Classic Egg Whites Chocolate Buttercream

My recipes tend to favor egg yolks for their wonderful flavor and emulsifying ability to make mixtures smooth and even. But I do have some really special recipes requiring egg white. I almost forgot this favorite one as when I think of chocolate buttercream my mind leaps immediately to dark intense ganache. Classic Egg White Chocolate Buttercream is a recipe I created for the Cake Bible twenty-five years ago. It is smooth and creamy, with a milk chocolate color, but packs a strong chocolate flavor. This is because uncooked egg whites produce a softer buttercream so more chocolate can be added without it becoming too stiff! This is one of the easiest buttercreams to make, but as the egg whites are not cooked it is best to use pasteurized egg whites such as Safest Choice.

Classic Egg White Chocolate Buttercream 

Makes: 3-3/4 cups/35 ounces/1 kilogram (enough to fill and frost two 9 by 1-inch layers)
* your favorite bittersweet chocolate (56 to 63 percent cacao solids):
284 grams/10 ounces , melted and cooled til no longer warm to the touch but still fluid

* unsalted butter, (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C):
4 sticks/ 454 grams

* 4 large egg whites (room temperature):
120 grams/1/2 cup (118 ml)

*  sugar, preferably superfine
200 grams/1 cup

1) In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.

2) Gradually beat int he sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

3) Beat in the butter by the tablespoon. If the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed a little and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.

4) Add the melted and cooled chocolate all at once and beat until smooth and uniform in color.

Store: 6 hours room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, 8 months frozen.
If refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before rebeating to prevent curdling.

Rose's Baking Basics: OUTBakes Perfect Pie Crust Border

I created Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate to make shaping a border truly as easy as pie. The deeply fluted rim keeps the lovely design from flattening when baked and the level impression keeps the dough from sliding down the sides.

We made this video to show you how easy it is to tuck the overhanging border underneath and then to press it down.

If you want to have the baked border flush with the edge of the pie plate you’ll need to press it a little past the edge but i like to press it just to the edge so that when it shrinks a tiny bit you see the edge of the plate.

The pie crust is my favorite: Rose’s Flaky and Tender Pie Crust—the December 2018 recipe of the month on this blog. It is made with butter and cream cheese which gives it a most delicious flavor as well as lovely texture.

Our Weekly Baking Tips for Sunday will have 3 videos with tips for Blind Baking this pie crust for making Rose’s Open Faced Apple Pie. Blind baking gives the pie a very crisp crust but it is also excellent adding the apple slices to the unbaked pie crust, in which case I would choose to brush the dough with a thin layer of apricot glaze instead of egg white.

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Double Chocolate Sweetheart Cake  (Really the Final Word in Chocolate Cake)

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Serves: 8 to 10
Oven Temperature: 350°F/175˚C
Bake: 30 to 40 minutes

When I served as a chocolate cake consultant for Procter and Gamble, I was asked the intriguing question: How would I make a cake taste the most chocolaty possible if I had no limitations. This question, delightful to contemplate, was particularly interesting because cocoa makes the most chocolaty tasting layer cake but chocolate, melted and mixed with cream, offers the fullest chocolate hit. So my answer was that I would make a cocoa layer cake, using the best cocoa, with all yolks (which gives the fullest flavor) and after baking, inject it with my favorite eating chocolate melted with cream (ganache). I would store it in a room filled with chocolate because chocolate absorbs all aromas to which it is exposed and to enhance the experience further, I would have people eat it in a room filled with chocolate, because what you smell while you're eating has a powerful effect on what you taste. 

The cake based on my chocolate fantasy turned out to be so delicious and chocolaty it needed no further help of storage or eating environment. It is astonishingly easy to make and is at once fudgy-moist and soft within, encased by a thin glaze of chocolate that forms by itself after brushing in the ganache. This recipe is also in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and Rose’s Celebrations.

For Valentine's Day I like to bake the cake in a heart-shaped pan and top it with fresh red raspberries, brightened with a gilding of current jelly.

 Special Equipment: A 9 by 2-inch heart-shaped or round cake pan (8 to 8-2/3 cup capacity), bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment heart or round, then coated with baking spray with flour. Encircle the pan with a cake strip (see Baking Pearls).

Batter

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Preheat the Oven
* 20 minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
* Set the oven to 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).

Dissolve the Cocoa
* In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth.
* Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.

* In another bowl lightly combine the yolks, the 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

 Make the Batter
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, on low speed for 30 seconds.

2) Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1  1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides.

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

4) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. 

Bake the Cake
5) Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.

