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« March 2006 | Main | May 2006 »

Do you have a favorite pie crust?

Apr 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General

Yes, the Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust on page 29 of The Pie and Pastry Bible. I now make it with heavy cream replacing the water and it is more tender and flavorful.

IACP Cookbook Awards Held in Seattle

Apr 10, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Lisa Yockelson's book "ChocolateChocolate" won the best book in the baking category at the IACP cookbook award ceremony on the evening of April 1!

As presenter of this category, along with my friend and fellow-baker/author Jim Dodge, now of the Getty Foundation, we had the great pleasure of announcing the award to Lisa and an audience of close to 1400.


Photo by Adam Schneider

Afterwards we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with our publisher Natalie Chapman (John Wiley).

Lisa IACP 9.jpg
Photo by Adam Schneider

A full list of award winners can be viewed on the iacp website http://www.iacp.com

Oh Joy!!!

Apr 17, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

i guess you know by now that when i'm this happy it can mean only one thing: i'm making bread!

home from the bahamas (more about this at a later posting) and the usual thought came up: what to make for dinner tonight. we arrived home to a surprise package from american spoon foods containing a jar of their new award-winning strawberry butter and a jar of their sour cherry preserves. my husband introduced me to the glorious combination of peanut butter and cherry jam years ago so my next thought was peanut butter and preserves sandwich but what kind of bread? i quickly defrosted some old sour dough starter and launched into one of my favorite sandwich breads--the sweet heart of wheat. it's my basic hearth bread using white flour but with the addition of bran and germ. it is the silkiest dough imaginable and perfect for any sandwich, especially when baked in a loaf pan.

the recipe for my basic heart bread will soon be appearing (june) on the bag of the terrific for bread new gold medal flour called harvest king. i'll be posting the recipe plus variations such as this one in june!

A Side Trip to Heaven!

Apr 17, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Happenings

During the few days of IACP in Seattle last week of March, TIm Bennett Product Manager of Gold Medal Flour (who was the inspiration behind this blog) and I skipped out and drove all the way to Vancouver to experience some of the most creative, spectacular and delicious sushi of our lives. We had the added pleasure of meeting Travis Smith and Susie Gardner of Hop Studios, the designers of our blog, who happen to live in Vancouver.

This is my 5th visit to Tojo's and I warned Tim to eat nothing beforehand because it's impossible to say no to just one more of Tojo's beyond description creations. One of the most interesting and demanding of his culinary feats is to create a sushi that is hot on the inside and cold on the outside. He gently but firmly commands you to use your hands (because touch is part of the experience) and eat it immediately.

There is sake and there is sake and the finest quality, served cold in bamboo containers is a world apart from the ubiquitous hot sake one often encounters.

We made it back to Seattle safely and by 10:30 and with only one eye-opener stop for coffee on the way. By the way, it seems that anywhere coffee is served in the state of Washington, it is strong, mellow, and never bitter.

See six more photos below (on the full post page).

Continue reading "A Side Trip to Heaven!" »

Ode to Deer Valley and A Baking Magician

Apr 18, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Travel Adventures

I know that baking is often perceived as alchemy and magic, but chef Letty Flatt, who is in charge of all baking at the Deer Valley Ski Resort in Utah, really takes the cake. You have to be there to believe the wide variety and exquisiteness of the desserts she creates at altitudes as high as 8200 feet above sea level.

At the Seafood Buffet, a little lower down but not much, there is a selection of about 20 different desserts and one can taste all of them as part of the buffet dinner—in fact there are those who do just that (I came close) My favorite—also Elliott’s--was the baklava batons. Another favorite, the Black Forest Crème Brûlée (see photo) is a magnificent plated dessert served only at the Mariposa restaurant at Silver Lake.

My top favorite, which I can never resist (I returned for it twice) is the ice cream sandwich served at the Café at Silver Lake. I’m usually torn between that and the Frozen Lemon Meringue Pie.

(By the way, they also serve the best crawfish bisque I’ve ever tasted anywhere including New Orleans and an astonishingly good Caesar salad—both of which required a revisit as well.) The ice cream sandwich consists of perfectly creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two terrific chocolate chip cookies, cut into 4 wedges, and served with a little pot of hot fudge sauce for dipping (oh bliss).

Happily the recipe is in Letty’s cookbook “Chocolate Snowball.” No wonder she recently was cited in Salt Lake Magazine's Dining Awards as Best Pastry Chef in Utah 2006!

I used to think I had to go to Europe to eat well at a ski resort but not since we discovered Deer Valley. Now we just keep going back. Usually we stay on the mountain for dinner as the choices are so varied and excellent, but it’s well worth going into Park City—just about 15 minutes away-- to eat at Wahso—a wonderful Asian restaurant with equally appealing décor.

In addition to the great food and staggering beauty of the mountains, we really enjoy the genuine friendliness of the people. Last year, when I wanted to try out snow-shoeing, one of the shop keepers loaned me not only a pair of snowshoes, but also his own gaiters to keep the snow out of my shoes, as none of the stores had them for sale.

