using a torch to free a caramelized cake

i plan to make an apple tarte tatin. the chef says to use a torch for the tiered metal bundt pan he uses. i bought the pan he used. maybe using the flame from the stove would have sufficed if not for the caramelization that may b embedded in the crevices of the pan. i don't own a butane torch and it would b easier not to buy one. i do have a portable hair dryer if that gets hot enough. hoping someone has experience w this. Tx

  • Posted by: alan
  • December 4, 2021


702551 December 4, 2021
Assuming your bundt pan is watertight, another option to consider would be fashioning some sort of hot water bath for the baking pan to soften up the caramel.

I wouldn't leave it in the bath very long. You really want as much of the caramel on the cake as possible, not as a huge puddle on the serving plate.

Best of luck.
Lori T. December 4, 2021
Yes, I have experience trying to free a tarte tatin from pans. I have used a hair dryer set on high, aimed at the pan bottom. If you pan can take the heat, and from your description I believe it would - you can also try setting in directly on an electric burn ring to heat up as well. You need a pot holder or tongs so you can rotate the pan as it heats to prevent hot spots, too. I actually like this method most, because it provides more even heating over the bottom of the pan. The best way is to avoid the situation completely if at all possible. I generally try to set the pan on something like a cast iron trivet, which doesn't let the pan cool "quite" as quickly or completely before it gets turned out.
alan December 4, 2021
this is very helpful. but i'm following a chef i admire -- bruno albouz -- who puts the cake in the fridge and only takes it out to turn out. he then uses a torch. so i guess i should just get a torch. Tx
Nancy December 5, 2021
See which advises on about a dozen kitchen tools/supplies which are cheaper at a hardware store than at dedicated kitchen shops. And just as good. Have bought a few and they're right. Torch at hardware store est. USD $15 there compared to USD $25 to 160 at consumer kitchen store.
Guess you'll find comparable price spread near you.
Restaurant supply store may be in-between on prices, or still high-priced if it has professional equipment with extra features or capacity.
AntoniaJames December 6, 2021
Great advice, all of it, Nancy, and thank you (!!) for the link. I occasionally go to a hardware / tractor supply store to buy canning jars and lids (plentiful inventory but no price advantage), but I had not thought about the other items. ;o)
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