Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations




Roses Alpha Bakers

RSS AND MORE



Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books
Previous Book

Roses' Cookbooks

The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

Buy from Amazon: USA | Canada | France | Germany | UK

Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from IndieBound

Next Book

Category ... New Products

Thermowork's New Oven Thermometer Probe

Oct 29, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Probe.jpg

chef_alarm.jpg

ThermoWorks Pro-Series High Temp Air Probe with Grate Clip for ChefAlarm and DOT

ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks - (Yellow)


For those of you who already have the Thermoworks Chef Alarm (which I use for grilling and oven roasting), you will be as delighted as I am that they have just come out with the "pro-series high temp air probe" and oven rack clip to hold it securely in place.

Oven temperature is the key to successful baking so I'm always on the look out for a truly reliable oven thermometer that does not require opening the oven door or peering into a spattered oven window to read the temperature. This is THE ONE!

Pastry Wands

Oct 25, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

pastry_wands.jpg

I didn't think I needed another piece of baking equipment but was just proven wrong with the arrival of these wooden 'wands,' designed for rolling pastry into perfectly even sheets.

The 'wands' are made from hard maple with a hole drilled into one end so that they can be hung from a hook. The set includes wands of the following sizes: 1/16"/1.6mm, 1/8"/3.18 mm, 3/16"/4.67 mm, and 1/4"/6.35 mm.

The dough is placed on the counter between two of the 'wands' and the rolling pin rides over the pastry until it is flattened to the thickness determined by the height of the 'wands' that serve as 'tracks' for the pin.

This system is far superior to that of rubber rings placed on the opposing ends of a rolling pin as they are a fixed size and the rubber rings become thinner when stretched over the pin.

They can be purchased from the manufacturer.

The Absolute Best & Simplest Device for Cracking Eggs

Oct 01, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

image004.jpg

I am a fool for equipment that does the best possible job and this is IT! Prior to receiving the Crack'em I found that the best way to crack eggs was to set a paper towel on the counter and rap the side of the egg sharply against it. There was always a question of just how sharp a rap was required and also, very quickly, the towel got saturated with dripping egg white, especially when several eggs needed to be cracked.

The Crack'em is a small tray with a single slightly raised edge that works effortlessly to crack the egg, catching all the drips so that you lose none of the egg white. The cracked egg can then be poured into the mixing bowl, and the Crack'em can be washed in the dishwasher.

It is always advisable to crack only one egg at a time as once in a great while one may encounter a spoiled one. The Crack'em is one of these tools like the Beater Blade that makes me wonder just how I lived without it. I would get a bunch of them to serve as the perfect stocking stuffer for your baking friends. They will bless you!

And if you really want to be a good sport, go to this link instead, and for a nominal fee you can help kickstart the project to help pay for initial manufacturing costs. You will get one or more Crack'ems and keep this valuable little piece of equipment available. I just did.

The Rose Scale by Escali

Apr 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

ROSE SCALE BY ESCALI copy.jpg

As most of you know, I am a major proponent of weighing ingredients rather than using volume. My first book, The Cake Bible, was the first cookbook for the home baker to use ounces and grams as well as cups. That was over 25 years ago and gradually the wonderfully precise and near effortless process of weighing for baking has caught on.
I knew that it was here to stay when Escali, maker of the finest scales for laboratory and home baking, contacted me about producing a scale with my name and criteria.

The Rose Scale is a beautifully designed scale of the highest quality and durability. Its weighing range of up to 13 pounds/6 kilograms in increments of 0.1 ounce/1 gram which is ideal for baking and cooking.

The scale can be operated by A/C adaptor as well as by battery. When operated by battery, it has an automatic shutoff, but when using the optional adaptor, the scale stays on until it is turned off, which I prefer because the scale doesn't inconveniently time out when I am in the middle of weighing and get distracted for a few minutes. The scale is small and compact, not taking up much counter space.

The Rose Scale's adjustable-angle backlight display is easy to read even when using pans that are larger than the platform, which is easily removable. The display and the buttons are sealed to protect against accidental spills. There is also a tare button to remove the weight of the container and each ingredient after it is added.

Escali Rose Levy Bakeware Digital Scale - Multi-Purpose - Rose

An Amazing New Probe Thermometer

Feb 15, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

IMG_5644.jpg

Thermoworks, producer of the Thermapen, my favorite instant read thermometer, has recently created The ChefAlarm: an accurate probe thermometer with alarm, ideal for use to determine and be alerted to desired finished temperature of food in both ovens and grills. They've also designed a simple device that clips onto an oven rack and secures the probe, enabling you to use the ChefAlarm as an oven thermometer. It is highly accurate and has a maximum temperature of 700F/371C.

When using the ChefAlarm for a roast chicken, for example, the probe is inserted into the thigh. The probe's cable feeds through the side of the oven door (or grill cover) into the sturdy device that can be magnitized onto the side of the oven or placed on a nearby counter. The device can be set for a minimum and a maximum temperature. An adjustable volume alarm will sound when it reaches the minimum temperature and again when it reaches the maximum.

I love using the ChefAlarm in my gas grill, especially in this exceptionally cold winter weather. As the probe should not be subjected to the direct flame, I turn off the burner under the probe after preheating the grill. I can monitor the progress through my dining room window and stay warm indoors until the alarm sounds and it's time to take the food off the grill.

chef alarm

Some Like Coffee, Some Like Tea

Feb 01, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

and I love them both. For many years I didn't drink tea at all, associating it with childhood colds and fevers when my mother would bring a cup of hot tea to my bedside. Actually I didn't become a big tea appreciator until i visited Kate Coldrick in Devon, England, and discovered her husband Oliver's favorite tea: Dilmah Premium Ceylon .

I learned from Kate to allow it to brew for only 2 minutes instead of the usual 4 to 6 to keep it from becoming bitter. And I like to add a teaspoon of honey and a touch of heavy cream. But the most important thing about brewing tea after the quality of the tea itself is the quality and temperature of the water. Different types of teas require different water temperatures to reach their peak of flavor. I've had Japanese green tea that required water that was barely warm. I find that black tea has the best flavor when brewed with water around 203F/95C which is below boiling. Using water that is too hot can result in bitterness.

Until recently, I had been heating the water for the tea in the microwave and often I didn't catch it before it came to a boil. Then I discovered the Chef'sChoice "SmartKettle," which makes it possible to set precise temperatures and knew at once that it was the answer. Not only does it maintain the temperature setting until ready to pour, once shut off and cooled the illuminated read-out doubles as a room thermometer! And is is faster than the microwave.

