Lining a 1/2 sheet


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@Cahoot

I use full size parchment sheets that I purchased from the restaurant supply store.

You’ll have to modify this when using parchment paper from a roll.

Full size sheet
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Place it over the baking sheet
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Align edges of parchment so wall is covered; crease parchment into pan folds
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parchment should cover the pan wall
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Cut away excess; I use a serrated knife
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Corners will be too bulky, so need to be clipped
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clip about 1” into each corner
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Crisscross the corner tabs into the corners
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fully lined baking sheet for cake

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I don’t know if I mentioned this already or not in our other conversations, pour the batter along the creased edges and let the batter flow toward the center.

Also in my notes: use a knife to cut through the batter to help spread. That was a tip a pastry chef taught me some years ago.

To the cake out, I place a sheet of parchment paper over the pan, then a cooling rack, then flip the pan over.

I prefer to keep parchment under all my cakes at all time, for sanitation reasons and for ease of moving the cake under a cutting board or cake lifter.
 
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I should get full-sized parchment sheets then! I currently have a stack of half-sized sheets, but I'll need to restock soon anyway. I can just cut a bunch into half-sized sheets, but also I'll also still keep a few full-sized sheets for when the larger size is needed like here.

Does the cake really stick much if you don't line the sides though? In my experience with regular cake pans, even if the sides of the pan are just greased with non-stick spray, the edges of the cake will either pull away from the pan while cooling or otherwise still be very easy to loosen with an offset spatula.
 
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I should get full-sized parchment sheets then! I currently have a stack of half-sized sheets, but I'll need to restock soon anyway. I can just cut a bunch into half-sized sheets, but also I'll also still keep a few full-sized sheets for when the larger size is needed like here.

Does the cake really stick much if you don't line the sides though? In my experience with regular cake pans, even if the sides of the pan are just greased with non-stick spray, the edges of the cake will either pull away from the pan while cooling or otherwise still be very easy to loosen with an offset spatula.

1. It’s the corners that can be problem. you want to make sure the cake turns out without breaking apart.

2. When the pan is fully lined, you don’t get over browning and a hard dry crust on the bottom and sides. So from the end to end you have more cake to work with because in a shallow pan there will a slight rise in center. The reason you pour the batter in along the crease is for better distribution on the outer edges for a more even bake to mitigate from that slight doming.

3. Also this is a shallow cake, so keeping the sides and bottom from drying out during baking means a softer crumb and moister cake.
 
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@cahoots

3M Blue Painter’s Tape is a must have baker’s tool!! It MUST be painter’s tape because the adhesive is formulated for easy removal. I buy a roll specifically for kitchen use.
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to hold the turntable still, wrap painter’s tape around the joint
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I purchased a small non-skid area pad from the home goods store. I cut multiple size pieces to use with my turntable, to put in boxes when I am transporting cakes, etc. just make a loop with the adhesive on the outside, stick it to the mat
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Stick it on to your turntable.
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you can also just use tape to hold a cake board/circle to the turn table. You don’t need a mat.
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never use a metal scraper it will damage your turntable. I prefer acrylic with a beveled edge.
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This is what the edge looks like
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This is on the 612 turntable. acrylic circle, cake board, layered filled cake, buttercream on top layer, parchment circle, acrylic circle. Cake must be centered under the two acrylic circles.
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pipe buttercream on sides; The acrylic circles are 1/2” larger than the cake. You can do this same thing using cake boards instead of acrylic circles.
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using the edge of the acrylic circles as a guide, I scrape around the cake and I get a perfect finish. I use a level, that is designated for kitchen use only, to ensure the cake is level and even.
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This is the brand acrylic disc and cake scraper I use. I am the round discs in every size.




The OG scraper has the beveled edge, the other one does not



I don’t know if there is something similar in Canada. These acrylic tools must be hand washed.
 
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@Norcalbaker59 LOVE the more detailed practical advice here. You can get general advice from many places on the Internet but it's hard to find the smaller nitty gritty information on techniques.

Before today I didn't know there was actually a difference between blue vs. green painter's tape. If I'm correct the main difference is that the green tape has a higher tack level? I have a roll of green painter's tape at home and it's what I've been using to label everything (as an aside, it's a pet peeve of mine when other family members don't label what they store in the fridge/freezer), and since the green tape also peels off very cleanly I assume it's the perfect tape for kitchen use.

