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The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

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For a great tutorial, check out the Baking Bible Bake Along with ROSE'S ALPHA BAKERS. The link is on the left side of the blog. We will also be posting "OUT-BAKES" from the book, on this blog, including step-by step photos and other extras.

Baking Bible Wins IACP Award

Mar 31, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements


Just back from Washington DC where Sunday night, at the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference, our book won the award in the Baking Savory or Sweet category. How gratifying, after all those years of work, to receive such a validation and honor.


A Treasure of a Cookbook--Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell

Mar 30, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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Winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Best General Cookbook!

I am often asked about current food trends. My personal perception is that over the past few decades cooking has become increasingly complex, often sacrificing quality to "originality," and moving further and further away from the simple goodness I had so appreciated at the start of my love affair with food. I've begun to realize that I have enough recipes to last a lifetime, but what I value most are tips and techniques to improve them.

When I read about the book Twelve Recipes, it rang a bell of familiarity and pleasure. Beautifully illustrated with photos and drawings, this book, by a former artist who has been a chef for two decades at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkley, California, was inspired by his oldest son's move to college and his desire to be able to cook well for himself in the spirit to which he was accustomed. It is not surprising, therefore, that Chef Peternell's directions are clear and direct and his voice friendly, caring, honest, and down-to-earth helpful.

Many years ago, at a lecture by Jacques Pepin at the French Culinary Institute, where he is one of the deans, I was stunned to hear him describe his philosophy on cooking in a way that exactly reflected my own. He said: "Get the best ingredients and try not to screw them up!" Cal, however, goes one step further: "It is an enduring truth that the best-tasting ingredients will yield the best-tasting dishes, but I believe as strongly that if you are missing things, or what you have is not the best, you should cook anyway. The ways in which various parts add up to the sum of a wonderful meal are many. The quality of the ingredients and the way they are prepared are important, sure, but so are the personalities of the group of eaters . . . their moods . . . the room . . . the occasion. The right equation will make the table a success even if the salad wilts, the meat is overcooked, or the cake falls."

Cal admits that there are many more than twelve recipes in the book, including variations, but that if one were to cook one from each chapter, this would constitute a good basic repertoire. This special book is also filled with sunny humor and delightful anecdotes. I have not read my way through every page yet, but I fully intend to do so. Here is an example of just why I love this book so much: On ingredients: "Dried herbs are like dead flowers: if you can't bring them fresh, probably better to not bring them at all. Most dried herbs--parsley, basil, tarragon, and cilantro--are truly atrocious and can be ruinous, while others--thyme, rosemary, and sage--are grudgingly acceptable in certain applications. Dried oregano and bay leaves are the only ones that are really okay." Music to my ears!

Twelve Recipes

Baking Bible Out Bakes: A Génoise & Praline Pecan Cookie

Mar 29, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE







Flourless Nut Torte Technique Photos

Mar 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


While going through and editing out over 2000 of my photos on the computer I discovered this great series of step-by-step photos, taken by Woody, of the Hungarian Jancsi Torta from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

As I have just posted a coffee pecan version of the cake, we thought it would be helpful to share the technique photos that are essentially the same.





























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Jansci 5-08.jpg


My Favorite Passover Flourless Pecan Torte

Mar 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


Sean Nutley, owner of the wonderful cookware shop Blue Cashew, in Rhinebeck, New York, made this fabulous version of what was my single layer torte from Rose's Heavenly Cakes--cousin Sybil's Passover Pecan Torte. It has become my new standard and what I will be making for this Passover. (Sadly, Sybil Zashin passed away several months ago. But the memory of this lovely woman remains.)

During Passover, tradition dictates that flour must not be eaten. The nuts in this torte replace the flour which not only results in a delicious flavor but is also suitable for the gluten intolerant. No need to reserve it just for Passover--this torte would serve as a festive dessert for any holiday or special event.

Note:: The following posting will be a series of step-by-step photos for another flourless nut torte which uses walnuts instead of pecans and includes chocolate, but the technique is the same.

Serves: 8 to 10 if one layer, 16 to 24 if two layers

Oven Temperature: 350F/175C
Baking Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Make this batter twice if planning to make a two layer cake.