The Cutting Edge Knife

Oct 26, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Knives.jpg

You may find it odd to know that a baker is a devotee of knives but here's why:

My great grandfather, Adolph Lansman, who was born in Hungary, and emigrated to America before the turn of the 20th century, brought the now ubiquitous knife brands Henckles and Trident to the United States. It was he who taught his grandson, my father, how to sharpen knives. And it was my father who taught me this art. One of the things I treasure is a skinning knife my father made. And I have amassed a huge collection of knives over the years. The photo above represents about two-thirds of them.

I had pretty much decided that I never needed another knife until I received this one from my long-time friend and publicist par excellence Rachel Litner, who represents top quality products such as Cuisinart. She is also representing the VMatter Company who is producing this extraordinary cutlery collection.

VMatter-AMG-07-two-knife-e1378327226893-300x110.jpg

What immediately caught my attention was the claim that these knives keep their sharp edge for years as opposed to months. This is because they are made from a new and exclusive amorphous alloy. This alloy is said to possess the best properties of metal and glass. Also, the alloy is 20% lighter, 250% stronger than titanium, and highly resistant to corrosion.

The question that came to my mind was how it would be possible to sharpen a metal that is harder and stronger than most shapening devices. The answer: The knife will hold a workably sharp edge for years, though if you want to have it honed to an ultra-sharp edge again, it needs to be sent back to VMatter. A special slurry that contains microscopic diamond chips is used to perfectly sharpen it.

Since the chef's knife model has arrived, I have found myself reaching for it with pleasure every time I need to cut something. I have found it to be as promised--exceptionally sharp. And I am eagerly awaiting the 4 inch paring knife that is due to arrive before the end of the year. Those are the two knives that get the most use in my kitchen.

Here is the link to VMatter's site.

Move Over Little Whisk

Sep 28, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

AEROLATTE_CHEF.jpg

When I travel to do demos, the two indispensable pieces of equipment i pack in my carryon, which go through airport security without a hitch, are a small metal spatula and a small whisk. I rarely find either one in demo kitchens and I find it hard to bake without them. Enter the Aerolatte Chef, my new magic wand.

I discovered the Aerolatte several years ago and found it to be the ideal milk foamer for cappuccino. More recently, I discovered that it was also ideal for whipping a small amount of heavy cream. When the cream would be whipped to stiff peaks the aerolatte's motor would come to a full stop. But I just discovered the Aerolatte Chef with its variable speed. Not only can it start on low, It is more powerful so that it doesn't stop whisking until you stop pressing the switch. It is also ideal for whipping small amounts of egg white--always a difficult task even with a whisk. Now I reach for it for recipes where I write egg, lightly beaten. And now I'll be able to make a one egg white Italian Meringue with ease.

Here's the link:

Aerolatte Variable Speed Chef's Frother and Mini Kitchen Whisk

The Perfect Pour

Sep 16, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Orange_FlexPour_Wet_5_Cup.jpg

Bob Trinque, product manager of NewMetro Design (of BeaterBlade fame, and my Rose™ product line), has been in the equipment business for years, representing many of the world's top companies. So when he sets out to create a product, it's with one eye toward the original (what's missing and needed) and the other toward the ideal (what would be the best version of it).

The FlexPour, which comes in small and medium sizes, is so well designed it has a permanent place beside my stand mixer. It's not every day a can't live without item is born. This is one of those days.


The medium 5 cup size is available on Amazon. Click here: flexpour

And the Winner of the Frothers Is:

Jun 29, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Aerolatte-Grand-Hot-Frothing-Jug.jpg

I must have tried every new electric corded milk frother on the market but now my search for the perfect frother is over. My favorite handheld model, the Aerolatte, has long been my top choice for traveling. (I once had to explain to airport security what it was used for and that it was not a weapon.) So when I discovered recently that the Aerolatte company is now also producing a corded model I suspected it would be the ultimate for home use.

Not only does the Aerolatte Grande Hot Frothing Jug produce the most velvety milk froth for my cappuccino, it also does it the most quickly (and who wants to wait a moment longer than necessary when the desire for coffee hits!)

HIC Brands that Cook Aerolatte Stainless Steel Compact Hot Frothing Jug, 11-1/2-Ounce

There's an added bonus to the foamed milk. There is always a tiny bit of caramelized milk in the froth. It reminds me of the crust at the bottom of a rice cooker which, at first, I thought was a flaw but soon learned that it is a treasure. The little bit of caramelized milk is now something which I look forward to when enjoying my cappuccini!

It's a Steel!

Jun 22, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products


Image 2.jpg


The Baking Steel and has just replaced my Hearth Kit in my Gaggenau oven where it fits perfectly and produces the best pizza crust.

My good friend Robin Kline sang its praises and after checking with bread baking guru, Peter Reinhart, who also had great things to say about it I was desperate to try it out.

Sure enough, instead of taking the usual 10 minutes, my pizza baked in 6 minutes to a beautifully crisp result. Here's why:

Andris Lagsdin, who works for a steel company in Masachusetts, was inspired to produce this 15 pound, 16 inch by 14 inch steel sheet by Nathan Myhrvold in his book Modernist Cuisine. Myhrvold stated: "the best tool to use for making the perfect crust would be a piece of steel...steel is a more conductive cooking surface than a brick oven's stone. Because of that conductivity, it cooks faster and more evenly at a lower temperature, resulting in a beautiful, thin, crispy crust."

Just think what a beautiful job it will do to make a crisp bottom crust for pies! And if there are any sticky spillovers, the steel can be cleaned in self-cleaning oven.

I am not, however fully retiring my Hearth Kit as I intend to use it for bread baking in my large Wolf oven. Given the amount of stone, which includes both the bottom piece and the side pieces, I imagine it will retain more of the oven heat after opening the door to set in the bread. However, I am sorely tempted to replace it with the 30 pound version of the oven steel, which would no doubt work as well for oven heat retention without occupying the limiting space of the hearth kit's side walls.

The 15 pound baking steel is currently a steel for $79 on this site.

What a Grill Basket!

May 18, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

Stringbeans.jpg

I've been enjoying 'blackened' string beans since Paul Prudhomme was a little boy and blackened redfish wasn't yet a gleam in his eye! That's because my grandmother once burned the string beans and I found it to be so delicious I always threatened not to eat the string beans unless she burned them.

Some years ago, my dear friend Elizabeth Karmel, renowned grilling author and chef, taught me how to make grilled string beans. She is such a skilled griller only one or two beans ever slipped between the grates but when I tried, I mourned each of several beans that slipped through. I tried a grill pan with holes but had to be very careful as the ones available were all very shallow and didn't have large enough holes to expose enough of the string beans to the flame. This is no longer a problem as Elizabeth has created the ideal grill basket, Elizabeth Karmel's Grill Friends Sizzlin' Skillet Grill Basket. Its curved sides enable you to toss the beans without risk of a single one leaping out. The wire mesh is strong but fine, leaving the maximum open space for 'blackening.'

