Lining cake tins
Lining a cake tin makes it easier to turn the cake out, and it also offers some protection to the sides and bottom of the cake as it cooks. Baking paper (parchment paper) is ideal to line cake tins because it is non-stick.
To line the base of a cake tin, use a pencil to trace around the base of the tin on baking paper and cut slightly inside the pencil mark. To line the sides, cut a wide band of paper long enough to go around the sides of the tin; this band of paper should be marginally higher than the cake tin, so that once it is folded, it is roughly the same height as the tin. Fold over one edge of the paper then snip it with scissors about every centimeter or so. This helps it fit around the inside of the cake tin. Put the band of paper in the tin, with the sniped edge towards the bottom, then put the round of paper on top of the snipped edge. To keep the paper in place on the bottom of the cake tin, you can first put a small dab or two of the cake mixture underneath the paper to help it stick to the tin. Use another dab of cake mixture to stick the paper around the sides together. (Or lightly brush cake tin with oil.) Spoon the cake mixture into the tin, putting it in the centre of the tin first and spreading it to the sides without disturbing the paper lining. The weight of the cake batter will help keep the paper in place.
Baking paper is usually in a roll. When you line a cake tin, prepare the paper for the sides curled side facing down to help it stay erect in the cake tin and not flop inwards. Place the bottom piece of paper curled side facing down.
When you know the tricks, it is easy!
If a crisp crust is desired on a whisked sponge, the tins are first greased and the bottom lined with paper and that it is also greased, then everything is sprinkled with caster (superfine granulated sugar). The sugar is shaken around the tin until the sides and bottom are coated, then the tin is turned upside down and given a tap to release excess sugar. Next, it is dusted with flour, the excess tapped out as described for sugar. The sugar makes it crisp; the flour merely fills in any holes. The tin for a chocolate sponge is not prepared with sugar, as this would make the outside of the sponge too sweet. Chocolate often forms a crust of its own.
(Pics of paper preparation by Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com)
Recipe Rhubarb & Cinnamon Cake here
Ilaria shows how easy it is to undo the paper on a cake tin … motivated by hunger, by the look of her eyes!