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Category ... Announcements

Thanksgiving Pies from Gramercy Tavern

Nov 15, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements


Pie Contest # 5 2017

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"Fifth year and a big one," Chef Miro Uskokovic informed us about the annual staff pie contest to welcome in the holiday season at Gramercy Tavern. This was to be our fourth invite to judge the talented staff's pies.

And the great news is that for the first year, Miro is making two fabulous pies available for sale from Gramercy Tavern for Thanksgiving: Spiced Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie and Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie for pick up on either Tuesday 11/21 or Wednesday 11/22. You'll need to order right away as I'm sure there will be a great demand.

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Ten judges this year, including executive chef, Mike Anthony, general manager Scott Reinhardt, pastry chef/author/director of the baking programs at the Institute for Culinary Education (and dear friend) Nick Malgieri, Merrill Stubbs co-founder of Food 52, and Emily and Melissa Elsen, owners of Four & Twenty Blackbirds Bakery.

After taking our seats once again at the 15 foot long table, in the very familiar banquet/meeting room, Miro went over the criteria for this year's judging. Although we had a scoring card, it was to be used only for taking notes, as we would all have our say after a fork full of the last pie tasted to choose the Best Overall Pie and the Most Creative Pie. And this year, all entries had to be made in a pie plate as opposed to a tart pan. Also this year both winners (and the judges!) would receive the same generous gift: a prized blender from sponsor Vitamix. Each contestant was to bring out her or his creation, give the story behind the pie, and then answer our questions as we tasted the pie.

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The highest number of entries ever, 22 pies, were presented, dissected, tasted, talked about, and a whole pie shown to each of us by Miro and then placed on the table and discussed some more. Miro gave us two breaks to calm our taste buds and give our tummies a temporary relief. Since in most prior years a cream pie beat out the rest, this year was a cavalcade of mostly cream pies. A couple of entries were from the front staff. Also, we were delighted that for the first time Scott was one of the judges.

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Nick, as always, was a delight, with his charm, honesty, and spot on critiquing of the pies.

With all pies tasted, chef Mike gave his choice for his favorite--the Pomegranate Pie--and it made the move to the other end of the table to be with seven of its favored peers. This year, it was extremely hard to decide whether to go with something more unusual or an upscale version of a standard. We discussed, debated, and decided on our winning pies.

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The awards presentation was done during the staff's family style dinner before the evening crowd. By the time we joined the staff, there were mostly just remnants of those 22 pies on table 61.

The Best Overall Pie for this year was made by Heather Siperstein. It was a Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cream Pie with a whipped cream topping, adorned with chocolate and peanut butter candy pieces. It will be featured on the Gramercy menu at some point in the near future.

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The Most Creative Pie was awarded to Amanda Taylor for her Figalicious Pie.
She was thrilled to receive my signature series Synglas, non-stick rolling pin by American Products Group.

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I autographed a Pie & Pastry Bible for Heather, which Miro accepted in her behalf.

All of us were then invited to my favorite table at the front of the Tavern to enjoy some of Gramercy's wonderful appetizers and a glass of wine or beer with Miro.

Epilogue, next morning:
Day prior: a wonderful lunch, consuming close to a half of an entire pie, and enough appetizers to make for light dinner.
But to my relief, my scale was kind--it showed me that I actually lost a pound. (The new "pie diet" is born! We hope to be there for Miro Pie Day #6 next year.

Happy 12th Birthday Blog

Nov 07, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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In the very near future, this blog will have a new home and a very new design on SquareSpace.

Thank you all for your questions and contributions all of which have added so much to the knowledge bank of bakers around the world. I have loved having this blog and when Woody joined me in answering questions it became even more enjoyable.

In the past twelve years we have had the following numbers:

1,362 postings
28,000 questions/comments from you
5,018 replies from me
1,700 replies from Woody

We hope you will like our new home!

Continue to bake with love. We love you,
Rose & Woody

Kindle's Cookbook of the Month Deal!

Nov 02, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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My 692 page most comprehensive book on pies and pastry is on sale as an e-book for the entire month of November for $3.95.

