Gramercy Tavern’s 2018 Employees Pie Contest

 22 Pies waiting for the winners to be chosen

22 Pies waiting for the winners to be chosen

We are now the judge captains as we returned for our 5th time for executive pastry chef Miro Uskokovic’s annual Gramercy Tavern employees pie baking challenge. Our beloved Erin McDowell, who is currently writing pie articles for the New York Times, joined us . Other judges included Paulette Goto, Daniela Galarza from Eater, Brian Hart Hoffman from Bake from Scratch, Ben Schmerler from Breville. From Gramercy, executive chef Michael Anthony, general manager Scott Reinhardt, private events director Marci Haas, and Miro---were also judges.

After enjoying Gramercy’s amazingly juicy and flavorful hamburger, with a side of delicious kale salad, to balance off the next two hours of tasting 22 pies, we walked back to take our places at the twelve foot long table with score sheets and pencils, forks, and water glasses. This year, Miro also provided champagne, which did a great job of cleansing the palate between pie servings.

This year, each employee began by describing their pie as the slices were given to us. As each walked around the table with a second whole pie, we could ask questions before we wrote our notes on our score sheets. Erin made a point of keeping every slice for referencing when we would all vote for the winners.

 This year was extremely tough as there were a several good pies. With all of the whole pies on the table, we began sorting and choosing up to 5 pies for The Best Pie and The Most Creative Pie. “I think we need award runners up,” remarked Miro. We all agreed and Rose and I offered our Rose’s Pie booklet for them.

Breville provided prizes: a Handy Mix Scraper and a Smart Waffle Pro-2 Slice. The Best Overall Pie, which will go on the Gramercy dessert menu, was Katherine Hopper’s Winter Squash Pie with Cranberries and Concord Grape pie from the house. The Most Creative Pie was a standout with a Latino theme, Churro Pie with Cajeta, by Ariela Trepmam from the pastry division. It had a crust made with churros dough, a Mexican chocolate ganache base with a cajeeta infused whipped cream.

 The family dinner for the staff to know what was on tonight’s dinner was next, with the addition of all of the pies, and Miro announcing the winners. Afterwards, we were treated to a sampling of Gramercy’s fabulous appetizers along with a glass of wine. We love the pino rouge from Danny Myer’s vineyard in California.






 

Winter Peach Upside-Down Cake

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Serves: 8 to 10

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 45 to 55 minutes

I wanted to add this wonderful recipe to Rose's Baking Basics but there just wasn't room for one more, so here it is now! Happy first day of Winter!

In mid-winter, or any time at all for that matter, when one is longing for fresh peaches for baking, this amazing and easy to make topping using frozen peaches is the answer. Surprisingly, the frozen peaches, when thawed and baked, are firm and juicy. I adapted this technique, created by my wonderful friend Emeril Lagasse, for a Good Morning America on line site. The cake component is my favorite sour cream recipe I use for a fruit upside-down cake because it holds together well, and has a dense but tender crumb. I added almond extract, which is a natural synergy with peach.

I also encourage you to try the food processor Almond Upside-Down Cake that is the base cake for sour cherry from Cenk’s Sönmezoy’s marvelous book The Art of Baking Artful Baker. He has generously given me permission to offer it to you. It is incredibly quick and easy to mix but has a perfectly even and tender crumb. 

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

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Make the Peach Topping

1) Drain the peaches and set them between paper towels to absorb excess liquid. If some of the slices are thicker than the others, slice them in half with a small serrated knife.

2) Pour the melted butter into the cake pan and spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top

3) Arrange the peach slices on top of the sugar, either with the rounded ends facing the sides of the pan or sideways, overlapping slighted as needed to fit them all in.

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

 Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

Make the Batter

1) Into a small bowl, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 30 grams/2 tablespoons of the sour cream, and the almond and vanilla extracts, and whisk lightly until combined.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining 91 grams of sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3) Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

4) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

5) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Store Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 3 months.

Baking Pearl

The baking stone helps to deepen the caramel on the peaches.

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Cenk’s Almond-Upside Down Cake (adapted from The Artful Baker)

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

Peach Topping as Above

Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 325˚F/160˚C.

Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, cut the butter into large pieces and set it on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C). Also set the eggs on the counter.

Make the Batter

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

2) In the bowl of a food processor, process the almond flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended, about 1 minute.

3) Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough gathers around the blade, about 1 minute.

4) Add the egg mixture and process until blended, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be very thick.

5) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

6) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 20: The Eastern states Tour-part 2

 Rose on set with Food 52’s Kirsten Miglore

Rose on set with Food 52’s Kirsten Miglore

The St Louis JCC’s 40th Annual Book Festival welcomed us to our largest attendance for our PowerPoint Presentaion, with many Q & A’s and books to sign.

