Kitchen & Pantry

Lower the heat when baking with dark-colored pans

Lower the heat when baking with dark-colored pans |

One of the first lessons in fashion that I learned is that black clothes make you look smaller while white clothes make you look larger. Just a visual illusion, really, but people who are very conscious about appearing thinner than they really are live by that rule. Much as I’d like to appear thinner than I am, I’m not a big fan of black clothes except for formal wear. Why? Because black absorbs heat while white repels it. In a tropical country, white is a better choice unless you’re more concerned about looks than comfort.

The thing about black absorbing heat is also true for baking pans. Dark-colored pans make cakes, cupcakes or cookies bake faster so it is a good practice to lower the oven temperature by 25F. The normal baking temperature is 350F although some recipes do require a higher or lower temperature. When I use a dark colored baking pan, I set the oven temperature to 325F.

Lower the heat when baking with dark-colored pans

But what is a dark-colored baking pan? The traditional baking pan is made of aluminum. Modern baking pans are made of glass, silicone or metal with non-stick coating. I only apply the lower heat rule when using non-stick metal baking pan. With silicone pans, irrespective of the color, I stick to the usual temperature.

That said, let me introduce you to my mini fluted tube pan. Six holes in a pan so a pan makes six single serve cakes.

What’s a fluted tube pan? Regular tube pans are round pans with a hollow tube at the center. A fluted tube pan has fluted sides.

My full-sized fluted tube pan is made of silicone and I love baking with it (see my tres leches cake and rum cake with limoncello). I also use it as a mold for my gelatin-based desserts (see cathedral’s window).

Lower the heat when baking with dark-colored pans

I’ve always referred to my silicone fluted tube pan as a bundt pan not knowing that “bundt” is actually a brand and not the generic term for the fluted tube pan. Just like saying “Colgate” for toothpaste or “Kodak” for photographs. I wish that I could have mini fluted tube pans made of silicone but I haven’t been able to find any. Right now, I’m happy with my non-stick metal mini fluted tube pans which create such beautiful single-serve cakes.

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