Last week, I confessed my love for cheesecakes and shared some of our favorite cheesecake recipes. This week, I would like to show you what else you can do with springform pans.
I love springform pans. Sure, they’re required for cheesecakes but they can be used for much more — desserts and cornbread, coffeecake, and even some casseroles. And that opens up a whole new world of baking. Instead of digging your baked good out of the pan a slice at a time, you present it perfectly at the table on a platter. You do so by snapping the ring off the dessert or casserole, leaving it on the base, and setting base and all on the platter. For us, our springform pans are some of the most used pans in the kitchen.
But alas, springform pans have their Achilles heels: they can leak. Although leaking is not a problem with cheesecakes enclosed in a graham cracker crumb crust, cakes and desserts can leak. But if you have a quality pan and you pick your batter, a thicker batter, the seam will hold. Of course, some springform pans have tighter seals than others.
Springform pans are better now than when I first discovered them. The new generation of silicone springform pans is incredible, almost leak-proof. I’ve filled them with water and left them on the counter with barely any leakage. You can bake almost anything in these new springform pans.
(Silicone springform pans along with square, rectangular, heart-shaped and glass-base springform pans can be purchased at The Prepared Pantry.)
Even if you’re stuck with an earlier generation of springform pans, don’t despair. You can still bake a wide variety of goodies in most springform pans. The following recipes will usually work in a quality springform pan.
Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake
No wonder fine restaurants serve flourless chocolate cake. It’s dense, moist, chocolaty, and incredibly good.
With only four ingredients and three steps, this is an easy flourless cake. And it’s scrumptious — perfect to make for your sweetheart. As with other flourless chocolate cakes, this is dense and chocolaty.
A simple dusting of powdered sugar makes this cake elegant. Drizzle it with raspberry sauce, raspberry chocolate sauce, or chocolate sauce. (A recipe for raspberry sauce follows.) Finally add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Be sure and use good quality, dark cocoa. We use Ramstadt-Breda Dark Cocoa (available at The Prepared Pantry and other online retailers) which has three times the cocoa butter of most national brands. This will not be the same with ordinary cocoa.
We have baked this cake many times, both in silicone and traditional springform pans.
8 large eggs
1 cup rich, dark cocoa, Ramstadt-Breda or equal
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In your stand-type mixer and with the whip attachment beat the eggs for three minutes at medium speed, until they are bubbly and lighter colored. While the eggs are beating, melt the butter and measure the other ingredients. Measure the cocoa by spooning cocoa into a cup—do not compress the cocoa.
- Add the sugar and cocoa and beat in. While the mixer is running, drizzle in the melted butter. Continue beating until mixed. Scrape the batter into a nine-inch springform pan.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until an insta-read thermometer registers 165 to 170 degrees when inserted into the center of the cake. Cool on a wire rack and then place in the refrigerator to chill. The cake will become dense as it cools. Dust with powdered sugar if you desire.
Yield: 12 servings.
How to Make Raspberry Sauce
Raspberries alone are not tart enough and not flavored enough for a dessert sauce even when thickened with a starch. There are two possible solutions: Cooking the fruit down to concentrate the flavors or adding a jelly for thickness and flavor. This recipe uses the latter. The red currant jelly gives the sauce body, color, and flavor.
12 ounces, about 3 cups frozen, unsweetened raspberries
2/3 cup red currant jelly
about 1/4 cup sugar
- Thaw and puree the raspberries. Strain them twice through a sieve/strainer or until nearly all of the seeds are removed. Place the puree in a small saucepan. Add the jelly.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the jelly is completely melted and blended with the fruit. Sweeten to taste with the sugar while it is still hot. Stir to make sure that the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Yield: About 1 1/3 cups of raspberry sauce.
Orange Walnut Coffeecake
This is one of the best coffeecakes that we have ever tasted. Around our kitchen, these are gone in a nanosecond.
The cream cheese makes it very moist and delicious. The topping is reminiscent of the caramel topping on a German chocolate cake and the melted topping glazes the sides. Scrumptious.
Even with the topping, it is not quite as sweet as a dessert cake.
This recipe is sized for a seven-inch springform pan. Double this recipe for a ten-inch springform pan, a nine-inch square springform pan, or a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese
zest from one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Cream the sugar and cream cheese together. Add the zest, vanilla, and egg and beat until soft and fluffy.
2. In another bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Add the buttermilk and orange juice. Beat until combined.
3. Pour the batter into a greased pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake tests down with a toothpick.
Baker’s Note: While 35 minutes is the right baking time for the 7-inch pan, baking times will vary with different pans. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
For the topping:
In a small bowl, mix the following ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut
2 tablespoons orange juice
Spread the topping over hot cake. Set the oven to broil. Place the cake within five inches of the element and broil for just a few minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm.
Baker’s Note: The topping will melt and run down the sides of the cake, glazing the sides. A springform pan is the perfect vehicle for this cake making a nice presentation with glazed sides.
