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Category ... Cookbooks

Erin Jean McDowell--The Fearless Baker

Jul 06, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


Erin has just posted a stunning promotional video for her upcoming book The Fearless Baker. Of course it is stunning--it was shot by photographer Ben Fink!

The book is available for preorder on Amazon and will be published this Fall. I love Erin and the book so much I wrote the foreword!

The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro

The Story of The Cake Bible--A Baking Classic

Mar 15, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books


My wonderful editor Cassie Morgan Jones, at Harper-Collins, gave me a list of questions to answer about how The Cake Bible came to be a classic and my thoughts about the influence that it has had on my and other people's baking lives:

Congratulations to one of our favorite authors, Rose Levy Beranbaum, whose book The Cake Bible was recently inducted into the International Association of Culinary Professionals Culinary Classics Hall of Fame. This bestselling, definitive cookbook makes cake baking a joy and brings professional-quality baking within reach of home bakers everywhere.

Here is the introduction to the Q & A written by Cassie:

And here is the Q & A for you to enjoy.

Chocolate Palmiers

Feb 02, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


You too will be able to make this amazing pastry come Fall of this year with the launch of Erin McDowell's exciting new book The Fearless Baker!

A Fun New Site for Cookbook Lovers

Dec 12, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


What could be harder than narrowing down one's choice of favorite cookbooks to 10, especially when the collection is well over 1000 of my own! But when Matt Cockerill, co-founder of the site 1000 cookbooks, invited me to join I didn't hesitate. The easiest way to come up with my 10 choices was to see what rose to the top of my memory. And I listed them in alphabetical order.

These are the books that I've used the most often over the years. They are well written, imaginative, reliably tested, and have stood the test of time.

Check out the site and you will find many of your favorite authors--more as it evolves. You will also find what your favorite authors choose as their favorites. It's absolutely addictive. I was regretful not to be listed by some but amazed and delighted to be listed by some others!

You will also find out which is considered by consensus to be the best cookbook of all time. (Hint: it's not vegan!)

The co-founders have very interesting backgrounds in publishing and science. I had some illuminating and delightful email exchanges with Matt and feel like I've found another kindred spirit.

Check it out--you'll love it!

Co-Founders Matt Cockerill and Jon Croft



Baking Bible Book Production Phase 10

Feb 22, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

The Baking Bible Cover.jpg

There is only one moment in book publishing more exciting than seeing the "laid out pages" of the manuscript, complete with all the photos and the final design. That moment is when the actual book arrives. Woody are now in the midst of proofing these laid out pages against the copy edited version. Proofing is a horribly laborious process as one so often sees what ought to be there rather than what is (a great metaphor!). What takes away the pain, however, is enjoying the beauty of the pages.

The offiicial pub date is November 4 but it can be pre ordered now on Amazon: The Baking Bible

The major advantage of preordering is not only being among the first to receive the book but also the deep discount ($28.80 instead of the cover price of $40).

A Global Website Bookstore

May 16, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

I frequently get questions from people around the world who want to buy my books but can't find them in their local bookstores and find it too expensive to pay for shipping through book websites.

We have Judy of to thank for this great resource called the book depository.

Judy posted the following information and I want to bring it to your attention through this larger blog posting to make it easier to find.

"They are a British company and ship worldwide for "Free" and this makes
it really easy for those of us not living Stateside to buy our
favourite books. They have regular promotions too so keep an eye out
for the coupon codes. They also have a British site for some reason at this web address
so check the prices at both sites as they can vary.

Their customer service is also one of the best I have ever experienced
for an online store. Though they only deal in books and the occasional
CD, I wish I could buy everything else from them.

I have ordered all of my favourite cookbooks this way."

Thank you Judy for generously sharing this great information.

Cake Bible Debuts on the Oprah Winfrey Network!

Feb 24, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Television

Thanks for fellow blogger Matthew Boyer who forwarded these links, we can now see The Dotted Swiss Wedding Cake from The Cake Bible being produced on OWN on Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag and their reviews of the book. I couldn't be more thrilled!

