Basics #5: Tow the Line(r)

Some part of the Basics series will be spent deciphering commonly bandied-about baking instructions that aren’t always self-explanatory. Today, we’ll figure out what it means to “grease and line” a round cake tin.

So is greasing/lining a step worth doing? Definitely. Unless you plan to serve your cake in its tin (which you can totally do if that’s the look you’re going for), you’ll want to grease and line your tin for easy cake removal. And it’s not difficult to do at all. You’re going to need the cake tin, some baking paper, and baking spray.

So let’s deal with the lining first. Tear off a piece of baking paper that’s larger than your tin. Now, square paper, round tin. What to do?

First, fold your baking paper thusly:

Then, you will need to cut down your triangular folded baking paper to fit the radius of your tin. Just place the pointed part of the paper over the centre of your tin and trim off the excess paper.

Unfold and voilà – you have a circle! Although it’s not a perfect circle or it doesn’t fit the base of your tin exactly, that bit of paper is your insurance against cake-sticking.

Okay, now on to the “greasing” bit. I use a baking spray that contains shortening and flour. Simply spray an even layer all over the bottom and sides of the tin.

If you don’t have baking spray, just rub butter all of your tin. Then, toss in some flour and rotate the tin until the insides are evenly coated. Discard the excess flour.

Finally, just push your baking paper onto the bottom of the tin. Your cake tin is all prepared for batter!

I normally don’t bother with lining the sides because I think the fat/flour coating is sufficient. Even without a paper lining, my cakes usually shrink away from the edges of the tin on cooling. Besides, if the sides do stick to the tin, just run a knife along the edge to release it.

The bottom, however, is another story all together. The couple of times I got lazy and didn’t bother to line the bottom of the tin, my cakes just welded themselves to the tin. You’ve been warned!

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