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Metal vs silicone for baking

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I'm curious which kind of molds/pans you prefer to use for baking, metal or silicone (or something else), and why.

There's also Flexipan, which I hear combines advantages of both but costs a premium...

Any opinions?

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Silicone is an insulator and negatively affects the baking of cakes and the like. Cake sticks to the pan, cooks oddly (tops browning before sides or bottoms), and the pans need support structures to prevent them from deforming and producing odd shaped items. I've tried a lot of different items, from individual cupcake 'papers' to large molds and the cake stuck every time.

The only thing I use silicone for is custards and eggy/wet things like cheesecake which for some reason do pop out cleanly. But, I could live without them.

Flexipans hold their shape much better and can turn out much more detailed cheesecakes, I am not fond of them for cake. Also, they need to be handled and cleaned with care. I wouldn't use them in a large operation unless I could personally train and oversee the diswashing staff.

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I agree with Lisa. Aside from a few things I bake on Silpat, I very rarely bake in silicone. I do have some flexipans which I use to mold mousses that can be frozen, and I have some small silicone molds that I find useful for candy. Other than that, silicone is overrated.

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Silicone is an insulator and negatively affects the baking of cakes and the like. Cake sticks to the pan, cooks oddly (tops browning before sides or bottoms), and the pans need support structures to prevent them from deforming and producing odd shaped items. I've tried a lot of different items, from individual cupcake 'papers' to large molds and the cake stuck every time.

The only thing I use silicone for is custards and eggy/wet things like cheesecake which for some reason do pop out cleanly. But, I could live without them.

Flexipans hold their shape much better and can turn out much more detailed cheesecakes, I am not fond of them for cake. Also, they need to be handled and cleaned with care. I wouldn't use them in a large operation unless I could personally train and oversee the diswashing staff.

Agree. One of my worst investments was silicon canelle molds. Back to the copper.

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I happen to like using silicone cake moulds. I think it depends of what you're using it for? I wouldn't use it on a full size cake but they make really good chocolate moulds and cake pop moulds. I like the flexibility that silicone offers because everything just pops out after cooking! hehe. I'm currently into cake pops and have been using my keetzen cake pop mould from the start. It never gave me problems at all. If you're interested, I got mine here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CGPHHY4/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20 It's a good buy! :D

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Silicone cupcake molds (terrible for cupcakes) are perfect for savory parsnip flan.  The insulation replicates a water bath.

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Bought a set of silicon bakeware at a yard sale... had never been used or even fully out of packaging??  Think there was a round & square (brownie) pan and a cupcake pan.  Didn't dawn on me to fill cups ON a baking sheet, so was a bit tricky getting off counter and onto pan.  And EVERYTHING stuck??  Used once, clean up thoroughly and donated to thrift store.  I use paper liners in metal pan for cupcakes.  Overlapping pieces of parchment for things like lemon bars and brownies.  And parchment off a roll for cookies.

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The only silicone I use are 12 giant muffin moulds I have cut out to be individual moulds to use in making mango panna cotta. For cake and bread tins I go directly to a factory a few kilometers from me that makes aluminium (aluminum for you US folk) bakeware. They make any size I want and are at the moment manufacturing for me a dozen 100 x 50mm round tins for mini Christmas cakes and a dozen 65 x 145 x 50mm tins, also for mini Christmas cakes. They cost a quarter of the price than the crappy tin stuff imported from China and about a tenth of the price of silicone, which has never worked for me. For sheet pans I use industrial Teflon sheets in the pans. I buy about 10 metres of it and cut out sheets to fit my pans. The Teflon lasts about a year of daily baking and works out about 1/50th of the cost of using parchment over the same period.


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