It’s holiday time and life can and will get CRAZY!

This time of year involves all sorts of goodies from cookies, cakes, candies and other confections, not to mention savory dishes as well, that get made and brought to friends and family. It all sounds so simple and ideal. However, say you are the host or hostess of a large gathering and someone brought you their famous cheesecake still on its springform pan base. Don’t see a problem? I do.

When the last slice of cheesecake has been eaten and the party is over, will you remember that pan base and who it belongs to? Perhaps not. Especially after that rum laden eggnog and extra glass of wine or two.

I have witnessed ill will between good friends when someone forgot to return or worse yet, threw out a plate or pan base that should have been returned. In all fairness, it is easy to avoid such problems. After all, aren’t the holidays stressful enough??

The case of the missing pan bottom can be avoided. Do what I do. Bring anything you make on a pretty foil-lined, or holiday napkin covered, cardboard cake circle or an inexpensive holiday plate.

For cheesecakes or tarts that have those false bottoms, create a cardboard bottom to swap out so that the cheesecake or tart bakes right on the cardboard bottom and you won’t have to worry about the metal one getting lost or misplaced. I learned  to create these cardboard bottoms for pans when I worked in restaurants that had no matching bottoms to their false bottom pans.

To do this, just use the real metal bottom to trace its shape onto a piece of cardboard. Cut it out carefully, and then make sure there is a snug fit when you fit it into the pan.

Another tip, before baking any baked good that is baked in a false bottom pan place it onto a sheet pan. This way when the baked good is hot from the oven you can just take the sheet pan out and not worry that the false bottom will come out and burn you, and worse yet, ruin your dessert.

Happy Holiday Baking!

Chef Gail