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Back to Manhattan and Brooklyn to stop first at our favorite lunch headquarters, Gramercy Tavern, for their perfectly cooked Tavern Burger. Then up Broadway for our podcast interview with Anna Hezel for The TASTE Podcast at Penguin Random House’s studios. Anna was previously with Food52. You can listen to our podcast on the link below.

 

BUTTON

 

 And Food52’s video studio was our next stop to do a Food52 YouTube episode with Kristen Miglore. Our Molasses Sugar Butter Cookie was the recipe for the most enjoyable no-stress video that Rose has ever experienced.

Click the link to view the video.


 

Evening was our first time visit to Four & Twenty Blackbird’s main bakery in Brooklyn. Sisters Emily and Melissa have been making hand-made crafted pies for their bakeries since 2010, to international acclaim. We met them two years ago when the four of us were judges for Miro Uskokovic’s annual employee pie contest at Gramercy Tavern, Manhattan. At the shop’s bar-like counter, Emily interviewed Rose while attendees listened, asked questions, and tasted pies from the bakery. Mendy Greenstein, one of our Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and The Baking Bible bake through bloggers chatted with Rose in person for the first time. And Rose was delighted to have several members of her family attend.

Cherrybombe University invited Umber Ahmad-Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, Deb Perelman-Smitten Kitchen, Patti Paige-owner of Baked Ideas, and Rose to be judges for their team cookie competition. Along with judging the competition event, Cherrybombe U sold books from several authors, including ours.

 Umber Ahmad, Deb Perelman, Patti Paige, & Rose with cookie teams

Umber Ahmad, Deb Perelman, Patti Paige, & Rose with cookie teams

 

A return to Miele’s Showroom cooking school, in Princeton, NJ to give a demo of the Apple Walnut Bundt Cake. Vicky and staff made five recipes for the class attendees to enjoy while we did our presentation. We were delighted to meet two of our bloggers, one of whom travelled all the way from Maryland.

Fante’s Kitchen Store, in the Italian market area of Philadelphia, was our final book signing stop before Thanksgiving. Another Alpha baker, Michele Simon and her husband, Smitty, came up from Raleigh, NC, with a basketful full of Rose’s books to be signed and presents for both of us.

Colleagues TV host Pat Nogar and vegan specialist cookbook author Fran Costigan, who had recently moved to Philly came to get books and chat.

Michele and Smitty waited until we were done signing to go to a nearby coffee shop for a wonderful couple of hours of conversation and their giving us some loving gifts of a variety of vinegars, oils, and Michele’s hand crafted glass work.

Our kindred friend, Mariella had two Philly cheese steaks for us to take home.

Rose's Baking Basics classes at Miele Experience Centers

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We are happy to announce that the Miele Experience Showrooms are having baking classes baking with recipes from Rose’s Baking Basics presented by their staffs and open to the public.

We have done demonstrations at the San Francisco and Princeton Miele Experience Centers and have been impressed by the excellent preparation they have done for our demos and the quality of the sampling recipes they provide for class attendees.

Here is Miele’s posting for the upcoming classes on their website:

Baking by the Book: Rose Levy Beranbaum Inspired Demonstration
'Tis the season for baking and your Miele oven has so many ways to create mouthwatering results. Convection Bake, Surround, Moisture Plus... have you tried them all? Using recipes from trusted baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum, our Miele instructors will teach you how to select the best oven mode for any recipe. We'll sample 3 recipes from the newly published Rose's Baking Basics and each attendee will receive a copy of the book.”

These Miele Experience Centers still have tickets for purchase.

December 8th San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; and Tysons Corner, VA
December 12th, Scottsdale, AZ

Click on Miele’s home page link below. On their home page, click on Visit a Showroom that will take you to their Locations page. Then scroll down and click on a Miele showroom to purchase tickets to attend a class.



Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 20: The Eastern states Tour-part 1

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Our first venue for our Eastern states was the Natirar restaurant and cooking school in Peapack, NJ. This was the first time that the school actually had an author do a demo and a book signing, which we were delighted to teach to a full house. Cranberry Scones was our presentation, along with an important point which presented itself. Rose was showing the rationale for always breaking an egg in a bowl other than the vessel it would be mixed in, when one of the Natirar’s farm eggs was spoiled.

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We next went to Manhattan to do a taping for the Joan Hamburg show on LIVE RADIO.  Not only was it delightful to have a conversation with Joan, who is one of the best interviewers out there, it inspired our quest to suspend chocolate chips in a marble cake, which was a cake her mother had made but for which she did not have a recipe. In the evening, we did a book signing at the Rizzoli book store. Our dear colleague and friend, Miro Uskokovic, Executive Pastry Chef from Gramercy Tavern, participated in a discussion with us before the signing and tastings from the book. We also, did a surprise walk-in author’s signing of our books at the nearby Whisk and at Barnes & Noble.