6) While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
Makes:  244 grams/1 cup (237 ml)

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 7) Break the chocolate into pieces and process in a food processor until very fine.

 8) Scald the cream (heat to the boiling point. Small bubbles will appear around the edges).

 9) With the motor running, pour it through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process a few seconds until smooth.  (Alternatively, grate the chocolate, place it in a small bowl and stir in the scalded cream until the mixture is uniform in color.  Transfer the chocolate glaze to a small bowl and keep it warm.

Apply the Glaze and Cool and Unmold the Cake
10) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke holes all over the top of the cake with a wooden skewer. 

11) Use a brush to dabble half of the chocolate glaze onto the cake.  It will take about 10 minutes.

12) Run a small metal spatula around the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a flat surface, such as a card board round or plate, which has been covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Peel off and discard the parchment and poke holes all over. 

 13) Dabble with the remaining glaze, brushing a little onto the sides of the cake as well.  Cool completely, for 1 or more hours, until the chocolate is firm to the touch. 

 14) Invert the cake onto a 10-inch cardboard round or 10 inch perfectly flat plate, covered with plastic wrap.  Peel off the plastic wrap, then reinvert onto a serving plate.

 Raspberry Topping

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15) Place the raspberries closely together to cover the surface of the cake, starting at the outside border and working in towards the center.

16) In a microwave oven or small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the current jelly.  Use a small brush to paint the current glaze onto the raspberries.

 Store Airtight, without raspberries: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 1 week; frozen, 3 months.
with raspberries: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days. Do not freeze.

 Baking Pearls
* If making the cake without the raspberry topping, use a pastry brush to stipple the chocolate glaze after is almost set for a more attractive appearance. You may also dust it lightly with cocoa or powdered sugar by placing it in a strainer held over the cake and tapping the edge of the strainer with a spoon.

* If making the cake in a heart shaped pan, we have a posting on our Weekly Baking Tips page: Make Your Own Cake Strips for making the cake strip with aluminum foil and paper towels.

* You may want to check Marie Wolf's “Heavenly Cake Bake Along” and read fellow bloggers' comments on their baking through most of the recipes in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. Lots of step-by-step photos, variations at times, and great stories as well. The portal to her blog site is on our Rose’s Heavenly Cakes page.
To get to her blog:
1. Click on Rose’s Books, then scroll down to Rose’s Heavenly Cakes book cover and description.
2. Click on Discover More Rose’s Heavenly Cakes Page.
3. Scroll down on the right column to Marie Wolf's Heavenly Cake Baker Bake Along 
4. Click on the book’s endpapers image to link you to Marie’s blog.
5. You can then do a SEARCH on her blog for the Chocolate Chocolate Valentine to see how the Heavenly Bakers made theirs.

Optional Whipped Cream Décor
Makes: 244 grams/2 cups

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1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, place all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.  (Chill the whisk beater alongside the bowl.)

2) Beat the mixture on medium speed just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

3) Use a number 5 large star tube and pastry bag to pipe a shell border around the base of the cake.

CAKE TESTING FOR  ROSE’S HEAVENLY CAKES

CAKE TESTING FOR ROSE’S HEAVENLY CAKES

Rose's Baking Basics: OUTBakes

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

For our Apple Cider Cake Doughnuts recipe in Rose’s Baking Basics, we state to coat the doughnut pan’s cavities with baking spray with flour. This week we were experimenting with substituting commercial apple cider reduced by 6 times for our apple cider reduced by 3 times. The baked and cooled doughnuts had somewhat flattened tops. When we did a second test, I suggested that we grease two of the cavities with shortening and flour. Voila! The two doughnuts prepped this way had rounded tops and did not rise above the sides of the pan the way the ones coated with Baker’s Joy did.
For our Book Corrections postings for Rose’s Baking Basics we have added LIGHTLY COATED WITH SHORTENING AND FLOUR as an option for this recipe.

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

TIGHTER GRAIN FOR THE SIDES OF THE DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

TIGHTER GRAIN FOR THE SIDES OF THE DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

Clarifying Clarified Butter and Brown Butter/Beurre Noisette and The Control Freak

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Why clarify butter? The answer begins with another question: What is butter?

Butter (Grade A butter called for in most baking recipes other than laminated doughs such as puff pastry) contains 81% fat, 6% milk solids, and 15.5% water.

When butter is heated, the water evaporates, the milk solids drop to the bottom and begin to brown. When they are a pale golden brown, the butter is clarified. When they turn a deep brown the French call it beurre noisette because noisette is the word for filbert or hazelnut and that perfectly describes the color.