There was tons of snow and blue skies this year but I actually forewent a day of skiing for the pleasure of hiking with my friends Letty and Julie Wilson (the director of food and beverage at Deer Valley Resort) who led us up the Sun Peak Trail for an unforgettable experience. It was a rigorous one hour uphill climb on a narrow snowy trail surrounded by pines. I couldn’t chat much as I was too occupied with catching my breath, but it was well worth the effort because the summit gave us a panoramic view of the Canyons ski area that was absolutely breath-taking (in every sense!)

Deer Valley was the dream creation of Stein Erikson—the great ski hero whose elegant style--rear end improbably extending at near right angles from one’s hopefully parallel skis--everyone tried to emulate when I started skiing back in 1961. He still skis every morning and word had it he skied with Dr. Ruth the week we were there. It was probably was more than a rumor as I spotted dear Dr. Ruth at Kennedy airport waiting for her baggage while we were waiting for ours.

But by far the most serendipitous moment of the entire week was discovering at almost the very end of one of the rides up the mountain that the familiar looking person sitting next to me on the lift was the editor of Real Simple Magazine. Disguised as we were by our ski apparel it took that long to realize we recognized each other! I’ve seen her countless times on the Today Show and she’s been baking out of my books for years! Out of 1400 people on the lifts it seemed unimaginably improbably that we should be sitting on the same lift chair. Most delightful was that before I realized it was Elizabeth Mayhew I was charmed by her sweet friendly personality—just the same as she is when she appears on the Today Show.

Before we skied off down the mountain Elizabeth invited me to appear on her new PBS show and I invited her to the press party for the launch of the new Gold Medal artisan style flour (more about this in June!). Life is good!

The Next Generation of Wine Lovers in Training

Apr 19, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Travel Adventures

on the recent visit to seattle, for the iacp conference, i had the pleasure of having dinner with my family who live in nearby slohomish. my stepson chose a new restaurant called the crow and we were joined by my dear friend elizabeth karmel (her new book: "taming the flame"--john wiley). all four of us grownups chose the halibut that turned out to be moist and flavorful--in fact the best halibut i've ever tasted. the grandchildren had their usual spaghetti with butter and cheese. but they did ask to smell the cabernet cork. here's evidence:

It’s Batter in the Bahamas!

Apr 24, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Travel Adventures

I’ve finally discovered why writing a negative review is so much easier than the reverse. There’s a certain drama to it. I don’t like sounding negative but I like still less feeling negative. So here goes—at least on the positive side I’ll get it out of my system and perhaps you will be forewarned of what to expect should you chose to plan a trip to this area:

I really was expecting to enjoy the experience. Last time in the Bahamas—about 10 years ago—it was a lot of fun but then we didn’t stay in a humongous amusement park type of hotel like the Atlantis (it should have stayed mythically submerged under seas), nor was it Spring break, nor was the weather stormy every single day making swimming in the ocean impossible. This didn’t seem to stop people from crowding around the many swimming pools but I suspect they were using extra towels to keep warm as there never seemed to be any available by the time my husband was finished with his morning seminars and ready to give the pool experience a chance. There weren’t enough lounge chairs either—not that I like lying around a crowded pool. I guess I was hoping for a secluded beach with the shade of a palm tree and gentle breezes transporting me into a dreamy state, rather than the gales of wailing wind and rain that made me start thinking tsunami one night. The security alarm going off for 10 minutes in the middle of the night for no explained reason didn’t help to assuage my sense of panic and unease.

Our room had a splendid view of the raging ocean and hypnotically staring out to sea was my favorite and most relaxing part of the trip. Unfortunately wireless internet access was available only in the library ($10 for 24 hours no less). Other than the room, this was the one place that was mostly quiet. Everywhere else I don’t think I’ve ever heard this many screaming kids at one time.

[Read about the rest of Rose's trip on the full post page.]

Continue reading "It’s Batter in the Bahamas!" »

The Two by Four of Cake Pans

Apr 29, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

We’re all familiar with the concept and it’s so omnipresent we’ve all but accepted that when a piece of lumber is called a two by four it refers literally to what it once had been and NOT what it is now. Just in case you don’t know, it’s not bigger, it’s smaller. And having succeeded in gaining the mute acceptance of the American public, other areas of industry have followed suit. Think of all the money this is saving them, shaving off pieces of wood. It’s become a metaphor for clever merchandising (read cheating the public and getting away with it).

Although I detest the concept on principal, it doesn’t directly affect me when it comes to many things but when it comes to cake pans, my most vital piece of equipment for cake baking, it makes me MAD.

When I create a recipe for a 9 inch by 2 inch high pan whose volume is 8 2/3 cups and people find 9 inch pans that actually are 8 1/2 inches at the bottom and just under 9 inches at the top, the recipe will overflow the pan. I’ve taken to saying how much to fill the pan (with most batters no more than 2/3 full). Also a slope-sided pan is an extreme inconvenience when you stack one layer on top of the other and hope for even sides to ice.

So when you go shopping for cake pans (or pie plates for that matter) carry a tape measure with you. Being the daughter of a cabinet maker my first toy was an industrial wooden fold out ruler, and I still remember the cute little bronze mini measure that slid out from the end—of course it was my favorite part. I would never leave the house without my own purse size version.

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