Cambridge Culinary, in Cambridge, MA, had arranged a terrific event for our Rose’s Heavenly Cakes tour. Sean Leonard and his staff welcomed us back with the same perfect prepping for our triple demo of the Beer Bread, Triple Lemon Bundt Cake, and Cranberry Scones, along with PowerPoint presentation. We also met our prepping staff at an incredible dinner the night before at The Fat Hen. We were delighted to meet two of the editors from America’s Test Kitchen who attended the demo.

Saturday evening, we had dinner with Rose’s long time colleague Maria Speck at Shepards.

 

 

We then headed south to Fall River for a book signing at Portugalia Marketplace, arranged by a long time friend and colleague, Gloria Cabral, before driving to Providence, RI. Steven Shipley, head of Johnson & Wales University’s Resource Development, gave us a tour of the school before we gave a demo and PowerPoint presentation, while the students munched on Cranberry Scones prepared by the head pastry chef.

 

Rose is always delighted, when in New England, to stop and visit another old friend and colleague, Lee White. We met her at the very busy Sift Bakery, in Mystic, to try some of the pastries before a lovely lunch and conversation at Olio.

 A couple of years ago, Chef Central was integrated into Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Jenna Leder, head of the Chef Central showroom, did a fabulous job making two Apple Galettes for the largest attendance that the store has ever had for a demo.

 A day later, we were at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America-Hyde Park, NY). We attended Michael Weiss’s wine class for Rose to give her thoughts on dessert wines and pairings with desserts. We enjoyed lunch in the newly renovated Apple Café. It included several splendid desserts. In the afternoon, we did a demo of the Fresh Blueberry Pie, along with baking tips, for chef Tom Vaccaro’s pastry students’ class. Rose was delighted that her long time friend chef John Zearfoss was able to sit in for a short time. He reported the next day that some of his students complained that they hadn’t been informed of the event saying that while John is an old friend and takes our friendship for granted, they, on the other hand with birthday cakes from The Cake Bible and would have loved to meet her.

Amazon Books coupon deal for Rose's Baking Basics

Coupon Save an extra $1.38 when you apply this coupon.

Rose's Baking Basics: 100 Essential Recipes, with More Than 600 Step-by-Steps Photos Hardcover 

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Amazon’s write up for our book.

The ultimate baking book for everyone from best-selling author and "diva of desserts" Rose Levy Beranbaum

In this book of no-fuss recipes everyone should know, trusted baking expert Rose Levy Beranbaum guides you through every recipe for can’t-fail results—with a streamlined, simplified approach and more than 600 mouthwatering and instructive photos. Whether you're a baking enthusiast or just want to whip up the occasional treat, you will be able to easily make perfect brownies, banana bread, holiday pies, birthday cakes, homemade bread, and more, with recipes including: Chocolate Sheet Cake with Ganache Frosting, Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints, Beer Bread, Apple Walnut Muffins, Peach Cobbler, Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart, and more. Throughout, Rose shares her unique tips and methods for unlocking the secrets to the best flavors and foolproof results, for a treasury of essential recipes you'll use forever.

(A disclaimer from us: we have seen that Amazon has shown that the Sister Pie book has been “frequently purchased” with ours. We have viewed this book and have found that it does not include weight measurements for any ingredients and does not specify all-purpose flour as being unbleached or bleached, with no instructions on how it is measured by volume.)

Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 19: Our Rose’s Baking Basics Book Tour Western states-Part 2

 TRISH & ROSE at POWELL’s CITY of BOOKS

TRISH & ROSE at POWELL’s CITY of BOOKS

 

Powell’s City of Books gave Rose an entrance for our PowerPoint presentation and book signing that had Rose doing a double take when she saw her name plastered like a matinee movie above their front doors. This bookstore is humongous, with 4 floors and many sections painted in solid colors for one to navigate easily around the incredible selection of books. Rose’s dear friend Trish Andersen and her daughter Rebecca took us to lunch at a nearby restaurant before the event. As a special surprise treat after the event Rebecca gave us an ice cream tasting at Tillamook where she is the recipe and product developer for ice cream. (This could be the perfect Portland venue for our upcoming ice cream book tour!)

We enjoyed a terrific dinner with Rose’s daughter-in-law Frances at friend Cathy’s Nostrana. Portland is one of our top favorite food cities in the U.S.

Early next morning, Rose was on her first television appearance for the AM Northwest TV show, where she showed making the Triple Lemon Bundt.

Then back to San Francisco for several events, starting with our incredibly gifted Diane Boate pulling out all stops for a party at the Wah Ying Club in Chinatown. As we were meeting friends and colleagues and enjoying many of the potluck entrees, Rose got a unbelievable surprise. A guy wearing sunglasses, a toque, and white satin jacket with “Cake Bible” embroidered on it in hot pink, walked up carrying a cake. It was the one and only Hector Wong! He and his partner Lawrence flew in from Hawaii just for the night to be at the party. Rose realized it was Hector only when he pointed to the writing on the jacket because there is only one in existence and she had given it to Hector on a visit to Hawaii. We were also happy to meet Emily Winston who gave us a goodie bag of the best bagels we had ever tasted. She was about to open her Boichick Bagels Bakery in Berkeley the following week.

