I’m back.  Its been a while.  Well, I made a castle cake last weekend.  One of the things I always have trouble with is getting the cake out of the larger pans without it tearing apart.  Sure, I’ve used the old butter (or shortening) and flour method.  I’ve used the commercially available “Pan-free’ products also.  But I find that the larger the cake, the more likely you are to have trouble getting it to release without tearing.  After watching an episode of PBS’s America Test Kitchen, I’ve learned to line the bottom and sides of the pans with parchment paper.  I very lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan with shortening first.  Just enough to make the paper stick.  When I say lightly, I mean lightly.  You don’t want to use so much that the shortening affects the batter.  I’m sure many have used this method for years but beginners don’t hear much about this.  Let me tell you, the cake comes out perfect.  And best of all, it reduces the amount of crumbs on the cake.  And when you’re doing your crumb coat, that means a lot. 

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