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Baking Bible Out Bakes: French Toast Royale & Lemon Posset

May 24, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE

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LEMON POSSET (page 116)

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POWDERED LEMON ZEST SHELF LIFE WITH VS WITHOUT SUGAR (page 91)

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RUM RAISIN FRENCH TOAST WITH MAPLE SYRUP (page 440)

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RUM RAISIN FRENCH TOAST WITH POWDERED SUGAR

Valhrona Chocolates Opens L'École Valhrona Brooklyn

May 23, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2015

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This past April, Woody and I traveled to Brooklyn, New York for Valhrona's celebration of the Silver Anniversary of L'Ecole du Grand Chocolat with the opening of Valhrona's first school in the United States. Created in 1989 by Frédéric Bau, a passionate and visionary pastry chef, L'École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona has become a showcase for Valrhona's expertise, quality and creativity over the past 25 years.

I visited Valrhona in Tain Hermitage over 25 years ago when I was bringing a team of engineers from Proctor and Gamble on a chocolate odyssey in France. I have been using their wonderful chocolate ever since as one of my top favorites for ganache fillings, buttercream, and glazes. So it was very sentimental to be there for the opening in my original hometown city all these years later. It was pouring rain all day but did not keep people from coming to the events.

The school's opening was celebrated over two days with seminars, tastings, panel discussions, ribbon cutting ceremony, and a grand finale ball. Along with connecting with long-time friends and colleagues, we were able to accompany my dear friend and chocolatier Zach Townsend on his first extended trip to New York.

Valhrona operates three other schools: two in France and the third in Tokyo.
As an American school with French roots, L'École Valrhona Brooklyn combines the knowledge and approach of an American team with the Valrhona spirit, notes Anthony Valla, Valrhona Inc. CEO. We bring the time tested process and know-how from our flagship L'École du Grand Chocolat in Tain l'Hermitage to Brooklyn, which we selected for its unique character, as well as its key role in the culinary world, adds Valla.

The school offers private classes for chefs, and classes for non-professional gourmet enthusiasts, with two to three day workshops. A complete listing of courses and other information on the school is presented on L'École du Grand Chocolat in Brooklyn - Pastry.

Baking Bible Out Bakes: Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Cake, page 132

May 17, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE

During the photo shoot for The Baking Bible, we were surrounded by an embarassment of baked recipes from the book, mostly sweet. But the one thing I simply could not stay away from was this cake--the downy soft fine cake layer coupled with the exquisitely airy, creamy, and mellow chocolate mousse--ummmmmmyummmmm

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Mouse Meets Mousse, photo credit Woody

Here are several of photos showing exactly how Wood made the template for the cake.

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DRAWING THE TEMPLATE

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TEMPLATE DRAWN AND CUT

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TEMPLATE PLACED ON CAKE

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CAKE PIECES CUT WITH TEMPLATE GUIDE

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CUT CAKE PIECES

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PLASTIC WRAP FOR EASY UNMOLDING

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BOTTOM AND SIDES INSERTED

Baking with Convection

May 16, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

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I have long understood that with convection baking the oven is usually needed to be set at a temperature about 25°F lower than for conventional baking. I assumed that when an accurate thermometer was used to measure this temperature that it would register the same temperature as conventional baking, but I was wrong.

Using two highly accurate thermocouples to check the temperature of four ovens, I found that although when setting the ovens 25°F below the temperature normally used with conventional baking it actually registered lower but it baked within the same time parameters.

Conclusions:

With convection, heat is transferred more efficiently, so the effect is that of a higher heat than what is registered on a thermometer. The benefit of convection is more even heating.

Every oven is different so use the range of time given on a recipe, such as one of my cakes, to determine the best setting. This is the ultimate gauge and more reliable than any thermometer.

Note: Baking at a higher setting for less time, or for a lower setting for more time will have markedly different results in texture and shape of baked goods.

Baking Bible Out Bakes: Cadillac Café Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding, page 435

May 10, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE

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A SYMPHONY OF CHOCOLATE TEXTURES: CRISP, CREAM, AND SOFT

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TESTING DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS

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VARIATION BAKED AS ONE LARGE RECTANGLE (page 438)

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ALSO DELICIOUS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE AND THEN YOU CAN ADD CHOCOLATE CURLS

My Paris Kitchen

May 9, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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David Lebovitz is alive and well and living in Paris. In fact, he is living my dream. This is not to say that I wish my life had turned out differently, but once upon a time I was planning a move to Paris. When I discovered that the only job I could get without a green card would be as a typist at UNESCO I used all the money I was saving to go to India for a month, and on my return I started putting down some deep career roots in America where I was born and grew up.