Next day it was off to the Foreign Cinema for us to do the PowerPoint presentation, book signing, and lunch, for the Bakers Dozen West, of San Francisco, hosted by dear friends and colleagues Marlene Sorosky and President Nancy Kux. Annie of Annie’s Cookies gave us bags of cookies for our flight home. Then a walk down the street for a podcast at Kitchen View, followed by an evening demo at Miele appliance’s cooking school. Another fantastic surprise was meeting Rose’s brother’s long time business partner Terry for the first time.

We began our “off day” with a visit to 20th Century Café to enjoy some morning treats and to see chef/owner Michelle Polzine. Then off we went to the SF Chronicle for an interview with Sarah Fritchner (who immediately became a special friend and kindred spirit). Lunch was our traditional dim sum at Yank Sing restaurant, on Speer Street, with Rose’s brother and family. In the afternoon, we had a rare treat of walking and smelling our way through Mandy Aftel’s museum: Aftel Archive of Curious Scents. Along with reading about the history of perfumes, one can sniff and take home three samplings of essences from her Perfume Organ. Rose’s cousin, Joan, now lives up the hill from Mandy in Berkeley. We saw her new house and went for our favorite walk at Inspiration Point, followed by dinner at Progress, sister restaurant to State Bird Provisions.

 

Our last day in the San Francisco Bay area had our first stop at the B Patisserie, as we are always looking to taste kouign amann to compare with ours in The Baking Bible. This turned out to be the best one yet, compared to ours, with great flavor, but little explosively hard to eat, with the paper thin flaky-crisp pastry floating to our table top to be swept up to enjoy. Then it was off to the PBS KSRO station, which was awarded Station of the Year for providing the only available source for news when fires devastated the Santa Rosa area this past year. We loved interviewer Steve Garner who interviewed us for KSRO’s Record Good Food Hour. We so enjoyed talking to him after the show we had to dash down to Petaluma to be on time for our lunch date with our wonderful friend, Kathleen Weber in her new Della Fattoria restaurant. She insisted that we come to her house afterwards to take a sorely needed short nap before our last event for the West Coast which was at the new Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma, where we demo’d one of our favorite cookies—Fudgy Praline Meringue Cookies. I also talked about how Kathleen had started me on my sour dough bread baking odyssey years ago by sending me her starter and even the flour. What a great school and delightful staff. We were so delighted to be invited back and next time Rose promised it will be bread.

 

Then it was back to the east coast for the rest of the book tour.

Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 19: Our Rose’s Baking Basics Book Tour Western states-Part 1

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Or terrific publicist, Sari Kamin, put together a great schedule for our whirlwind Western states tour, with each day having multiple events whenever possible. First stop was Philadelphia, which is west of our home base, to do a demo at the Philadelphia Free Library-Downtown. This library is the only one in the country that is equipped with kitchens for doing cooking classes and presentations. Several libraries have inquired about including this option since cookbooks are becoming increasingly popular for libraries, as the most requested books. Rose was very moved when Suzanna Urminska commented that all of her books were checked out and many of them dog-eared from repeated visits to homes. Many first time purchasers for a book by Rose came to hear us, and the story of our book. It was also our first time to present our PowerPoint presentation.

Our dear Dallas friend, Zach Townsend, who has contributed to several of our books both with a recipe and proof reading, not to mention arranging amazing events, was our escort for great Dallas dining and also arranged another unique venue for us to demo our cranberry scones at a spectacular arboretum. Two outside and a huge indoor facilities enable the arboretum to run different events at once. A familiar face was amongst the audience, Connie Akins Mullin , who had given us a tour ,on our last visit, of the now closed Dallas Pirch Housewares store. After our demo we all went for a walk surrounded 90,000 pumpkins that the arboretum had turned into a Peter Pan’s Neverland theme.

In Denver, we were greeted by our friend and former recruiter for Craftsy, Denise Mickelsen, and we all enjoyed a delicious catch up early dinner before the book signing at The Tattered Cover bookstore in Aspen Grove. Our friend Jenny Hartin, of Eat Your Books, was moderator and had her friend do a live Facebook Video of the event. The highlight of our Denver trip was once again given by Rose’s long-time dear friend Holly Arnold Kinney, who opened her Fort restaurant doors to host a delightful Les Dames Escoffier book party. We enjoyed a delicious buffet and the chef made our bourbon balls from the book. It was also great reuniting with other old friends and meeting new ones.

Our first stop in Seattle was the wonderful Book Larder bookstore where we were able to do our PowerPoint presentation while munching on my favorite cake in the book—Triple Lemon Bundt, prepared by the owner. The next evening we once again were invited to do a class at Tom Douglass’s Hot Stove Society. Tom generously commented that his wife prefers to bake out of our books versus his, and the class preferred our Rosa’s pizza to his pizza shop’s pizza (I’m sure they were being polite!). Bridgett and staff did a great job juggling and presenting our triple recipe presentation: Beer Bread, Cranberry Scones, and Triple Lemon Bundt cake with samples for all to enjoy along with the pizza challenge.