The Cake Layers


Book Review

This brings to mind a funny story from about two decades ago shortly after The Cake Bible was published. I inscribed a book to Oprah and included a note offering to make her wedding cake. Before packaging it I opened up the book, trying to imagine the impression it would make when Oprah opened it, and to my shock all the entire photo insert was up side down! Needless to say I found her a copy that was perfect but apparently a large section of an entire print run was produced this way. A friend said I should save it as it would be worth a lot of money some day. Somehow, I wonder but there they are in the crawl space in Hope.

Oprah sent me a lovely note saying that if she got married she would certainly keep my offer in mind. Someday I'll have to tell the story of how I came close to making President Clinton's inauguration cake!

Marcy Goldman Strikes Gold

Dec 05, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


Marcy Goldman is a cookbook author, major website presence, baker, poetess, and warm generous colleague. A visit to Montréal is not complete for me without a visit with her.

On this most recent visit we made an attempt to catch up over a breakfast of omelets and Montréal bagels (chewy but lighter than the NY version--see page 64 in Jewish Holiday Baking--the 10th Anniversary Edition). And we continued talking non-stop all the way to the airport.

Two life-changing things Marcy shared (yes I know they are small things but I will be using them to good purpose every day and therefore are important to me) are the necessity of a small notebook, preferably Moleskine, and the pleasure of disposable fountain pens. I had just about given up on my love for writing with fountain pens after many ink leaks especially on airplanes but Marcy said this disposable variety never leaks. As for the moleskin, made famous by Hemingway, there is a little stretchable band that keeps it closed and so much love and care is put into its production it has what few cookbooks can boast--a stitched binding!

Our conversation turned inevitably to blogs, websites, and cookbooks. Marcy was a pioneer of web recipes. Her website www.betterbaking.com launched in 1997 and has a significant following. We talked about Kindle-type devices and having an actual cookbook to hold versus reading it on line and agreed that there's a limit to 'virtuality.' a cookbook is more than a collection of recipes--it's the soul of the writer. I love Marcy's books for that very reason: she puts her heart and soul into them. Beyond enticing photos, there is contextual history, fascinating personal stories, and a plethora of invaluable tips.

Continue reading "Marcy Goldman Strikes Gold" »

A New Baking Author on the BLock!

Nov 12, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks


i love the title of this new cookbook and I love the author, Beth Lipton, even though we haven’t yet met except through this delightful book. At last, an author who has written her first cookbook, and even though it’s geared toward the beginning baker, is on the same page as I am concerning weights!

This bodes very well indeed for the increased trend toward weighing ingredients for baking rather than the far less efficient and potentially inaccurate measuring method. Not to worry, she also lists the traditional volume.

Continue reading "A New Baking Author on the BLock!" »

Happy 20th Birthday Dear Cake Bible!

Oct 25, 2008 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

This month of October is the official pub date. And the coming out party was fortuitously on the very day of Maida Heatter's birthday. (It was my dessert goddess Maida who wrote the amazingly wonderful intro for the book.)

Our wonderful Hector offered to digitalize the original New York TImes photos that appeared shortly after the party on October 19, 1988. I sent it to him in Hawaii and he returned the original and e-mailed the electronic file so that you can all enjoy it. The only thing missing is the bottom of the page, just below the recipe for the Chocolate Domingo, the cake dedicated to Placido Domingo. Could it have been pure coincidence that just exactly below it was a photo of Pavarotti raising a toast--not to the cake as the caption read "Pavarotti ends diet"!

Continue reading "Happy 20th Birthday Dear Cake Bible!" »

Marcel Desaulniers's New Chocolate Book!

Dec 02, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Just in time for the holidays, I've just received a signed copy of my dear friend Marcel's latest book I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas!

Marcel and I started writing cookbooks at about the same time. I'm on my ninth and Marcel's new book is his 10th and we find ourselves once again siblings at the same publishing house: Wiley. I pleased to say they have done him proud with a stunning, beautifully designed book. Every recipe has a photo and I know it was Marcel and photographer Ron Manville who were behind the many imaginative and often playful touches.

Of course Marcel has added his signature "The Chef's Touch" for each recipe, sharing important tips and information. And Marcel is the real and rare thing: A chef (graduate of the CIA) plus a born teacher and writer.

There are so many recipes here I'm dying to try I can't decide where to start but it will probably be with Mrs. Lenhardt's Chocolate Almond Toffee. I know I won't be disappointed--Marcel's recipes are ones I trust.