The grill basket is easy to clean and even dishwasher safe. And it comes with a great-sounding recipe for "firecracker shrimp," which gives new definition to "shrimp in the basket."

I posted the recipe for grilled string beans about three years ago. Here it is again but this time in the basket!

For beans with a little bite, simply toss the washed and trimmed string beans with salt and olive oil and then to toss them in the grill basket and continue tossing them with tongs until they are deliciously browned, partially blackened, and beginning to shrivel.

For a softer texture, par boil the beans in salted water for 3 minutes, drain them, and toss them in the olive oil and salt, though sometimes I use melted bacon fat. Then into the grill basket they go to be browned and blackened as above.

Either way, season with lots of freshly ground pepper.

Note:
The handle is easy to remove for grilling and to replace when removing the basket from the grill, but it is not designed for emptying the beans into a serving bowl as the basket will flip over. Use tongs to lift the beans into the bowl.

NewMetro Design New Rose™ Line Has Arrived!

Sep 23, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

It is so new it's not even in the stores or online yet but if you call NewMetro: 800-624-1526, and ask for the New Rose™ Line you can place orders using a credit card.

Alternatively, you can wait until October when it will be available in stores and on line around the country. Here's a preview of the line (You can also check out the site directly for more information):

BB.jpg

BeaterBlade
I consider this piece of equipment to be the most significant invention and improvement to baking since the stand mixer or food processor. Not only does it save time, it also mixes more thoroughly than the standard paddle attachment.

ZestNest2.jpg

ZestNest.jpg

ZestN'est
This micro grater fits in the palm of your hand and works perfectly for citrus zest, Parmesan cheese, chocolate, and even mincing garlic without retaining odor. I place it on my kitchen scale, tare out the weight, and know exactly how much zest I have for my recipe.


JuiceLab.jpg

JuiceLab
This juicer has the perfect shape for easily extracting maximum juice. It also has precise built-in measurements both on the container and the storage lid.

RoseBowl.jpg

MixerMate
This rose bowl is the ideal ergonomic shape for using a handheld electric beater or whisk. It
whips cream at record speed with no need to chill the bowl or beaters.

CaramelPot.jpg

CaramelPot
I designed this 1.75 quart pot to be perfectly sized and shaped for making caramel, sugar syrups, and sauces. The chemical-free light grey ceramic based nonstick coating is environmentally friendly and does not pose the risk of emitting toxic fumes. It releases all food more easily than any other cooking surface, which ensures maximum release of caramel and other sticky syrups.

Bain Marie.jpg

Double Boiler
This 2 quart double-walled pot, with an internal water chamber for safely heating and keeping water at a gentle simmer without steam, is my pot of choice for making lemon curd, cream sauces, and even for melting chocolate.

CookNStir.jpg

Cook & Store
If you only had one saucepan in the kitchen it would have to be this one. The flared sides of this durable 4 quart saucepan facilitate reduction of liquids and the airtight cover makes it ideal to store the contents after cooking and cooling.

CrepePan.jpg

Crêpe and Pancake Griddle
I use this pan for so many things especially sautéeing, it has a permanent place on my cooktop. The ceramic nonstick surface is so smooth and slippery I don't even need to use butter or oil to prevent sticking.


Scenes from The Chicago Housewares Show (IAH)

Apr 14, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

It's been several years since I attended this show but I remembered the shear immensity of it. Just about every manufacturer of kitchen equipment and anything remotely related to it is represented here (in the hundreds). Chicago's McCormick Convention Center is the largest in the country and walking the aisles is a major expedition and adventure.

This year's show was very special for me because, for the first time, I had my own booth for The Rose Line™ as part of NewMetro Design.
Image 8.jpg

Image 9.jpg

Image 7.jpg

Walking the show and standing by my booth to meet the reps, reviewers, potential customers, and old friends was old home week. Matt, one of the reps, actually brought along the Pie and Pastry Bible for me to sign, saying that he won first place in three pie contests using my sour cream pie crust from the book!

Image 19.jpg

Of course the first person I visited was Robert Laub at Harold Imports and was rewarded with the great display of my pie plates, now available in four colors! I was delighted to discover that they will soon be distributing my products, including the Rose's Heavenly Cake Strip in the UK.

Lisa Cadmus & Me.jpg

Just a short walk from the NewMetro booth we discovered Fat Daddio's booth. We had a great conversation with owner Gregg Skipper and learned that they are the company that made the Parrish Magic Line pans I've listed in my cake books. They now have an extensive selection of pans and baking equipment. Close by was my long-time friend Lisa Mansour's of NY Cake & Baking--the go to place for bakers and cake decorators in New York City.

The booth next to us, the Wine Doctor, who shares Robert Trinque, marketing and sales, presented a device for wine preservation, which works so well it deserves a separate posting of its own (to come).

We were thrilled to have a visit from J. Randall Owen, president of ThermoWorks, producer of the Thermapen thermometer. I told him how highly I value his thermometer but that I wished it didn't have an automatic shut-off. He gave us the invaluable information that the newest model (the one with the round battery) has 4 switches in the battery compartment and if switch #3 is turned to the off position, it stops the auto shut off!

One of the most exciting discoveries at the show was at the Kitchen Aid booth where we viewed the new 14 cup food processor that has a thickness adjustment for the slicing blade easily accessible because it is located just above the controls on the front of the machine, plus a low starting speed choice option which prevents liquid ingredients from splashing up to the cover. I can't wait to try it but it won't be on the market until August.

Sassafras, creators of La Cloche clay bakers, has a new pot called The Bread Dome designed specifically for No Knead Bread. The rounded and glazed bottom container gives a lovely shape to the bread and makes unmolding a breeze.

DSC03307.jpg

Another major show highlight was the discovery of USA Pans that has taken over the Chicago Metallic line (the former source for some of my favorite cake pans) and improved upon it!

We were delighted to visit the Bröd and Taylor booth where Michael Taylor and Julie Dykstra were demoing there wonderful bread proofer for the first time at the show.

After working so hard each day we all looked forward to two dinners I had arranged many weeks in advance. Saturday night was Frontera Grill, one of my dear friends Rick and Deanne Bayless' not to be missed Latino restaurant. As the weather was exceptionally mild, we opted to walk over. Chicago is such a beautiful city, especially at night.

Image 15.jpg

We so enjoyed the night's special of chipotle glazed short ribs and tastes of everyone else's dinner we were not even thinking dessert but pastry chef Jennifer Jones offered us 4 fantastic desserts that we couldn't resist so we dove in. Pictured here with Jennifer Jones is Gary, owner of NewMetro, and his assistant Cheryl, who are eagerly anticipating the desserts.