 

Then on to San Francisco to the legendary Omnivore Books. Celia Sack has hosted book signings for many of our books and has become a treasured friend.

It was a joy as always to get to see Rose’s brother Michael, wife Mia, and son Alex, and we had a great dinner at Rich’s Table.

 The next day was at the grand Market Hall, our first ever book signing in a supermarket. Our signing table was stationed in the store’s bakery and coffee shop section. Christine Falconer and her staff had samples of the Triple Lemon Bundt cake and Whoopie Pies at a nearby tasting table, with both packaged for shoppers to purchase! (It was Whoopie Pies for dinner at the airport.)

After the signing we ran into a very unexpected delight—dear friend, chef and restaurateur Daniel Patterson shopping with his two kids. Turned out it was actually his round number birthday!

Then off to Portland for two days until returning to San Francisco.
Stay tuned for our Western states tour-Part 2.

 

Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 18: Our Book Launch! and more

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Our book launch day arrived with Rose first doing a morning demo of our Cranberry Scones at Martha Stewart Living Test Kitchen for a 42 Burner post. (For our touring we chose Cranberry Scones, Apple Galette, Triple Lemon Bundt Cake, and Beer Bread as our demo’s and class recipes.) Afternoon was a podcast interview with Evan Kleinman for Record Good Food (KRCW).

We love Umber Ahmed’s Mah-ze Dahr Bakery and overjoyed that Umber hosted our book launch. Her delicious Vanilla Choux and champagne appeased our palates as we helped set up for our evening’s guests.

She came a half hour before opening the doors. She strolled in to Rose’s complete surprise—our kindred spirit, book writing friend and sister baker Lisa Yokelson from Washington, DC. Soon the bakery was jam packed with well-wishers enjoying our Cranberry Scones and Chocolate Butterscotch Toffee and our stylist, Erin McDowell’s, Cherry Pielets version of our Cherry Pie, while conversing with friends and colleagues.

 

Despite the torrential rain and gridlock, caused by the meeting of UN General Assembly, the bakery quickly became crowded with friends and family. We couldn’t have asked for a more joyfully delicious book launch.

 

The next day began with our making a couple of stops at book stores, as we love to do surprise author book signings for our books on their shelves.

15th Street Sushi is dear friend Marco Gnann’s favorite place for sushi and ours as well. They also have a terrific pastry chef! After our sushi lunch, it was off to the 92nd Street Y. Corby Kummer wrote an incredible review for The Cake Bible when it launched 30 years ago. His article propelled a record 18,500 book sales in one day! So who better to be Rose’s moderator.

 

 The very next day, we drove to Philadelphia for the beginning of our Western states part of our book tour. Stay tuned for Western states tour part 1 posting next week.

 Barnes & Nobles surprise book signing visit

Barnes & Nobles surprise book signing visit

Rose's Baking Basics Book Review: LA Times' 10 cookbooks to give and get this holiday season

FROM LOS ANGELAS TIMES STORY

We came across this review written by Amy Scattergood on Nov 2. From her article:

“From left: “Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball; “Rose’s Baking Basics” by Rose Levy Beranbaum; “Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.” by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter (Little, Brown and Company; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Ten Speed Press)

Cookbooks are some of the best gifts you can give your food-minded friends and relatives because they’re easy to find, simple to wrap — and can often trigger reciprocal dinner invitations. Among this year’s wealth of cookbooks are a few excellent baking books, some new books from award-winning folks whose other books might already be on your shelves, and two debut books from Los Angeles chefs. Here are 10 new cookbooks to put on your gift list.

“Rose’s Baking Basics” by Rose Levy Beranbaum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35)

Do you (or whomever you’re gifting) need another of Beranbaum’s baking books? You really do. This one, her 11th, features 100 recipes for the essential stuff: cookies, cakes, pies, tarts and breads along with toppings and fillings. What makes this book particularly useful is all the photos — 600 of them, apparently — often in step-by-step sequence. All these pictures are pretty, yes, but also practical because baking is so often somewhat intangible without visual aids. They also offer pretty good incentive because there’s nothing like more than 300 pages of pictures of cupcakes, brownies, rugelach, chocolate rolls, lemon and blueberry tarts, and babka to make you want to start baking.

“Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.” by Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter (Ten Speed Press, $35)

Ever since Menashe and Gergis opened Bestia, their Italian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, in 2012, the place has been packed. With the couple’s first cookbook, which features 140 recipes from the restaurant, you can just make their intensely flavorful, creative dishes at home — since the place is still one of the hardest reservations in town. This is rustic Italian food, through the lens of Menashe’s technique-intensive cooking: pastas an pizzas, pickles and charcuterie. There’s an ample pantry section, with the mostardas, soffritto and sauces that are fundamental to the dishes, plus recipes for the ’nduja and salumi for the ambitious. And the final chapter is filled with Gergis’ brilliant fruit-intensive desserts. Here’s hoping the duo are already testing the follow-up to this book — their second restaurant, Bavel, is as hard to get a table at as their first.

“Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball (Little, Brown and Company, $35)

Christopher Kimball, who co-founded America’s Test Kitchen and started Milk Street in 2016, has come out with the second book from the Boston-based cooking school and magazine. The conceit of this book is that Tuesday nights are best accomplished with quick meals that make use of staple ingredients. So here are 200 recipes that are organized by the time it takes to make them (“fast,” “faster,” “fastest”), plus categories like “easy additions” and “one pot.” The dishes span many cuisines and there are fun sections such as “weeknight pizza” and “recipes that let you walk away from the cooking” — nice, if you want to load up the oven and go read the rest of the book.”

Happy Birthday for The Baking Bible

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Our Baking Bible is celebrating its 4th birthday today.

It is in its 5th printing and still going strong on Amazon’s top 50 best baking books. Winner of Best Baking Book of the Year 2015 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. We recently did a book signing after our blueberry pie demonstration for Rose’s Baking Basics book to Chef Tom Vaccaro’s pastry class at the Culinary institute of America, Hyde Park campus, which several students had us sign their purchased copies of The Baking Bible. On our visits to book stores, we frequently have the opportunity to sign each store’s copies of The Baking Bible.

Lemon Cheesecake Soufflé Recipe

  The one that almost got away!

The one that almost got away!

Fifty years ago I tasted a cheese cake that was almost as light and airy as whipped cream. I never forgot it. The bakery was in Princeton, NJ and when I moved back to New York City I actually took a bus ride to the bakery trying to persuade them to give me the recipe. They promised they would send it but never did. Finally, all these years later, I figured it out. Instead of adding the whole eggs to the cream cheese batter, I separated them and whipped the egg whites with the sugar Italian meringue style. I added a little extra sugar to compensate for the sugar syrup that sticks to the sides of the pot.

The resulting cake is so fluffy it makes a sound when you put a fork to it.

 Serves: 10 to 12

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 50 minutes (55 minutes if using a silicone pan instead of aluminum foil for the water bath), plus 1 hour with the oven off

Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least 1 day before serving.

 Equipment One 9 by 3 or 2-3/4 inch high springform pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, set in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage; A 12 inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath

  Preheat the Oven   * Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.   Mise en Place   * One hour ahead, into the bowl of a stand mixer, place the cream cheese, cornstarch, and 25 grams/2 tablespoons of the sugar at cool room temperature (65˚ to 70˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).  * Into another 1 cup measure with a spout, place the lemon zest, and weigh or measure the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap.  * If using a cake base, trim it to size and set it on the bottom of the pan. If using lady fingers, cut off the rounded edges and arrange them on the bottom of the pan, placing them rounded crust flat sides down and cutting or tearing smaller pieces to fit into any gaps. Cover the pan with plastic wrap while making the filling.   Make the Batter   1) Into two small containers, separate the yolks and the whites.  Cover and reserve the egg whites to make up a total of 4 egg whites for the meringue in the chart below.   2) Attach the whisk beater and beat the cream cheese mixture on medium-high speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, about 3 minutes.  3) Gradually beat in the egg yolks and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  4) On medium-low speed add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until incorporated.  5) Add the sour cream and continue beating just until fully blended, 20 to 30 seconds. Detach the whisk beater and use it to reach down and whisk in any mixture that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.  6) Remove and wash, rinse, and dry the whisk beater to remove any trace of oil. If you do not have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

Mise en Place

* One hour ahead, into the bowl of a stand mixer, place the cream cheese, cornstarch, and 25 grams/2 tablespoons of the sugar at cool room temperature (65˚ to 70˚F/19˚ to 21˚C).

* Into another 1 cup measure with a spout, place the lemon zest, and weigh or measure the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap.

* If using a cake base, trim it to size and set it on the bottom of the pan. If using lady fingers, cut off the rounded edges and arrange them on the bottom of the pan, placing them rounded crust flat sides down and cutting or tearing smaller pieces to fit into any gaps. Cover the pan with plastic wrap while making the filling.

Make the Batter

1) Into two small containers, separate the yolks and the whites. Cover and reserve the egg whites to make up a total of 4 egg whites for the meringue in the chart below.

2) Attach the whisk beater and beat the cream cheese mixture on medium-high speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, about 3 minutes.

3) Gradually beat in the egg yolks and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4) On medium-low speed add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and beat until incorporated.

5) Add the sour cream and continue beating just until fully blended, 20 to 30 seconds. Detach the whisk beater and use it to reach down and whisk in any mixture that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.

