Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 13: Off to the Publisher, the Final Stretch

Three years and seven months ago, we met with Stephanie, our editor, and Natalie, manager of the cookbook division, in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s office, to sign copies of The Baking Bible and to celebrate the book’s launch. That day also marked the birth of an idea for this book—a step-by-step book with accompanying multiple photographs for most of its recipes.


Since there were so many photos taken in different lighting and backgrounds throughout the multiple step photos, we were asked to approve and offer suggestions for the photo proof pages.


We had a second proofing pass to review and add more of our own suggested changes. Our dear friend, Zach Townsend, was one of the proofers to help us perfect our text.


After completion of the second proof reading phase, we then reviewed and approved the book’s back cover design and text.

I wrote the acknowledgements page, and Woody and I reviewed the appendix, index, and cross references.

Stephanie came through with a special surprise element I have always wanted for one of my books, which will remain a surprise to you until the book is published!

Then Dan O’Malley, manufacturer of the American Products Group (that produces my rolling pin and dough mat) offered to make his special non slip bookmark from the same material as his syn-glass cutting mats, but with the design of our book. We submitted a baker’s dozen of ingredients with their gram weights to add to design and make it extra useful.


On May 18, I sent a ‘stamp of approval’ email to Stephanie to give her the green light to send the book files to the printer to transform our digitized 400 pages, with nearly 700 color photos, into a printed book. Now comes the four months of waiting for the first hardcover book to be in our hands—always the long-awaited and magical moment which most authors compare to the birth of a baby.

Bake from Scratch Honors Its 2018 Baker's Dozen


Is there anything more gratifying than being elevated to the level of the three people (Julia Child, James Beard, and Jacques Pépin) who have had the greatest influence on my career and whom I admire the most?

I am deeply honored and grateful to have been chosen as the “icon” baker in Bake from Scratch’s annual Baker’s Dozen, in the company of such esteemed colleagues including two of my dearest friends: Erin McDowell and Umber Ahmad.

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This issue also has many excellent articles such as Milk Bread and Pizza, with fabulous photos and yes: ingredients are listed in grams. We’ve come a long way!

The July/August issue will be on news stands on June 12, and also available on line and on Instagram and Twitter @thebakefeed.

Happy Birthday! Food52 Cookbook Bloggers

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Our friends at Food52 celebrated their first year of bloggers baking and cooking various recipes from their monthly chosen cookbooks. Bloggers were invited to Food52’s Manhattan office for an afternoon of tasting a wide array of dishes and desserts made by fellow bloggers. We were invites as well since, The Baking Bible was Food 52’s book for the year for bloggers to make recipes. Erin McDowell was also at the party as her Fearless Baker book was one of the monthly selections. The savory table had several recipes from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem and Plenty.

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The dessert table had chocolate chip cookies and a bundt version of Erin’s lemon pound from Fearless Baker, plus a towering, three tier cake with strawberry and raspberry flavored cake layers and covered in her artistically executed buttercream.

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We brought a 13 by 9 inch version of our “Deep Passion Chocolate Cake” frosted with “Wicked Good Ganache.” We were honored that Food 52’s event organizer, Eunice Choi, had our cake adorned with Happy Birthday candles. The lit candles drew a crowd of smart phone camera clicks.

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A highlight of the party was the drawing of names for two lucky bloggers to win Erin’s Fearless Baker or The Baking Bible.

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This month, The Baking Bible is be one the month’s cookbook selections to kick off a second year of bloggers sharing their cooking and baking experiences.

A Friendship Forged in Cake Baking + NEW DISCOVERY

 Hector, Neighbor Patti, and Lawrence

Hector, Neighbor Patti, and Lawrence

Hector, who has a major long-time presence on this blog, has created a new cake with his new boyfriend who loves to bake! This is a friendship made in heaven: Lawrence who has baked from many magazine recipes, which are mostly not very technical, learning from master baker Hector, resulting in this magnificent cake which they made together.

Here, in Hector’s charming own words, is how it happened:

He weighs when possible, but still uses cups when the recipe is such. He doesn't know what baking powder does to surface tension on butter cakes, but he seems to have understood it from me on this recent cake. He repeats back, talks about it a day or so later, these types of high-level baking chemistry information, which tells me he is listening and he is understanding.  He knows that confectioners sugar contains cornstarch, and knows that is why cream cheese frostings with it are gritty, and has asked me how to fix that.