"Cakewalk" An Extraordinary Cake Book

Aug 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Adventures in Sugar with Margaret Braun
New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc, 2001

(Review I wrote for Gastronomica)

I’ve always thought it a pity that exquisitely crafted cakes, which are in fact works of art, should be consigned to a medium of flour, water, sugar, and butter, that self destructs like sandcastles at high tide. I’ve questioned whether they didn’t deserve to be made in a more durable medium instead that could last for years in a museum for many more to enjoy. In fact, in Canada, Japan, and no doubt elsewhere, there is a highly practical tradition of making elaborate but reusable wedding cakes with durable decorations on Styrofoam layers with just one small section removed to hold an edible piece of cake that the bride can feed the groom, while the actual cake to serve the guests is only a backstage sheet cake.
But I have to admit, that if ever there were a time and a place, or justification for the real thing, devoid of such deceit, it would have to be for a wedding celebration. Perhaps some atavistic pagan fantasy entices us to see this exquisite virginal symbol invaded and cut into to reveal it’s tender and flavorful interior. But whether real or illusionary most would agree: A dream occasion deserves a dream cake. Margaret Braun, in her book “Cakewalk,” presents a collection of breath-taking tiered celebration cakes unlike any I have ever seen. They are such exquisite works of art I’m sure people will wince in pain to see one cut. Just looking at them in print makes me want to sob with delight. Even the publisher (Rizzoli) has risen to the occasion, providing the setting this book deserves. Not only is this a gorgeous four color production with stitched plinth (binding), but the proverbial icing on the cake, and unprecedented for a cookbook, it has guilt edged pages. Even most bibles don’t get this treatment! And the photographs by Quentin Bacon do these edible dream works of art full justice.
Yes, this makes a fabulous coffee table book, but it is much more than that. Braun’s designs are uniquely original and she shares many of the detailed techniques to recreate their appearance. This book will provide inspiration to countless cake bakers and caterers ever in search of a “new look.” If you want to reproduce most of the actual cakes in this book, however, you will need a more detailed baking book that contains cake recipes both larger and smaller than the 10-inch ones offered here. Also, the actual instructions for shaping the layers are vague to non-existent. One interesting though labor intensive suggestion is to cut the layers 1/2-inch thick to increase the proportion of filling to cake. Of course this is a matter of personal preference. Cake lovers who appreciate their cake layer lofty and uninterrupted (and there are many) will not be pleased.
By the way, don’t be surprised if your caterer cringes in horror at being asked to reproduce any of these elaborate edifices. These cakes are labors of love and require the skill of a devoted and meticulous craftsperson. But even borrowing a few of the beautiful motifs or techniques such as painting a cake with food color, or finishing it with gold dust, pearl dust, or gold leaf, will do wonders to transform a more humble design. And of course for a price you can have Margaret Braun herself recreate them.
Sprinkled throughout “Cakewalk” are refreshingly unfamiliar and thought provoking quotations such as this one on symmetry: “The underlying belief was that locating the centre of symmetry meant locating the way, the truth, and the light. Aesthetic custom and theological doctrine went hand in hand. The aesthetics of proportion was the medieval aesthetic par excellence….The principle and criterion of symmetry, even in the most elementary forms, was rooted in the very instinct of the medieval soul” --Umberto Ecco Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages (1986) (p.176). There is not a lot of story telling in “Cakewalk” but what there is reveals great sensibility of style, philosophical conviction, history and poetry—a person well beyond the realm of her cakes, that one would love to know better. I suspect that she richly deserves to have been published in such a regal manner.

Ode to Deer Valley and A Baking Magician

Apr 18, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Travel Adventures

I know that baking is often perceived as alchemy and magic, but chef Letty Flatt, who is in charge of all baking at the Deer Valley Ski Resort in Utah, really takes the cake. You have to be there to believe the wide variety and exquisiteness of the desserts she creates at altitudes as high as 8200 feet above sea level.

At the Seafood Buffet, a little lower down but not much, there is a selection of about 20 different desserts and one can taste all of them as part of the buffet dinner—in fact there are those who do just that (I came close) My favorite—also Elliott’s--was the baklava batons. Another favorite, the Black Forest Crème Brûlée (see photo) is a magnificent plated dessert served only at the Mariposa restaurant at Silver Lake.

