Seeing Through Things!
The Glass Bottom Pan
Everyone loves springform pans for baking cheesecake and other cakes that require higher than 2-inch high sides. The main advantage of a springform is the ease in unmolding a cake thanks to the clamping mechanism that can be released to open up the sides of the pan. However, we have encountered two problems with the majority of springforms relating to removing a clean slice of cheesecake:
1. Most springform pans have lipped bottoms which makes it very difficult to slip a knife or spatula between the crust of the cakes and straight across the surface of the pans' bottoms.
2. Most springform pan bottoms have pebbled or diamond-like surfaces which cookie and graham cracker crusts will conform and adhere to during baking, preventing them from releasing when serving.
Wilton has solved both problems most elegantly and effectively with their Avanti glass bottom springform pans. The pans have their Everglide non-stick 2-3/4 inch tall metal side rings with perfectly flat 9 by 1/8-inch thick glass bottoms. These class bottoms are interchangeable with all five series of spring form pans in their line. Another advantage to the glass bottoms is that cakes can be left on them for serving which makes for a lovely presentation.
Woody and I tested the Avanti using both dental floss and a thin sharp knife to cut the cheesecake. Woody baked a marble cheesecake in a waterbath as my method treats cheesecakes as custards for the creamiest possible texture. A double layer of heavy-duty foil prevented any water from leaking into the pan. The chilled cake was then sliced and plated.
Wilton's Avanti pan worked beautifully for slicing with the dental floss and for serving clean slices. Even though it has a glass bottom, Wilton recommends the same baking times as for a pan with a metal bottom, rather than the usual lowering of the heat by 25˚F (glass transmits heat more rapidly). This is because the water bath equalizes the temperature and when baking without a water bath, it is always recommended to place all springform pans on a metal baking sheet to prevent leaking. In this case the metal baking sheet will also serve to conduct the heat in the same manner as a pan with a metal bottom.
The Avanti springform pan is dishwasher safe. It is available on the web and at several retailers. Wilton Avanti Everglide Metal-Safe Non-Stick Springform Pan with Glass Bottom