Brown butter, together with the browned milk solids, adds a delicious nutty flavor to sweets such as cookies as well as savory food. Clarified butter, with the milk solids removed, is wonderful for sautéing, offering flavor without the propensity to burn, and also adds delicious flavor to baked goods such as génoise, and financiers.

By removing the milk solids the clarified or brown butter can keep for months in the refrigerator and even longer frozen.

The problem one encounters when making clarified or brown butter is that when the butter is heated and bubbling the foam makes it difficult to assess the color of the milk solids thereby risking burning them and ruining the butter. My past advice was to use a light colored silicone spatula to gauge the color of the milk solids, but recently it occurred to me to use temperature as a more exacting guide. The first thing to establish was the ideal temperature for different uses.

I used my super accurate instant read thermometer, the thermapen, stirring constantly with the silicone spatula, and arrived at the following temperatures:

For clarified butter with pale gold milk solids: 278˚to 284˚F/ 137˚C-140˚C  

For brown butter/beurre noisette with dark brown milk solids: 285˚ to 290˚/140˚C-143˚C

Almost at the set temperature of 278˚F.

Almost at the set temperature of 278˚F.

And then I discovered the dream machine that gave me the ultimate even and precise temperature control— the Breville |PolyScience Control Freak.

When it reaches the desired temperature, an alarm goes off and the heating stops. Turning the burner on is literally music to my ears. The enchanting 5 note welcome melody it plays (called the ‘sting’) is one of the loveliest sounds I’ve ever heard.

I first met the Control Freak induction burner at my favorite bakery in NYC—Mah-Ze-Dahr. Chef owner Umber Ahmad brought it up from the kitchen to show me and I was irrevocably smitten by its incredible precision (my middle name). I tried to stop thinking about it for a few months but I knew in my heart I was going to have to try it out. And it was love at first try. Brown butter was the first thing I tested. And I was hooked. I went on to using it for everything I could think of: the custard for my ice cream base, lemon curd, deep fat frying. Induction burners are not supposed to be set on stove tops because of potential problems with magnetism and metal not to mention the possibility of accidentally turning on the cooktop, but we set a thick  marble slab on top of the cooktop and set the induction burner on top of the marble so that the deep frying could take place under the stove’s hood.

Method for Making Clarified or Brown Butter:

  • Set a heatproof container next to the Control Freak and set a fine strainer on top, lined with cheesecloth (if you are not planning to add the milk solids along with the brown butter).

  • Choose a pan small enough for the amount of butter to create adequate depth for an accurate reading. The probe needs to be immersed a minimum of 1/2”/10mm into the melted butter and not touching the bottom of pan (for example, a 5 cup/1,800 ml pan works well with a minimum of 227 grams/8 ounces of butter).

  • First melt the butter on pan control and then insert the probe into the Control Freak base.

  • Insert the probe, making sure that the probe is a minimum of 1/2”/10mm into the melted butter.

  • Select probe control oil from the options.

  • Set the temperature speed to low or medium.

  • Select the desired temperature and alarm option if desired.

  • Stir constantly until the butter reaches temperature.

  • Immediately pour the butter into the strainer to prevent the pan’s residual heat from raising the temperature and darkening the milk solids.

Note: If you are making a sauce that you want to keep warm, after it reaches temperature, you can simply lower the heat to the holding temperature. There is no limit as to how long this induction burner can hold a temperature. 

If you are the fortunate owner of a Breville Control Freak induction burner, be sure to check the online manual, especially starting on page 24 on probe control.

If you are considering purchasing a Control Freak, the manual will be a great resource for learning about its many features and help you to make your decision if this amazing induction burner is for you!

A 2 Minute Visit Through The Baking Bible

In less than 2 minutes, you will be transported into the style production shooting and pages of The Baking Bible through live action and the 4 color photos for the book. It ends with a scene of Rose and Woody walking outside Rose's mountain home. 

When internationally acclaimed photographer Ben Fink decided to also make videos, Rose was his first video’s subject: A Moment with Rose in 2010. His ideas for video were to make “movie trailers” for upcoming books by authors and food businesses. When we toured for The Baking Bible , we presented his video at several of our events. It was also presented at one of the workshops at an IACP annual conference .

For the Love of Precision

The Thermoworks IR-Gun

The Thermoworks IR-Gun

One never knows who might be reading her books! 

Many years ago, I stubbed my toe on my father’s solid wood army chest from his time as a paratropper in WWII. The next day my throbbing toe was reddened so I used my infrared point and shoot and discovered that its temperature was significantly higher than my other toes. I feared infection so called a foot dr. at NYU where my husband worked as director of outpatient radiology. That did nothing to get me the appointment but I persuaded the receptionist that it was an emergency so she allowed me to come and said she would try to work me in.