My top favorite, which I can never resist (I returned for it twice) is the ice cream sandwich served at the Café at Silver Lake. I’m usually torn between that and the Frozen Lemon Meringue Pie.

(By the way, they also serve the best crawfish bisque I’ve ever tasted anywhere including New Orleans and an astonishingly good Caesar salad—both of which required a revisit as well.) The ice cream sandwich consists of perfectly creamy vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two terrific chocolate chip cookies, cut into 4 wedges, and served with a little pot of hot fudge sauce for dipping (oh bliss).

Happily the recipe is in Letty’s cookbook “Chocolate Snowball.” No wonder she recently was cited in Salt Lake Magazine's Dining Awards as Best Pastry Chef in Utah 2006!

I used to think I had to go to Europe to eat well at a ski resort but not since we discovered Deer Valley. Now we just keep going back. Usually we stay on the mountain for dinner as the choices are so varied and excellent, but it’s well worth going into Park City—just about 15 minutes away-- to eat at Wahso—a wonderful Asian restaurant with equally appealing décor.

In addition to the great food and staggering beauty of the mountains, we really enjoy the genuine friendliness of the people. Last year, when I wanted to try out snow-shoeing, one of the shop keepers loaned me not only a pair of snowshoes, but also his own gaiters to keep the snow out of my shoes, as none of the stores had them for sale.

There was tons of snow and blue skies this year but I actually forewent a day of skiing for the pleasure of hiking with my friends Letty and Julie Wilson (the director of food and beverage at Deer Valley Resort) who led us up the Sun Peak Trail for an unforgettable experience. It was a rigorous one hour uphill climb on a narrow snowy trail surrounded by pines. I couldn’t chat much as I was too occupied with catching my breath, but it was well worth the effort because the summit gave us a panoramic view of the Canyons ski area that was absolutely breath-taking (in every sense!)

Deer Valley was the dream creation of Stein Erikson—the great ski hero whose elegant style--rear end improbably extending at near right angles from one’s hopefully parallel skis--everyone tried to emulate when I started skiing back in 1961. He still skis every morning and word had it he skied with Dr. Ruth the week we were there. It was probably was more than a rumor as I spotted dear Dr. Ruth at Kennedy airport waiting for her baggage while we were waiting for ours.

But by far the most serendipitous moment of the entire week was discovering at almost the very end of one of the rides up the mountain that the familiar looking person sitting next to me on the lift was the editor of Real Simple Magazine. Disguised as we were by our ski apparel it took that long to realize we recognized each other! I’ve seen her countless times on the Today Show and she’s been baking out of my books for years! Out of 1400 people on the lifts it seemed unimaginably improbably that we should be sitting on the same lift chair. Most delightful was that before I realized it was Elizabeth Mayhew I was charmed by her sweet friendly personality—just the same as she is when she appears on the Today Show.

Before we skied off down the mountain Elizabeth invited me to appear on her new PBS show and I invited her to the press party for the launch of the new Gold Medal artisan style flour (more about this in June!). Life is good!

IACP Cookbook Awards Held in Seattle

Apr 10, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

Lisa Yockelson's book "ChocolateChocolate" won the best book in the baking category at the IACP cookbook award ceremony on the evening of April 1!

As presenter of this category, along with my friend and fellow-baker/author Jim Dodge, now of the Getty Foundation, we had the great pleasure of announcing the award to Lisa and an audience of close to 1400.

Photo by Adam Schneider

Afterwards we celebrated with a bottle of champagne with our publisher Natalie Chapman (John Wiley).

Lisa IACP 9.jpg
Photo by Adam Schneider

A full list of award winners can be viewed on the iacp website http://www.iacp.com

Do you have a favorite pie crust?

Apr 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General

Yes, the Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust on page 29 of The Pie and Pastry Bible. I now make it with heavy cream replacing the water and it is more tender and flavorful.