Good advice on skipping metal cake scrapers by the way. I've found an acrylic cake scraper that looks good (the PME PS41-3 line) and is reasonably priced, though it doesn't appear to be beveled. However I haven't been able to find any scrapers with a beveled edge at a cheaper price so I think it'd be fine to just go with the regular edge.
 
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@Norcalbaker59 LOVE the more detailed practical advice here. You can get general advice from many places on the Internet but it's hard to find the smaller nitty gritty information on techniques.

Before today I didn't know there was actually a difference between blue vs. green painter's tape. If I'm correct the main difference is that the green tape has a higher tack level? I have a roll of green painter's tape at home and it's what I've been using to label everything (as an aside, it's a pet peeve of mine when other family members don't label what they store in the fridge/freezer), and since the green tape also peels off very cleanly I assume it's the perfect tape for kitchen use.

Good advice on skipping metal cake scrapers by the way. I've found an acrylic cake scraper that looks good (the PME PS41-3 line) and is reasonably priced, though it doesn't appear to be beveled. However I haven't been able to find any scrapers with a beveled edge at a cheaper price so I think it'd be fine to just go with the regular edge.

@Cahoot, you’re welcome. The green painter’s tape at work too. The adhesive on the green is a little less tacky. But it will work in the kitchen. Just just want to make sure you don’t buy a strong masking tape. Otherwise it will leave a sticky adhesive residue.

PME makes good products. i’m sure you’ll be fined with the straight edge. The most important thing is not using a metal scraper on your turntable. It will really scratch up your top.
 
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This is the brand acrylic disc and cake scraper I use. I am the round discs in every size.




The OG scraper has the beveled edge, the other one does not



I don’t know if there is something similar in Canada. These acrylic tools must be hand washed.
I got a set of acrylic discs from CakeSafe and tried it out for the first time. I followed their instructions, but a problem I ran into was that the cake board (directly underneath the cake itself, set on top of the bottom acrylic disc) started slipping midway into doing the final smoothing on the sides.

The instructions say that you don't need any non-slip material between the cake board and the disc, but since that turned out to not work out for me, I'm wondering what's your procedure?

I'm also wondering for the sake of conserving cake boards, do you know whether you can cut directly on the acrylic discs? If so then I'm considering just assembling the cake directly on the disc, no cake board in between. And then I could just transport the acrylic disc with the cake on it to the cake stand without worrying about having to remove the cake from the bottom disc.
 
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I got a set of acrylic discs from CakeSafe and tried it out for the first time. I followed their instructions, but a problem I ran into was that the cake board (directly underneath the cake itself, set on top of the bottom acrylic disc) started slipping midway into doing the final smoothing on the sides.

The instructions say that you don't need any non-slip material between the cake board and the disc, but since that turned out to not work out for me, I'm wondering what's your procedure?

I'm also wondering for the sake of conserving cake boards, do you know whether you can cut directly on the acrylic discs? If so then I'm considering just assembling the cake directly on the disc, no cake board in between. And then I could just transport the acrylic disc with the cake on it to the cake stand without worrying about having to remove the cake from the bottom disc.

NO, do not cut on the acrylic disc! You do not want to damage the disc. I love these discs! I have them in every size. And wash by hand. They are so worth the care. I use my blue tape to secure the cake board to the bottom disc. Not a large piece because you need to get that heavy cake unstuck after you are finished icing. Just make a small reverse loop and gently attach the two. To separate, I slide my offset spatula between the cake board and disc, then slide both hands under the cake to lift the cake board away and detach the piece of tape. The tape does not need to be dead center on the cake board. You just need a piece of tape close to the center and just big enough to provide some grip.

I once left an acrylic disc under a cake board. I fretted about that disc until I got it back.
 
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NO, do not cut on the acrylic disc! You do not want to damage the disc. I love these discs! I have them in every size. And wash by hand. They are so worth the care. I use my blue tape to secure the cake board to the bottom disc. Not a large piece because you need to get that heavy cake unstuck after you are finished icing. Just make a small reverse loop and gently attach the two. To separate, I slide my offset spatula between the cake board and disc, then slide both hands under the cake to lift the cake board away and detach the piece of tape. The tape does not need to be dead center on the cake board. You just need a piece of tape close to the center and just big enough to provide some grip.

I once left an acrylic disc under a cake board. I fretted about that disc until I got it back.
Aha that's what I figured, just wanted to make sure to ask you first though.

