I have been in my commercial kitchen for over a month now. I have made over a 1000 cakes and desserts and I am looking to streamline baking.
Now I use and bake in round pans for each layer. So if I am baking an 8" 3 layer, I have to fill each pan even and hope that all 3 bake even. an then still I have to level sometimes.
I am so tempted to by the agbay leveler but then I was watching a video on Momofuko milkbar and how they bake. The bake a sheet and then use a cutter to cut out the layers.
So I ordered a 4.5", 6", 8" and 10" Ateco cutters and I am going to give their method a try.
I have also thought about upgrading to all 3" deep pans and the agbay? But my issue here is $$$ and that it takes, what feels like forever, to bake a deep cake.
What do you think? How do you bake?
It's all about finding what works for you, and I am on the hunt!
Don't have an Agbay-would love to get one someday. I have a cheap Wilton one and it's ok for now.
I got a 6" cutter because I figured it was cheaper than getting a bunch of 6"pans. I would bake a 1/2 sheet and then just cut out the layers, works fine. The only thing I don't like about it is: the layers are the same exact size as my cake boards. Sooo, if you use your cake boards as a guide to ice your cakes-you'll be doing a lot of trimming. And, also you have a LOT of cake scraps (which may be good if you have a family who eats them or you make cake pops, etc.).
I eventually broke down and bought the pans. I have all 2 inch pans and haven't really found enough people who like the 3" to sway me over.
Good point on the size, but I feel like my cakes are only 1/8-1/4 smaller than my boards anyway. Are yours any smaller? I have all 2" deep now.
I agree w/the other poster about having cake scraps if you cut from a sheet cake. This is waste that you need to factor into the cost of your baking. I really think in the long run you are much better off using the 2" pans. Learning how much batter to put into the pans, then leveling (IF needed) while they are in the pan is y our best bet.
I have found that baking at a lower temp (300 degrees) for about 20 minutes (per batch of batter/one cake mix) then turning the oven up to 325 for about an equal time gives one a very level cake that almost always comes up to the top of the pan and leveling is unnecessary. Check out my *original* WASC cake recipe.
Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/7445/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe
I suggest you weigh the cake batter and figure out how much you need to bake a good leveled cake. So this way, you know exactly how much to pour in for each pan size.
I have the Wilton leveller but I always just use a serrated knife to level cakes. I have the Wilton Decorator Preferred and Chicago Metallic 2" and 3" pans. I use both. Yes the 3 inch pans take a long time to cook but I don't have issues with them. I don't use heating cores, flower nails in the centre or baking strips around the pan.
Another option is the baking rings and a baking pan that you place them on.
We all have our own way of doing things and our own preferences.
If I used the cutters I would be too tempted to eat the scraps...
I make a lot of cake pops so i am thinking the scraps wouldn't be a prob. I think maybe i should start weighing more!
You should be talking to people who are, or who have been, production bakers. Production bakers need to make and decorate LOTS and LOTS of baked goods and may have a completely different approach to recipes, bakeware, ovens, etc.
An example of production baking tips can be found on the Wicked Goodies website on her "How to Fill Layer Cakes Video and tutorial". She talks about "professional bakery method[s]" and the speed/efficiency factors needed to fill lots of cakes.
Thank you, Apti!