Aug 27, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
September 6 is the official release but you can preorder now on Amazon, Apple I-Books, and Barnes & Noble. it's available on all platforms--Amazon Kindle, Apple IBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Google Play.
The Cake Bible
It has been 28 years since the publication of the hard cover edition which is now going into its 54th printing. It has changed my life and people have reported to me around the world that it has changed many others' lives as well. The electronic edition is both beautifully designed and highly functional.
Aug 20, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
I've always used a brown dish towel reserved for rolling my chocolate and yellow cake rolls, especially because it doesn't show the stains that are near impossible to remove even when washing it in the clothes washer.
Recently I received a new device designed specifically for use with cake rolls and after trying it out on a chocolate biscuit found that not only did it worked perfectly, it wiped totally clean with a sponge and dish detergent.
Although the instructions suggest using 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, I used my usual light dusting of cocoa (8 grams/a little under 2 tablespoons) and there was absolutely no sticking.
It works best to set the edge of the cake near the edge of the liner, because when rolling the cake tends to move forward.
With either the towel or cake roller, the cake needs to cool completely on a rack. To keep the cake roller from unrolling I set it seam-side-down on the rack and placed a metal bar on either side. Any long object such as a ruler will work.
The Easy Cake Roller keeps the cake moist and, of course, is reusable. You can purchase it on the company's website.
Aug 13, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Recently, I learned a great tip from my cousin's wife Vicki who comes from Australia and now lives a mere hour away from us. We were talking about the famed Pavlova--a fabulous crisp meringue shell with marshmallowy interior, filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Woody and I had made numerous tests to perfect the consistency of the meringue for our upcoming Rose's Baking Basics book. I've always baked my meringues by piping or spreading them on parchment, which effectively prevents sticking. Vicki, however, said that she instead dusts the pan with cornstarch and the meringues slide off with ease. Of course I just had to try this immediately with the always tricky/sticky piped meringue baked in a pie plate, featured in The Baking BIble for the "Pomegranate Chiffon Pie."
Prior to Vicki's suggestion, I had recommended coating the pie plate with vegetable shortening and then dusting with Wondra flour. It was always difficult to remove the first piece, and not that much easier to achieve attractive slices. (Note: meringue does crumble when cut.) My first test was using cornstarch instead of flour and the meringue still stuck. I suspected that the shortening did not coat evenly so the next test was coating the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and then dusting it with cornstarch. This test proved to be the charm.
I waited impatiently for the meringue to cool completely and then dislodged the very top edge along the rim with the tip of a small knife. I hesitatingly nudged the meringue forward slightly and, to my great joy, it moved. Holding my breath, with my fingers, I then lifted out the entire meringue shell onto a plate. I gazed at this wondrous sight, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to start wondering how it would work with just the non-stick cooking spray and no cornstarch. I coated the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and removed excess with a paper towel. Instead of piping the meringue, I just spread an even layer into the pie plate. Without the cornstarch it was more difficult to spread the meringue.
At the same time and temperature (and the day was actually less humid) the meringue was still a little gooey in places so I returned it to the oven because meringue will not unmold in one piece if not completely dry. It stuck in places even when completely dry, which indicated that the cornstarch is necessary.
Piping the meringue makes it easier to make it consistent in thickness but spreading it looks just as good.
Non-stick cooking spray plus cornstarch is ideal and makes it possible to unmold the meringue. Non-stick cooking spray alone is slippery, which makes it harder to spread the meringue, and will not be possible to unmold in one piece.
With or without cornstarch, non-stick cooking spray make removing the slices much easier than shortening and flour.
Aug 06, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
LEFT: BREVILLE CONVECTION, RIGHT: PANASONIC CONVECTION
One batter, weighed equally between two identical pans, and baked for the exact same time to the exact same internal temperature, in two different countertop ovens. The interior of the cake (the crumb) is the same but the tops and the exterior are markedly different. (Note: The top of the cake in the Breville is browner but the exterior is less brown.)
LEFT: BREVILLE CONVECTION, RIGHT: PANASONIC CONVECTION
No two ovens bake exactly the same. All ovens, except for those with circulating trays, will have some hot spots. Convection ovens tend to bake more evenly but still have hot spots. I rotate my cakes half-way around after two-thirds of the estimate baking time except if they are sponge type cakes such as génoise or chiffon that will fall if moved before they finish baking.
In the Breville, if a recipe calls for 350°F/175°C I use 340°F/170°C. In the Panasonic, if it's a small cake or a pie I don't lower the temperature but for a large cake that requires more than 1 hour of baking time, such as a honey cake, which starts browning too fast, I lower the temperature to 325°F/160°C after the first 30 to 45 minutes of baking.
When you get a new oven, try baking a familiar cake. I use my all-occasion downy yellow cake from The Cake Bible. Get to know your oven and you can adjust accordingly.
Aug 03, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Special Stories 2016
Sarah Jampel, of Food52, has just posted a terrific article on my favorite pie crust along with the recipe (slightly adapted from the original).
Jul 16, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
I have fallen in love with a new Valrhona chocolate called Illanka. I first tasted it when it was introduced at the recent Valrhona cocktail party in New York City and was nothing short of amazed. I've been a long time fan of the Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie, aka extra bitter 61% but I found the Illanka much more exciting. Not only is it extraordinarily creamy and well-balanced, it is intensely chocolaty with an enticingly fruity finish that makes me want to reach for more.