The discs are honestly great. I got the 0.5" ones which end up creating a bit too much icing on the borders since my cakes shrink slightly, but I think that may be partially due to using too much non-stick spray on the cake pans. I'll try seeing if using a more conservative amount of non-stick spray will reduce shrinkage, or maybe more liquid in the formulas (which I just learned from you recently too!). I measure the internal temperatures with a ThermaPen so I know they're not being overbaked, which I know otherwise would be another potential cause for shrinkage. Which size (0.5", 0.25", 0") do you prefer?

Since as you know I'm still having trouble getting air bubble-free buttercream, the discs are the only way to get smooth sides. Without them, when I smooth the sides, scraping off the outside layer of buttercream just reveals the inside layer which has more bubbles. But with the discs, they prevent you from scraping off any icing "inside" the diameter of the discs so I can actually finally get smooth sides with enough passes.
 
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Aha that's what I figured, just wanted to make sure to ask you first though.

The discs are honestly great. I got the 0.5" ones which end up creating a bit too much icing on the borders since my cakes shrink slightly, but I think that may be partially due to using too much non-stick spray on the cake pans. I'll try seeing if using a more conservative amount of non-stick spray will reduce shrinkage, or maybe more liquid in the formulas (which I just learned from you recently too!). I measure the internal temperatures with a ThermaPen so I know they're not being overbaked, which I know otherwise would be another potential cause for shrinkage. Which size (0.5", 0.25", 0") do you prefer?

Since as you know I'm still having trouble getting air bubble-free buttercream, the discs are the only way to get smooth sides. Without them, when I smooth the sides, scraping off the outside layer of buttercream just reveals the inside layer which has more bubbles. But with the discs, they prevent you from scraping off any icing "inside" the diameter of the discs so I can actually finally get smooth sides with enough passes.

I use the .5 But my go to chiffon cake formula doesn’t shrink. And when I use a creamed batter, I bake in a sheet pan and cut cake circles, so the .5 works.

I worked on cake twice the last couple of days. I was playing with different mixing, trying a hybrid reverse cream and mixing in whipped egg whites. Which I actually like better than creamed with whipped egg whites, but I still need to work out a few issues in mixing in the liquids. But I think it makes more sense than a creamed batter and whipped eggs because the butter coats the flour, inviting the gluten development. Seems to produce a lighter batter than a creamed batter. But I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate the liquid better.
 
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@Norcalbaker59 Another quick question about baking in a sheet pan. Have you ever tried freezing the cut-out cake layers? I can't freeze the entire sheet since a 1/2 sheet pan doesn't fit in my freezer (barely just too wide!), but as we've discussed before elsewhere, it's so much more convenient to make cake layers in advance and freeze them.

My concern here though is that when cutting out the rounds from a sheet pan, there's no crust to protect from moisture loss, so maybe freezing the cut-out cake rounds might end up drying out the cake. I'm not sure if it may be better to just bake the sheet the day of, or possibly also bake the sheet the day before and keep wrapped at room temperature (uncut) if freezing isn't an option.
 
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@Norcalbaker59 Another quick question about baking in a sheet pan. Have you ever tried freezing the cut-out cake layers? I can't freeze the entire sheet since a 1/2 sheet pan doesn't fit in my freezer (barely just too wide!), but as we've discussed before elsewhere, it's so much more convenient to make cake layers in advance and freeze them.

My concern here though is that when cutting out the rounds from a sheet pan, there's no crust to protect from moisture loss, so maybe freezing the cut-out cake rounds might end up drying out the cake. I'm not sure if it may be better to just bake the sheet the day of, or possibly also bake the sheet the day before and keep wrapped at room temperature (uncut) if freezing isn't an option.
Yes I freeze cake circles. I don’t remove the top crust.

it is really important that you wrap the plastic very close to the cake, to make sure there’s no air between the plastic and the cake. bubble wrap in plastic, then wrap in foil.

I’ve kept the cake in the sheet pan and pressed plastic wrap directly onto the cake, and have refrigerated it overnight.

Normally, I don’t recommend refrigerating cake but depending on the formula. And I’ve done this in a bakery as well. Some bakery refrigerators don’t have shelves; they have brackets on the refrigerator walls; so you just slide the baking tray right into the refrigerator and hang it overnight— or in the freezer if you want.

You just don’t want to leave a cake without a crust in the freezer for weeks.
 

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