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Fallen Cherry Tree

Sep 1, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

due to the extraordinary amount of rain we've had this summer and the extraordinary amount of rocks in our soil, one towering cherry tree toppled with a resounding thud missing our house by a mere 3 feet. it served as a major wakeup call that when you live in the forest you need to assess the state of trees that shade the house to keep it cool in summer but can also be a major hazzard. we hired a terrific tree guy to assess what needed to be trimmed or felled and he reduced the toppled cherry tree to wood chips in short order.


What you are in the garden is wonderful. It was more than I had imagined. The cherry tree is actually very nice. I like them better than anyone else. I admire you when you own something beautiful like this


Every creature needs to rest. Giraffes, little babies, elephants, dogs, cats, kids, koala bears, grandparents, moms, dads, and hippos in the jungle - they all sleep! Just like eating, sleep is necessary for survival. WBR LeoP


beth, i do like the silpin but there's nothing like a pastry cloth with flour rubbed into it as the ideal surface on which to roll the dough. silicone helps to prevent sticking but you still need to add flour. what i like about the silpin is that it can be chilled and maintains the chill which helps to prevent sticking.


hey tyler--how did i miss your lovely comment. i guess g-mai lis not without its glitches!


Hello Rose. I was wondering if you had any experience with the silicone rolling or pastry pins and the silicone rolling mats now available. I saw them in the King Arthur Flour catatlog. Do they really allow you to use next to no flour? Or is the standard method of rolling between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap better? I must say that whenever I do this the paper ends up rolling on the counter with every stroke of the rolling pin, especially with waxed paper. Any suggestions or comments you could offer would be most appreciated.-Beth


hehe, i was eager to get back to see if you replied :) im really enjoying the little excerpts in your books where you tell real life events. a few cookbooks dont have that, so it seems like there so perfect. but your not embrassed at all to admit your mistakes. oh, and in the cake bible, every time i pick it up i have to read the snowstorm of 83 story. it just really makes me admire you.-- tyler


gee-i guess this really dates me! sourballs are just hard candy with a slightly tart/sour flavor. but any crushed candy will do. these cookies are really fun and beautiful. enjoy!


well, i always expected you to be more sophisticate. and, dont mind me saying, a bit snooty? but i guess this really is you :D i wanted to let you know, i just bought rose's celebrations and im in love. im still in high school, so ive brought the book to school and you would not believe the raves your book is getting. all my peers are in love with your recipes. i cant wait to try them out! oh, and for one of your recipes, a cookie stained glass one, you call for sourballs. im not sure what those are, but would i be able to use any other crushed candy? thanks-- tyler


yes--check "rose's christmas cookies"


Kimberly Tyler
Kimberly Tyler
10/ 5/2006 05:58 PM

I've made 'severed finger' cookies each Halloween for the last few years from Martha Stewarts recipe but although hers in the photos look like round fingers, no matter what I do, mine spread out on the bottom a bit, against the pan. Short of baking on bread stick pans might you have a recipe for cookie dough that would remain stiff enough to stay like a cylinder while baking?


tyler--i sure would love to know what you think would sound more like me.


hello rose :) i was just wondering if this is really your website? it doesnt seem like you, particularly because i havent met you. but id love to get to know you! tyler


audra--that's a wonderful story (and believe me i've been there!) my first oven was small and the door spring was sprung so i had to use a stick to keep it shut. it also wasn't level so when i came home after a james beard class to make the cake roll he had taught one side was so think it cracked immediately on rolling and the other side so thick it wasn't fully baked!

thanks for reassuring me that you won't treat this blog like an 800 number of i'll have to run away from computer!

and thank you too dear diane!


I just have to second Audra's comment. This blog seems like a wondrous miracle to me.

And Audra: I bet your cake was fantastic.


I just wanted to let you know that I made the cheesecakes with the cherry modification. I made the cherry puree from Bing cherries, and I replaced 2.5 T. of the lemon juice in the batter with Kirschwasser. If I ever do this one again I will back off from this amount. The flavor was much more cherry than cheesecake. I used your method of patting on a chocolate crumb crust. All in all, it turned out beautifully, and the "Birthday Boy" was delighted.

At the last moment I got pre-party hostess jitters and made a Lemon Pucker Pie (TM) to add a little variety for our guests. It definitely trumped the cheesecake on popularity. I was sad, and so were the guests, that I only had one to serve.

I want you to know that this blog is an answered prayer for me. I have been baking from all of your "Bibles" for a few years now, only to share with my family and friends. Last October, I volunteered to make my brother's wedding cake (my first one ever). What on earth made me think I could do such a thing? It was your positive and inspiring writing in the cake bible that made it seem so clear and feasible. As with any major undertaking I ran into some snags.

Two nights before the wedding I fell exhausted onto my couch with mousseline frosting in my hair, cake layers cooling everywhere from the living room coffee table to the computer desk. Several of my marzipan roses were broken from the freezer, and some not quite the shade I wanted. My 15" round would not fit into the oven and allow the door to shut completely. I had several more hours to be on my feet that night to complete everything in my tiny apartment kitchen.

A friend called and I burst into tears while explaining my situation. I asked her, "Why didn't they put a 1-800-Call-Rose hotline in the cake bible?"

After mustering up a little courage, pushing the oven door shut with a broom handle, and later getting some sleep, the cake turned out to be lovely and captivating! I had to turn my head as they cut into it at the reception, I could hardly watch it be taken apart.

A few weeks later I found this blog, and although I promised myself I would not write you with every question I conceive, it gives me great peace in the kitchen to know I can ask for help from the expert when the going gets rough. Thank you for the gift of your knowledge that you share with all of us.


thanks christine! i feel lucky to be alive and baking every day but especially so after this!
i happened to catch the martha show today. a friend in atlanta had told me about this many months ago so i had already called billy to thank him. it was thrilling to hear it directly though. he was so generous and forthright is saying i had pioneered the method. i was extremely impressed.


audra, it sounds like you want to add the liqueur to the batter in which case you should definitely reduce the liquid. you might even consider replacing some of the lemon juice. do let us know how it turns out!


Thank goodness no one was injured and your home was spared.

Today on a repeat episode of Martha, Billy Reece from Billy's Bakery was featured. He graciously gave you and "The Cake Bible" credit for his perfect cupcakes, using your one-bowl method. His Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes looked so lovely, and will try baking them soon.
Take care!


Rose, I am so sorry to hear about the tragedy of your cherry tree. Ironically, my question for you has to do with the addition of cherries to one of your recipes.
My boyfriend loves to buy slices of a black-cherry cheesecake, made by a famous restaurant chain with "Cheesecake" in the name. Buying two entire cakes for his birthday party would be rather expensive for me, plus the home baker and Rose Levy Beranbaum fan in me would never allow the purchase of such a cake!
My idea is to make the Cordon Rose Cheesecake, and also make a lightly sweetened Cherry puree based on the recipes for the other fruit sauces in 'The Cake Bible'. Then I'll just swirl it in like I do with apricot or strawberry on other occasions. My other dilemma is the addition of a cherry flavored liqueur. Will I need to reduce the liquid in the cheesecake recipe to make this addition? I hope you have a moment to give me some pointers on this endeavor.

Thanks, Audra



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