The Versatility of Cake Rings

Stainless steel cake rings are one of the more versatile tools in my “batterie de cuisine“. I typically use cake rings of various sizes and shapes (round, square, rectangular, triangular, etc) to bake, chill, and freeze cakes and entremets.

Cake rings are bottomless moulds that requires a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper liner to act as its bottom. I use cake rings as a direct replacement to the more commonly used springform pan.

A springform pan is a two piece pan composed of an expandable ring with a release latch for easy removal with an interconnected and removable bottom. While I have used springform pans in the past, I have now completely switched to using cake rings when making cakes or entremets.

Baking

In a previous posting, I provided a recipe for my Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake where I used a 16cm diameter/6cm height cake ring to bake my cake. It is particularly important when using cake rings to bake that the baking sheet (which acts as a bottom for the cake ring) be completely flat. Using warped or uneven baking sheets can lead to significant batter leakage onto the baking sheet and will affect the height of the baked cake. For very loose batters or situations where water baths are required, aluminum foil can be wrapped around the bottom of the cake ring to form a base to retain and protect the batter.

Chill/Freeze

A common technique used in professional pastry kitchens is to use acetate liners to line cake rings when making chilled or frozen entremets.

For home bakers, you can cut pieces of acetate sheets to fit the circumference and height of the ring and use this as a liner for your ring moulds. What is the reason for doing so? One reason is it acts as a release mechanism between the entremet and the cake ring. With acetate liner in place, you simply lift or push the entremet out of the ring mould and you get a very clean finish. Without acetate lining, you would require a heat gun (or hairdryer) to melt the sides of the ring to release the entremet from the mould.

By exclusively using cake rings for cake and entremet making, I essentially eliminate the need to purchase many different types of pans which will ultimately save me money and space in the long run.

If you’re interested in purchasing high quality cake rings, you can go the following shops in Malaysia and Singapore:

Eurochef Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Unit P-1-21, Block P
Plaza Damas
No. 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Sri Hartamas, 50480
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: +6-03-6201-8863
Fax: +6-03-6201-4057

Email: sales@eurochef.com.my
www.eurochefasia.com

Sia Huat Pte Ltd
No. 7, 9 & 11 Temple Street
Singapore 058559


Tel: +65-6223-1732
Fax: +65-6224-2896

Email: enquiry@siahuat.com.sg
www.siahuat.com

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17 Responses to “The Versatility of Cake Rings”

  1. Greg Esres Says:

    I’m intrigued by the cake ring concept. Does it matter whether they are stainless or aluminum? Aluminum transfers heat better, of course, but maybe that doesn’t matter for the sides.

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for stopping by. No, it doesn’t matter whether the rings are stainless steel or aluminum. Hot or cold applications, they should perform well in both situations.

      Cheers!

  2. Greg Esres Says:

    Hi stickofachef, thanks for your reply to my previous question. I just noticed your response today. I can’t imagine why I didn’t check back every day, like I normally do.

    Another question, if you don’t mind: I see in one of my baking books about assembling something like a bavarois, it said to use a genoise as the base layer and said to cut it slightly smaller than the cake ring shape (Gisslen, p. 479). How exactly am I supposed to make it slightly smaller? Cutting it would likely result in a very uneven edge. I suppose that the slightly smaller size is to accommodate the acetate? The book doesn’t explain!

    Thanks again for your help.

  3. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Greg,

    You ask a very good question regarding the genoise. Let’s say your cake ring is 16cm in diameter and it’s lined with acetate. As Grisslen states in his recipe, he asks you to have a chocolate sponge layer that is 15cm in diameter. You can trim your sponge layer with a pair of scissors or with a knife. Don’t worry if the sponge layer that you will be cutting is uneven. It will be hidden in the bavarois that you will be filling on top of it. The reason you want to trim the sponge layer is so that the sponge is hidden inside the bavarois. Esthetically, the cake will look more presentable if you don’t have a sponge layer exposed at the bottom sides of the cake. The acetate plays no role or influence in how you trim the sponge layer. The acetate is simply used as a release mechanism for your cake from the cake ring. Without acetate, you would need a heat source to heat the cake ring to release the ring from the bavarois.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  4. Greg Esres Says:

    Yes, that helps immensely. Knowing the purpose behind a procedure is a great relief. Now that I know, I’m ready to start attempting some of these desserts.