Image 11.jpg

Image 10.jpg

Image 13.jpg
Sunday night, on the recommendation of photographer Ben Fink, we had dinner at the Girl and the Goat. Again we overindulged in myriads of appetizers and main courses. My dear friend Elizabeth Karmel, of Hill Country, who lives part time in Chicago, recommended the chickpea fritters which was my favorite dish of the evening but the escargot ravioli were amazing, and the goat belly was better even than any pork belly I've ever tasted. I wanted that to be my last taste of the evening but was curious about the dessert of gingerbread, cranberry sorbet, and candied ginger. We decided to share it 7 ways and laughed hysterically when we saw how small it was but it provided a perfect portion of one spoon per person.
Image 18.jpg

We are so excited about the evolving Rose Collection™ product line, which will arrive in stores and on line in June or July of this year. We look forward to the IAH as an annual event and reunion with our new family of NewMetro.


Yogurt--Better Than Store-Bought

Dec 17, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Savory Cooking

My old friend from India, Madhu Trehan, told me many years ago that she would never buy yogurt as home-made is so easy and so much better. She added that all one has to do is save a little from the present batch to start the next batch.

I've long been intending to try making my own yogurt but somehow never got around to it until inspired by my new bread proofer! I wanted to be sure that it would work so I purchased some freeze-dried yogurt culture from Integral Yoga--a store in the West Village in New York. Yogurt culture is also available on line.

In the space of one afternoon I produced 4 half pint jars of deliciously creamy and flavorful yogurt--ever so much better than anything I have ever tasted that was store-bought. I received some excellent guidance from Michael Taylor, producer of the bread proofer. He also gave me moral support when, after about 3-1/2 hours I could detect no thickening. But sure enough, after about 4 hours I could see it was beginning to 'take.'

Michael said he uses commercial yogurt as a starter and to check on the container to make sure it says live culture. He uses 1/4 cup per gallon of milk. (I scaled it down to 1 tablespoon for 1 quart of milk. Now I wish I had made more but it's a simple matter to make a new batch.)

Michael's basic technique is as follows:

Pre-heat the proofer to 115˚F/46˚C with four empty quart Mason
jars inside to get them warm. (This keeps from cooling down the milk when poured into the jars). After heating the milk to 180˚F/82˚C and cooling to 120˚F/49˚C, remove 1 cup of milk, add 1/4 cup of fresh organic yogurt, then stir it back in. Immediately pour the milk/yogurt starter into the jars. The temperature drops to about 112˚F/44˚C. Put all the jars (covered) back in the proofer at 115˚F/46˚C for an hour, then turn down to 110˚F/43˚C. (As the temperature didn't drop after pouring the mixture into the jars--and was 115˚F/46˚C I used 110˚F/43˚C for the entire time.) The total time once the mixture is in the jars and in the proofer is about 4-1/2 hours but if you want more tang leave it in longer.

Michael writes: Incredible! Creamy and luscious with the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. I entirely agree!

I may stop buying crème fraîche as well now that I have the perfect place to incubate it! All you need is 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk. Ultra-pasteurized cream will take as long as 36 hours but plain pasteurized cream at 90˚F/32˚C usually takes 12 to 14 hours. I'm going to try 110˚F/43˚C. No need to heat the cream and buttermilk mixture before placing it in the jar(s).

My Favorite Waffle Makers

Nov 05, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

WAFFLES.jpg
photo by Scott Hewitt

I love the ease of using an electric waffle iron but my one complaint has always been that the browning was uneven. Not any longer! I've discovered the Chef's Choice waffle irons and my waffling will never be the same again!

My favorite is the Taste-Texture Select Belgian Waffle Maker 850 because it enables me to make 4 waffles at a time and at record speed. It is also possible to adjust the setting to iproduce different degrees crispness. I love the crisp exterior/moist interior setting!

Chef's Choice M850 Taste-Texture Select WafflePro Belgian Waffle Maker

I also recommend the Classic Choice 852 pictured above which makes two waffles at a time.

Chef's Choice 852 Classic Wafflepro 2 Square Waffle Maker


Here is my newest waffle recipe I created for the holiday season.

Orange Waffles with Burst of Cranberry Topping

Serves: 4

These are the most ethereal waffles ever! I like to use the setting on the waffle iron that produces crisp exterior and moist tender interior. The waffles freeze perfectly and reheat in just a few minutes in a toaster or oven preheated to 300˚F/150˚C.

Burst of Cranberry Topping

INGREDIENTS

MEASURE

WEIGHT

volume

ounces

grams

water

1 cup

8 ounces

236 grams

sugar

1-1/2 cups

10.6 ounces

300 grams

cornstarch

3 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed

4 cups

14 ounces

400 grams

In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, sugar, cornstarch, and cranberries. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stop stirring, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 minute, swirling the pan occasionally. The mixture will be thickened but pourable. Keep it warm or reheat it before serving.

Waffle Batter

INGREDIENTS

MEASURE

WEIGHT

volume

ounces

grams

unsalted butter, softened

8 tablespoons

4 ounces

113 grams

bleached cake flour (or bleached all purpose flour)

2 cups (or 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons) lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off

8 ounces

227 grams

baking powder

4 teaspoons

.

.

salt

1/4 teaspoon

.

.

orange zest

1 tablespoon

-

-

2 large eggs

3 fluid ounces

3.5 ounces

100 grams

buttermilk

1 cup (8 fluid ounces)

8.5 ounces

242 grams

whole milk

1 cup (8 fluid ounces)

8.5 ounces

242 grams

Turn the oven to low (150˚F to 200˚F/65˚ to 95˚C). Heat the waffle iron to the desired temperature.

In a small saucepan over low heat, or microwave safe container, melt the butter. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest until evenly blended.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and whole milk until well mixed. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a fork just until all the flour is moistened. Stir in the butter just until evenly blended. The batter should be lumpy.

Cook the waffles and remove them to the oven racks to keep warm until serving. Serve with the hot cranberry topping.

For the Love of Rolling Pins

Oct 22, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

DSC03126.jpg

I hadn't really thought to count my pins until I discovered a wonderful rolling pin company in my beloved state of Vermont. It was in Vermont where I rolled my first pie crust and now I have two new fantastic rolling pins from Vermont Rolling Pins. I fell in love with the walnut beehive pin and enjoy the feel of the spiral handles.


DSC_1515.jpg

I also love the walnut column for its long barrel, especially when I'm rolling large dough rounds as for a galette. The also come in maple but I love the look of walnut and also it is the hardest wood. I also had my eye on the large heavy duty Shaker rolling pin.....

walnut rolling pin.jpg

Different types of rolling pins have different purposes but no one needs as many pins as are in my collection, in fact, in a pinch one can roll out pie dough with a smooth bottle. But how much more lovely a feeling to use a treasured pin, especially one made of wood that takes on a patina from the dough after years of use. Also, what better kitchen decoration?!