The golden génoise i made last month, was with Lawrence.  He really loves it and keeps wanting to make it again as the cake base for any of his magazine recipes, even for chocolate cake, he wants the golden génoise!  He is a great assistant and hands on, and is not afraid of doing the process himself, weighing straight in the mixer bowl several ingredients at a time, separating eggs with scooping the yolks with his hands, folding génoise, etc.

We just made one of his magazine recipes (see PDF below). It is essentially a white cake, but my question to you is "what does whipping the egg whites to stiff peak do to a butter cake?" (For my answer see below.)  i measured everything in grams, and the cake turned out very very well, good texture and flavor and sweetness. I didn't know how Williams Sonoma measures flour, i just used the grams equivalent assuming as it was your recipe. The cake didn't dip, nor volcanoed.  

I didn't have a good quality raspberry preserves, as called on the recipe for the filling, so i decided to move all of "raspberry" as fresh fruit, on the top as your valentines cake.  it looked great of course, and honestly, i don't care for jam filling in my cake layers.

The almonds were hand cut, from whole raw unsalted almonds. Cutting the almonds with a knife kept Lawrence entertained!  I also showed him proper technique: You don't slam or throw the almonds to coat the cake sides, but instead, you scoop as much as you can hold with one hand and apply to the cake sides from the bottom, and upwards, and letting a lot of extra almonds fall.

Changing the cream cheese frosting with your creamy dreamy one, was great. I used Felchlin 36% white chocolate, SO DELICIOUS.  i am considering using your White Chocolate Whisper Cake instead, but I will try whipping the eggs whites and see what it does.

Whipping egg whites to stiff peaks for a butter layer cake creates air bubbles in much the same way as chemical leavening. It is sometimes used to replace baking powder or, as in this case, to supplement it. I find that unbleached flour in a butter layer cake usually results in dipping in the center and coarse texture so I suspect the whipped egg whites gives extra support and counteracted that!

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Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 12: The Galleys is Here!


The Galleys is a paperback version of the book printed with black and white photos and shades of gray fonts instead of colored fonts. It is basically the black and white version of the ‘laid out pages’ that we and the proof-readers were given to submit revisions. This version of the final copy edited manuscript is sent to many of the same businesses: book stores, on-line sellers, and reviewers that received the BLAD (Basic Layout and Design) pamphlet.

Because the Galleys is not the final proofed and corrected manuscript for the book, the Galleys are always labeled ‘ADVANCED UNPROOFED COPY. NOT FOR RESALE.’ Some reviewers will test a few recipes from the Galleys, despite realizing that a recipe may not be in its final corrected form. This is unfortunate and not the intention of the Galleys, which is to give an overview of the breath and scope of the book that work months ahead of the advanced copy. During our first proofing pass, we found several inputting errors where 2/3 cup was printed as 1/3 cup. If using volume rather than weight, this is a recipe for disaster!

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Excited, we are and will be, to hold and flip the pages of our paperback version for the next six months until the hardcover book arrives. The SEPTEMBER label is when the book becomes available for retailers to sell. 

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Recipe Index Pages for All of My Books!

Woody has listed all of the main recipes for a given book as a linked page for each book's DIscover More page. Each dedicated page will have a chart with the recipe's title and its page number. Additional information may include required equipment, description, or notes. You will find over 1000 main recipes with many more supporting and variation recipes in my books. 

To see the recipe index for a particular book. Ex: The Cake Bible on the photos below with corresponding Numbered Titles. 

1. On Rose's Books page: Click on the DISCOVER MORE (book's title)  page link button under that book.

2. On the book's page: scroll down and find the  (book) RECIPE INDEX page link button.

3. The book's recipe page will appear with recipes listed in page order (or category) 

Rose's Sugar Bible and Vanilla Bible Pages Now on Our Website

Rose wrote many articles for Food Arts magazine over years. Her Sugar Bible article in 2000, spanned 30 pages. The article went on to win the World Gourmand Best Food or Wine Article in the World. We have decided to give these two informative articles their own dedicated pages here on our website, which also include updates and additional information.          (Shown above are each bible page's banner.)

You can access them any time on the Rose's Books page. Scroll down to their page links under Romantic Cakes on the left side of the page (pictured below). Then click on their page buttons. 

