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One of My Most Important Techniques for Maximizing Texture and Flavor

Aug 11, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Did You Know

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I've referred to it in every one of my books and have always wanted to put it all together in one place. Here it is now on Food52.

The Art of Flavor--Happy Pub Date!

Aug 01, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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The Art of Flavor: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food


I have lived my entire life, for as long as I can remember, following my nose and devoted to flavor. Aroma and flavor are everything to me. So I can't help feeling that this treasure of a book, by my friends renowned chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer extraordinaire Mandy Aftel, was written with me in mind (and all of you who are reading this).

Some of the best and most inspiring meals I've ever had were at Daniel's former restaurant Coi, in San Francisco, and in his home. Such is my esteem for Daniel, that years ago I flew to the west coast to make his wedding cake and it became the most beautiful photo in my book Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I refer to it casting cake on the water. I met Mandy at Daniel's wedding and have been following her magical work ever since. She even created a special perfume for me based on my favorite aromas. And I dubbed her a woman of uncommon scents.

Their new book, The Art of Flavor, is beautifully written in one voice as a result of the perfectly harmonious blending of the two authors' highly tuned sensibilities.

I am reading my way through the entire book as one would a novel, and learning so much. It's hard not to fill this posting with quotes from the book, because this book speaks for itself, so I will choose just a few of my top favorites:

from Flavor Facets: ...The flavor of a given ingredient is determined not by one or a few dominant molecules but by an entire constellation of what might be hundreds of molecules, some of them present only as traces. Becoming alert to the unique possibilities of a given ingredient means becoming aware of its nuances as much as its overall character. We call these nuances facets. Mandy thinks of them as little wings attached to the ingredients.

I also love The Four Rules of Flavor, each of which precedes recipes that exemplify it: An ingredient doesn't start to become a dish until it's combined with other ingredients. But how do we choose them?

1. Similar ingredients need a contrasting flavor.

2. Contrasting ingredients need a unifying flavor.

3. Heavy flavors need a lifting note.

4. Light flavors need to be grounded.

Along with the poetic and defining descriptions of ingredients is invaluable information on what they contribute to a dish. Here is an example from the headnote of what is so far my favorite recipe cooked from the book:

Duck Breasts with Endive, Honey, Cinnamon, and Basil:
Duck breast is a slightly gamey, extremely flavorful, and versatile ingredient that has more in common with red meat than with chicken and most other poultry, and requires stronger accompaniments....glazed with a mixture of honey, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper....The honey rounds out the vinegar, making it less aggressive, and the vinegar takes away some of the sweetness of the honey, leaving the floral, aromatic notes on the top. Endive lends a welcome bitter note.
Yes! I will now always make duck breast with this glaze!

And another winner: Orecchiette with Stewed Broccoli, Olive Oil, and Parmesan: ....chopping the broccoli into small pieces and stewing them slowly and completely bring out their sweetness. The broccoli melts into the sauce and creates a lock with the lemon and olive oil to make a merged, delicious whole....Thin slices of raw, crunchy broccoli stem add a welcome contrasting freshness and texture.
They did indeed!

The Art of Flavor is a treasure. It is so much more than just another recipe book--not only is it filled with enticing recipes, it is an ode to the understanding of flavor and will empower you to cook with a new freedom, confidence, and enjoyment.

Icing Smiles--an Inspiration

Jul 29, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2017

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My friend, Lenny Taub, send me these photos of cakes created by his friend Aimee Lambing for a special charity. He wrote that Aimee has never had a baking lesson but loves to bake and took a cake decorating class at a community college. Not only is the quality of her work impressive, her generosity is on equal par: She is creating these cakes for a charity called Icing Smiles that delivers cakes to critically ill children.

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Erin Jean McDowell--The Fearless Baker

Jul 06, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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Erin has just posted a stunning promotional video for her upcoming book The Fearless Baker. Of course it is stunning--it was shot by photographer Ben Fink!

The book is available for preorder on Amazon and will be published this Fall. I love Erin and the book so much I wrote the foreword!

The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro

Berry Dangerous Beauties

Jun 28, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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Black raspberries have the hardest seeds of any berry I know. I've always enjoyed picking the wild berries that grow down the road and eating them--some on the spot and others with yogurt or ice cream. But this Sunday something really bad happened and I want to warn you. One of the berry seeds cracked one of my perfectly healthy teeth.

Channeling my mother, who was dentist, I immediately contact her beloved replacement, Dr. Kellen Mori, who arranged to have me come in the very next day. This was so fortunate because she was able to save the tooth even though it had cracked very deeply. One day later would have been too late. I now have a temporary crown and we are hoping no root canal will be needed.

I will never again chomp on a black raspberry, however, there is a silver lining to the story: I have frozen the rest of our berry harvest to make into ice cream. It will be in the upcoming ice cream book. And I no longer have to look at the berries as enemies.

Amazon Kindle Bread Bible $1.99!

Jun 22, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Barbie in FL just posted about this incredible deal so I wanted to make sure you didn't miss it!
Thank you Barbie!