6) Remove and wash, rinse, and dry the whisk beater to remove any trace of oil. If you do not have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

  Mise en Place   * Have ready a 1 cup glass measure with a spout (not coated with nonstick cooking spray) near the cooktop.   *  Into the bowl of a stand mixer, weigh or measure the reserved 3 egg whites and add about 1 more egg white or enough to make up the 120 grams/118 ml/3/4 cup.  1) In a small heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick and with a spout, stir together the remaining 200 grams/1 cup of sugar and the water until the sugar is completely moistened. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and turn down the heat to the lowest setting. (If using an electric cooktop, remove from the heat.)  2) Attach the whisk beater and beat the egg whites on medium-high speed just until almost stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly (they should curve slightly).  3) Increase the heat on the cooktop and boil the syrup until an instant-read thermometer registers 248˚ to 250˚F/120˚C.   Immediately pour the syrup into the glass measure to stop the cooking.  4) With the mixer off, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites. Immediately beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the syrup. Beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Add the remaining syrup in two parts, with the mixer off between additions. For the last addition, use a silicone scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure and scrape it against the beater.  5) Continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the outside of the bowl is no longer hot to the touch. Then use the whisk beater to fold it into the batter. Use a silicone spatula to reach to the bottom of the bowl to finish folding.  6) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly.   Bake the Cheesecake   7) Set the pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Add about 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the water and stir to dissolve it. (This will prevent discoloration of the aluminum pan.) Bake for 25 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 25 minutes (30 minutes if using the silicone pan). Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. When moved the center will jiggle slightly. (Alternatively, bake for 1 hour plus 10 minutes until the center tests 147°F. The center bounces back when lightly pressed and it jiggles even in the center.) The edges will have little cracks and be browned.   Cool and Chill the Cheesecake   7) Remove the pan from the water bath but leave the silicone pan or foil in place to contain any liquid that may seep from the cake. Set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just warm, 1 to 2 hours. To absorb condensation, place a paper towel, curved side down, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel.  8) Refrigerate the cheesecake for 8 hours or overnight, still covered with the paper towel and plate.   Unmold the Cheesecake   9) Remove the plate and paper towel. Use a small propane torch or wipe the sides of the pan several times with a towel that has been run under hot water and wrung out. Release the sides of the springform pan. If the sides of the cheesecake are uneven, run a small metal spatula under hot water and use it to smooth them.  10) This delicate cake is best left on the pan bottom of the springform.  11) Cut with a wet knife that has been run under hot water between each slice and wiped clean with a paper towel.   Store  Airtight: refrigerated, 3 days; do not freeze, as the texture will become less smooth.

Mise en Place

* Have ready a 1 cup glass measure with a spout (not coated with nonstick cooking spray) near the cooktop.

* Into the bowl of a stand mixer, weigh or measure the reserved 3 egg whites and add about 1 more egg white or enough to make up the 120 grams/118 ml/3/4 cup.

1) In a small heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick and with a spout, stir together the remaining 200 grams/1 cup of sugar and the water until the sugar is completely moistened. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and turn down the heat to the lowest setting. (If using an electric cooktop, remove from the heat.)

2) Attach the whisk beater and beat the egg whites on medium-high speed just until almost stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly (they should curve slightly).

3) Increase the heat on the cooktop and boil the syrup until an instant-read thermometer registers 248˚ to 250˚F/120˚C. Immediately pour the syrup into the glass measure to stop the cooking.

4) With the mixer off, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites. Immediately beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the syrup. Beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Add the remaining syrup in two parts, with the mixer off between additions. For the last addition, use a silicone scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure and scrape it against the beater.

5) Continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes or until the outside of the bowl is no longer hot to the touch. Then use the whisk beater to fold it into the batter. Use a silicone spatula to reach to the bottom of the bowl to finish folding.

6) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly.

Bake the Cheesecake

7) Set the pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Add about 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the water and stir to dissolve it. (This will prevent discoloration of the aluminum pan.) Bake for 25 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 25 minutes (30 minutes if using the silicone pan). Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. When moved the center will jiggle slightly. (Alternatively, bake for 1 hour plus 10 minutes until the center tests 147°F. The center bounces back when lightly pressed and it jiggles even in the center.) The edges will have little cracks and be browned.

Cool and Chill the Cheesecake

7) Remove the pan from the water bath but leave the silicone pan or foil in place to contain any liquid that may seep from the cake. Set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just warm, 1 to 2 hours. To absorb condensation, place a paper towel, curved side down, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel.

8) Refrigerate the cheesecake for 8 hours or overnight, still covered with the paper towel and plate.

Unmold the Cheesecake

9) Remove the plate and paper towel. Use a small propane torch or wipe the sides of the pan several times with a towel that has been run under hot water and wrung out. Release the sides of the springform pan. If the sides of the cheesecake are uneven, run a small metal spatula under hot water and use it to smooth them.