Hope Rolling Pins.jpg

Note, there are some applications that require a heavy pin for quick even rolling and others that require a gentle touch for softer doughs or marizpan with a lighter pin. For sticky doughs I use a pastry sleeve on the pin but usually a light dusting of flour is all that's necessary with some of the better pins.

Herewith a description of some of my favorite pins and their uses:

Stainless steel pin My dad gave me this for rolling nougatine where you need a very heavy pin or great strength to roll quickly before the nougatine cools and hardens. It weighs close to 9 pounds so could not be used as a weapon unless I lifted it with both hands! Years ago, when he had his wood working shop in the Bronx, there was a metal working shop on the floor below where he acquired the piece of steel.

Swiss plastic long pin with detachable circles that determine many different thicknesses of dough.

Textured hard grey plastic pins to make designs in marzipan.

Miniature rolling pins and breyer for small pieces of dough.

DSC03128.jpg

French solid white silicone column

Commercial size pin with ball bearings This used to be my favorite pin because its size and weight rolled the dough so quickly it never softened but the problem is I never have enough room on my counter to use such a long pin!

French wood pin with tapered ends designed by baker Marcy Goldman and given to me by her. I often reach for it out of sentiment and also for the beautiful feel of the smooth wood that barely sticks to the dough.

Long pasta rolling pin There was a time I actually used this long thin wooden pin to roll pasta by hand but now I use a machine.

French puff pastry rolling pin with ridges which incorporate the sheets of butter without breaking through the dough.

Green bottle glass pin was too beautiful to pass up but is not even so would not work well to use as a rolling pin.

Clear glass pin which can hold ice cubes. I just had to try this out but the condensation that formed was undesirable.

Heavy marble pin that can be chilled and will keep the chill for rolling dough on warmer days.

A bridge pin that I found almost 50 years ago in Washington Crossing Pa, that was made from wood from a bridge that had washed down during a flood.

And most special of all: the one I grew up with--the one my dad made for my mother many years ago.

Confession: I've just added yet another pin to my collection: Who could resist an adorable vintage red bakelite rolling pin button I found on line!

The Proof is in The Proofer

Oct 08, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Bread Proofer Final.jpg

At long last, what all of us avid home bakers have been waiting for has arrived: a bread proofer ideal for home use. This beautifully designed piece of equipment provides a moist, warm, draft-free environment for raising bread dough. It also can provide a warm and dry environment necessary for melting or tempering chocolate. And its ability to maintain very low temperatures makes it useful for warming eggs for a génoise batter, making yogurt, and crème fraîche. The read out is easily switched between Fahrenheit and Centigrade and has a temperature range of 70˚ to 120˚F/21˚to 49˚C.

The proofer folds flat to under 3-inches for convenient storage and pops up quickly to accommodate a large dough rising container, large free form hearth loaf, or two bread pans as long as 14-inches.

Before this bread proofer existed I used a variety of other less convenient solutions for raising bread from plastic boxes, to my microwave oven, with setting a glass of hot water inside the container to produce the proper temperature and changing it every 20 minutes. I also recommended using an oven without a pilot light and turning on the oven light to produce the correct temperature of 75˚ to 80˚F/24˚ to 27˚C. But of course using either the microwave or the oven as a proofer means not being able to have access to it for other uses.

Continue reading "The Proof is in The Proofer" »

At Last: A Folding Bread Proofer!

Apr 22, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

fbp_sidebyside.jpg

Some time ago I posted a query on the blog as to whether anyone (aside from me) would value having a bread proofer for the home. Thanks to your interest, Michael Taylor of Brod and Taylor is nearing release of their new folding bread proofer. If you visit the website and submit your name, you have the possibility of being chosen as one of the testers.

Plastic Wrap and Wrapping Dispensers

Mar 26, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

The one activity that I perform all day long in the kitchen (not including cleaning up) is wrapping or covering ingredients and baked goods with plastic wrap. I also use plastic wrap for myriad other things including rolling pie dough, and covering cookie dough when rolling it to keep it from cracking. I use thicker freezer-weight plastic wrap for storing things in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.

I've written on this blog about my favorite plastic wraps, stretch-tite and the wider, thicker, freeze-tite.

The stretch-tite company also offers simple slide bars that slip onto the cutting edge of the plastic wrap boxes to make cutting off a piece of plastic wrap in one smooth piece safe, and easy.

If counter space is at a premium, and you prefer to keep your plastic wrap in a kitchen cabinet drawer, there is now a brilliant solution! Blogger Wendy C. recently posted about a terrific new device, cleverly called Wraptor Teeth. It was designed by Hank Elash and marketed by him, his wife Sandee, and family out of Vancouver, BC.

Wraptor-teeth.jpg

Wraptor Teeth is a one-piece molded plastic bar with teeth on the top that quickly, easily, and securely slips onto the side of a cabinet drawer varying from 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", and 3/4". It accommodates a standard size box of plastic wrap and makes it possible to leave the box in the drawer and to use two hands to pull out a sheet of plastic wrap, which helps to keep it flat. It also works for wax paper, parchment, and foil. The plastic teeth are sharp enough to cut through the wrap but not so sharp as to cut your fingers.

Check out their site and YouTube Video and, like me, you probably won't be able to resist purchasing a set of two or more.

Seeing Through Things!

Dec 18, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

glass-bottom-pan.jpg


The Glass Bottom Pan

Everyone loves springform pans for baking cheesecake and other cakes that require higher than 2-inch high sides. The main advantage of a springform is the ease in unmolding a cake thanks to the clamping mechanism that can be released to open up the sides of the pan. However, we have encountered two problems with the majority of springforms relating to removing a clean slice of cheesecake:

1. Most springform pans have lipped bottoms which makes it very difficult to slip a knife or spatula between the crust of the cakes and straight across the surface of the pans' bottoms.

2. Most springform pan bottoms have pebbled or diamond-like surfaces which cookie and graham cracker crusts will conform and adhere to during baking, preventing them from releasing when serving.

Wilton has solved both problems most elegantly and effectively with their Avanti glass bottom springform pans. The pans have their Everglide non-stick 2-3/4 inch tall metal side rings with perfectly flat 9 by 1/8-inch thick glass bottoms. These class bottoms are interchangeable with all five series of spring form pans in their line. Another advantage to the glass bottoms is that cakes can be left on them for serving which makes for a lovely presentation.