An Upcoming Change for the Blog

Oct 04, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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Photo Credit: Matthew Septimus

Dear Fellow Blog Members and Bakers,

We are in the process of changing the platform of our 12 year old blog to SquareSpace. We will keep you informed as it progresses. The URL will still be the same but we will no longer have the Forums and the monthly newsletter.

This gives us the chance to do some much needed "housekeeping," making sure everything is current and up to date.

Thank you for your loyalty and interest. We are here for you.

Bake with Love,

Rose & Woody

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

The Cake Bible is Inducted into the IACP Culinary Classics

Mar 07, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Scenes from the IACP 2017 Conference

This amazing lifetime honor is the International Association of Culinary Professionals Hall of Fame. The award ceremony, which celebrates culinary teachers, cookbook writers & journalists, digital media and photographers, is an event to which we look forward all year.

The conference this year was held in Louisville, KY, which was the headquarters of IACP for many years. It was such a joy reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

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George Geary, once a student at a class I taught in LA, is now a recognized writer of "bibles" in his own right.

One of the highlights was a party previewing and honoring the completion of the upcoming book(s) Modernist Bread. There will be 6 large volumes. Nathan Myrvold, of Modernist Cuisine fame, put together a team of 27 notable bread experts, lead by baker/author Francisco Migoya, and including Peter Reinhart. As with Myrvold's previous books, the photos are drop dead stunning.

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It was great to see Franscisco and the ever delightful Carla Hall, who also emceed the awards ceremony.

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The ceremony was held in the 'jewel box' Paradise Theater.

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I thought that only the palaces of King Henry VIII had ceilings like this one!

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I was so delighted that the amazing photo of my wonderful friend Erin McDowell, taken by photographer Mark Weinberg, won one of the Food Photography & Styling Awards.

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It was also wonderful to see Sam Sifton, food editor for the New York Times, running up onto the stage 4 times in his tennis shoes to receive awards for his staff on their behalf, a strong statement for the value of the printed newspaper.

I was delighted to see that my fellow author and restauranteur, Rick Bayliss was also inducted into the Culinary Classics for his book, Authentic Mexican. It was also a joy to see Vivian Howard winning the Best Cookbook of the Year as well as a couple of other awards for her tome Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South--her first book. You can also see all of this year's award winners, including previous winners on the IACP's website.

Another dear friend, Anna Thomas, was a finalist for her Vegan Vegetarian Ominivore, but unable to attend the conference. I asked her to write an acceptance speech as she had given me the honor to accept a possible award in her behalf. This short speech contains such an important message I will follow up this very long posting with a photo of why Anna could not attend and what she would like to have imparted.

YES! You CAN Unmold a Meringue Pie Shell!!!

Aug 13, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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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.

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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.

Conclusions:

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 makes removing the slices much easier than shortening and flour.

A New Member of the Rose's Magic Rolling Pin™ Family is Born

Jun 11, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Products

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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

When Tragedy Strikes Your Mousseline Buttercream

May 07, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

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This is truly the queen of buttercreams: silky, buttery, light and airy, and a bit temperamental. Combining the Italian meringue with the butter is the tricky part. It is essential that the two mixtures have near the same temperature. And sooner or later it happens to everyone: Instead of becoming a beautifully emulsified satiny texture, it starts to curdle and separate. Your heart drops and panic sets in--all that expensive butter and time....But all is not lost. Here are some tips and also a solution should all else fail:

Use an instant read thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the mixture is between 65° to 70°F/19° to 21°C and adjust as needed. If not using a thermometer, try adjusting with just a small amount of the buttercream.

If all else fails, with your hands, squeeze out the liquid that has separated and pour it into a large measuring cup with a spout. On high speed, beat the remaining butter until it becomes smooth. Then gradually beat in the liquid. The resulting buttercream will be less airy but perfectly emulsified and silky smooth.

Note: You will have a higher degree of success if using high fat butter.
Also, it works best to add all the meringue to all the whipped butter rather than the reverse. This technique is detailed in Rose's Heavenly Cakes and The Baking Bible.

