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Oct 25, 2006 11:18 AM

Silicon bakeware--questions

I love the look of all this new silicone bakeware, and even got myself a bundt cake pan that I could probably fold up and stick in the drawer if I wanted to. But two questions:

1. Do you have to butter and flour, like with regular cake pans?

2. Have there been any reports that you know of about the possible dangers of silicon? Is it just a matter of time before the stuff is exposed as a health risk, a la teflon?

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  1. Point 1
    I still butter and flour my madeleine mould (it's just a lot easier to do - and a lot easier to wash) I don't do anything to my pastry case mould. So, I treat it as I would were it metal.

    Point 2
    Life's too short! I still have teflon coated stuff (and an aluminium saucepan - rarely used). I eat oily fish too and people seem to be constantly changing their minds about that one!

    3 Replies
    1. re: ali patts

      Thanks for the reply. I tend to agree re point 2, and still use my teflon pans.

      By the way, wasn't it you who were looking for glucose? I don't know if you saw my reply, but definitely check Sainsbury's. I've seen it there, and also in health/gourmet shops.

      1. re: ali patts

        As I understand it, Teflon is only a problem if it's exposed to high heat and releases it's self as gas. Or something to that effect. It's really not to worry about as cookware. If it were, it'd be pulled from the market place.


        1. re: Davwud

          Hi, I was just reading your response, and ACTUALLY, teflon can be hazardous to your health.

          National Goegraphic paid one of ther journalists to have his blood tested for everything under the sun, and teflon (amongst other chemicals) was very high. The chemical in teflon is cancerous, and just because something is still on the shelf, doesn't mean it can't kill you. America's snack and fast food industries are chock-full of partially hydrogenated fats, which is basically fats that have their molecular structure modified, making them exteremely dangerous for the human body. Everything from our bed mattresses to airplanes are smothered in non-flammable chemicals that are also cancerous.

          Just thought you'd like to know some facts.

      2. yep, it is me, chemists across the road had it. My sainsburys (tescos and waitrose didn't) sainsburys has small pots of glycerine but that's different. (Isn't it!?!)

        1 Reply
        1. re: ali patts

          Oh maybe I did confuse the two, now that you mention glycerine! Glad you found it though!

        2. I have several silicon baking pans - a couple of cake pans, a muffin pan and a loaf pan - and I've just about given up on all of them. Silicon is a poor conductor of heat so nothing browns properly. I find the look of pale yellow cakes very unappealing. You don't get proper crust on anything for the same reason. I would never make madeleines in silicon, you wouldn't get the buttery crust.

          Secondly, the pans are floppy. You have to put filled pans on a cookie sheet or try to move them to the oven. If you're making a layer cake, and bake the two layers in separate silicon pan, the shapes will not be exactly the same because the sides of the pan aren't rigid.

          Thirdly, they aren't truly nonstick. I used the loaf pan to make a marmalade gingerbread and couldn't get it unglued from the pan. Ditto with muffins. So you still have to grease and flour them.

          I don't think there are any health risks, silicon is inert. But it makes a terrible baking material. Get good metal bakeware and it will serve you well forever.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cheryl_h

            I agree on the floppiness issue, but don't have a problem with my madeleines not being brown on the presentation side, I always found that when I used a metal tray and they coloured they were always on the dry side - no matter what I did with temperatures or times.

            1. re: cheryl_h

              Interesting that you mention the browning, because I burn almost everything in my silicon! By the time anything gets done in the middle, the bottoms are burned... I've gotten around this by putting whatever it is on a cookie sheet, but that's just one more dish to use and one more pain in the butt!

              1. re: Katie Nell

                I found that baking times for silicon are different from those for metal pans, so perhaps that's part of the problem with burning the bottoms? Because heat isn't conducted efficiently through the sides, everything takes longer to bake. It's just not worth the hassle.

              2. re: cheryl_h

                I love the use (and look!) of silicon in other types of cooking (spatula, trivet/oven mit etc.) but I agree with cheryl completely about it as bakeware. Had difficulty with the floppiness issue, but don't have enough experience with the browning one. I got a cake pan for a 3rd layer and in comparison with the metal pans the silicon layer was kind of sad (and a slightly smaller size). I also managed to dent the side of the cake with my thumb taking it out of the oven so it doesn't get used unless it has to. I also greased & floured.

              3. Thanks for all the responses! I think I'll pass on the silicon bakeware and stick to my regular metal ones. Appreciate the advice!

                1. DON'T fold up your bundt pan. Although you're *supposed* to be able to do that, eventually the tube will list to one side or the other. That means that the difference in the density of the cake from one side to the other will be considerable and your cakes will be half over done and half under done at the same time.

                  I speak from sad experience.