Woody and I tested the Avanti using both dental floss and a thin sharp knife to cut the cheesecake. Woody baked a marble cheesecake in a waterbath as my method treats cheesecakes as custards for the creamiest possible texture. A double layer of heavy-duty foil prevented any water from leaking into the pan. The chilled cake was then sliced and plated.

dental-floss-easily-cuts-to-the-glass-bottom.jpg

DENTAL FLOSS EASILY CUTS TO THE GLASS BOTTOM

spatula-can-slide-under-the-crust.jpg

SPATULA CAN SLIDE UNDER THE CRUST

a-slice-after-cutting-with-a-knife.jpg

A SLICE AFTER CUTTING WITH A KNIFE

cleanly-sliced-marble-cheesecake.jpg

CLEANLY SLICED MARBLE CHEESECAKE

Wilton's Avanti pan worked beautifully for slicing with the dental floss and for serving clean slices. Even though it has a glass bottom, Wilton recommends the same baking times as for a pan with a metal bottom, rather than the usual lowering of the heat by 25˚F (glass transmits heat more rapidly). This is because the water bath equalizes the temperature and when baking without a water bath, it is always recommended to place all springform pans on a metal baking sheet to prevent leaking. In this case the metal baking sheet will also serve to conduct the heat in the same manner as a pan with a metal bottom.

The Avanti springform pan is dishwasher safe. It is available on the web and at several retailers. Wilton Avanti Everglide Metal-Safe Non-Stick Springform Pan with Glass Bottom

Blue Bottle Coffee Comes to Brooklyn!

Dec 17, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

You may remember my posting on my favorite coffee in San Francisco and the marvelous party Caitlin and James Freeman held last April for my new book and their new roastery in Oakland, Ca. Well, now this amazingly wonderful coffee has come much closer to home! And this past Tuesday was the opening of the pastry café adjoining the roastery. Tuesday happened to be the coldest day of the year with temperatures in the teens. But this didn't seem to keep the residents of Williamsburg, Bklyn away. Here is the youngest fan who is enjoying the wonderful smells of coffee brewing.

DSC02731.jpg


Caitlin has the most exquisite taste, both visually and gustatorially! I've always found s'mores too sweet but not these.

DSC02734.jpg

The sweetness of the marshmallows was tempered by "Moonshine Whiskey" from a local distillery. And the graham crackers were made with local whole wheat and local honey. I broke off a piece of one just to taste and ended by eating the whole cracker. Here's Caitlin doing the same!

DSC02729.jpg

James made me a cappuccino using an antique coffee maker from Italy that he unearthed in someone's basement. The coffee was as usual: perfection!

DSC02732.jpg

He also will be making coffee using this special drip apparatus from Japan.

DSC02730.jpg

I noticed a customer purchasing a ceramic coffee/spice mill Caitlin had told me about, saying that the entire mill can be put in a dishwasher and retains no odors so it can be used for both coffee beans and spices. Of course I had to have one! This Hario Skerton Hand-crank Coffee Mill also comes from Japan.
DSC02738.jpg

The Freemans are flavor missionaries, always seeking out the best quality ingredients and the results show it. I peeked at the milk container and sure enough: my newly discovered in upstate NY Battenkill milk!

If you live near by you are most fortunate but for Manhattanites it's just a short subway ride--the first stop in Bklyn on the L line, and for visitors to NY it's well-worth the pilgrimage. Williamsburg has become a destination and Blue Bottle will have a happy home here: 160 Berry Street, corner of 7th in Williamsburg.

Mixer Mate Bowl: the Ideal Bowl for Hand Held Mixers!

Nov 11, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

1-Mixer-Mate-with-1-cup-of-cream.jpg

Wunderkind Gary Fallowes of New Metro Design has come up with an inventive new product, which makes beating with a standard hand, held mixer or whisk a spatter proof dream.

Gary's new products always intrigue me as they always address a much-needed item for baking. Woody and I use his Beater Blade for all our recipes requiring a flat beater.

The 7-inch deep funnel shape of the Mixer Mate Bowl is designed to mix thoroughly, and speed whipping as well as to prevent spattering so common when whipping things like heavy cream, egg foams, or batters. Gary describes it as creating a "tornado-like action."

The 3-quart capacity bowl is designed for whipping up to 2 cups of heavy cream with a minimal amount of moving the mixer's beaters or a hand whisk in the bowl. Gary has all his bases covered: The top has winged edges on its long ends for easy holding of the bowl and pouring spouts on each side. A non-skid base prevents it from skidding on your work surface. Gary commented," the Mixer Mate Bowl allows the beaters or the hand whisk to be in contact with 45% of the bowl's walls at any given time compared to an average of 15% contact to the walls of round bowls." The shape of the Mixer Mate Bowl also makes it perfect for mixing your favorite flavorings into popcorn and then passing the bowl amongst your family and friends.

Continue reading "Mixer Mate Bowl: the Ideal Bowl for Hand Held Mixers!" »

A Layer Cake Slicing Kit

Nov 04, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

Finally: a solution to creating those-multi layer cakes so many people adore.

Zenker layer cake slicing kit, imported from Germany, works very well for slicing even as thin as 1/4 -inch cake layers without the hassle of using different height cutting bars or stacking cake rounds in a cake pan to use its rim as a slicing guide. With the Zenker, you simply place its slicing ring (Zenker refers to it as a mold) around your cake and choose what slot height you want to make your slice.

Woody and I tested the Zenker with an angel food, lemon chiffon, and a red velvet butter cake. The following pictures will show how easy the slicing ring, with the included serrated knife and cake lifter, works for slicing most types of cakes. The rigid, 12 inch long serrated knife allows you to cut any size cake up to 10-1/2 inches round. (See below for special instructions Woody worked out for cutting larger 12-inch cakes.)

3C1-red-velvet-being-sliced.jpg

STARTING TO SLICE THE RED VELVET

3C2-repositioning-the-ring.jpg

REPOSITIONING THE RING

3C3-slicing-thru-to-the-other-side.jpg

SLICING THROUGH THE ENTIRE LAYER

3C4-cake-lifter-and-cake-slices.jpg

LIFTING THE SLICED LAYER WITH THE CAKE LIFTER

3B1-slicing-a-chiffon-cake.jpg

SLICING A CHIFFON CAKE


The slicing ring is 3-1/2 inches tall allowing you to slice taller cakes like chiffons up to 8 layers.

The slicing ring has two slots for accommodating 11 inch or 10 inch cakes and can be used for smaller cakes as well. (Metric measurements are also engraved on the ring.)

Larger 12 inch wedding cake size layers can be done by wrapping the slicing ring around an inverted 12 inch cake pan, although the ring has to be moved around the pan to a couple of locations for slicing the layer.

For removing a cake's domed top or slicing a layer that is not quite at the desired height, one can place a cake round under the cake to lift it to the right height for making the slice.

The Zenker's slicing ring, knife, and lifter are all stainless steel for durability and are dishwasher safe. It is available on the web or you can do a google search to locate retailers. For further information contact www.frieling.com

The Perfect Plastic Wrap Cutter

Mar 12, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

Little things can make a big difference. Here's one! My favorite plastic wraps, Stretch-Tite and Freeze-Tite have an inexpensive optional little device called a "slide cutter" that is easily attachable to the box and then "glides across the wrap in either direction resulting in a smooth, even cut ever time".

i can't tell you how many times a day (and night) I tear off plastic wrap and struggle to get an even piece that doesn't crinkle up in the effort to cut it free from the box. No more! This is a dream device. It is reusable and costs a mere $3.00. I was alerted to its existence by a blog comment and am most grateful. It's one of those how did i live without it things.

