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Pastry Wands

Oct 25, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


I didn't think I needed another piece of baking equipment but was just proven wrong with the arrival of these wooden 'wands,' designed for rolling pastry into perfectly even sheets.

The 'wands' are made from hard maple with a hole drilled into one end so that they can be hung from a hook. The set includes wands of the following sizes: 1/16"/1.6mm, 1/8"/3.18 mm, 3/16"/4.67 mm, and 1/4"/6.35 mm.

The dough is placed on the counter between two of the 'wands' and the rolling pin rides over the pastry until it is flattened to the thickness determined by the height of the 'wands' that serve as 'tracks' for the pin.

This system is far superior to that of rubber rings placed on the opposing ends of a rolling pin as they are a fixed size and the rubber rings become thinner when stretched over the pin.

They can be purchased from the manufacturer.

Another Book Review with Favorite Recipe Offered

Oct 24, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Although an author never tires of reading the reviews of her or his book, at the risk that this just may not hold true for others, I am posting just one more review, partially because I love how it is written, but mostly because they are offering one of my top favorite recipes in the book: "The Heavenly Chocolate Mousse Cake." This is the one that Ben Fink, the photographer, and I, had the most trouble staying away from during the photo shoot last November. Check out Foodista.

Some of My Favorite Cookbooks

Oct 23, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

As posted on "Serious Eats."

A Miro(cle) New Pastry Chef at Gramercy Tavern in NYC

Oct 22, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


Actually his name is Miroslav Uskokovic but everyone calls him Miro. I met him for the first time a few months ago when having lunch with my friend Marko, who introduced us, and was charmed both by him and by his exquisite desserts. So when my editor Stephanie, and marketing manager for the new book Allison, invited Woody and me to lunch before signing advance copies of the book at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's nearby offices, Gramercy Tavern was my first choice. I've long been a fan of chef Michael Anthony so I knew that we would be in for a special treat. And we were far from disappointed.

Chef Anthony prepared many delicious courses which were not on the actual lunch menu and amazingly he presented a different dish for each of the four of us. Most memorable was the salmon, so lightly smoked the only way I found out it had been smoked at all was by asking the secret for its extraordinary moistness. We were too busy sampling everyone's food to stop and take more than a few photos but we made up for it when it came to dessert. After all, we were celebrating the birth of baking book and a new pastry chef at the restaurant. Kudos to Chef Anthony for making so many fabulous courses but somehow managing to keep them light enough to make room for a vast array of desserts!

Continue reading "A Miro(cle) New Pastry Chef at Gramercy Tavern in NYC" »

DId You Know?

Oct 18, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Did You Know

Melting Chocolate Effortlessly

When melting a large block of dark chocolate, such as a 2-1/2 kilo/5.5 pound block, there's a much easier way to do it than chopping it first into small pieces with a chef's knife. The only draw back is that it will take several hours so I like to do it the night before. Simply place the chocolate in a pan and set it in an oven with a pilot light or oven light. Be sure to put a note on the oven door so that someone doesn't come along and turn up the oven! About four hours later the chocolate will have melted into an even liquid pool of shiny chocolate.

Chocolate should not exceed 122˚F/50˚C. At higher temperatures it will lose flavor. So be sure that your oven's pilot light does not register higher. This method works only for dark chocolate as chocolate containing milk solids requires frequent stirring to prevent seeding.

Tip for accentuating the flavor of chocolate:

Many ingredients enhance the flavor of chocolate. Coffee, raspberry, walnuts, for example, are known to be synergistic additions. But have you tried malt powder? Start by adding about 1.5% malt to the mixture. Ideally you should not be able to distinguish the flavor of malt but rather to achieve a more intense yet mellow chocolate flavor.

Conversations with Dede of Bakepedia Part 2 of 4

Oct 16, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Here's the part where Dede asks Woody to "tell on me!"

How Sweet It Is

Oct 15, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

to be included as one of the 11 "best new dessert cookbooks," featured on The Tasting Table site!

And 1 of 24 of "our favorite titles" on Food 52!

The Martha Stewart Living Magazine Baking Bible Review Now on Line

Oct 14, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

I'm so delighted that the review is now on line as there is a link to one of the recipes and it's now easy to read on computer!

The Baking Bible E-Book

Oct 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

This week the first rendition of the Baking Bible e-book arrived for download on my Ipad.


Woody and I immediately set to, flipping through the hard copy and scanning each page of the e-book to make sure there were no errors in electronic transition. Essentially, it's just the formatting that is different. To our delight, we discovered that in recent years technology has improved by leaps and bounds. The e-book very much looks like the hard copy. And although I wouldn't trade the pleasure of leafing through the actual book itself, touching the thick and satiny pages (it even smells good), I have to admit that the e-book is an excellent adjunct.

I enjoy using the Ipad when I bake because it doesn't risk getting butter, chocolate, or the like on the beautiful book pages. Of course searching through the book is a breeze. And I love that the index, instead of having page numbers, has direct links to each entry, and that there is an option to return to the page you were previously looking at. It's also great to be able to change the font size, even the style, and the brightness depending on the light.

I've been exploring all the various things the e-book can do and discovered how easy it is to highlight or make notes and then to find them when one needs them.

One of the features of an e-book dearest to my heart it that the author doesn't have to wait for the "next printing" to make modifications, changes or additions, in fact, better still, they are automatically downloaded onto the device.

If you are thinking of getting this e-book, I encourage you to get it now, before the publication date of October 28, as Amazon is offering it at half price. It will be delivered to your electronic device on the pub date!

The Baking Bible

: you don't need a Kindle to download a Kindle e-book to your Ipad. Just download the free Kind App available un the App store on your Ipad.

Even a Serrated Knives Can Be Sharpened!

Oct 11, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


I've been keeping my huge knife collection sharp using Chef's Choice Diamond-Hone Knife Sharpener for years, but always wished I could also sharpen my serrated knives. After using the long ones to level many a cake, and the small ones for all manner of culinary activities, I am delighted that the company has produced a model called Chef's Choice EdgeSelect 120 which sharpens serrated knives as well as the conventional straight edge knives. It also offers the option to create an edge for gourmet cutlery, butcher type knives, and sportsman's blades. There are excellent directions in the detailed instructional booklet that comes with it, and on line.

The serrated knife option creates what they refer to as an "the new astonishlingy sharp Trizor-Plus edge with secondary cutting microflutes. My serrated knives are virtually restored to new but actually they are even better than ever before.

Chef's Choice 120 Diamond Hone 3-Stage Professional Knife Sharpener, Chrome


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