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Baking Layers on a Silpat vs. Round Baking Pans

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ive recently seen a Pastry Chef cranking out cake layers on one of those Silpat things. Ive always used the round baking pans but find it rather tedious to have to turn out all those fat layers and then slice then into thinner ones.

Does everyone else use the Silpat and am I stuck in the Dark Ages of Baking without a clue? Other than baking in quantity faster what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Silpat? Isn't it easier to overbake your layers on that thing? I know my layers although fat will be moist unless Im not paying attention and actually forgot the cake. Which doesn't happen.

Really curious about the Silpat and may buy one to give it a good testing. Found a US Full Sheet Pan Size 16 1/2" x 24 1/2" for $23.95 plus S&H at www.pastrychef.com . Any feedback would be appreciated.

Jodi
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #2 of 15
hi-

I use my silpats for cookies and love them.... I have never tried to bake a cake on them, however. Where did you see this technique? Did they use the stainless steel bands for the sides? I am curious, also.
post #3 of 15
Love the picture under your name!

I couldn't live without my rings.
In the apprenticeship to a French pastry chef, we always baked our genoise in stainless steel rings on sheets with parchment paper. I have some nice heavy cake pans and magi-strips at home, but I greatly prefer the results I get with rings.

No greasing/flouring - but the removal is the best: I flip the cakes over onto cardboards, peel off the paper, let them cool a little - and the cakes come out with smooth, STRAIGHT sides. Filing and frosting is easier.

It's easy to vary the depth of cake by using different rings (sometimes I use 3" deep rings to make multiple thin layers from one cake - sometimes I use 3 or 4 2" deep). Another reason for using rings was that, in the classic French tradition, we built cakes from layers of genoise, mousse, glaze, sometimes frosting the insides of the rings with butter cream before putting in the layers. Freezing the composed cakes, then removing the rings with a torch, gives a nice smooth finish. And you can use short rings for tart shells, too. Love that flexibility!
Annie
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Annie
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post #4 of 15
ShawtyCat,

Silpats are absolutely wonderful, nothing sticks to them. A Silpat is effective in temperatures from F -40 to F 480. Found full sized ones on sale for $14.99 at Ace Hardware before. Any decent kitchen store should have them as well.

You may find these previous posts informative: Solutions to Sticky Situations

Making Tuiles

Check out the company which makes them: Demarle.

If you are wanting flexible pans which are round & non-stick, look here.
post #5 of 15
Baking cake right on the silpat with no pan or ring? My guess is that the only batter that might hold it's shape would be a ladyfingerish kind of thing, something you can pipe and expect it to hold it's shape. any kind of batter that flowed isn't going to stay in a round.
It's not Dairy Queen.
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It's not Dairy Queen.
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post #6 of 15
Genoise or your basic cake batter stays - although I've never used a silpat and a ring. I use the silpat for tuiles and sugar work. Sometimes a little bit of genoise batter leaks out the bottom, but it doesn't spread, and essentially the ring cuts it off.
Annie
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Annie
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post #7 of 15
I, too, am confused about what method they use to bake cakes on silpat. What kind of cakes are we talking about?

At any rate: yes you should get a silpat. They are wonderful for so many things, altho' I have yet to see cakes done on them.lol

I used to use a silpat all the time just to roll up my chocolate roulade. It was a very moist recipe and wouldn't stand up to traditional rolling techniques.

I dont know of any way to do tuilles without one.

golly, I should get a job in marketing for the company.lol

eeyore
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
The layers were thin and I think he used a high temp cause they were only in there for 10 minutes. He used this white plastic thing with a hole the size of a cake layer, spread the batter on with an offset spatula then lifted it up. Kinda like how I say tulies being made only thing is these actually rose a little.

First time I ever saw anyone do that. I usually see them just pipe them on or use rings.

Jodi
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
post #9 of 15
I have eight full size silpats, I want to get rid of two. Barely used.