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                              Here are direct links to the Sugar Bible and Vanilla Bible. 

Rose's Baking Basics Production Phase 11: The Laid Out Pages

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The ‘laid out pages’ phase is our first opportunity to see our book come alive. The ‘book’ arrived as 200 twin-page pages complete with photos, fonts, and text. Alison did an incredible job of integrating fonts, background colors, the 600 step-by-step photos, and charts into a masterpiece with her design for our book. This is just one of the four forms which enable us to experience our book, before it becomes the real thing—our hard covered book. But ‘laid out pages’ also means our ‘first pass’ to proof it against the previous copy-edited version.

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Seeing the entire layout with the photos in place has helped us to revise and improve the content, as it is much easier to compare similar recipes and phrases and flip from one set of step-by-step photos to another. Our guesses for how many revisions we would want to make were quickly surpassed, but happily, knowing that the book will hopefully be error free when we review the ‘laid out pages’ again for a ‘second pass’. Then our book goes back to the publisher to add our acknowledgements page and the index pages.

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Oat Bread—You Asked for It!




Makes: Two loaves: 10 by 5 by 2-1/2 inches high

Oven Temperature: 400˚F/200˚C

Baking Time: 35 to 45 minutes

 Adapted from Chef Andrew Meltzer, formerly instructor at the CIA, from Modern Baking Magazine 11-2005

 This is deliciously different bread. It is complex and earthy in flavor and texture, with a moist crumb and crunchy crust. It is especially great toasted and spread with unsalted butter. Chef Meltzer writes that due to the Biga (easily made preferment), and the exceptional moistness locked in by the cooked oats, the bread will keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

 This recipe is for the experienced bread baker who doesn’t mind working with extremely sticky dough. After posting the photos of it on line, I got some requests for the recipe so I couldn’t resist offering it here.

It is a recipe that has taken me 13 years to try, mostly because it was written for large quantity production, making it necessary to break down all the components precisely into a more manageable amount of dough. I have adapted the recipe for the home baker but it is a very tricky recipe if one doesn’t use weight, so I am not listing volume except for the small amounts of yeast which are not possible to weigh unless one has a precise scale for small amounts. (The dough has a very low percentage of yeast—0.3% which gives it a long slow rise desirable for flavor and strength. It also has a high percentage of salt—2.6% that balances the oatmeal flavor and also helps to slow down the proofing).

This dough has 35% oats, some of which gets cooked into a porridge consistency and others that get toasted. After the initial mixing the dough will be extremely wet and sticky, especially since the toasted oats take a while to absorb moisture, and it will begin to firm up considerably after proofing. It is important to use high protein bread flour, such as King Arthur, to provide a strong network of gluten to support the oats.

I followed the recipe exactly as it was written including the high baking temperature of 450˚F/230˚C, which I found, was too high for the oats encrusting the loaves, so I’m recommending 400˚F/100˚C.

You will need some special equipment to make this recipe successfully. In addition to a scale, you will need an oven stone, a cast iron pan for ice to create steam for the bread, a baking peel, a sheet of parchment, and a linen proofing cloth in which to set the shaped loaves.

18 to 24 hours ahead, make the Biga

 Biga  177 grams

Bread flour  114 grams

Water  63 grams

Instant yeast  0.2 grams (1/16 teaspoon)

In a small container mix together all the ingredients to form very stiff dough. Coat the top with nonstick cooking spray, cover tightly, and let it sit until ready to mix the dough. It will become very soft but not stick to your fingers.

The oats can be cooked a day ahead, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. Bring it to room temperature before mixing the dough.

Cooked Oats

Water  272 grams
Rolled Oats  72 grams

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the rolled oats. Cook on low heat, stirring often, until all the water is absorbed. Spread it on a small sheet pan that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely.

Final Dough

Water  252 grams
Instant yeast  2 grams (2/3 teaspoon)
Honey  60 grams
Biga 175 grams, cut into pieces
Cooked oats
Toasted Oats  108 grams (toast stirring often until lightly browned)
Bread flour  330 grams
Whole wheat flour  60 grams
Salt  18 grams

Total Weight of finished dough: about 1280 grams

 Mix the Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, add all the ingredients in the order listed.

