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Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 3

Feb 08, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

Production Phase 3: Step-by-Step Photos

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The cakes for my first hardcover book, The Cake Bible, were all baked and styled by me and photographed by Vincent Lee. I baked the cakes and decorated them and then brought them across Houston Street from my New York 7th floor apartment to his apartment/studio in SoHo. I brought my best props, borrowed from friends, and sometimes would run over to the lower east side to search out fabric for backgrounds or counter surfaces. I even found a realistic large plastic honey comb surface at Canal Plastics which Vincent used creatively for the Honey Bee Cake by shining light through it from the bottom.

The photos for my next nine books all had a cast of professional food stylists, their assistants, a prop stylist, and photographer, all hired by the book publisher. They took place at a studio or off-site location.

For my most recent book, The Baking Bible, my dear friend, artist and baker, Caitlin Williams Freeman, offered to come from San Francisco and be the head stylist. I loved her artistry at Miette Bakery and her styling in her book--Modern Art Desserts. Woody and I also participated by baking and styling many of the recipes. In my previous books, only a few recipes, mainly for techniques, had step-by-step photography.

Since this upcoming book will be filled with step-by step photos, which is radically different from my prior books, I wanted to choose a photographer who could make the photos instructive, bring the recipes to life, be willing to make the long round trip drives from Brooklyn, and who would be as enthusiastic about the project as we are. Matthew Septimus, who did my portrait for the FIT newsletter magazine several years ago, said at the time that he hoped some day he would work with me. The day has arrived.

To have complete control of this 'keystone' phase for our book, I also decided that the photography would be done in my home's baking kitchen. This way, Woody and I would have access to all of the ideal equipment, ingredients, and four reliable ovens. We also would be able to schedule the prep for all of the recipes ahead of time, even completing some of the steps to save on time. This also served to eliminate the need to reserve a studio for the 21 planned days of photography, which spanned a period of 6 months.

I asked that we start earlier than initially scheduled, to be able to make several of the fruit based recipes with seasonally fresh local fruits. To get our feet wet and Matthew familiar with the location, we scheduled a 2-day shoot of 7 recipes, this past June. Our editor Stephanie Fletcher and Matthew's assistant Justin were both on-set for these days. Stephanie set the tone with many valuable suggestions including a request for overhead shots which work so well for the step photos.

Woody and I had previously gone through about 100 of the recipes to yellow highlight steps we wanted photographed and then discussed them with Stephanie for her advice. The baking kitchen soon looked like a photography studio with lights on tripods, a roll-down white backdrop, camera tripods, a step ladder, a computer station for Matthew and Justin to assist them with taking the shots, and for all of us to make photo selections. Matthew surprised us by giving us a 4 foot long unpolished white marble slab for the countertop. Woody and I have been struggling at times with taking photographs on my highly reflective marble countertop.

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Digital photography has the potential to offer the highest level of quality and precision. His CaptureOne computer program, allowed him to shoot and adjust his camera remotely, a great benefit considering that most of the shots were taken directly overhead, so that for most of the shots Matthew, who is over 6'4", did not have to be perched up on the 6 foot ladder, needing to lean a few feet over the countertop. This also gave him the advantage to ensure that lighting and composition were similar from one step to another for each recipe, because many times we needed to shoot another recipe in between steps, or the recipe had to be shot over two days.

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To enable me to see what he was photographing up close, as I was making various steps, Matthew linked up his IPad, which he positioned on one corner of the countertop.

In addition to our yellow highlighted proposed shots, Matthew was clicking off shots for virtually every step, sometimes, over a 100 shots per recipe from overhead, a three-quarter view, and even from shooting upwards. (He ended up with over 15000 shots!) Although our book will have many 'beauty' style-shot photographs, we also had each finished recipe 'plated' for a style-shot.

Continue reading "Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 3 " »

Sublime Ketchup from Chef Michael Anthony

Dec 17, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

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I have been a lover of ketchup since I was a little girl and my grandmother served me spaghetti with ketchup and butter, thinking it was like the tomato sauce which she saw our Italian neighbors preparing. I never dreamed one could make real ketchup at home. But when I ordered the hamburger special at Gramercy Tavern, in New York City, it was served with the best ketchup I had ever tasted and I learned that it was the creation of executive chef Michael Anthony (one of my top favorite chefs). I immediately begged for the recipe.