I first met David many years ago when he was working in the pastry department at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, when he offered to drive me back to San Francisco after lunch at the restaurant. The next time I ran into him was in Bordeaux at Vin Expo when I was invited to a wine event given by the California wine growers. He was walking down the steps of the chateau as I was looking up admiring the building. I don't think at the time he spoke a word of French. Things have certainly changed. Reading David Lebovitz's books about his life in Paris is a totally vicarious experience. His powers of observation are so acute and his writing so fluent, clever, amusing, honest, and delightfully personal, I would be content with just that. But the recipes--oh the recipes--are exactly to my taste.

The first recipe that seduced me to the stove was the poulet a la moutarde (mustard chicken). I was thrilled to discover that it was the deep mustardy sauce of my fantasy that will now be part of my savory favorites. Next I tried the green beans with escargot butter. Leave it to David to realize that escargot butter was not just fabulous for snails. Rarely have I met such a kindred spirit in the food world. Next, I can't wait to try the Panisse Puffs, which look very much like my favorite popovers but contain chickpea as well as wheat flour.

Hats off to a darling man who could make the daring leap, fully immerse himself in a different language and culture, and then bring it home for the rest of us to enjoy.

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories

The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets Book Launch

May 7, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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The Oxford University Press has published several encyclopedic style books on food and beverages. Their latest book, edited by award winning author and editor in chief Darra Goldstein, is The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. This stunning, beautifully organized book takes you in alphabetical order from a la mode to zuppa inglese, 800 pages later. An extensive appendix and index are included as well.

Oxford's apt description of the book is:
Most comprehensive reference work on the idea of the sweet ever published, with entries on all aspects of sweetness, including chemical, technical, social, cultural, and linguistic.

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Woody and I attended the Sugar and Sweets book launch at Jacques Torre's Chocolate location in lower Manhattan. I was proud to have contributed to the sections on two of my favorite subjects: sugar and pastry tools.

It was great finally to meet editor Maxwell Sinsheimer in person and to congratulate my much esteemed colleague Dara Goldstein.

The book's pub date was May 1st and has already been well received by the press. As well as being available in hardcover, it is also available on Kindle.

The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

My On-Line Cookie Class on Craftsy is Now Live!

May 4, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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I am so thrilled to be able to post the link to the trailer for you to get a preview of my cookie class. Craftsy is an on-line website with several hundred on-line classes for all types of crafts, cooking, and related arts. Virtually all are filmed in their state of the art studies. I am proud to have this first class production that has turned out to be everything I hoped for it to be as a great educational tool that manages also to capture my love of baking.

And for the first few weeks I am pleased to be able to offer you a discount on the class. Here's the link!

Baking Bible Out Bakes: Cake, Pie, and Bread

May 3, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE

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CRUMB CAKE MUFFINS (page 81)

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FROZEN LIME MERINGUE PIE (page 240)

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FROZEN LIME MERINGUE PIE, COMPLETED (page 240)


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AH CRUMPETS (page 433)

Baking Bible Out Bakes: White Chocolate Club Med Bread, page 447

Apr 26, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT BAKES, BAKING BIBLE

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The technique of cutting off some of the dough and using it as a 'wrapper' to encase the shaped loaf can be used for other breads, such as a sprouted wheat bread, where the sprouted wheat that rises to the surface becomes rock hard. The thin dough wrapper melds onto the loaf so that there is no visible separation but it provides a protective covering.

This photo is when the dough wrapper is used:

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This photo is what happens when no dough wrapper is used:

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These photos illustrate how the dough wrapper is rolled and shaped onto the loaf.

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ROLLING THE DOUGH "WRAPPER"

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SETTING THE WHITE CHOCOLATE DOUGH LOAF ON TOP OF THE DOUGH "WRAPPER"

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STRETCHING THE DOUGH "WRAPPER" OVER THE LOAF

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SEALING THE BOTTOM OF THE DOUGH

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PINCHING TOGETHER THE SIDES

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PERFECTING THE SHAPE

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