 Turned out I didn’t have long to wait and it wasn’t because the foot doctor knew my husband (which he did because his name was on every xray taken at NYU). When I explained to the doctor that I had assessed the temperature of the wounded toe with an infrared thermometer he looked at me with a smile on his face and said: “I know who you are--I’ve been baking from The Cake Bible for years! Maybe I should do a paper on toe temperature!”

 The toe was not infected and, much relieved, surprised, and amused, I had discovered another kindred spirit.

I use my point and shoot infrared thermometer for so many purposes aside from my toes! I use it to determine the surface temperature of various areas in my kitchen, for example, where it is the best temperature to raise bread dough, or chill pie dough, or how to determine how hot the frying pan is when preheating it.

Until Wednesday, January 9, 2019 midnight, Thermoworks is offering an excellent price reduction of 52% off.

A Tale of a Chocolate Cake, Two Tenors, & My Love of Opera

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The most popular cake in The Cake Bible is the Chocolate Domingo, and after 30 years it’s time to reveal how it got its name!
The Chocolate Domingo is also our Recipe of the Month for January posting January 5th.

I was playing my weekly tennis game with my husband Elliott when my mind started drifting to what would be the best chocolate cake in the world—the tenor of chocolate cakes—and it hit me: I would dedicate the cake to Luciano Pavarotti (my favorite tenor) and call it the Chocolate Pavarotti. When Elliott noticed from across the court that he did not have my full attention he proclaimed: “I know it’s not another man, just a cake, but can’t you give me one hour once a week of full attention?!”

Fortunately I realized that the correct procedure would be to ask Pavarotti’s permission and also fortunately one of my dearest friends and classmates from Music & Art High School days was June LeBell, host of WQXR. June gave me the name of Pavarotti’s agent, Herbert Breslin, asking me not reveal my source. And I wrote a letter explaining what I wanted to do. I received a letter back declining my offer, saying that “Mr. Pavarotti is on a diet and doesn’t want to be associated with food.” This did not stop me. I then wrote a second letter suggesting the probability that Mr. Pavarotti sang under my uncle Tibor Kozma when he was conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

I went on to explain that it is a tradition for great opera singers to have special dishes named after them, such as Peach Melba, Chicken Cacciatore, Caruso Sauce, and Tetrazzini. I suggested that surely Pavarotti would like to consider the possibility of having this cake named after him. The answer was silence.

So I regrouped and decided to present the offer to Placido Domingo, my other favorite tenor. Back to June for a contact and when I called his assistant she immediately said that Mr. Domingo loves chocolate. Then she called me back and said that Mr. Domingo wants to know when he will get to taste the cake!

We made a date and I woke up very early that morning so that the cake would be very fresh. I even chose a chocolate brown dress for the presentation.

 I’ll never forget when I lifted the cover of the cake and Mrs. Domingo inhaled with delight, as the aromas wafted into the air, and exclaimed: “No calories of course”!

And on September 7, 1988, when The Cake Bible launched, I received a telegram from Placido Domingo:

The telegram is framed and displayed in my baking kitchen.

The telegram is framed and displayed in my baking kitchen.

A few weeks later, there was a 1-7/8 pages article in The New York Times featuring The Cake Bible, and written by Corby Kummer.

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And the final 1/8 page was an article by my longtime friend Brian Miller (who was restaurant reviewer) about Pavarotti sharing a dinner with him, and a photo of Pavarotti raising a glass of wine which, at the time, I read as his salute to Domingo. But after all these years I read the article and discovered that Pavarotti had lost 85 pounds on his diet and was breaking his diet to dine with Brian. I loved how Brian quoted Pavarotti as saying that “there is only one scale he struggles to conquer—the one in his bathroom.” I also enjoyed reading about how much Pavarotti appreciated eating. And I wish I could have known him.

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Note: The photo of The Domingo shows it with a chocolate leaf embedded into the surface of powdered sugar. I call this my special fossil technique.

Rose on Video presents: A Moment with Rose

A Moment with Rose   by Ben Fink (2010) 

This incredible and beautiful video was photographer Ben Fink's first entrée into making videos. He envisioned that videos could be made as "trailers" for authors to promote their books. Two cameras, several lights, and even rail-tracks were put on the floor of her living room for a rolling tripod mounted camera. What we thought was going to be a short cooking show-style video turned into your being able to see Rose's inner persona and love for baking. 