Special Equipment One 9-1/2 by 2-1/2 to 3-inch springform pan, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round. Do not coat sides.








superfine sugar

3/4 cup, divided

5.3 ounces

150 grams

pecan halves

2-1/4 cups (plus extra if sprinkling on top as garnish

8 ounces

225 grams

coffee extract (or instant espreso powder, preferably Medaglia D'Oro)

2 tablespoons or 1 tablespoon



7 large eggs, separated, at room temperature:

yolks 1/2 cup (118 ml), whites 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (207 ml)

yolks 4.6 ounces, whites 7.5 ounces

yolks 130 grams, whites 210 grams

cream of tartar if not for Passover (optional)

3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon (17 ml)



Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set oven racks at the middle level and preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

Divide the Sugar In a small bowl, place 1/4 cup of the sugar for the nuts. In another small bowl, place 2 tablespoons of the sugar for the meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar.

Toast and Grind the Pecans Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes to enhance their flavor. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food Processor, pulse the pecans with the 1/4 cup sugar and espresso powder, if using, in long bursts until very fine. Stop before the pecans start becoming oil or pasty. Empty them into a medium bowl.

Make the Yolk Mixture In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, add the yolks to the sugar and beat on high speed for 5 minutes, or until very thick and fluffy and when the beater is raised the mixture falls in ribbons.

Detach the whisk from the mixer and use it to fold the pecan mixture and the coffee extract, if using,into the batter until evenly mixed. If you don't have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites (and cream of tartar if using) on medium speed until foamy. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks for whyen the whisk is raised slowly. If not using cream of tartar, stop beating just before stiff peaks to prevent overbeating The peaks should curve over slightly when the beater is raised.

Complete the Batter Add about one-quarter of the meringue to the yolk mixture and, with a large balloon whisk or the whisk beater, fold until completely incorporated.Gently fold in the remaining meringue in three parts. For the last addition, be sure there are no white streaks of meringue in the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula or silicone spatula, spread the surface evenly. The batter will fill the pan half full.

Bake the Cake Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch when pressed very lightly in the center. An instant read thermometer will read 185F/85C. In a 2-1/2 inch high pan, the batter will have risen to the top of the pan.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Leave it undisturbed until the pan feels completely cool to the touch. Reinvert the pan. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly agains the pan, and remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a flat plate and remove the pan bottom and parchment. Reinvert it onto a serving plate. There will be a 3/8 depression to fill with coffee cream.

Coffee Whipped Cream Double if making a two layer cake.

Makes: 2 cups/9 ounces/256 grams







heavy cream, cold

1 cup (237 ml)

8.2 ounces

232 grams

superfine sugar

2 tablespoons

0.9 ounce

25 grams

coffee extract (or Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon)




4 teaspoons



powdered gelatin (see Note)

1/4 teaspoon



pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon



Make the Coffee Cream In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and espresso powder, if using, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the mixer's beaters alongside the bowl.)

In a 1 cup heatproof glass cup, place the water and gelatin. Allow the mixture to soften for 5 minutes. Set the cup in a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can be done in a microwave, stirring once or twice.)

Remove the cup from the water and cool the mixture to room temperature, about 7 minutes. (It can be held longer but should be covered to prevent evaporation.) the gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to the cream.

Whip the cream mixture, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, just until traces of the beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the gelatin mixture in a steady stream, whipped constantly. Add the vanilla and coffee extrat, if not using the espresso powder, and whip just until stiff peaks form when the eater is raised. To avoid the risk of overwhipping, when almost stiff enough, remove the beaters and use them, or a whisk, to finish whipping by hand.

Immediately swirl the cream into the depression on top of the cake. If making a second layer fill and frost the entire cake with the whipped cream. If desired, sprinkle with the extra chopped pecans. The cake can be refrigerated overnight and will keep at room temperature for several hours.

Note: The gelatin will keep the whipped cream from watering out on standing.

Upcoming Appearances

Mar 25, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in APPEARANCES

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For those of you who have asked if or when we will be in your vicinity, this posting will list any appearances scheduled within the coming two months.

Mohonk Wine & Food Festival: demo, talk, tasting, and book signing:
Saturday, May 30, and Sunday June 31

Wine & Food Festival

Baking Bible Out Bakes: Frozen Chocolate Pecan Tart (page 279)

Mar 22, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE









Butter Yum Patricia Reitz.jpg

Patricia Reitz (her blog is Butter Yum), one of the Alpha Bakers, made this stunning version. I love how she used the Chocolate Drizzle Glaze to garnish the pan and did a combination of arranging the pecans for the outside ring and leaving the center in a more casual arrangement.

