Specialized Equipment

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About
Today’s bakers, both amateur and professional, can choose from a vast array of utensils. Disposable pastry bags and plastic squeeze bottles are used for piping and decorating cakes and cookies, and for piping caramel, chocolate glaze, and purées when plating desserts. An advantage of the plastic squeeze bottle is that the contents can be kept warm by placing the bottle in a hot-water bath.

Reusable liners are useful because absolutely nothing sticks to them, making them ideal for caramel, meringues, and ladyfingers. See caramels and meringue. Sometimes called super-parchment or reusable parchment, they also make cleanup easy. Food service-quality Silpat, a combination of silicone and fiberglass, is not quite as nonstick as Teflon-type liners. However, it is more durable and is safe for temperatures up to 480°F (250°C), whereas the Teflon-type liner is rated as safe only up to 425°F (220°C). Parchment is ideal for lining the bottoms of cake pans. It enables the cake to release perfectly when unmolding and, if left uncoated, helps to remove the bottom crust easily for sponge cakes that will be brushed with syrup.