Illanka chocolate comes from Peru and is made from Gran Blanco beans--very rare white cocoa beans found in the Piura region. Valrhona has given it the name Illanka which comes from Illa, the light and Anka, Condor in Quechua, the speaking language in Peru.
Illanka is delicious eaten just as it is, without further enhancement, but also makes a fabulous ganache simply with the addition of heavy cream.
For a 61% chocolate such as Le Noir Gastronomie I use 9 ounces/255 grams cream (about 1 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons/259 ml) to 8 ounces/227 grams chocolate.
For the Illanka 63% I use 10 ounces/283 grams cream (about 1-1/4 cups/296 ml) to 8 oz/227 grams chocolate.
Illanka can be bought on line.
Valrhona will donate $1.00 USD to the Clear Water charity project for every 500 gram/17.5 ounce bag of Illanka chocolate purchased.
Illanka has an interesting history. If you would like to learn more about it and the impact Valrhona's creation of The Clean Water Project is making on the surrounding cocoa producing communities follow this link.
Jul 13, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Food52 just posted my article about egg whites in baking. As a baker, you will find this invaluable.
Jul 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
In honor of our 40th anniversary two days from now, I am sharing Elliott's recipe for my favorite Margarita. His secrets: clear Tequilla, Triplesec for its perfect orange flavor, and Minute Maid frozen concentrated Limeade with pulp (because fresh lime juice varies so much in consistency of flavor). I like to squeeze in a few slices of fresh lime for flavor and garnish and my most recent addition is blood orange concentrate which produces a stunning color and extra mellow and delicious flavor. Perfect Puree of Napa Valley makes a terrific blood orange concentrate.
In Summer, we always have a large pitcher of Margarita in the fridge.
Beranbaum's Best Blood Orange Margarita
Note: use the 12 ounce Limeade can to measure the other ingredients
(1) 12 ounce can Minute Maid Limeade, thawed
2 cans water
1 can Tequilla, clear preferred
1/2 can Triple Sec
lime concentrated juice to taste
1/3 can (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) Perfect Puree of Napa Valley Blood Orange Concentrate, thawed
Jul 09, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Woody is not only a gifted baker, he is also a great cook. My favorite meal he has made for us is what we affectionately refer to as Chimis.
A chimichanga is basically a deep-fried burrito. Homemade flour tortillas rolled paper-thin make the perfect wrap for the chimichangas' filling. We have found that most tortillas bought in stores are too thick and have a cardboard-like texture and taste. Upon deep-frying, these homemade tortilla casings become light, crispy, and flakey. Our favorite filling is braised, shredded pork shoulder with black beans, roasted pablano peppers, sautéed onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and cilantro. Chicken and refried beans with seasonings and cheese is another great filling. We also like to serve the chimis with Pablano Cream Sauce spooned on top.
The tortillas are also excellent for deep-frying for nachos and flautas. You can also roll the tortilla dough slightly thicker for burritos, wraps, or quesadillas, all which are not deep-fried.
Special Equipment: A frying pan or griddle (preferably nonstick) 12 inches or more in diameter across its bottom; A 15 by 12 inch baking sheet; A large Dutch oven (10 inches in diameter); Eight 12 inch lengths of cord for four chimichangas
Makes: Four 12 inch round tortillas : 106 grams each
(Six 9 inch round tortillas : 70 grams each)
Gold Medal or King Arthur bread flour: 260 grams/2 cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off)
Baking powder: 3/4 teaspoon
Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening or solid clarified butter, room temperature (see Notes): 50 grams/5-1/2 tablespoons
Water, warm (see Notes) : 118 grams/1/2 cup (118 ml)
Make the Tortilla Dough In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Detach the flat beater and add the shortening. Use the beater to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Reattach the beater and mix on low speed until the flour mixture is crumbly.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually drizzle in the warm water, until the dough sticks together and clears the sides of the bowl. There usually will be some water left over (around 1 to 2 teaspoons).
Knead and Shape the Dough Discs On an unfloured countertop, briefly knead the dough to form a smooth ball (no more than 10 kneads and for less than 1 minute). Loosely wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator). The dough ball should weigh around 424 grams.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces (106 grams each), or 6 pieces for 6 tortillas (70 grams each). Form each piece into a ball. Cup each ball with both of your hands and use your fingers to form a 'mushroom cap' shaped disc, about 4 inches in diameter. Cover each disc with plastic wrap. Let the discs rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the Dough Discs Have ready 5 sheets of plastic wrap at least 12 inches square.
Lightly flour (preferably with Wondra) a countertop or doughmat and place a dough disc on it. (You want your surface to have just enough flour to let the dough roll out, without the disc sliding on the surface.)
The dough needs to be rolled very thin (1/16 inch or less). Roll the dough into a roughly 12 inch or larger disc. At the beginning, roll the dough from the center to the edges and side to side to keep a roughly round shape. Lift the dough from time to time and flip it over, adding just enough flour as necessary to keep it from sticking. To roll the tortilla to its final size, lightly hold down the dough with one hand, while rolling away from your hand with the other. Leave the tortilla untrimmed around the edges. It will be almost translucent.
If the dough softens and is difficult to roll, slip it onto a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate it for a few minutes until it firms.
Place the tortilla on one of the sheets of plastic wrap and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap.
Repeat with the other dough discs.
Continue reading "Woody's Homemade Flour Tortillas for Chimichangas and Burritos" »
Jul 05, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Food52 just posted my article about the shrinking of egg yolks and how to adjust for this. As a baker, you will find this invaluable.