The Best Party of the Year

Mar 21, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2015


Goes to the Food Arts Epiphany Party. In all the years that I have been associated with Food Arts I've only ever missed one, and that was because I was away. I loved seeing all the full-time staff and also the free-lancers. And invariably, publisher and dear friend Michael Batterberry would be inspired to come up with some terrific article for me to pursue. Of course, one of the best parts was that each invitée would bring a special dish.

One year Michael Batterberry made manicotti with wild boar sausage that was so delicious, I took some of the leftovers home and had it for breakfast. In recent years, I made sure that my culinary contribution was chocolate, as dear Ariane Batterberry so adores it.

This year, the party was once again held in the home of fellow contributor, pastry aficionado, and dear friend Meryle Evans. And this year it meant driving for 2 hours each way as we now live in western New Jersey. As this was the year of the sad demise of the publication, I was so overjoyed to know that the tradition of the epiphany party lives on, so I pulled out all the stops and made one of the most time-consuming, complex, and fabulous cakes from The Cake Bible: "The Triple Chocolate Proposal Cake." It took an entire day to complete, but when I saw Ariane's expression of surprise and joy I knew it was worth it.

The cake consisted of a chocolate génoise syruped with kahlua, sandwiched and frosted with light whipped ganache, and enrobed with hazelnut praline chocolate leaves. First the nuts are peeled and toasted and then covered with caramel. The caramel covered nuts are processed to a powder and then added to melted, tempered chocolate. The chocolate is then spread into sheets and rolled thinly. When it hardens it is draped over the cake, coaxed into submission by the use of a hair drier so that it drapes in folds that are never the same way twice.


A close up shows the bits of praline powder in the chocolate.


The entire cake used 1-1/2 pounds of my best chocolate and truly was a labor of love. What could have been more appropriate for a publication and group of people whom i have long felt to be beloved family.

Almost Blueberry Time!

Mar 19, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes


Spring is in the air, which means it's getting closer to fresh blueberry season! Charlotte Wright has a great blog posting which includes tips and recipes from many bakers, including me, for blueberry muffins. Muffin Paradise

Chef Central and Miele in Princeton: Baking Bible Tour part 15

Mar 18, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Baking Bible


Chef Central in Paramus, NJ
I was especially looking forward to this event as Chef Central is featured under favorites on "Sites I Like" on my blog home page. I knew they carried an enormous assortment of culinary tools but actually seeing it in person was staggeringly impressive.

Our appearance, which included a demo and talk, was part of a KitchenAid all day baking event in the store. The Chef Central teaching staff were giving a baking class for kids when we arrived. As we were setting up our equipment, we were able to have our Nespresso afternoon coffee break on site offered by the rep of the Nespresso booth. One of my favorite demos is making my Red Velvet Cake, as it is vehicle for us to show and talk about all of my major golden rules and tips as the spectacular red batter mixes in our KitchenAid mixer's glass bowl. Along with signing books, I signed a photo of myself to join the many other chefs and culinary professionals, who have done events in the past, gracing the Chef Central's back wall.


I had been immensely looking forward to our event at the Miele Center in Princeton, New Jersey as I have been and still am a long time fan of Miele appliances. When we arrived in Princeton, it was cold, snowy, and lunch time so we decided to restore our strength at the cozy Teresa's Cafe, an Italian restaurant. The food was fabulous.


Along with our demonstration of the Red Velvet Cake, the kitchen staff of Miele had generously made several recipes from The Baking Bible to serve to the 61 attendees before the class began. In the reception area outside the kitchen classroom, a long table was adorned with The Bourbon Pecan Butter Balls, Kourambiethes, The Red Velvet Cake, and the savory Pizza Rustica, along with champagne and other beverages. Miele did a first class mis en place for us as we arranged our set up while attendees began streaming in with their plates laden with our recipes. Tracy Kuchar, director of special events, introduced us to the class which began, once again again with our video featuring over 37 photos from the book.




Our book signing session took over an hour with everyone wanting us to sign all their books, which included several of my past books. We were especially pleased to meet Tracy's mother and grandmother who were responsible for her a strong baking foundation. A mother, her daughters, and friends were the last group to have us sign their books. We also signed several books for those who could not attend the class and one turned out to be the chef/owner of Teresa's Cafe.


The next day, on our way out of Princeton, we returned to Teresa's for another sustaining lunch before heading home.

And on to planning the weekend ahead-- a trip to Philadelphia, with three special events--next week's posting.


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