Making a Cake in a Different Size Cake Pan

Mar 04, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in FAQs


I wanted to bake your white chocolate whisper cake but use a tube pan instead of the round cake pans. Is this possible and what do I need to know to make this work?


on page 455 of the cake bible is a chart listing the volume of most cake pans. of course if you have an odd-shaped pan you will need to measure the volume yourself by pouring water into it. if it's a two-piece pan first line it with a clean garbage bag.

compare the size and volume of the pans specified in the recipe to the one which you want to use and then either increase or decrease it proportionately.

a cake in a tube pan will take longer to bake than in a 9 x 2 or 9 x 1 1/2 inch pan but use the usual tests of springing back when touched lightly on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle between sides of pan and tube comes out clean.

Interview in IACP Food Forum

Mar 02, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Press Mentions

The following is an interview I did with Marguerite Thomas for IACP Food Forum, the publication of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. It was published in the early part of 2006. You can download the 500k PDF here.

Let's start with the beginning, The Cake Bible, the book that made your name when it came out in 1988. The Pastry Bible and The Bread Bible followed. Did you first come up with the concept of a book, or a series, and the "Bible" title, or did you write the first book and then you and your editors worked out that brilliant title?
I had it in back of my mind to do a "bible" sort of definitive book, and though the word "bible" did occur to me, I would never have had the temerity to call it that if, not for [the late food writer] Bert Greene, who was my best friend. He came up with the title entirely on his own. He insisted that I call it a bible because, he said, I was his muse and he knew that's what the book would be because of my approach to baking. I resisted at first, but when everyone at the publishing company starting calling it by this name -- and giving it more respect -- I started to reconsider.

It's hard to imagine not liking that title.
I asked the bicoastal restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, whose opinion I greatly valued, what he thought of it, and he said it would be like sticking my chin out and saying, "Here! Punch me!" This clever assessment helped me to realize that I believed 100 percent in what I was doing and that I was willing and ready to take it on the chin!

Was The Cake Bible your first book?
My first book was Romantic and Classic Cakes (Irena Chalmers Great American Cooking Schools Series, 1981). It was written on an IBM Selectric typewriter, and it was a great dress rehearsal for a larger book. I could never have written The Cake Bible, with all its depth and continuity, without a computer.

(More after the jump)

Continue reading "Interview in IACP Food Forum" »

Making Larger Cakes

Mar 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes


I have a question about augmenting your White Chocolate Whisper Cake for use in my friend's wedding cake. Is there a rule of thumb I can go by when converting any of your cakes to larger or smaller sizes?
I hope to achieve the larger volume of the recipes you've designed in your wedding cake section of the Cake Bible. The tiers are slightly higher and more dramatic than the recipes from the butter cake chapter.

Thanks so much,
As always, your devoted fan,


In my new book I plan to work on creating recipes for larger cakes based on favorite smaller ones. It can sometimes taken many tests to get it right. One of the cakes I've planned on is the white chocolate whisper cake! I think that's one that won't require much adjustment. You simply need to decrease the baking powder in proportion to the amount of flour as indicated in the charts in the wedding cake section.

Do let me know how it works for you so it will give me a leg up on my recipe testing!

Gluten-Free Bread

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

i’m frequently asked about alternatives to wheat bread. i was discussing this problem with a colleague at the fancy food show in san francisco and she recommended the following book:

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Betty Hagman

Books That Have My Recipes

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookbooks

i'll update this blog entry with the current list of books that have recipes that i've written

REVISION: I have updated "The Cake Bible" for the first time since its publication almost 17 years ago. The update includes new chocolate information, the new types of yeast, and new sources for ingredients and equipment. Look for copies that indicate the revision on the cover.

"Mom's Secret Recipe File," pub date Mother's Day 2004, contributed 3 recipes

Fine Cooking Magazine issue 65, June/July 2004 "How to Make a Lattice Pie (with a wonderful new flaky, tender, and delicious pie crust and step-by-step photos on the making of the lattice so that even someone who has never made one before will see how easy it is)

"What Do Women Really Want: vol.1 Chocolate," by Donna Barstow, pub date May 2004, contributed the foreword.

"Food & Wine An Entire Year of Recipes 2004," page 333, contributed Christmas Sugar Cookies from "Rose's Christmas Cookies."

Food & Wine "Best of the Best the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year," pages 56 through 67 (from "The Bread Bible.")

"On Cooking a Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals, Fourth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, page 1078, excerpt from "The Cake Bble.

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy


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