Mixed on low speed for 2 minutes or until all the flour is moistened. Raise the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be exceptionally sticky.

Proof the Dough for 3 Hours

Scrape the dough into a 2 quart rising container, which has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Coated the top, covered it tightly, and set it in a warm spot—ideally 80˚F/27˚C.

After 1-1/2 hours scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Fold the dough in thirds and then in half. Round the dough and return it to the container, coating the top again. After another 1-1/2 hours it should have rise to 2 quarts. (This is a little less than double which is desirable so as not to overstretch and compromise the gluten framework of this more fragile dough.)

Shape the Dough

Divide the dough into two pieces, rounded it, and let it sit seam side up on a lightly floured counter for 15 minutes. Then shape it into bâtards (footballs). They will be about 9-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches.

Coat the Loaves with Rolled Oats

Roll each loaf with a damp towel and then roll them on a sheet pan filled with rolled oats.

Final Shaped Proofing

Set each loaf into the folds of an unfloured linen proofing cloth (couche) and use the cloth to lap over and over them. In a 70˚F/21˚C room they will take 2-1/2 hours to rise to 10 by 4 inches.


Preheat the Oven and Bake the Bread

A minimum of 45 minutes ahead, set the oven stone in the lower part of the oven and a cast iron pan on the floor of the oven, and preheat it to 400˚F/200˚C.

Set a piece of parchment on top of the baking peel and using a bread flipping board or the linen cloth, flip each loaf over onto the parchment, spacing them a little apart.


Make a long deep slash down the middle of each loaf and spray them with water.

Use the peel to slip the parchment with the loaves onto the baking stone. Immediately toss a handful of ice cubes into the pan and close the oven door.

Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the loaves and if they are browning too quickly, tent loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. If the oats on the bottoms of the loaves are browning too much, transfer the loaves to a baking sheet. Continue baking until an instant read thermometer reads  207˚F/ 97˚C.


Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 10: The BLAD Arrives

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The “movie trailer” version of our book, Basic Layout And Design, commonly called the BLAD in the publishing world, was presented to us last week when we met with our editor, publicist, and marketing director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's office. This short pamphlet reminds me of a quick set up or get you started short version for an owner's manual. The BLAD is mailed out by the publisher to book stores, other publications, and related businesses that preview books several months before of a book’s landing on the shelves. This is to create interest and hopes for positive reviews.

“Rose's Baking Basics” came as a 8 by 11 “pamphlet” with 10 pages. Here you can see a sneak preview of the front and back covers as well as some of its inside pages. The final book will be around 400 pages in length. 

We were also thrilled to see the back cover. It is modified here to give marketing and publicity details. We will definitely do a posting on our multi-city book tour after we receive the dates.

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We Now Have a Listing for All of Our Gluten Free Recipes

We are frequently asked what baking recipes we have which are gluten free. On our Recipe page, we have a portal to a listing of over 70 gluten free recipes in Rose's books, from flourless cakes to toffee to chocolate cream pie to ice creams. We also recognize that many need to live a gluten free diet, for which we are grateful to the many authors who specialize in this area and live a gluten free life style.  We hope our offerings will add to your repertoire of recipes.

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To access our gluten free list of recipes, click on our Recipes page on the navitaion bar, scroll down, and click on the button for Our Gluten Free Recipe Index. 

The Pie & Pastry Bible is Now in Its 10th Printing

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The Pie & Pastry Bible is celebrating its 20th year with this latest printing with updates. My most comprehensive bible on a single subject, this book's 692 pages with over 250 main recipes, which took me over 5 years to write, covers virtually everything for this area of baking. The pie section includes a wide variety of pie crusts from my favorite tender, flaky, and flavorful cream cheese and butter crust to savory crusts made with goose fat or beef suet. Related chapters cover fruit pies, chiffon pies, meringue pies and tarts, custard pies and tarts, tarts and tartlets, and savory tarts and pies. And what about apple pie à la mode's accompaniment? An ice cream chapter has 10 ice cream recipes as well as ice cream pie recipes. Pastry chapters cover biscuits and scones, fillo, strudel, puff pastry and croissants, Danish pastry, brioche, and cream puff pastry. Filling, topping, sauce, and glaze recipes are here as well,  to fill, top, and enhance your pie and pastry creations.
You can see a complete listing of all of the book's 250 plus main recipes on this page link.

