Shape of You – Cake tins and more…

In one of my earlier blogs, I had mentioned about all the tins and moulds used in bread baking. This write up will cover the rest of the moulds that could be possibly used for baking cakes, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, entremets and so many more. There are multitudes of moulds available to choose from and various factors affect the decision of choosing which one. Please refer to my earlier blog at Shape of You… -Bread moulds and tins for more on those factors.

This blog is about the variety of moulds available to bake the sweet and savoury bakery products like cakes, muffins, cookies, loaves, pies etc.  The list follows :

  1. Cake Pans
    These are the omnipresent tins in square or round form. Every household has these two shapes. They are available in many shapes to cater to the requirement for example,  you could have a heart shaped pan to celebrate valentines or a butterfly cake for a lil girls birthday. You could have a car shaped tin for a car lover or a simple flower mould. These shaped ones make the bakers life easy because they don’t have to carve out the shapes.
    The shaped tins are mostly aluminium ones or silicone ones. The square and rounds are available in aluminium, steel, anodised aluminium, silicone, ceramic or oven proof glass. 
  2. Loose Bottom Cake tins
    As the name suggests, the base of this bakeware is loose. These come only in round and square shapes and mostly in aluminium, anodised or steel material. As they are loose bottom, the baked good can be very easily un-moulded. They have to be used carefully as there is a chance of the batter leaking.
  3. Springform tins
    These are similar to loose bottom pans except that the base is secured to the sides with the help of a latch on the outer side of the side wall. This latch can be loosened or tightened depending on whether you want to un-mould or not. They are mostly available in circular or square shapes and in anodised material.
    They are used for baking cheesecakes or setting layered desserts like tortes and entremets.
  4. Cake Rings
    Cake rings are pretty versatile bakeware and are available in variety of shapes. They are bottomless and require flat baking trays which are lined with either silicon sheet like Silpat or baking paper. You could also cling wrap the bottom. They can be used to to bake cakes and cheese cakes, bake pie crust and set entremets or layered tortes. The key in using them is that the baking tray over which they are placed should not be warped otherwise the batter will leak out. The advantage of using them is that they come in variety of sizes and hence we have the flexibility of choosing the size as per the need. Also storing becomes easy. I additionally use them to cut the cakes to desired size. Rings can be pastry persons best friends!
  5. Charlotte mould
    Charlotte moulds are typically used to make a dessert called charlotte which is typically a trifle that is lined with cake or cookies like lady fingers. It is mostly a stainless steel mould with a slightly flared up side for easy un-moulding and heart shaped handles on either side.
  6. Tart pan
    The most common tart pan and my chosen one is an aluminium or anodised one with a loose bottom base and fluted sides as it becomes very easy to un-mould. One can get them in small individual serving size called tartlet pans to a large (9”) ones called tart pans. Even metal rings are used to bake tarts. These typically have straight and short sides and no bottoms and have to be placed on flat baking sheets resulting in a much crispier bottom crusts.
  7. Pie dish
    As we all know, pies are defined by their flaky, golden and evenly baked crusts and thoroughly cooked filing. Hence choosing the right pie dish is important. By the ‘right pie dish’, I mean not only shape but also the material.  They are available in glass, ceramic and metal. I use the large bottom tart pan as well as it becomes easy to un-mould the pie.  Having said that, a glass pie dish with straight sides and furled rim or fluted sides  are also good to bake pies. Even though, glass takes some time to get heated up, they provide uniform heat. If the pie dish is transparent, all the more better as you can watch your crust turning golden brown 🙂
  8. Baking Casserole
    Only the dishes labelled as oven safe can go into the oven. They can be made of stoneware, tempered glass like pyrex or corning ware, metal, enamel or ceramic. They could be square or rectangular, round or oval or any odd shaped. The shape and the size is to be chosen according to the use. Baking dishes are typically used for au gratins, lasagne and all such baked dishes.
  9. Muffin pans
    Muffin pans are metal or silicon trays with cup shaped indentations to bake cupcakes and muffins. They can come in small individual moulds as well. 
  10. Baba Mould
    They are individual thimble shaped moulds for baking babas. 
  11. Savarin Mould
    Savarin moulds are small doughnut shaped metal moulds for baking savarins. They are often referred to as ring moulds. They are similar to the bundt pans in that they have a hole in the middle. However, their sides are typically round and plain unlike bundt pans.
  12. Bundt pan
    Also called the tube pan, it is a metal one with tube in the centre and is typically used to bake angel cake, bundt cake or European cake known as Kugelhupf. It is also ring shaped but is very ornate in the bottom with ridges and flutes. So when you un-mould the cake and invert it, it looks decorative.
  13. Madeleine trays
    These are metal or silicon trays with shell shaped indentation and are used to bake madeleines.
  14. Petit Four Moulds
    These are metal or silicon trays with indentations in variety of shapes to bake small sweet treats called petit fours like financiers.
  15. Entremet Pans
    Entremets are multilayered mousse based desserts. There are variety of silicone moulds available in attractive shapes for making entremets.
  16. Ramekins
    Ramekins are ceramic oven proof baking dishes used to bake custards, soufflés and creme brûlées of the sweet world.
  17. Flexipans
    All the flexible and  nonstick pans made from silicone are referred to as flexipans. Almost all the moulds mentioned in this blog are available as flexipans. 
  18. Cookie Sheets
    These are sideless baking trays made of metal and are used to bake cookies, macarons etc.
  19. Swiss roll pan
    This is a metal pan with small sides and is used to bake swiss roll cakes or sheet cakes.
  20. Loaf tins
    Loaf tin is a rectangular pan with slightly flared up sides and is used to bake loaf cakes and quick breads.

Materially speaking, it is pretty important the kind of material your bakeware is made of. The rule of thumb is that metals are always a good conductor of heats. So they get heated up very fast and also they cool down very fast making them excellent candidates for baking. So aluminium, anodised aluminium and steel make good bakewares. Silicone is not stick and helps un mould the baked product easy. Also they are easy to clean. However they don’t give that much browning effect at the bottom as metal and hence affects the product texturally. Hence I prefer them for light baking like muffins and cupcakes. Glass ware and ceramics are also good for baking and look attractive. They can however be expensive and fragile and hence are avoided in commercial kitchens. Typically they are used for creme brûlées and soufflés and also for a variety of baked dishes that need to be served in the same dish. 

There is a plethora of baking containers available to choose from. Usually we have only those moulds in our repertoire for the items we bake the most. Having said this, using the correct mould simplifies a baker’s job and enhances the visual and edible value of the baked product.

Credits: Photos courtesy internet