How to Prepare Pan? - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. To prepare the pans what I would like to do is to take piece of parchment paper-we are going to talk a little bit more about that later, and then I like to get the pans ready before I begin baking. And the way that I do that- some people use butter, some people use oil, some people use a pan sprayed with flour. I like to make pan grease, and the way that I make pan grease is by taking flour and vegetable oil and shortening. Now, I tend to be brand specific when I can because I like my products to turn out consistently every time. So if I am going to use a vegetable shortening, I will tend to do this brand (Crisco) and then for vegetable oil I kind of like the flavor profile of a certain one so I will also use those. So, to make pan grease-basically you take equal parts of flour, of oil, and shortening. And you mix them together. And what you get is this kind of almost liquid gold. And the way that you use that once it has been blended completely is you take a pastry brush. For this application I actually like to use one of my natural bristle brushes versus one of the silicone ones because it helps me get into the corners. And then what you are going to do is you are going to take it and you are going to spread that pan grease evenly into the entire pan. The beauty of this is that I am not trying to get grease and flour into the pan because for me I never actually do get it into the pan-it ends up all over my kitchen. It also works beautifully for those shaped pans that you may have difficulty getting out. You can take this pan grease and brush it into even the smallest nooks and crannies-which is beautiful because you do not often get a chance with this spray or with oil or flour to get it into every spot. The reason I do not use butter is because butter contains water, and the air pockets and the water when it melts creates moisture which can cause sticking when it combines with the flour. It almost turns into glue. When I use this pan grease, I do not have that problem. The next step is to take my piece of parchment paper. If you are fortunate enough to get it into a circle, it is great because the work is already done for you. You can take the larger piece of parchment paper and cut it down into a circle if you would like to make it fit. But the fact that I use parchment paper and the pan grease helps to make sure that you get a great relief every time. Now, I like to bake in pans that are 3 inches deep. The reason I like to do that is because it allows me to bake a cake of significant height without having to bake two cakes and then trim those into balance. When I am baking a very deep cake or if I am going to be baking in a diameter that is larger than 12 inches- I like to add a little bit of additional insurance. This happens to be a flour needle. And the way that this is used is usually this way, but when I am baking with it I turn it this way. What I do is I take my pan grease and I brush it, the flour in here, and then I actually stick it underneath my parchment paper. So I am going to pierce the center of this and I will let it sit in the bottom of the pan. The way that this works is now there is a heating core in the center of my cake so that the heat radiates from the inside out and the outside in-so that I have a better chance of getting a very evenly baked cake without over baking it. One thing I absolutely hate is to take a beautiful cake out of the oven and find out that it was not cooked all the way through. It is good for my hips but it is not good for whatever project I was working on. Another thing I like to do for insurance is to use a strip that will help the cake bake evenly. This happens to be a metallic strip and it also has Velcro on it. What you want to do is to take this strip and immerse it in water. It can only be used if it is wet. And once it is fully immersed- I do not need it to be sopping wet, but wet enough- I am going to remove the excess liquid so it will not drip all over and then I am going to wrap it around the pan. Basically what happens when I use this strip is that the heat-when it hits the pan-has to gradually go through the moisture here so that it gradually gets warmer thru the center and it’s not causing the outsides of the cake to set instantly and cook. Without this strip: the heat hits the side of the pan-it gets super-hot- the cake closest to the edge cooks first and then the center cannot stay evenly moist. It actually rises up and domes, which is usually what happens when you have a cake that gets a tremendous dome on it. So this way you do not have as much frustration when you are working with your cakes.