10) This delicate cake is best left on the pan bottom of the springform.

11) Cut with a wet knife that has been run under hot water between each slice and wiped clean with a paper towel.

Store Airtight: refrigerated, 3 days; do not freeze, as the texture will become less smooth.

Rose's Baking Basics on Tour: Princeton-Miele, Fall River-Portugalia Marketplace, Paramus-Chef Central, Brooklyn-Four & Twenty Blackbirds, & Philadelphia-Fante's

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Our Rose’s Baking Basics Tour has several special events coming up during the next four weeks. We will be doing a demonstration and powerpoint presentation at Miele in Princeton, NJ on Friday, Nov. 16, 6-9. We had a full house when we did a demo during The Baking Bible tour. And Miele’s culinary staff made about 10 things to taste from the book. You can click on the button below for details.

We will be doing a book signing at the Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River, CT on Sunday, Oct. 21, 11-12:30.

Chef Central in Paramus, NJ is now in Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We will be demoing our apple galette and fudgy praline pecan meringues, with book signing, on Wed, Oct, 24, 6-8:30.

We will be doing a demo and book signing at Four and Twenty Blackbirds main store on Thursday, Nov. 8, 7-9.

Our East coast events for the fall will close with a visit to one of our favorite kitchenwares store, Fante’s in Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov 17, 12-2 for a book signing. (But stay tuned for two or more extra events coming up in December.)

We welcome anybody who brings their Rose’s book collection for us to sign.

Corrections & Enhancements : Rose's Baking Basics

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Any finally proofed and approved by the author manuscript before going to the printer, which includes numbers, has the unfortunate probability of inputting errors once it is published. We thank Linda Carucci, who attended our San Francisco Bakers Dozen book touring event, on her alerting us to an error that she found for the Flaky Cranberry Scones. We confirmed that her inquiry and finding was correct, which was what we had also submitted to the publisher. This triggered us on our first day back from our Western states book tour to check all instances where a volume measurement included 1/3 or 2/3 cup. Here are our corrections, which will show the page for a correction, the recipe title, and the correction.


pg. 139 Apple Walnut Muffins
all-purpose flour SHOULD BE 1-2/3 cups
apples SHOULD BE 2-2/3 cups

pg. 253 Flaky Cranberry Scones
dried cranberries SHOULD BE 2/3 cup

pg. 254 Flaky Cranberry Scones Make the Recipe Your Own
divide the dough into two equal pieces (SHOULD BE 430 grams each)

Rose's Baking Basics MEDIA: Heritage Radio Interviews Us

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Last month, we went to Brooklyn, the home of Heritage Radio for a podcast taping with Caity Moseman Wadler, which aired last Friday. Caity asked just the right questions to make it a really fun interview.

Here is the link to Heritage Radio’s website. Our podcast is EPISODE 14: Cookbooks. Our segment is on the last third of the podcast.

EPISODE 14: Cookbooks is also on iTunes.

Elliott also came with us and got to meet Sari Kamin, our publicist with HMH. Sari has her own fascinating podcast on Heritage Radio (see link below).

Heritage Radio’s studio and office are situated inside Roberta’s Pizza. The three of us sat down with Caity and her mom to enjoy a some of Roberta’s great pizzas.

Rose's Baking Basics Tour: Scheduled Events and Event Links

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Our favorite part of book production is having the finished book to bring on book tour. This gives us the chance to highlight all the new discoveries and favorites and to visit with old friends, colleagues, and family.

Our fall scheduled tour with over 20 events in 18 cities is finalized. Several of the events require registration. To see our schedule and a listing of event locations that have links to their websites for either registering or learning more about the event click on the button below.

A Very Special Event for Baking Basics at the Fort in Morrison Colorado

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My dearest friend Holly Arnold Kinney has once again organized a delightful event for our newest book, at her magical Fort restaurant, coming up the evening of Tuesday October 2, presented with the Les Dames d’Escoffier International Colorado Chapter.

$75.00/person includes one signed and personalized copy of The Baking Basics, champagne, prickly pear margaritas, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and dessert. (Free parking)

Space is limited and payment is required in advance to hold your seat. Please reserve by clicking on the PayPal button of their website.

The Fort is located high in the foothills outside of Denver. If you’ve never been to the Fort that alone is worth the journey. Hope to see you there. And don’t be late so you can catch the tomahawking of the champagne!

Questions: Lee@seasonedkitchen.com

Rose's Baking Basics Tour Events: 92nd Street "Y" with Corby Kummer Registration

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Our first major event of our book tour is in New York City, the city where I grew up and lived most of my life. I have known Corby for 30 years, since he interviewed me for an amazing article he wrote for New York Times during the launch of the Cake Bible. Corby is one of the most erudite, brilliant, and insightful speakers I know, so this will be a rare treat. I can't wait to hear his questions and thoughts about baking and the new book. I hope to see you there!