I also have the Stretch-Tite Wrap'n Snap 7500 which is a dispensor that, when closed, neatly cuts off the wrap, but it is not available for the freeze-tite.

When you go the the site, scroll down to the cutter and go to the "please select" button. Use the arrows to scroll up or down and chose either Stretch-Tite Slide Cutter or Freeze-Tite Slide Cutter.

Doing "Hand/Stands" over this New Mixer

Dec 04, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products



The Cuisinart Power Advantage Hand/Stand Mixer (love the name hand/stand!) A Long-time Baking Need Finally Filled!

41gy25MXb8L._SS400_.jpg


Although I use my large stand mixers for 99% of cake baking, there are certain applications where a handheld electric mixer does a better job. In those instances, when writing recipes, I recommend a handheld mixer. One instance is when whipping cream that I usually do in small amounts of around 1 cup. Another is beating one or two egg whites. Still another is adding syrup to buttercream or to egg whites. If the syrup lands on the beaters it spins it onto the sides of the bowl instead of into the mixture but with a handheld mixer it is easy to avoid the beaters when pouring in the syrup.

To my utter delight, Cuisinart has recently come out with a handheld mixer that can be attached to or detached from it's accompanying stand. The size of the stainless steel mixing bowl is only 3.5 quarts which makes it ideal for these smaller mixtures. But the best part is that after beating in all the syrup, for example, you can attach it easily and quickly to the stand and let it continue to beat, leaving your hands free for other activities. (Note: The whisk attachment goes right up against the side of the bowl making scraping the sides unnecessary but you do need to stop the mixer occasionally to stir in the mixture from the center.)

The mixer comes with two standard beaters plus one whisk beater and even dough hooks should you decide to make small quantities of bread dough which, at 220 watts, it can handle. I doubt if I will be using it for bread but for whipped cream and buttercream alone it deserves a permanent place on my kitchen counter.

It retails for under $200 but I've seen in on Amazon for $79.

Latissima Love

Sep 12, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

%20Lattissima%20.jpg

On a recent trip to Switzerland, I had the good fortune to have access to the airport lounge. I was so impressed by the quality of the coffee, which in prior years I couldn’t even bring myself to drink, that I had two cappuccini. But it was not just the quality, it was the ease of self-serving. All one had to do was chose the type of coffee, press the button, and wait a few seconds. From there on all was automatic: the milk came steaming and foaming into the cup followed by a steady stream of espresso. Bliss. Little did I dream of having such a luxury in my own home.

When people ask me to name my number one comfort food, what springs immediately to mind is cappuccino. It serves as my breakfast (after all it does have milk), my mid-day break, on bad days an extra cup or even two as my go to comforter, and sometimes even an after dinner treat though I am aware that it is a mockery-inviting break with Italian tradition. At least it’s not after dinner latte (thank you Amanda Hesser for teaching me that). Italians drink espresso after dinner.

So when I discovered a few months ago that Nespresso had launched a new line of coffee makers for the home and that the Latissima, a fully automatic model, was available I had to have one. In addition to its speed and ease of producing the perfect cappuccino or latte, I was charmed by the little milk container that gets stored in the refrigerator between uses so that the half gallon milk container one purchases at the supermarket doesn’t have to be accessed and exposed to heat each time you make the coffee. I also appreciated all the custom settings, determining how much frothed milk and how much coffee is dispensed according to one’s own taste. I loved the design of the machine and that it accommodated both tiny espresso cups and tall latte glasses.

Continue reading "Latissima Love" »

The Most Revolutionary Improvement to Stand Mixers in 90 Years!

Aug 16, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

KA-TH-RED_Catalog.gif

The BeaterBlade™

My next book (several years hence!!!) will be several pages shorter than it might have been because I will be able to leave out that annoyingly repetitive phrase scrape down the sides of the bowl! This is because an inventive young man, Gary Fallowes of NewMetro Design (he may not be so young by the time I finish another book) has designed a flat beater for most models of the Cuisinart,KitchenAid, Kenwood, Viking and DeLonghi stand mixers, that has a flexible rubber ‘wing’ down the entire outer length of the blade which continuously and efficiently scrapes the sides and bottom of the bowl as it is beating.

I waited a long time to write about this much needed attachment because I wanted to test it out thoroughly and be certain that it would not in any way harm the mixer.

Continue reading "The Most Revolutionary Improvement to Stand Mixers in 90 Years!" »

Standing on A Cloud of Comfort

Aug 11, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

When I was a child, I couldn’t help but notice that all the other little girls’ mom’s wore pretty shoes while mine wore sensible oxfords or orthopedic models. Actually this was because she was a dentist and in those days, before the advent of electronic multi position examination chairs, dentists had to stand on their feet all day. It was also because my courageous mother had been crippled by polio but she didn’t allow this to stop her from choosing a profession that was physically demanding. She was, in fact, the only woman in the entire dental school at the time.

Though I didn’t have the problems with my feet and legs that she suffered, I never-the-less was strongly influenced by her approach to support and comfort. This has stood me in good stead as now so many of my friends are undergoing foot surgery for bunions and other problems. But catering to your feet has more ramifications than just your feet. Happy feet make for a happy back, happy body, and happy soul. And shoes are not the whole story.

Continue reading "Standing on A Cloud of Comfort" »

Terrific New Discovery Just in Time for the Pie Baking Season

Jun 06, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

We all know that they best way to keep pie dough from sticking to the surface while rolling it out is to keep it cool. But unless you have a refrigerated marble top, chill down your marble or granite counter, or use the Kuhn Rikkon plastic box like device into which you can insert ice packs, the chances are that it will soften to some degree while rolling.

The best temperature for the dough is 60 to 65˚F/15 to 18˚C. Colder and it cracks, warmer and it sticks so speed is of the essence here.

I’m always looking for the ideal way to prevent sticking and avoid adding too much extra flour to the dough. Up until I discovered the "magic dough mat" I swore by the pastry cloth and sleeve into which you rub flour allowing the to dough pick up only the bare minimum it requires.

When I saw the dough mat described in an industry equipment magazine I was skeptical but ordered one to check it out. I was stunned to discover that unless the dough really softens it virtually prevents sticking.

Note: It’s always a good idea when rolling the dough to move it from time to time to ensure that it will release and if it seems to be getting a little resistant, to sprinkle on a little flour. I prefer Wondra, as it’s slightly coarse texture makes it wonderfully slippery and less is needed.