Parmesan and Bacon Cornbread
This is a great cornbread made in a nine-inch springform pan. Most cornbread recipes can be baked in springform pans which is great way to cut and serve crumbly cornbreads.
It’s fun to experiment with cornbread. Add your favorites to a cornbread recipe—and you can really be creative. Try sun-dried tomatoes, salami, green peppers, cheddar, or mushrooms. Think of your favorite pizza and add some of the same ingredients to cornbread.
In this savory version, we added crisply cooked bacon, onions, basil, and parmesan cheese.
We loved it. Incidentally, this bread with the aromas of bacon, onions, parmesan, and basil smells absolutely wonderful while baking.
1/2 to 2/3 cups crisply-cooked bacon pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dry, crushed basil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Grease the base of a nine-inch springform.
1. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and basil in a medium bowl.
2. Mix the bacon pieces, melted butter, eggs, milk, cheese, and onion together in another bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir together until mixed.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If baked in a deeper pan or a light colored pan, it may take longer to bake. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes and serve warm.
New England Apple Pie Pastry
Is it a pie or an apple pastry? It’s the best of both. Instead of a pie crust, it uses a cream cheese pastry dough for a very elegant and exciting dessert.
It’s made with a rich cream cheese pastry on top and bottom with an apple cinnamon filling tucked in. It’s a little more work than an apple pie but it’s not hard and it is worth the extra time.
Check out the unusual topping. It’s easy. It is made by freezing the pastry dough and then shredding it as you would shred cheese. We used an electric shredder attachment for our stand-type mixer and made quick work of the task though a box grater works too.
We used a ten-inch springform pan for this dessert. You could also use a nine-inch square springform pan.
Ingredients for the dough
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup cold butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup whipping cream
Ingredients for the filling
5-6 medium baking apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 to 2/3 of an 8-ounce jar of red currant jelly or other red jam or jelly
1. Cream the cream cheese and butter together. Add the vanilla and granulated sugar and continue creaming.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Add the whipping cream and beat again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. You should have a soft dough. Add more cream or flour if necessary to get the right consistency.
3. Divide the dough in half. Put one half in the refrigerator and the other in freezer. Allow the dough in the refrigerator to freeze rock hard, at least several hours.
4. For the filling, peel and core the apples then coarsely grate them. Add the cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, flour, optional cranberries, and nuts. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the half of the dough that was in the refrigerator and roll it out as you would pie dough. Place it in a ten-inch springform pan and mold the dough across the bottom and 2/3’s up the sides. (See picture.) You may cut and patch the dough as required.
6. Spread the jelly across the bottom of the dough. Spoon the filling into the pastry shell. (See picture.)
7. Take the frozen dough from the freezer. Coarsely grate it as you would cheese using a box grater or electric grater. Spread the grated dough across the top of the pastry.
8. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are oozing juice. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes and then remove the outer ring. Cool until just warm and serve plain, with whipped cream, or ice cream.
Baker’s note: Both the jelly and cranberries add color to the dessert making it more attractive. Do not cut while it is piping hot.
American Spaghetti Pie
Recently, we baked a casserole, a spaghetti pie, in a silicone springform pan. With tomato juice settled onto the base, this seemed like the ultimate test. And it leaked, but barely and we solved that problem by setting the springform pan on a baking sheet. Here’s the recipe.
If you can make spaghetti, you can make spaghetti pie. It’s a really neat dish and one that the whole family will enjoy–a mixture of spaghetti and cheese and Italian sausage. It’s firm enough that you can cut it into slices and serve it like a cake.
We use a 9-inch silicone springform pan, a Candy Apple Red Springform Pan but you can use a large, 3 1/2 to 4 quart, baking pan if your prefer.
1/2 pound spaghetti noodles
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3/4 pound ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups, about 12 ounces, ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon Zesty Pizza and Pasta Spice or other Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Cook the spaghetti until it is al dente, cooked but still firm. (You want it undercooked; it will continue to cook in the oven.)
- Sauté the onion, green pepper, and sausage until browned.
- Mix the ricotta cheese, the 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, eggs, oregano, salt, pepper, and basil together in a large bowl. Add the cooked meat and vegetable mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Assemble the pie by placing one half the noodles in the pan. Pour one half of the spaghetti sauce over the noodles. Spoon one half of the cheese and meat mixture over the spaghetti sauce. Cover the mixture with the other half of the noodles, then the rest of the spaghetti sauce, and finally, the rest of the cheese and meat mixture. Top the dish with the remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and set it on a baking sheet or splash guard to catch any dribbles while baking. Bake for 45 minutes or until just set or the center of the casserole measures 165 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.
- Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for ten minutes. Remove the ring and serve the pie.
For more recipes and to receive a discount on your pan, learn more about silicone springform pans at The Prepared Pantry.