More and more these days I see silicon bakeware for sale in hardware shops and department stores. I am completely drawn to it as it is always manufactured in an array of exciting colours, but the time has come to answer the burning question: its certainly pretty, but is it as good as a good old baking tin?
An old 1lb loaf tin that I bought when I started University.
A reasonably new 2lb silicon loaf tin in a deligtful shade of lilac kindly given to me last christmas by Tom’s Mum.
For this battle I have chosen to bake a cappucino cake, made from a recipe found in what is, in my opinion, the best little cake book in the west, 101 Cakes and Bakes. It is a straightforward recipe flavoured with cocoa powder and coffee. Simple, but effective. I baked each cake for the required time, so the 1lb cake came out a little before the 2lb cake. This was the result…
The cake baked in the traditional tin came out perfectly. The sides were not too burned – something that can be a problem with metal cake tins as they get so hot. As you can see below, the corners were sharp, just as they should be, and the cake held its shape brilliantly.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the silicon case. the mixture could spread more easily as the case is far less firm, leaving the corners ill-defined and the cake far flatter. The sides were cooked perfectly, but this is not a cake I would serve to the Queen!
Well, there you have it. Silicon bakeware is very pretty and really efficient to store, but if you want a well turned out cake, a good old-fashioned metal tin is the best bet. I personally will stick to a mix of the two – metal for presentation cakes and silicon for cakes for my fella. That way I can keep my cupboards looking pretty.