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My Holy Trinity of Baking Equipment

Jan 21, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

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I'm delighted to share with you a special sale from Thermoworks on one of most valued pieces of equipment in my baking kitchen, the Extra Big & Loud Timer. The sound is variable and when set on the loudest I can hear it 2 floors away. I also love the large readout and buttons which are easy to operate. And once the timer goes off, if not shut off, it reverts to a time-elapsed mode. The sale will last until Monday, January 25, 2016.

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The Thermapan by Thermoworks is the fastest and most accurate instant read thermometer for the consumer, essential for so many baking processes. It is also highly valued by professional chefs.

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The Rose Scale by Escali was created for me as a testament to spearheading the movement toward weighing rather than volume measure in baking.

Escali Alimento Rose Limited Edition Digital Scale, 13-Pound/6kg

These are the three top items on my essential baking equipment list.

The Secret of the Chocolate Domingo Cake...

Apr 16, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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and how it got its name. This is the first time it is unveiled in print and here is the story on Epicurious!

Baking Bible Wins IACP Award

Mar 31, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

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Just back from Washington DC where Sunday night, at the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference, our book won the award in the Baking Savory or Sweet category. How gratifying, after all those years of work, to receive such a validation and honor.

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Rose Knows

Dec 04, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

I have been a contributing editor to Food Arts Magazine for many years. It was publisher Michael Batterberry who assigned me what became the Sugar Bible, and won the best food or wine article in the world at The Jacob's Creek World Food Awards in 2000.

I've always regretted that this wonderful magazine and some of my best work was only available to the food professional. But with my new monthly Q & A which will also appear on Food Art's online site, I will be able to share a link for all of you to see.

Here is the first entry.

Please Save Pino's

Jul 26, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

I have been shopping at Pino's Butcher Shop for close to 50 years (hard to believe). I have watched his young sons grow up to be part of the family business, have learned to speak a little Sicilian Italian, and even have my photo in a place of honor on the wall (over the pig and next to Christ).

Though we just moved to New Jersey, my husband still shops for me at Pino's on his weekly visits to the city.

This neighborhood gem risks being lost and though I've never asked anyone to sign a petition before, my heart goes out to the Cinquemani and to the city of my birth. So if you can take just a few seconds to click on this link and sign the petition to keep Pino's in place I would be very grateful. If you have a few extra minutes, read through the site and you will learn some interesting things about the history of the place.

Happy Bastille Day!

Jul 13, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

And let there be butter! In the immortal words of Escoffier, the secret of great cuisine is "du beurre, du beurre, et encore du beurre."

On a recent visit with, with my friends the Kricheffs, to Balthazar Bakery in Englewood, New Jersey, Marge nudged me to look through the glass window into the factory itself. Behold! More butter than I've ever seen in one place in my life. And yes, the pastries reflect it.

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Baking Bible Book Production Phase 7

Feb 22, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Production

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extras to copy editor:

macro listing: frequently used techniques with a basic language and some variables to add
outlines of headings for equipment and ingredient sections
spreadsheets for all references to other pages (page 00) for all chapters
templates for each baking chapter of their particular format
glossary of words and terms to use and those not to use

Cookie Baking Tips on Fox Radio Network

Dec 25, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

Merry Christmas and still Happy Hannuka! Here's a special little holiday treat:

Radio host Lilian Woo invited me to offer some tips for cookie baking. Click here for the broadcast!

Cake Bible Just Hit 48th Printing

Jul 07, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

UPS just delivered it and what a great surprise! Champagne ready for the 50th.

A Fellow Baker's First Book!

Nov 17, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Review

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At long last, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston, Ma. has written her long awaited book Flour featuring recipes from her bakery and café.

I met Joanne many years ago when I was in Boston touring for one of my books. I fell in love with her bakery and was enchanted by her as well! In fact, on my next book tour, I chose Flour Bakery as the location in which to do a radio broadcast. The station had requested a bakery so that they could have bakery-like sounds in the background!

Joanne and I come from a suprisingly similar dessert background. She grew up in a traditional Chinese household and, as she writes: "rarely had the chance to indulge my sweet tooth." I grew up in a traditional Jewish household but with a nontraditional mother who had been the only woman in her entire dental school. I also rarely had the chance to indulge my sweet tooth. Joanne and I also share a passion, not just for baking, but also for analytical thinking and precision. (Unlike Joanne, however, I do not have the advantage of a degree in applied mathematics and it does not come naturally to me so I have to struggle and work hard to get all those numbers I include in my books to be accurate!)