The 100 Greatest Cooks of ALL Time

Jun 12, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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Thank you Epicurious! I am so honored to be included in this illustrious group of so many of my favorite friends and colleagues not to mention celebrities. And I am quite simply over the moon by what you wrote about my work. Also to find myself right under my favorite food writer of all time: MFK Fisher--life doesn't get better....

Epicurious

Dessert Professional Annual Extravaganza

Jun 10, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2017

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We look forward every June to the annual Dessert Professional Top Ten Pastry Chefs of America event, held at ICE (the Institute of Culinary Education) in New York City.

The appetizers prepared by ICE and the desserts prepared by each of the honorees are always a delightful treat but my favorite part of the event is getting to see and catch up with so many friends and colleagues I've known through the years and also to meet new ones.

This year, what captured our attention dessert-wise, were the delectable kouigns amann. This is one of our favorite recipes, in fact, we chose it for the cover of The Baking Bible. Chef Rory's version was not only wondrously buttery and flaky, it was layered with rhubarb compote in addition to the traditional sugar. This served as a lovely, tangy counterpoint to the sugar. Bravo Chef Rory Macdonald, executive chef of Patisserie Chanson in New York City. We will be sure to visit the bakery next time in New York.

My Passion is Ice Cream

Jun 03, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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I love ice cream (don't we all?). But I also love making it to my own taste and texture. As many of you know, I am working on an ice cream book which is about two years from publication. In the process of researching ideas I have just discovered a recently published book that has really impressed me. Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream, is written by Dana Cree, a pastry chef at Publican in Chicago.


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Dana gracefully rides the cusp of hardcore scientist and fun filled best friend. And dear to my precision loving heart each ingredient is listed with its percentage of the entire base and under it is first the weight in grams and then the volume. How could I not feel right at home with this book!

Dana has addressed the great nemesis of homemade ice cream: iciness. Each recipe offers a choice of 4 different "texture agents" from commercial to cornstarch. They are numbered at the bottom of the page and the number and technique corresponds to where it appears in the recipe. This is design brilliance at its best and reflects the approach of a brilliant and original author.

In the front section of the book, Dana explains why the volume often does not correlate with the gram weight by saying: they are not direct conversions of each other; it didn't make sense to end up with wonky things like "1 cup minus a tablespoon plus a quarter teaspoon. I balanced each recipe within its own discipline....If you want the nuanced textures as I designed them, use a scale and measure your ingredients in grams. Otherwise stick with cups and spoons, which are a little more approximate. The ice cream will be no less delicious, just a touch less perfectly textured.

In a phone conversation, Dana told me that all the recipes were tested both by weight and by volume.

The first recipe I have tried from the book is the banana ice cream. The technique of infusing the very ripe (read blackened) banana in the dairy mixture intrigued me. On my first try, the flavor was blissfully pure banana but the texture was icy--my fault--I thought I could get away without a texturing agent. Dana recommended the cornstarch slurry "texture agent" to bind up some of the water, advising that if that didn't work fully to my satisfaction, I should simmer the dairy mixture for 2 to 5 minutes before adding the cornstarch slurry (to evaporate the water that turns to ice crystals). Since I only had one more black banana at the ready I did both, which produced a beautifully thickened base and sure enough--dense and creamy with not a trace of iciness. (My middle name is concentrating juices so why didn't I think of that?!)

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I thought I knew all about ice cream, having included many recipes in several of my books. In recent years I've added the technique of using glucose syrup for smoother texture, as does Dana. But reading this book is an exciting new frontier to explore and I'm so glad I was introduced to it before finishing my own book on the subject. I also am pleased to know of a colleague who is so delightfully talented, devoted to the success of the home baker as well as the professional, and feel like I've found a new and treasured kindred spirit and friend.

Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop

Bull's Eye: My New Fagor Induction Portable Burner and Anolon Skillet!

May 13, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

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I entered a contest on Bonnie Tandy LeBlang's uber informative website Bite of the Best. (She regularly runs contests for equipment and anyone can enter.) In order to enter, it was required to write how the induction burner would be used. My entry stated that it would be ideal for making lemon curd, without having to use a double boiler, because it controls the heat so evenly and the sides of the pan don't heat nearly as much.

For many months, I read emails of other entries saying they would use it for stir frying and other more commonly used techniques in cooking, so I thought I didn't stand much of a chance with my more esoteric lemon curd idea. But low and behold, and to my delight, my entry was the winner!

This cooktop is so well designed and easy to use. One can select a specific temperature, or press one of the buttons to choose equally precise and intuitive settings such as simmer, boil, rapid boil, sear, brown, or stir fry and the corresponding temperature will appear on the readout. And when changing settings it responds instantly.

15" Induction Cooktop with 1 Burner Finish: Desert Sand

I'm using the Fagor induction burner for a lot more than an occasional lemon curd. For example, it makes a perfect over easy egg in my new Analon Nouvelle Copper pan. Not only is the pan induction friendly, it has a copper core, is nonstick, even can be used with metal utensils, and is oven safe up to 500°F/260°C. This 8.5 inch french style skillet will be my go to every day pan for small items. I am tempted to get the 10 inch one as well!

Anolon 82525 Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick Open Skillets, 8-Inch and 10-Inch, Twin Pack

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy

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