Sweets & Sips 2nd Annual Event at Gramercy Tavern

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Miro Uskokovic, the much loved by all executive pastry chef of Gramercy Tavern, once again gave our baking community of pastry and food writing individuals a wonderful afternoon to connect and share our love of pastry and people.

As we walked into the special events room, where we had enjoyed judging Gramercy’s Thanksgiving employee pie contest just a few months ago, we were greeted by Miro and glasses of excellent Billecart Salmon champagne and tables of crafted pastry creations by this year’s talented pastry chefs.
We all indulged in pastries byThea Habjanic from La Sirena Restorate, Justine MacNeil from the Del Posto,  Laura Martelli and Matthew Rosenzweig from The Flaky Tart, and Dan Alva from Union Square Café.


Our favorite indulgence was The Flaky Tart’s Lemon Meringue tartlets, several of which made their way home with usSavory appetizers were served as well.
One in particular was this mini hotdog. Miro adapted the bun from a recipe which I shared with him some months ago from our upcoming book!

This year topped last year’s event with many new guests, including friends of mine I rarely get to see, which gave us a great chance to catch up with each other. Emily Luchetti happened to be visiting from the west coast and Tyler Atwel is back in New York full time at Lafayette Grand Café.


We were delighted to take home a piece of Mile High Peanut Butter Pie-- last year’s Thanksgiving Pie Contest winning pie, which is currently listed right at the top on Gramercy Tavern’s dessert menu. 

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Some more photos: 

There's A New Tab On The Website: INGREDIENTS !

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For the first time, my website / blog, has a dedicated page for products I recommend and consider to be essential for the baking. Our headnote states it all: Top quality ingredients make all the difference in a baked product. Our new page will give you information for ingredients from my years of researching and testing for developing recipes. We have also listed manufacturers and products that we use on a regular basis that have been consistent in quality and availability. 


The Chocolate Mousse of My Dreams


I will always remember the first time I tasted mousse au chocolat. I remember that it was in France. I remember that I had lunch on my own and the direction I was facing in the restaurant was toward the front windows. But I don’t remember either where in France it was or the name of the restaurant. All I remember is that it was the best chocolate I had ever tasted and that I was so spellbound I had to ask the waitress for the secret to its flavor. Her answer: Madame c’est le chocolat!

It seems obvious now, but in those days in the USA people used “baking” chocolate and not fine eating chocolate for desserts. So on my return home, I went to the lower east side to Essex Street Candy and purchased the best chocolate I knew of which was Lindt. The owner asked me what I was planning to use it for and when I said baking, he firmly informed me that it was “eating” chocolate. But you eat what you bake was my reply. Coincidentally, David Liederman had just put his chocolate chip cookies on the culinary map, in New York City, using the exact same chocolate cut into small pieces instead of chips. There was no going back.

Recently I had a sudden craving for chocolate mousse and a desire to create the best one to suit my current taste and texture preferences. My goal was a mousse that would be silky-creamy and slightly airy, chocolaty but not overly intense and more on the bittersweet than milk chocolate spectrum. Valrhona le Noir Gastronomie (aka bittersweet) 61% cacao was my chocolate of choice, and of course there is always egg yolk and a little sugar to balance what would be either butter or heavy cream or sometimes both. My favorite chocolate mousse for years was one I created for Poulain chocolate, which used only heavy cream and optional Kahlua or Cognac but it was high in egg white and I now found it too airy. Julia’s classic version uses both butter and heavy cream, and liqueur.

Both coffee and liqueur heighten the taste of chocolate, but this time I wanted only the pure taste of the best chocolate and maybe a touch of vanilla. I was undecided about the butter. I wanted the mousse to be fairly light and—well—moussey, and from my years of baking experience I’ve found that the more an ingredient is processed the more the flavor changes (i.e. butter starts off as cream and cream has a floral quality mostly lost in butter). I decided to consult my two favorite chocolate friends: Zach Townsend, chocolatier in Texas, and Lisa Yockelson (author of Chocolate Chocolate). They both, eloquently and precisely, put into words exactly what I was perceiving.

Zach: With butter it's more pudding-ish. I like creamy and airy.

