shuna lydon

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« ::concerning crushes:: | Main | Chef to Cook Advice, or, what should occur but doesn't often enough. »

07 November 2007


I was just looking at silicone molds the other day, but I don't see where they fit my tame lifestyle. Those must be _cannelles_, your top hats, right? But what is chiboust?

Wow, I HATE them, but I am not a professional. With silicone, though, I don't get nicely caramelized and crusty outsides on muffin or cake bottoms, and they are wibbly-wobbly, so I have to put them on top of a cookie sheet in order to be able to remove them hot from the oven, which just makes an extra dish for me to wash and indicates absolutely zero reduction in big, hot things lying around for me to bump into while they cool.

Hate them, hate them, hate them.

They come in fun colors, though.

I like to use them for gels and individual terrines...that can be poached and served without having to slice off one piece.

I use them to set up individual entrements. Mounting top to bottom, freezing then just popping them out, into the frigde then glaze.

I have a silicone square baking thing and everything sticks to it. Is this a different kind of material? I presume these are from a fancy kitchen supply place! They certainly look shinier than mine, its quite a dull finish


No, no cannelles here, just tall cake-ettes. Chiboust-- do a google search. its basically pastry cream mounted with gelatin and meringue, but can be created in a number of different ways.


Wow, hate is a strong word. It should be noted that all baking pans should rest on another baking sheet, preferably one called a half sheet pan-- because it has sides. They cost a few dollars in a professional cookware store, or Chinatown. I like to bake everything with parchment paper, which can be re-used 4X, so that few things really get washed afterwards...

They are wobbly, so that's why a flat surface is necessary.


This is fantastic-- thanks for stopping by. I can only imagine how delicious your creations are... great idea for the silicone, thank you.

Richie. Fucking Brill, yo. I once had the most amazing terrine at gary Danko and all i could think about was the knife it took to slice it! You have got me thinking about all sorts of see-through desserts...


there's a link in there to JB Prince which is where I ordered them from. I haven't had a sticking issue so I can't speak to that. I think cakes baked in them cool down a lot faster so you may want to invert product sooner than you would with a metal pan... Just a thought.

There's a learning curve concerning their flexibility when filled with batters, etc., but once mastered, they're pretty good. Some things need to be allowed to cool completely before removal, which is something the traditionalist doesn't guess.

My best extra tip is freezing sofritto in the small 1/2 cup sized ones. When I come in from the shops, I just make it up from the fresh stuff and freeze the mixture, so that when I decide I need some fast, I can just pop the amount I want out of the bags in which I store the veg lumps.

"I mean, who can be born female in this day and age and trust silicone?"

I didn't know you did comedy!

You know, I always wondered about these. I love my Silpat to death but for some reason, I just stuck to the traditional baking pans. Now that these silicone ones have your seal of approval, I might check them out in the future and give my old ones away.

/thinking of you while I'm writing my dessert scene -- I think you'll approve; I'll send a link soon

So Shuna, you put a half-sheet even under metal baking pans? Why?

I usually keep a cookie sheet in the oven to catch drips -- and I only wash it when something actually does drip onto it -- but I don't let my muffin cups or my cake pans touch it because I have gotten the idea somehow that I want the warm air to circulate around the bottoms as much as possible. Is this wrong? It results in such lovely, even browning. But could I be doing better a different way?


I have always loved the idea of pre-freezing portions of food at home. Thanks for the savoury reminder!

Raspil. It's time. Yes. Ebrace the wobbly orange molds. Go forth. Now. And Report Back.

(thank you for including me in your writing process!)


Yes. A baking pan under what you are actually baking helps retain heat and evens out the baking process. It can be especially helpful to double pan something that is very delicate or if your oven runs hot at the bottom.

In professional baking we do this to be able to turn and rotate what we are baking, and also for easy moving in and out of the oven.

But all that said, if you love the results you've been getting, why change?

I love them! I love that even gooey things just pop out! I'm by no means a professional and I'm a pretty crap baker actually, but these make what few baked goods I can make... come out that much nicer.

I dunno, I have mixed feelings about silicone. Yes, it is very heat-tolerant, and tends not to bond to most other molecules, and it is flexible, but it isn't flexible like latex: it deforms, but tends not to compress or expand. On top of that, while it won't form bonds, it does form air-seals with things, so I don't generally find that things magically slide out as well as I'd like.

I have silicone cupcake molds that I generally only use now for, for example, shaping tuile badly or whatever, because when I actually make cupcakes in them, it's incredibly difficult to remove the cupcakes -- the ridged sides make sliding a knife around the edge hard, and the relatively heavy silicone, if I try to stretch the top rim open, responds by squeezing in tightly in the middle (since it doesn't want to expand) and crushing the cupcakes.

For freezing things, silicone seems awesome. And for things where there's more of a taper to the mold, or the mold is much larger (maybe an 8x8 cake pan would be floppier than the little cupcake cups) it's probably better.

Well, I guess really it's just that silicone is merely a material for making tools, and you can make bad tools out of even good materials. Silicone spatulas and oven mits? Totally great. Silpats? Awesome, albeit it took me a bit to really grasp their peculiarities. I've had less luck than you with pans. And at the culinary academy store here they sell, of all things, a silicone tagine! And the lid doesn't even have a vent! Weird.

Thanks, Shuna. I'm going to try that, and then I will know for sure which way I like better. :)

But I am going to stay away from the silicone -- except, as Brian notes, in spatulas, etc.

i am not the kind of girl who embraces change easily. in spite of the pretty pretty colors i have never used silicone. but i think i will give it a try now. i have some squash waiting to be turned into muffins this very moment.

Hm. I have been wary of the silicone molds b/c of stories like Sara's, but now I am reconsidering.

These can be a boon or a bane...I use them for individual cakes and usually freeze the hell out of them before popping them out. Some "sticking to the sides and bottom" happens....I even made a flan in a silicone baking pan but i doubt it would be able to take the heat of the caramel again!

They are terrific space savers.

I'll find a picture of something I did and post it somewhere. It's not a great pic or a great dessert, it was something just pulled out of a whim...

"like a little top hat"... I like that description you made on those wonderful silicone moulds! With those we'd sure to make many of the same things in no time...


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