unmold [uhn-mohld] verb
The removal of a dessert, such as a cake, custard or gelled dessert from a pan or mold.
Once your cake is cooled or your gelatin dessert has set, you still have to get it out of the pan or mold and this can make or break the final result. Always follow specific instructions in your recipe, but here are some general tips and common techniques for unmolding your desserts:
To unmold a cake, take a small icing spatula and run it between the cake and the pan to loosen the dessert from the pan’s sides. The key is to press the spatula outwards toward the pan. If you lean in towards the cake you might shave off some of its sides, which would mar its appearance. For gelled desserts, it is often recommended to briefly dip the outside of the mold in a large container holding warm water. This can help loosen the surface tension between the dessert and the mold, but overdoing this step can melt the outer surface of the dessert. The intricate designs of some molds will be lost if this outer layer melts away, so take care. This is one technique where practice does help with the timing.
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