The springform cheesecake pan is a kind of specialty bakeware that can actually be used to prepare a lot more than just cheesecake. This type of pan differs significantly from most other pans, since it consists of a base and sides that are meant to be separated after baking. Most springform pans that are designed to bake cheesecakes have round bases, and sides that take the form of metal straps. The strap typically has a groove along the lower edge, which the base can be fitted into, and a clamp that allows it to be tightened. This clamp can be released after baking, allowing a springform cheesecake pan to be easily disassembled.
In order to free baked goods from most baking pans, it is typically necessary to invert the pan. This works well with most cakes and other baked items, especially if the pan has a non-stick surface, or was greased ahead of time. If a cheesecake, or similarly delicate item, is inverted in this manner, it will typically fall to pieces. The main purpose of a springform cheesecake pan is to account for this issue.
Unlike regular baking pans, which are typically one solid piece, a springform cheesecake pan consists of two distinct pieces. These components are a base, which supports the finished cheesecake, and sides that provide support during baking. In order to assemble a springform cheesecake pan, the base is typically lined up with a groove on the bottom edge of the sides. The side component, which is similar to a metal strap, is typically then tightened securely in place with a built-in clamping mechanism. Most springform pans are circular, though squares and other shapes are also available.
After a cheesecake has been baked, the clamping mechanism on the springform pan can be released. That allows the sides to be pulled away from the base, effectively freeing the cheesecake without causing any damage. Some cheesecake pans use a non-stick material to avoid issues with this step, though that is not always the case. Springform bases can have waffle patterns, be made from glass, and some also have waterproof seals. In order to use a water bath to bake a cheesecake, it is necessary to use a pan that has a waterproof seal on the base.
It is sometimes also possible to replace the base of a springform cheesecake pan with a circular piece of cardboard wrapped in foil. That can allow the pan to be used again immediately without waiting until the cheesecake has been eaten. Otherwise, it is sometimes possible to remove a cheesecake from the base of a springform pan with a large spatula. This is typically easier if the pan has a smooth base.