Lisa: If you want an intense chocolate dessert, prepare a pot de crème or a pan of brownies. I agree with you that the most luxurious chocolate mousse is enriched with whipped heavy cream, and that butter seems to make the finished sweet too dense and a bit slick. As well, butter does not convey the same luscious dairy quality to the mixture and, if you use a high-quality bittersweet chocolate, the cacao flavor will not be diluted when using cream

So I chose  a higher than usual proportion of cream to chocolate and a larger than usual amount of egg yolks. Heating the yolks with the chocolate and cream and then straining the mixture before folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites (see Notes), produced the silky texture of my dreams.

Prep Ahead: Make the mousse 1 day up to 3 days before serving.

Equipment: 6 half ramekins (2/3 cup/158 ml capacity)

 Makes: about 3.25 cups/775 ml/6 servings

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Mise en Place

* Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the one egg white in a mixing bowl. Lightly whisk the yolks and leave the whisk in place.

* Chop the chocolate into small pieces and set it in a small saucepan.

Have a fine strainer ready near the range, suspended over a medium mixing bowl.

1) Add the cream to the chocolate, and heat on low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is hot (about 120˚F/49˚C).

2) Whisk a few tablespoons of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks. Then add the yolk mixture back into the chocolate mixture in the pan, stirring constantly.

3) Continue stirring on very low heat, just until it starts to thicken. An instant-read thermometer should register  160˚F/82˚C.

4) Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into the strainer, scraping up the thickened cream that settles on the bottom of the pan. Press it through the strainer and scrape any mixture from the bottom of the strainer. Stir in the vanilla.

5) Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming. Set the bowl on a rack and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (about 1-1/2 hours).

6) In a medium bowl, beat the egg white and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the sugar until glossy curved peaks form when the beater is raised. Use a whisk to fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Finish with a large silicone spatula, reaching to the bottom of the bowl. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins.

7) Cover each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap, stretching it across to keep it from touching the smooth surface of the mousse. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours up to 3 days.


Sugar is a personal taste and more can be added if you prefer less bittersweet.

Using the proper amount of cream of tartar makes it possible to beat the egg white to stiff consistency without breaking them down.

For the immune impaired, the very young, or the very old, I recommend using pasteurized eggs such as Safest Choice. You will need to use double the cream of tartar and beat longer for the egg white but they produce an extra stable meringue.

If your cooktop does not have a very low heat setting, it's best to use a double boiler.

To make Pot de Crème, which is a more intense and denser chocolate dessert, omit the egg white (and cream of tartar) and use only 2-1/2 to 3 egg yolks (45 grams).


Baking Basics Production Phase 9: Editor’s Queries and Copy Editing

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Oh joy of joys! This is when we cross our fingers to see what our editor Stephanie and copy editor Suzanne think should be revised from our proofed and reproofed Rose’s Baking Basics manuscript. In the past, prior to the advent of electronic editing, this took weeks of exchanged handwritten notes, mailings, and phone sessions.


With The Baking Bible, we had our first experience with electronic editing. ‘Track changes,’ enables the editor and copy editor to type in their comments and suggested revisions on the right sidebar of a computer generated manuscript.


In copy editing, one is always surprised by how many “how did I miss that” or “that was on our style sheet and we didn’t follow it”! We knew that for The Baking Bible we would have many such surprises, because we were weaving a common writing style from the four different ways in which I had written over the past thirty-years. But we were not expecting this new manuscript to have as many revisions, because we have established a consistent style and also there were fewer pages of text. This is because many pages will have step-by-step photographs and captions in place of much longer text.


Suzanne had several formatting ideas, some of which we welcomed, in addition to her meticulously identifying some inconsistencies between similar texts throughout the manuscript.


My preference was to tackle the copy editing with back-to-back days for continuity. So Woody and I spent several 12 hour-long days that seemed like bushwhacking our way through the revisions and comments, with our agreeing, or stating why we preferred our original text.


A bright spot came towards the end when Stephanie emailed us our book designer Alison’s sample pages. We scrolled up and down our screens to view 30 simply beautiful pages. A few days later we received the actual two page sample spreads.


Amazingly, our submitted responses this time around did not need a wave of back and forth emails and phone calls with our editor. Only a few queries remained to address.


Next phase will be the complete ‘laid out pages’ for us to review. This is when the manuscript begins to become a real book.

In Memorium, Chef Paul Bocuse


I don’t know why I was sort of expecting him to live forever because who does. But his legacy will certainly live on.

