springform pans work better with thick batter or recipes. Thin recipes tend to leak out of the places where the sides meet the base.
Types of Springform Pans and Their Benefits
Springform pans can be categorized into groups based on the material they are made from or the shade/color. There are Metal, Glass and Silicone springform pans and there are also pans with lighter shades and those with darker shades. Glass springform pans are not entirely made of glass but have glass base with either metal or silicone sides
Pans that come in lighter shades reflect light while those that are darker absorb heat. This means that items baked in the darker pans would bake quicker while those baked in lighter pans would take more time. So whenever you are baking, consider the shade of your baking pan and adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Metal springform pans absorb heat faster than other materials but they are easy to scratch. Another issue you may have is getting a metallic taste in your baked goods; well this only happens with inferior products.
Silicone springform pans usually have glass base and have been proven to be leak-proof (check out YouTube videos for demonstrations). This feature makes it suitable for any recipe; whether thick or thin. Pans with glass bottoms might also require more time to bake but they have proven to be more durable than other materials. They are also scratch resistant and make for beautiful presentation.
So a pan with a glass base is your best option for straight from the oven to the table presentation.
Tips for Making Your Springform Pans Leak-Proof
The design of springform pans gives room for leakage. Although most manufacturers would claim that their springform pans are leak –proof that’s not really true. The only truth is that some pans are more prone to leakage than others.
In recent times however, we discovered that silicone springform pans are actually leak proof.
That said, let’s discuss ways to reduce or totally prevent leakage in sprinform pans.
(i) One option to preventing leakage is to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. In doing this, ensure that the parchment paper extends outside the base of the pan. After you have spread the parchment paper over the base, lock in the sides with the base before cutting the excess.
(ii) When you use a water bath you can wrap the outside of the pan with slow cooker liners, foil or both. This would help to give the pan more protection from leakage.
(iii) One sure fire method that veteran bakers have discovered is placing the springform pan in a slightly bigger cake pan. This would ensure that water doesn’t seep into the springform pan. You can search YouTube for some demonstrations.
(iv) Don’t use springform pans at all! (lol).
Alternatives to Springform Pans
Although springform pans are essential for making some recipes, you can still enjoy these treats if you don’t have springform pans. There are some tried and tested methods that you can use to get the right results with traditional cake pans.
Traditional Cake Pans
You can use a traditional cake pan to bake some of these delicate recipes. This is how it can work: – Before you pour in your batter, line your pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Ensure that you leave excess foil or paper over the edge of the pan.
The excess material would serve as a handle to lift off the baked treat out of the pan. It would work perfectly if you have another pair of hands to help you hold the pan down while you lift up the baked treat.
This would hopefully keep your baked treat intact and undamaged.
Serve Directly From The Cake Pan
This option would work well for you if you don’t care about displaying the baked treat. It is an option that would work well if you aren’t thinking of getting Instagram or Pintrest worthy pictures.
So baked whatever it is in a traditional cake pan and serve them straight from the pan to your serving plates. The baked treat may crumble in the process but as long as it tastes good; who cares? Right?
If that’s not the case then this option is totally out of the running as alternatives.
Disposable Cake Pans
You can also substitute springform pans with disposable cake pans. When you use a disposable cake pan, you can just cut off the pan once your baked treat is baked and cooled. Disposable cake pans are really great when you are gifting baked treats in situations where you aren’t sure of getting your cake pan back.
These substitutes all have one disadvantage or the other. Disposable cake pans may not be cost effective especially for commercial kitchens. Not only that, it may be difficult to stock up on disposable cake pans due to storage space. And finally, it may be more time consuming to use.
Another factor to bear in mind when using these substitutes is that you may not get perfect results all the time. The sizes of the substitutes you may want to use may vary from the springform pan recommended in the recipe. What this means is that you may need to adjust the temperature of oven and baking time.
Any recipe that calls for s springform pan is best baked in one. This would help you avoid a lot of headaches.
What to Look Out For When Shopping For a Springform Pan
When shopping for a springform pan, there several factors to consider and they include the following:-
Shade of the Pan
The shade of a baking pan determines how long the content would take to cook or bakes. As we mentioned earlier, darker shade absorb more heat while lighter shade reflect heat. So the recipes you bake would determine the adjustment you’ll need to make in the baking time.
If you are buying your springform pan mainly because of cheese cakes you may need a darker shade of pan. But if you have a lighter shade, adding extra minutes may not make much difference because cheese cakes take long to bake.
On the other hand, if you have recipes that are so delicate and strict on baking time, you might need to consider that before buying a pan.
Ease of Removal of Baked Treat
When you go shopping for a springform pan, look out for a non stick pan. Non stick pans make removing your baked treats much easier. With recipes such as cheesecakes, you want to have a hassle free removal so as not to damage the cake.
Some fillings that cling to the surface of the recipes can reach the rings of the springform pan. So you want a pan that wouldn’t allow food to stick.
Silicone springform pans are the best for this; however there are top quality metal pans that are truly non- stick.
Another material that increases ease of removal is a glass base. But the irony is that most people buy the glass base so that they can serve straight from the base.
Food Safe Base
Using food safe products is an important issue in the food business or even in your home. Glass based springform pans are the best in this regard. This is because glass products are usually food safe.
Metal products are susceptible to rusting or imparting metallic taste to your food. That is if the product is made with inferior material. So you can decide to avoid this issue by buying either a silicone springform pan with glass base or a metal pan with glass base.
Leak- Proof Product
Leakage is one issue that has plagued the use of springform pans from inception. Most top quality metal springform pans are almost leak-proof. The level of leakage or lack thereof is determined by the thickness of the recipe.
But recently we have seen some silicone springform pans that are completely leak proof. These pans have silicone sides and glass base. If you want to use your springform pan to bake only cheesecake, you may not bother so much about leakage. But if you want more versatility from your springform pan, you might want to consider silicone springform pans.
With a silicone springform pan you can bake any type of recipe; runny or not.
Ease of Storage
Also look out for materials that male storage easier. Some springform pans are easier to store than others. Silicone pans are the easiest to store because the sides are just rings that can be removed like candy from its wrapper.
This material/design takes up very little space in your pantry/ cabinets or drawers.
While silicone pans are easier to store, you might not be able get a well compressed crumb crust in it. It is easier to get a well compressed crust against a solid wall of metal pan that the flexible one of a silicone pans.
So you do the opportunity cost and find what is more important to you. Ease of storage or well compressed crumb crust; it’s your choice!
Shapes of the Pans
Springform pans come in different shapes; round, square, heart shape and rectangle. The most common shape is round and these come in all materials. Most silicone springform pans and those with glass bottoms are round shaped.
As of now, the innovative shapes are in metal pans only. Although traditional silicone cake pans come in all shapes, there are no other shapes of silicone springform pans. So if you want these other shapes, you would have to look out for good quality metal springform pans.
When shopping for springform pans, bear in mind the recipes you make most frequently. That would help you buy the right size of pans. Most good quality springform pans are usually 3 inches high which means they are deeper than most cake pans.
So a recipe that would be okay for a traditional 10-inch cake pan would bake nicely in a 9-inch springform pan.
What we are saying in essence is that getting the appropriate size of pan would go a long way in helping you achieve great results.
Budget Versus the Quality of Product
Most people wouldn’t go shopping without a budget. This is a good practice but might prove detrimental to getting a good product. So when going shopping, you may have a budget but keep an open mind.
The best purchase is getting a good quality product at a reasonable price. Price shouldn’t be your first consideration; you need to consider quality first. You can click here to read a sample review of springform pans
It’s better to pay a little bit more to buy a good product that would last for long and also give you good results.