    Thanks for your help! I wish you had not discontinued blogging, but I understand how demanding that is. I have one on a different subject, and putting together posts is terribly time-consuming, particularly if it involves pictures or diagrams.

  5. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Greg,

    Glad I could help. I do wish you success in attempting the cake recipe.

    Thanks for understanding my situation on why I decided to stop blogging. When you have to force yourself to post blogs on a continuous basis, it usually means it’s time to put away the pen (or keyboard in this case!) and move onto something else. That was the case for me. However, I still reply to queries from interested readers. I find this situation works best for me since I can still share my knowledge and experience without the need to think about a topic to write about month after month.

    Let me know how your bavarois recipe turns out!

    Cheers!

  6. Lifelessons Says:

    Hello,

    Are you saying that when using a cake ring the batter will not run out underneath? What exactly is preventing the batter from running out all over the place after placing it on the baking sheet since there is not bottom?

    Thank you,

    Lifelessons

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Lifelessons,

      When using cake rings to bake cake batter, you must use a baking sheet that is completely flat and not warped. If it is warped, you will see significant leakage through the gap between the baking sheet and the bottom edge of the cake ring. Using a flat baking sheet will minimise the leakage (you will sometimes see some very small amount of leakage) since the bottom edge of the cake ring is completely flush with the body of the baking sheet . If the cake batter is thick, that will minimise leakage as well. For thin (runny) cake batters, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil under the cake ring and fold the edges of the foil up the outer sides of the cake ring to form a bottom that will retain the cake batter within the ring. This foil technique can also be used if you have warped baking sheets as well.

      Hope this explanation helps.

      Cheers,

  7. Lifelessons Says:

    Bonjour,

    Stickofchef thank you for your quick response. Yes…this explanation has helped me.

    Cheers

  8. Ginger Says:

    Can you recommend a great cookie sheet, and possibly a supplier, that won’t warp? I’ve tried many different brands, but can’t find one that will hold up to the heat – especially if there is something small placed on the cookie sheet. The heat tends to make the corners “pop” so that the pan forms an almost twisted shape while hot. This twist comes out when the pan cools, but this would cause a tremendous problem during the baking process if I have a bottomless ring sitting on it. Thank you so much and I’ll look forward to your response!

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Ginger,

      Nice to hear from you.

      During my early days of baking, I used to use the types of sheet pans you are describing above. Once placed in the oven, they would warp considerably. Nowadays, I only use products from Matfer. In the USA, you can find online suppliers who sell Matfer products from Matfer Bourgeat USA’s website here. Matfer sells professional grade kitchen tools and equipment and you should be able to find the sheet pans you need from there. Matfer’s products are more expensive than the home kitchen products you find in your typical department stores but they are well worth the money. With Matfer products, you won’t experience warping in your baking sheets.

      You can download their latest product catalogue from here to identify the best sheet pan for you.

      Best of luck!:)

  9. bklerner Says:

    Hello,

    I’ve just discovered this post & now learn you no longer do them! Very sad. Until today I’d never heard of cake rings & have been struggling with springform pans. Not a professional at all – just someone who would like to be proud of what I put on the table.

    You say above, “However, I still reply to queries from interested readers.” How would we get these queries to you?

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi bklerner,

      Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s great to hear that you take pride in your sweet creations and are always looking for ways to improve your techniques.

      I still reply to queries that come into my blog. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to pose your questions in the Comments section.

      Cheers!

  10. hortondlfn Says:

    Like bklerner, I just recently learned of cake rings. I’m sure I’ll have several questions, but the two I have now are:
    1) can you place two rings on one baking sheet?
    2) do I need to ensure that my baking sheet is the same metal as the cake ring?

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Mark,

      To answer your questions, please see below:

      1) Yes
      2) No, not at all.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers.

  11. TPY Says:

    Hey chef would just like to ask where can i get acetate sheets like for a few pieces not in bulk like they sell it in Eurochef, is it the same as those we could by from the craft shops?

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Pei Ying,

      Are you referring to the acetate liners for ring molds? If so, they only come in rolls and they tend to be very expensive. You can’t buy them in pieces.

      Yes, you can use the acetate sheets as what you find in craft shops. All you need to do is to simply cut them to the height and length of the ring molds and you’re set!

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers!

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