If it's off of the car, what I do is to scrub it good with Simple Green and a 00 steel wool pad. Then just hose it off, and dry it off with some compressed air. With about 15 minutes of work, it'll look as good as new.
"What's the best way to tackle the "baffle" area underneth the intake? "
Assuming is a small block and not an Air Gap, bolt it on an engine. You'll never see it./forums/images/icons/smile.gif If it has so much gunk on it that it could flake off, you have bigger problems than a dirty intake bottom.