Kuan
post #10 of 15
I think Shawtycat means baking thin sponge or joconde sheets on the silpat(with varied designs of stripes, etc.). This type of cake is usually used to line ring molds with the good side of the joconde facing outwards when the ring is removed. The reason silpat works is because the cake crumb doesn't stick to it when it is removed, leaving the surface of the cake smooth and shiny, pleasing to the eye. When you spread the batter, the silpat doesn't wrinkle/bubble up like parchment would, leaving little bumps of uneveness.
Like everyone else, I use the silpat sheets for cookies(great on convection ovens when sometimes the parchment corners lift up into the corner cookies), biscotti, tuiles.
post #11 of 15
yup, tuiles and brandy snaps.
Silpats are great. :D
post #12 of 15
When I worked as a saucier, it was the smell of Bordelaise reduction that I found very evocative, could bring me back to any time and place I ever smelled it. Now, I find it's the smell of hot apricot glaze and hot silpats that do it. And when was the last time you drank water out of a hose? All of a sudden it's a summer day, you're in your grandmother's back yard, and you're ten years old.
It's not Dairy Queen.
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It's not Dairy Queen.
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post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
kuan

Darn, I already went kiddie shopping for my three. :(

angrychef

I don't know if that's what they are called but it sounds like it.

thebighat

Last time I drank from a hose was when it turned 90 degrees around here. March maybe. Not sure which month. I guess I like to live dangerously but the water tasted fine.

I always wanted to ask a Saucier how they got started. What was the first thing they had to learn and if they had any tips to pass on. No one notices the flavor of my sauces around here but I think they suck! :(
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
Reply
post #14 of 15
I got started when the first chef I worked for turned me on to Larousse Gastronomique. He drove around with a copy in his car.

A couple of years later I went to work for a summer with an old time French chef, who made beef, veal, chicken, and fish stock every week, whether he needed them or not. It was just something he did. That really opened my eyes to what all the books were talking about.

He was one of these guys who, at a critical moment, would say, Hey Joe! (My name is David) Go down to the freezer and tell me how many duck I have in there.. When you got back, he would be sitting on his high stool, waving a cigarette, the Madeira sauce would be smiling in the rondeau, and you didn't know how he did it.

He got really sick with appendicitis and it was actually his gofer, a local kid who looked like something out of Deliverance, who taught me everything he knew about French sauces. I would say, Chucky, you know that sauce chef makes with the red wine? Chucky would put the chef's hat on, imitate his French Canadian accent and show me how. You put red wine to 'ere..and he would point at a rivet in the pan, and boil'em to 'ere.

I was reading a cookbook by Dionne Lucas where she waxes eloquently about a restaurant her son worked at in Vermont and how she had this cute little bake shop that looked out over an herb garden and so on, and I realized she was writing about this place. So I asked one of the old time waitresses if she knew her. She said yes, and the owner never let her make an omelet.


Beyond all that, I learned a lot from Raymond Sokolove's book, The Saucier's Apprentice. And from just watching people. Beurre blanc, a big mystery sauce, right? I watched someone nonchalantly whiz a handful of shallots in the blender with some vermouth, then boil it dry, then beat in a bunch of butter. All done. Very simple. And like Thomas Keller, I learned a lot from making Hollandaise every day. I had a bite of tenderloin with Bernaise today and realized there's a lot of tastes you don't normally get in the course of the day in the bake shop.
It's not Dairy Queen.
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It's not Dairy Queen.
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post #15 of 15
I had to read ShawtyCat's description a few times, but I think I got it! The white plastic thing with a hole = template. The pastry chef would place the template on the silpat, pour or spoon joconde batter into the template, smooth it out to the exact height of the template and remove the template. It bakes quickly because it's very thin. I think I've seen it done with a cake batter on tv before, but I'm not sure. I know that I've seen it done with chocolate, e.g. Jacques Torres making a large, perfectly flat and round chocolate disk.
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