This video was filmed one month before Rose’s Heavenly Cakes won IACP’s Best Book of the Year, but we did not get to see its final version until the fall. Ben made a second video with Rose for The Baking Bible in 2013, as a “trailer” for the book’s launch. He also did all of the photography for the book. His unique style of making videos has won him awards. You can see his work in many commercials, and even on video screens in McDonalds.

NOTE: We have over 150 YouTube videos, transcribed by Hector Wong, from Rose’s appearances on television shows, her own PBS Baking Magic series, and instructional videos. You can see a complete listing on our Television & Videos pages.

Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 20: The Eastern states Tour-part 3

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We thought touring was finished for 2018 after Fante’s Kitchen store in Philly. But having seen dear friend Lee White in Connecticut on the way back from Johnson & Wales, and a delightful dinner with friends in New Paltz after the CIA demo, sparked the addition of five more events.

 My Interview with cooking show host par excellence, Faith Middleton on Food Smooze, brought in quite a few people to both of our Connecticut events.

 The Albert Weisner Library in Warwick, NY was awarded Best Small Library for 2016 by the American Library Association. What a happy coincidence that our new book also was awarded the best cookbook of 2018 by the Library Journal! Our cherished Warwick friends, Gar Wang and Ron Gee, connected us with event organizer Kathleen Georgalas to do a PowerPoint presentation and book signing. The event sold out every Rose’s Baking Basics and Rose’s Christmas Cookies that the bookseller had in stock. Rose’s heart was warmed by a surprise meeting of one of her oldest friends, Elaine Kohut Marron, who happens to have moved to Warwick and is a regular at the library. Elaine’s Apple Coffee Cake, for which she won a prize when in high school, has graced four of Rose’s books, each one featuring a different shapes and sometimes a different fruit.

We only had 30 minutes to enjoy a fabulous lunch at Gar and Ron’s which included a hearty vegetable soup, amazing corn bread made with the red corn meal from their own corn, and a mixed green salad from their winter cold frame garden. They packed a few slices of the corn bread for the road and it was still delicious the next day even after having been stored and eaten at close to freezing temperatures in the car. It had to have been made with oil, because butter would have been the wrong texture at such a cold temperature.

Blue Cashew Kitchen Homestead in Kingston, NY has been a regular stop on our book tours. The delightful Sean Nutley, staff, and twenty attendees welcomed us to their new enlarged showroom, equipped with a well-designed kitchen for classes and demos. We made the Linzer Thumbprints using the Ankarsrum mixer to grind the nuts and mix the dough. After the demo we enjoyed a short and freezing walk around town and got to see the four houses built before the Revolutionary War, when Kingston was the capital of New York State. We were joined for dinner at Boison’s with long time friends Susan and Bruce Frank who brought along a bottle of my favorite Chateauneuf-du-Pape from our long ago wine group days, which he still had in his wine cellar. I was touched he remembered. Also joining us was my grandson’s godmother Cathy Schulz and her friend, both of whom have a house in the area.

 Our next day’s first event, at Byrd’s Books in Bethel, CT, involved our tasting and giving critiques of cookies from Rose’s Baking Basics and other recipes from Rose’s book. We also talked about the book and then, of course, signed books for the participants. Alice and her son, owners of Byrd’s Books, were delightful hosts. Attendees could purchase a “pick your choice of treats” box, with the proceeds going to a local charity. Joining us below was Chris Hoelck, senior copy/production editor of Fine Cooking Magazine, who was responsible for introducing us to the book store. His daughter made the most perfect ever peanut butter thumbprints from the book and Chris thanked me for stressing the importance of allowing the dough to rest before making to result in a super smooth texture (see below). (No I wasn’t texting on the iphone, I was taking photos!)

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The Perfect Pear in Chester, CT is a popular new cookware store in a charmingly picturesque town. The store supplies a mix of down-to-earth, everyday goods for cooks and people who love to eat, drink, and entertain. It was our last event for our tour, and what a grand finale. Store owner, Laura Grimmer, made several recipes from our books for our wonderful attendees to enjoy while we discussed our book and answered questions. We enjoyed getting to know Laura and hear about her fascinating background which led to her current and successful enterprise.

We couldn’t resist a return to Sift Bakery in Mystic, CT even though it added an hour to our return home. Last visit we had fallen in love with chef owner Adam Young’s irresistible caramel rolls. Adam is not usually in the bakery on Mondays, but fortunately for this visit, he happened to be there. We showed him the new book, Rose’s Baking Basics, and were so moved that he took time from his busy schedule to go through each and every page, we just had to offer the book. We now have a new friend in Mystic CT and are looking forward to his beautiful young daughter Stella and wife Ebbie baking from the book..

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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