I have several sweet stories of Paul Bocuse--one that even took place in Germany, on a wine trip, when we were having dinner at the restaurant of one of his best friends. I was given the privilege of visiting the men’s room when it was empty to view a huge photo over the urinals of Bocuse and the restaurateur, as young men, christening a shiny black locomotive with gleeful smiles on their faces, turned sideways to the camera. I will leave it to your imagination exactly what they were using and it wasn’t champagne. 

I have had the great fortune of eating chez Bocuse twice—the first time with a group of engineers from Proctor and Gamble, whom I was escorting on a chocolate trip through the Rhone valley and Paris. But the most memorable story took place after I was after I was visiting the Daguin’s in Auch, Gascony with my brother Michael.

We were planning to continue on to Lyon for a special reason. Bocuse’s daughter is the wife of Jean-Jacques Bernachon, whose book La Passion du Chocolate I had just translated. I thought it would be fun to visit the Bernachons and read to them in French my English introduction to the book that was a few months away from publication. So it seemed like it would be a perfect celebration to have dinner chez Bocuse with my brother.

There was a huge storm in Gascony and our plane was delayed by several hours. I had made a reservation at Bocuse and was anxious to call and tell them we’d be several hours late. I was one of the first in a long line for the one public (and I mean public) phone, but I had to call information to get the number. To my amazement, the operator had trouble finding it and what's more had never heard of Paul Bocuse!

The people behind me in line were getting unruly and impatient, and the business man directly behind me asked me to hand over the phone. At first I refused (I am a New Yorker after all) but he explained that he would speak to the information operator in my behalf. And to my delight he soundly berated her for being French, living in Lyon, and here I was, an American, who knew about one of the greatest chefs in all of France of which she was toute à fait ignorant. He got the number and we got our reservation moved up a couple of hours.

Chef Bocuse made a lasting contribution to the culinary world. You can read about the many aspects of it all over the internet, but only here can you read this story.

A Fantastic Glaze for the Gâteau à l’Orange


When you store things, always label, always label, always label!!!

I found a mystery jar in the fridge of what appeared to be caramel. It also smelled like caramel and even tasted like caramel but with something wonderfully extra that I couldn’t define. Cursing myself for once again not bothering to label the jar, thinking there was no way I wouldn’t forget what it was, and having proven myself wrong yet again, I was determined to figure it out. For one thing, how could caramel have stayed fluid and un-crystallized for so many months? I needed to know.

I had made the Gâteau à l’Orange the day before and something told me that not only would the ‘caramel’ not overwhelm the orange flavor, it might even enhance it. I drizzled some of the glaze on top of a slice and a marvelous synergy took place. Not only is the sauce slightly orange in color, its texture and flavor are perfect with the cake.

I started going through all the many recipes of the past year that might have used some form of caramel and eureka! It wasn’t really caramel, it was the Butterscotch Toffee Sauce from the Sticky Toffee Pudding in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes that I made 5 months ago! Yes: that mystery flavor was butterscotch from the dark brown Muscovado sugar and the slight tang from the molasses it contains plus the lemon juice which also served to maintain it’s creamy texture even after several trips to the microwave to soften it for lacing on top of the remaining slices of cake.

This recipe is so easy to make, requiring no temperature taking. It will also be in the upcoming ice cream book, but for those of you who are about to make the Gâteau, I don’t want to make you wait another minute or til 2020 if you don’t have Heavenly Cakes!

Butterscotch Toffee Glaze

Makes: 2-1/4 cups/532 ml/572 grams

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Set up for Ingredients (Mise en Place)

* About 30 minutes ahead, cut the butter into a few pieces and set it on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

1) In a small saucepan place the sugar and vanilla bean. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and rub them in with your fingers. Remove and reserve the pod. With a silicone spatula, stir in the butter.

2) Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cream, salt, lemon juice, and reserved vanilla pod. It will be slightly grainy but will become totally smooth on standing for a few minutes. Reheat, if necessary, and remove the vanilla pod before serving. Pour the glaze onto the cake or into a pitcher, shortly before serving. (It only takes a few seconds to reheat in the microwave.)


* Muscovado sugar from India Tree gives the best flavor.

* You can replace the vanilla bean with 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, stirred in after the glaze is no longer hot.