Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Alice shows us her favorite way to get cakes out of their pans (in one piece).
Cooling racks are great for cooling cakes and cookies, but racks can also take the scary moment out of removing cakes from their pans -- especially delicate layers, sheet cakes, and roulade sheets -- and turning them right side up again afterward without breakage. Two racks are better than one. Keep two small round or square racks for regular size cakes and two large oblong racks if you make sheet cakes or jelly rolls. Inexpensive racks are fine, no Cadillacs needed.
After detaching the cake (still hot or cooled) from the sides of the pan with a knife or spatula, cover the pan with a rack; hold the rack and pan together and flip the whole business over. Remove the pan and peel off the parchment liner (you used one, didn’t you?). To turn the cake right side up again (to prevent the top of the cake from sticking to the rack as it cools), place the second rack on the cake, hold the two racks together gently, without squeezing the cake, and repeat the flip.
Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.
Photos by James Ransom