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
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 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 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.
Jul 02, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
A while back, I did an in depth posting on beating egg whites, but I have something important to add if not using cream of tartar to ensure stability.
If the proper amount of cream of tartar is used it offers 100% insurance against over beating and drying out the egg whites, which would decrease the volume of the baked goods significantly. When using the cream of tartar, the egg whites can be beaten to stiff peaks.
But when cream of tartar is not used, the egg whites should be beaten only until what the French refer to as bec d'oiseau which translates to bird's beak.
By not beating quite as stiffly, when folded into another mixture the whites do not deflate as much but will not offer quite as much volume. An example, in my orange chiffon cake, is when the whites are beaten to completely stiff peaks only 9 egg whites are needed instead of 10 when beaten to bec d'oiseau (curved peaks) to achieve the same volume when baked.
Jun 26, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
We are listing these lowered priced items and new listings until they are sold
New Metro Beater Blades for KitchenAid 5 qt LIFT or Tiltback,
KitchenAid 6 qt. LIFT, Cuisinart 7 qt. Tiltback
Now $ 10 variety of colors including Rose's red color ($ 22 retail)
American Products Group
# 8 now $ 6 was $ 10 NEW Original Doughmat ($ 20 retail)
# 1 now $ 15 was $ 20 NEW Original Rolling Pins ($ 30 retail)
now $ 6 all Magic Slice cutting mats/variety of designs ($ 13 retail)
# 19 now $ 30 was $ 40 NEW in box Escali Arti 157 ($ 60 retail)
# 61 now $ 20 was $ 25 NEW in box Soehnle Futura ($ 48 retail)
# 83 now $ 70 was $ 75 All-Clad Ceramic Double Boiler ($180 retail)
#112 now $ 10 was $15 Kuhn Rikon Leakproof Push Pan ($ 30 retail)
Plus Silicone ware by Lekue, Kitchen Aid, and others
Over 100 books, many brand new first editions (these are duplicate copies from her library) plus Rose's books, signed
# 26 $ 22 Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice ($35)
# 59 $ 15 Rodger's Kaffeehouses: Desserts from Classic Cafes ($37)
# 84 $ 14 Amer Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2013 ($35)
#102 $ 25 Keller's Buchon ($50)
We can send you photos of any of these items and those on our lists.
If you would like a complete lists of our: bakeware & kitchenware, silicone ware, and books,
email Woody at: firstname.lastname@example.org . We do charge for UPS or USPS ground rates. Post office MEDIA rate for book orders.
No added cost for packaging and handling.
Jun 25, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Restaurant Reviews
I am always amazed how connecting with people can bring unexpected treasures in the future. When we were at the Wine & Food Festival Event at Mohonk Mountain House in April, my wonderful writer friend, Susannah Applebaum, recommended a Chinese restaurant in Parsippany, New Jersey that featured homemade and hand-pulled noodles.
So after a morning appointment in the area, we stopped at the Shan Shan Restaurant for lunch. As we walked in, owner/manager Lili and her family and some friends were having lunch and she greeted us with a warm welcoming smile. She went over the menu with us to choose the spicy hot pulled noodles with pork, steamed pork buns, and scallion pancakes. We were also encouraged to watch the chef as he pulled our noodles.
Through a window looking in on the kitchen, we watched the chef rolling out a 2 inch thick cord of noodle dough, which he sliced off into about a 16 inch long piece. He then rolled it on the counter to lengthen it. Then the amazingly dramatic pulling began with him grasping each end of the dough, extending his arms to each side of his body to stretch the dough, folding the dough cord in half, and repeating the stretching and folding a couple more times. As we watched, the noodles began to form and separate more and more with each stretch and fold. After the final fold, he tossed the noodles into the boiling pot.
While our noodles were boiling, our side dishes arrived. Both the pancakes and steamed pork buns came with a dipping sauce.
Then our noodle dish arrived, which was just the right amount for us to share for lunch, with an unusual accompanying serving device--kitchen scissors! Since the noodles can be over a foot long, and we were sharing, the scissors came in quite handy to make serving and then twisting a reasonable amount of noodles onto our chopsticks possible.
We were absolutely delighted by all the flavors and textures, especially the delicacy of the soup dumplings. The Chinese tea was the best I have ever tasted.
Afterwards, I talked to Lili and her husband Gary who does the accounting. The name of the restaurant, Shan Shan, is their daughter who does all the art work for the menu. This is a fantastic find.
Here is the website with address and menu selection.
Jun 18, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
Once again we made our annual pilgrimage to New York to attend this year's honoring of the top 10 pastry chefs in the USA, by Dessert Professional Magazine. The event provides an unequaled opportunity to see many of our friends in the baking world and this year it was also exciting to see the event's splendid new location--the newly constructed ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) located across the street from the World Trade Center.
Before the honoring ceremony, and tasting the delectable creations from the honorees, I was able to have delightful catch up conversations with many friends including Dessert Professional editors Tish Boyle and Matthew Stevens. All too soon, the drum roll for the honorees sounded. Each pastry chef, from pastry shops to a restaurant at Disneyworld, was presented, and received a KitchenAid mixer with the chef's name etched on its mixing bowl.
The grand finale, this year's Lifetime Achievement Award, was given to my dear friend Biaggio Settepani. When I lived in New York City in Greenwich Village, Biaggio's Pasticceria Bruno was just across the street so I am a long-time fan.
We then circulated through the many stations presided over by each pastry chef, assisted by a student future pastry chef from ICE. Chocolate was a featured ingredient in many of the desserts.
Speaking of chocolate, it was great to visit with Eric Case of ValRhona, Amy Guittard of Guittard chocolate, and the uber talented chocolatier Jean François Bonnet of Tumbador and his pastry chef wife Dina.
One of the most rewarding and meaningful moments for me was when Zinzi Mpande, from Zimbabwe, who just graduated in pastry from The Monroe Culinary School, greeted me with open arms, saying that I was her inspiration and that she was so thrilled to meet me.
Our favorite dessert was not one of the exotic or fancy creations. It was a dainty push-up pop with thin layers of sponge cake and various fruit fillings and creams including passion (I admit to having had 4 of them!). This imaginative and perfectly executed dessert was the inspiration of pastry chef Franck of Cake by Franck at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. He comes from Paris and after praising him and introducing myself I was astonished and thrilled that his response was that he had my Cake Bible.
Our last station was the special chocolate room where we visited with renowned pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director of ICE. He told us how happy he is to get to play all day with chocolate, testing out different machinery and developing new techniques and chocolate bars starting from the bean.
On our walk back to the car, we stopped at the World Trade Center Memorial Pools.
Square pools were designed as chasms of black marble, each extending into the earth, with a constant cascade of water covering their walls and falling to the floor, then to depart into the depths of each center square. It is brilliantly designed to feel like the depths of despair and endless emptiness, like a black hole. Names of the departed from 911 are etched in the marble ledge encircling the square.
We departed for home, feeling deeply moved and also so very privileged to be part of the wonderful world of pastry.
Jun 11, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose
in Rose's Products
MINI-ROLLER NON-STICK ROLLING PIN
This baby version of the big Syn Glas pin gives much more control when rolling small pieces of dough or fondant. I discovered the virtues of a small pin many years ago when I interviewed Liz Prueitt of Tartine Bakery. In answer to my question "what is the most valued piece of equipment in your bakery" her answer was a small wooden rolling pin which she gives to each of her pastry chefs.
My non-stick rolling pin is 9 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. You will be surprised just how very useful it is!
Rose Levy Beranbaum Signature Series Roller Non-Stick Rolling Pin, Mini, White