Cooking parchment (also parchment paper, kitchen parchment, greaseproof paper and cooking paper) refers to a form of silicone-impregnated paper used as a substitute for parchment in cooking. The silicone renders it grease- and moisture-resistant as well as relatively heat-resistant. A common use is to eliminate the need to grease cookie sheets and the like allowing very rapid turn-around of batches of cookies in a commercial bakery. It can also be folded to make moisture-proof packages in which food items are cooked or steamed.
A few things I've learned about cooking parchment
1. Use it. Use it every time. It's SOOO not worth taking the chance that you needed it and didn't use it. Just use it!
2. It's washable and re-useable... many, many times. I just wash mine in the sink with the other dishes and rinse well. Make sure you dry it flat 'cause curled edges are no fun.
3. Store them IN YOUR PANS!!! You'll never have to search for it, it's always stored flat and safe, and nobody needs ANOTHER storage thingie in their kitchen.
4. Buy a roll, take some time while watching TV one evening and just cut one out for EVERY pan you own. Repeat every couple of years, or when you buy a new pan! The shape should be SLIGHTLY smaller than the base of your pan (you don't want it up the sides at all... go back & trim if necessary.)
5. Do not replace it with waxed paper. Especially when using Sugarveil (but that's another coversation!) Waxed paper looks cheaper, but you can't re-use it. Waxed paper is just that... waxed. Do you REALLY want to add WAX to your cake ingredients?
6. Did I mention you should REALLY use it?!? LOL For most cakes, just the bottom is fine (I never bother with using it on the sides of a cake)
7. TO USE PARCHMENT:
...a) grease your pan however you like.
...b) insert parchment into base.
...c) Grease the parchment.
...d) Flour the whole thing (unless you're using a grease with flour in it)
...e) Fill as usual.
...f) Sing the praises of Choc while releasing your cake from the pan without trouble.
8. If you're baking another batch of cake right away, wipe off any crumbs and re-use it. You don't have to wash it if it's going right back into the oven (you don't want the water there anyhow) HOWEVER... please don't store it away un-washed... ICK!!! LOL
You can also use it to roll out pastry, bake cookies on... it's a wonderful thing!