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The Springform Pan

The Springform PanNothing works as well as the springform pan when it comes to easily removing your baked cheesecake and other fragile cakes from the pan.

• The springform pan is made with a removable base, a flexible metal ribbon rim (vertical side), and a toggle latch clasp that tightens the ribbon to affix it onto the base.

• Clasp the rim with the base in place, and you're ready to bake;
• Unclasp when done, the rim springs open, and removal of really moist cakes is a breeze.

The traditional springform pan is made of tinned steel. The bottom is waffle shaped to give it strength (since cheesecake and torten are relatively heavy). The base metal is steel, and it is uniformly coated with tin to help prevent rust. Hand washing is recommended, as is a thorough drying. Springform pans made of tinned steel are usually the least expensive.

Aluminum springform pans are very popular restaurant wares. They don't rust, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher (except anodized aluminum). Springform pans made of aluminum are usually the most durable.

Stainless steel springform pans offer excellent resistance to corrosion, with the convenience of easy clean-up, since they can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Good quality stainless steel springform pans are very expensive, which is probably why they don't have much of an audience and thus not many are produced.

Non-stick springform pans offer the least resistance to sticking, and the convenience of easy clean-up; many can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Care is required to not mar the non-stick surface with sharp utensils, such as a cake knife.

Thicker gauge metals usually offer a better seal and better resistance to denting.

Springform Tips

Always assemble your springform pan on a flat surface. This will prevent any bending or damage to the base and any ridge at the bottom of the rim that helps insure against leaks.

Before clasping your springform rim, make sure the base is sitting properly in any ridge or edge at the bottom of the rim.

Line the outside of the pan with aluminum foil to help keep batter from leaking out, especially when using a light batter or older springform pans. It also helps to line the outside when the springform pan is placed in a water bath in the oven.

Expect all springform pans to leak a bit, especially if you're using a very light batter. And the more intricate the design of the springform pan, the more likely it will leak. It's normal, so take the abovementioned precautions and line the outside bottom of your pan.

Line the base with parchment paper before you start baking, instead of having to serve your cake on the springform base. When baked, remove the springform sides and slide the parchment lined cake off the base and onto a serving plate.

Or replace the metal base with a parchment-lined piece of cardboard of the same size, and you can give away the cake and not worry about losing your metal base.

Is it done yet? If you give your cheesecake a little shake and ripples appear, the cheesecake is not done. What you're looking for is the top of the cheesecake to slightly jiggle like jello.

Do not store cakes with high-acid ingredients in any tinned, aluminum or stainless springform pans after baking.

Store your springform pans fully assembled, and neatly stowed to prevent denting.

Ask Vanessa: "Why does my cheesecake crack in the oven, and how do I prevent this from happening?"

Springform CheesecakeThere are a number of reasons why this can occur - often the oven temperature is too high, or the outside of the cake is baking more quickly than the center, or over-baking is making the cheesecake too dry. But there's good news, as here are a few ways to prevent this from happening next time!

A lot of cheesecake recipes call for a water bath, which means baking your springform pan inside a larger pan that is filled with water reaching about half way up the springform pan's rim. This method helps equalize the heat that reaches the cake, allowing the edges to bake at the same rate the center, and which prevents the cheesecake from forming a dome that cracks when it cools. If you are worried about water seeping into your springform pan and leaking into the cheesecake, choose a tight sealed springform pan, or wrap the entire pan in foil before submerging in water.

Another way to prevent cracking is to use aluminized baking strips on the outside of your pan. These work well for all cakes to help keep the surface flat and free from cracks. Soak these cloth strips in water, then wrap around the outside of the pan before placing in the oven. The aluminized fabric on the outside insulates the strip to retain moisture while baking, resulting in a smooth, flawless, and evenly baked cake. If you don't have baking strips, use strips cut from a cotton towel.

You can also try cracking the oven door open after cheesecake is finished baking. This subtle change in oven temperature will slow down the cooling time, but prevents a rapid drop in temperature that can cause cracking and sinking cakes.

When in doubt, cook it low (temperature) and slow to prevent your cheesecake from overcooking, drying out, and thus cracking.

Lindy's Famous Cheesecake by Leo and Clara Lindy, of the original Lindy's on Broadway
Vanessa's New York Style Vanilla Chai Cheesecake

Springform pans can be quite versatile, making it easier to remove not only baked goods, but frozen ones as well.

Nadia's Homemade Ice Cream

NadiaThis is my process of making Ice Cream Cakes for Parties. I can be creative using my family's favorite flavors and fillings, they enjoy the ice cream much more, and it's even less expensive than from the market.

I love my springform pan in which to make my ice cream cakes. Makes it so easy to remove in one piece!

9-inch and 10-inch springform pans work great for a full size cake. I like the 4-inch and 6-inch size for diversifying fillings, for smaller servings, and for multiple gifts.

1. Wrap the inside bottom of the pan with wax paper before closing the buckle, which will later make it easier to slide the cake onto a plate.

2. Soften before scooping. Slightly soften your choice of ice cream. It's ok if it's still a bit stiff. Scooping ice cream into the pan doesn't have to be perfectly uniform, as you can place a sheet of wax paper on top and press down with a spatula to pack and level it.

3. To make multiple layering much easier, keep the wax paper on top while the layer firms up in the freezer (about an hour, depending on the pan size).

4. Remove the wax paper and scoop in the next layer of a different flavor ice cream, or your choice of filling topped with a layer of ice cream. Re-freeze in the same manner as above, and repeat the process for additional layers until the pan is filled.

5. For the filling I like to use about ½-inch or less of crushed Oreo Cookies, however any cream filled cookie will do. Like mini chocolate chips, or crushed or chopped chocolate candy bars like Reese's peanut butter cups or Snickers. You can use a food processor to crush the treats, or by putting the candies in a plastic bag and hitting it with a meat mallet or heavy rolling pin.

6. Once completely frozen, remove from the pan by running an offset icing spatula along the inside edges of the pan to loosen the cake before unbuckling the springform.

7. To ice the cake, you can make a non-dairy whipped topping, or pick one up from the freezer section of the supermarket (such as Cool Whip).

8. Keep frozen until ready to serve. Enjoy with your family!

Nadia's Ice Cream Cake Covered in Springform PanNadia's Ice Cream Cake in Springform PanNadia's Ice Cream Cake Out of the PanNadia's Ice Cream Cake Decorated