Chef Michael's ketchup is a world apart from even the best bottled store-bought variety. It is a brilliant blending of ingredients--less sweet, more vibrant, and far more complex. You will see why when you look at the ingredient list. It takes time, and attention, especially when cooking down the sauce so as not to scorch the reducing juices, and you'll need a food mill to achieve the classic silky consistency, but boy is it worth it! For me there is no going back.

Continue reading "Sublime Ketchup from Chef Michael Anthony" »

WQXR Nutcracker Sweets Annual Holiday Posting

Dec 10, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

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I taped these radio segments with host Naomi Lewin of WQXR in December of 2010. When she invited me to do the show it was because she was familiar with my book. Coincidentally, I danced in George Ballenchine's second production of the Nutcracker Suite, pictured in the above photo.

Rose's Christmas Cookies


What she didn't know at the time was that as a little girl I was a toy soldier in George Ballanchine's second production of The Nutcracker Suite at City Center in New York. Doing this show was like a revisit to my past!

It was such a delightful concept, choosing themes from the "sweets" in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite ballet, talking about the history of the ingredient, recipes, and then the unforgettable music, that I promised myself to post the link to this show every December as a special holiday present to all of you. Enjoy!

PS Naomi generously gave me a present of her home-baked cookies and my favorite, a family heirloom from her grandmother Hanna Gaertner called Dattelkonfekt (Date Confections), The recipe now graces my newest book, The Baking Bible.

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Early Edition CBC Radio with Rick Cluff in Vancouver

Jan 20, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

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Early on Thursday morning of last week, before continuing with the wedding cake production, I had the great pleasure of being on a radio interview with a major pro. Of course it was Nathan Fong, one of the grooms, who arranged this, in addition to the countless details of the enormously complex wedding events.

The interview was such a delightful experience I'm sharing it here with you.

We will soon be posting many details of the wedding itself. Chef friends of Nathan came from all over the world, including Vancouver, to participate in the preparation of delicious courses for the reception and the wedding dinner.

Martha Stewart Live Radio Show: Baking Bible Tour Finale, part 17

Apr 15, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

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Our six weeks of touring concluded just about where we started--New York City. We left extra early to be sure to arrive at the Martha Stewart New York studios well ahead of time given the variables of traffic on route 80 and arrived so early we headed straight to the reasonably close by Doughnut Plant for doughnuts and coffee.
They claim to be creator of the world's first crème brûlée doughnut, which quickly became the Doughnut Plant's signature, and also square jellied filled doughnuts. They now even have shops in Japan.

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The engaging manager enjoyed telling us about the doughnuts and, as a self-proclaimed dessert lover, looking through our new "Baking Bible."

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My dear friend Martha had recently made one of my cupcake recipes on her television show, so I was looking forward to an unstructured live radio conversation with her on her Sirius Radio Show. I had been on several times in the past with her radio host Lucinda Scala Quinn. But when we arrived at the studio we were informed that Martha had the flue.

We also learned that I was to share the air time with another cookbook author, Carol Barrow. We were both delighted to make her acquaintance. Her wonderful book, "Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving" on canning and preserving was released just after ours. She brought along several of her homemade preserves for all of us to enjoy.

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Lucinda, who had moderated my 92nd Y event just a few weeks ago, and had read my book cover to cover, stepped in for Martha. We briefly talked about "The Baking Bible" and then went on to discuss my thoughts and tips for solving common baking problems, after which Lucinda opened up the phone lines for me to answer caller's questions from Delaware to California. The time went all too quickly with the lively array of questions.

With our final event completed for the year, we decided to celebrate with an excellent lunch at the nearby Trestle on Tenth. We toasted over wine and enjoyed sharing the Brook Trout with Chanterelles and Roasted Cauliflower, followed by a perfectly cooked to rare and delicious Dry aged Beef Burger with exquisitely crispy and flavorful shoestring French fries, dusted with paprika.