I was struck immediately by the physcial appearance of the book. It is an upscale four color production, with stiched binding (so it will not come apart!) but instead of a paper dust jacket, it has a far more durable laminated hard cover, aka case, with beautiful colored photos printed directly on it. I suspect this will be the future of cookbook publishing as it will stand up better to frequent use, for which this book is surely destined.

Joanne's writing style is very appealing. It is both succinct, informative, and entertaining. She has her own confident voice which reflects her knowledge, expertise, and enjoyment of her baking profession.

And how has she dealt with the tricky volume/weight issue? As a professional baker there was no way she was going to eliminate weight, but when writing for the general public, not all of whom have as yet gotten on the much beloved by me scale bandwagon, she had to include volume. So volume comes first and in parenthesis comes the weight but only in grams. Now that scales so easily switch between ounces and grams there really is no need for both and we professional bakers all prefer grams. I'm really tempted to do the same in my next book except that when purchasing certain items such as butter, it's somehow easier to go by ounces and my readers have, by now, become accustomed to the charts that so readily accomodate all three systems.

The book has many enticing full page color photos such as the exquisite Black Sesame Lace Cookies which I know I will try in the near future.

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Also dear to my heart are the well-thought out and beautifully organized sections on technique, equipment, ingredients, and tips.

Now on to the recipes! There are many I plan to try, including one acknowledged to be adapted from my Sourcream Coffee Cake (I'm dying to see how adding crème fraîche instead of sourcream enhances the cake) but the first one that called my name was the French Lemon Poppy Pound Cake.

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The Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake in the Cake Bible was my signature cake so I was most curious to see what François Payard's take on it would be like. Joanne worked in his bakery and credits him with this recipe and all important technique but admits to having tweaked the ingredients. She generously has allowed me to print the recipe here:

French Lemon-Poppy Pound Cake

Makes one 9-inch loaf

Pound cakes are traditionally made with a pound of butter, a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs, hence the name. When properly made, the result is a dense, velvety cake with a tight crumb. But the key is knowing how to make it properly. I can't tell you the number of times I've attempted a classic pound cake recipe only to pull a tough, unimpressive loaf out of the oven. When I worked at Payard, I learned a new approach to making pound cakes that borrows a page from the genoise playbook. First, you whip eggs and sugar together until they are as light as a feather. Then, you gently fold in the flour and leavening agents. And finally, you whisk together melted butter and heavy cream and combine them, quickly and gently, with the batter. You end up with a cake with the warm, rich, buttery flavor and incredible texture you want. This is my favorite way to enjoy pound cake: laced with copious amounts of fresh lemon zest and nutty poppy seeds.

2 cups (240 grams) cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (1 3/8 sticks/156 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to slightly warm
1/4 cup (60 grams) heavy cream, at room temperature
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds/28 grams
4 eggs/200 grams
11/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup (70 grams) confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 to 1 lemon)

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, or line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick liquid. If the butter hardens into little lumps, heat the mixture gently until the butter melts again. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and lemon colored. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 8 to 10 minutes.)

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture just until combined. Fold about one-fourth of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture just until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. (Note from Rose: In my oven I needed to tent it loosely with foil after the first 45 minutes of baking.) Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

To make the lemon glaze: While the cake is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and enough lemon juice to make an easily spreadable, smooth glaze.

When the cake has cooled for at least 30 minutes, pop it out of the pan and place it on the rack. Spread or spoon the glaze over the top of the still-warm cake, letting the glaze dribble down the sides.

The cake can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for to 3 days.

Same Recipe, Different Flavor
Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
: To make a fragrant vanilla pound cake, omit the lemon zest and juice and poppy seeds from the cake batter and leave off the lemon glaze. Split 1/2 vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the seeds from the pod into the butter-cream mixture. Whisk well to distribute the seeds evenly. Proceed as directed, then lightly dust the cake with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

77 Mouth-Watering Baking Blogs You Need to Bookmark

Sep 23, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Cindy Cullen has put together a very useful listing of baking blogs. Do check it out!

click here

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy

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