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A grand finale to an amazingly successful and enjoyable tour filled with events, old friends and new, family, bloggers, radio hosts, and culinary professionals.
More events, however, are already slated for next year from Dallas to upstate New York to mile high Denver. We are grateful to the brilliant team at our publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for their support and creative ingenuity.

Martha Stewart Living Radio Appearance

Mar 26, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in APPEARANCES

The subject is pie crusts!

My dear friend and colleague David Leite of Leite's Culinaria will be hosting this new show Cooking Today and I wil be his guest at 3:00 on this Wednesday, March 28. I can promise it's going to be a lively discussion!

Tune into Martha Stewart Living Radio's SiriusXM Satellite channel 110.

If you don't subscribe to Serius they are offering this special free opportunity to subscriber for 30 days:

If you would like to listen, you can also use the FREE 30 day subscription at http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial and follow us on http://twitter.com/martharadio . (Paste this link in your browser as it doesn't work for me to make the link on this posting.)

Note: A credit card is required for activation so if you don't plan to continue subscribing you will need to cancel before the 30 days are up.

Food Schmooze

Feb 28, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

When Rose's Heavenly Cakes was published three years ago, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Faith Middleton's radio show. Last week the audio rebroadcast to the show in addition to the written text appeared on her website. It is one of the best reviews I've ever had so I wanted to share it with you.

Faith Middleton's Food Schmooze

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!

Tomorrow on Martha Stewart Living Sirius RadioXM

Nov 29, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in APPEARANCES

Sandy Gluck has invited me to be on her Cooking 1-0-1 segment to talk about my very favorite sweet: Cinnamon Buns!

The show will be live, starting at 11:00 EST Tuesday, November 29 and my segment will start at 11:15. Hope to hear you there!

Tune into Martha Stewart Living Radio's SiriusXM Satellite channel 110.

If you don't subscribe to Serius they are offering this special free opportunity to subscriber for 30 days:

If you would like to listen, you can also use the FREE 30 day subscription at http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial and follow us on http://twitter.com/martharadio . (Paste this link in your browser as it doesn't work for me to make the link on this posting.)

Note: A credit card i required for activation so if you don't plan to continue subscribing you will need to cancel before the 30 days are up.

Martha Stewart Radio Appearance--Thursday!

Jun 13, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

If you're interested in hearing all about carrot cake (and who isn't!) tune into Martha Stewart Living Radio this Thurday at 12:15 PM, EST (or check your local listings). It's on SiriusXM 110.

Sandy Gluck, host of Everyday Food, and I will be chatting and taking call-ins.

Martha Stewart Radio Appearance--Tomorrow!

Apr 12, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

I'll be on with host Sandy Gluck of Every Day Food. We'll be discussing my favorite cake topic: bundt cakes. Tune in to Sirius XM Satellite Radio channels 112 and 157 at 12:15 east coast.

Everyday Food

Jan 28, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Radio

This Tuesday, February 1, at 11:15 AM Eastern I will be on with Sandy Gluck talking about one of my top favorite ingredients in baking: LEMONS.

Tune in to Martha Stewart Living, Sirius XM Satellite Radio channels 112 and 157.

Martha Stewart Radio Appearance--Holiday Baking Special

Dec 15, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in APPEARANCES

Lucinda Scala Quinn, delightful host of EatDrink on Martha Stewart Living, Sirius XM Satellite Radio has invited me back for this Thursday, December 16, from 4 to 5 PM Eastern. We'll be talking holiday baking tips. Tune into Serius Channels 112 or 157.

If you don't subscribe to Serius they are offering this special free opportunity to subscriber for 30 days:

If your blog readers / Twitter followers / Facebook friends want to listen, they can also use our FREE 30 day subscription at www.sirius.com/marthafree30day

Note: A credit card i required for activation so if you don't plan to continue subscribing you will need to cancel before the 30 days are up.

Be Sure to Tune In!

Dec 22, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements


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My holiday interview on Anne and Peter Haigh's delightful radio show On the Menu is now available on line.

click here!

and the information-filled radio interview with veteran host Leonard Lopate yesterday is one click away here!

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