The dough mat has a slightly adhesive bottom surface, which keeps it from slipping on the counter. The top surface has all manner of useful information such as guide rings for different size doughs and lots of metric equivalencies including volume and temperature. It rolls up for easy storage.

The dough mat is carried by some cookware shops or can be ordered on line from http://www.cooking.com or directly from the manufacturer for about $20 plus shipping.

http://www.magicslice.com Put the words dough mat in the search box.

Please Cast Your Vote on The New Bread Box

Jan 21, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

A few months ago, there was a posting on the blog alerting everyone to the possibility of a proof box designed for home use. I checked out the website and it sounds like the perfect thing, not just for creating the ideal temperature(s) to raise bread, but even for melting chocolate!

I've been in touch with the manufacturer, Michael Taylor, and he asked me to ask all of you to give a response on his survey regarding your interest in this product. We need to encourage him to produce it as it's both expensive and time-consuming to launch a new item. Here's his website:

http://www.berkshirebread.com

Cast Iron Eggs

Sep 13, 2008 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Some years ago I visited London for the first time and was staying in a rather depressing dumpy but affordable hotel, but not for long. Old family friends, the Streeters, who had retired to Harrogate—land of James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small), invited me to visit. It was like coming home—a beautiful apartment in the countryside, my own room with comfy bed and down pillow. I never did have to return to that dumpy hotel as my next stop was friends in Paris.

Staying with the Streeters was a most wonderful and sentimental visit as I had grown up with their sons and we hadn’t seen each other for years. Ted took me to see the newly unearthed (literally) Viking Village in York. Rosalind, a terrific cook, fed me well, but what was most memorable was breakfast. Rosalind served me a fried egg that was still sitting in the little copper bottomed stainless steel Revereware skillet in which it had been fried. She silently set it before me, having announced the night before that she didn’t like conversations first thing in the morning, and left me blissfully to enjoy the fabulous country egg.

When later I told her what a perfect way it was to serve an egg, keeping it warm but not continuing to cook it she told me that she had been looking for years for more of those little frying pans so she could serve more than one person at a time.

Continue reading "Cast Iron Eggs" »

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer for the Home Cook and Baker

Dec 08, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

My first job in the food world many years ago was at the Reynolds Metals Company in New York City. The main offices were in Richmond Virginia but we had a satellite office set-up for publicity with no test kitchen. And it was this job that led me to return to college and get my degrees in food.

One of my responsibilities was to distribute aluminum foil and plastic wrap to the press and to anyone else who could promote what a wonderful quality product it was (and still is)! My grandmother said she would have enough to be buried in foil but this turned out to be incorrect as happily she lived to over 99. James Beard was another happy recipient of roll upon roll of foil and plastic wrap. I felt like a female Santa Klaus and only I had the key to the store room. I wish I had sent myself more!

I have remained loyal to Reynolds all these years and have never purchased any other brand of foil. So it is with great pride that I can tell you about an invaluable new product on which Reynolds have spent years of research. It is called Reynolds ® Handi-Vac™Vacuum Sealer.


Continue reading "The Perfect Stocking Stuffer for the Home Cook and Baker" »

A Few of My Favorite Silicone Things

Nov 03, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

It has taken several years, but such is the superiority of silicone in many applications of baking and cooking, the consumers have reached a real comfort level in near record time it usually takes to accept new technology. I would bet that there is at least one silicone product in every kitchen in America. I don't think anyone still uses rubber spatulas rather than silicone spatulas that are heatproof to over 500˚F.

Through using silicone bakeware and cookware, and learning its properties and how it functions, manufacturers and designers are coming up with all manner of incredibly inventive gadgets that show silicone to its best advantage and that serve as indisputable replacements for old technology.

Continue reading "A Few of My Favorite Silicone Things" »

Rose’s Heavenly Cake Strip

Jul 25, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

I’m thrilled to report that after working extensively with the wonderful silicone bakeware of Lékué I have come to understand the advantages of its properties so well I was inspired to create my first silicone product—a silicone cake strip! It works like a charm and it’s everything I wanted it to be.

The strip fits a 9 inch round or 8 inch square pan. It is quick and easy to attach—NO PREPPING—You simply turn the pan upside down and slip it around the sides. It then works to insulate the sides of a metal cake pan, slowing down baking at the sides of the cake. You can even use it for a 10 inch round pan if you run the strip under hot tap water or wave a hair drier over it to make stretching it easier for the larger size pan. it will return to it's original size on cooling.

It produces better cakes:
* more even
* less doming
* less shrinking from sides
* less browning and drying of sides

Other advantages:

* it stays like new for years
* is dishwasher safe
* is oven safe up to 500°F/260°C.

(Do not subject to direct heat such as a flame or broiler)

Harold Import Company is the distributor for the cake strip. It will be in retail stores by Fall and I will list an on-line order site as soon as it’s available.

My Sweet Little Rice Cooker

May 27, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Savory Cooking

when i was growing up, and discovered the joys of fried rice at the local chinese restaurant, i wanted to be able to make it at home. to my disappointment the rice turned to mushy clumps when i tried frying it. i thought the chinese had some special secret to having each grain whole and separate. it wasn’t until many years later that i learned that rice for frying needs to be made ahead and allowed to dry overnight in the frig.

when i started living on my own, i learned something else about cooking rice. the instructions on the box were wildly inaccurate, calling for enough water to turn the rice mushy and splayed at the ends. i also failed to understand why wild rice that takes about an hour to cook would be packaged together with white rice that only requires maximum 20 minutes, thereby resulting either in overcooking the white rice or undercooking the wild. after many years, i finally perfected rice from uncle ben’s to basmati, from brown to wild, from sushi to butanese red. but my number one favorite way to make rice is what i call dirty rice.

Continue reading "My Sweet Little Rice Cooker" »

The Importance of Pourfection for Baking

Sep 10, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

POURfect Bowls, Beakers, and Measuring Spoons

Good design is something I value very highly. The first thing I learned about design when I was a freshman in college, is the concept of form following function. Over the years I have found it to be both disappointing and outrageous that in the arena of home baking, the critical tools--measuring spoons and cups with spouts for measuring liquid--have fallen so far from this design principle and, more often than not, are inconsistent in accuracy. I kept thinking: no wonder so many people are under the mistaken impression that baking is hard--there is no standard of measure for the ingredients and unfortunately most people seem to think that measuring is easier than weighing.

When I bake, I weigh almost every ingredient except for small but essential ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, salt, and yeast. 1/8 teaspoon more or less of baking powder or baking soda makes a critical difference in determining whether a cake will dome, have a flat surface, or sink in the middle--as does 1/8 teaspoon of yeast in bread baking which can affect the rising time by as much as an hour for each rise. Most scales don't measure these minute ingredients as accurately as measuring spoons do. And I know most people who bake measure liquid by volume not weight.

With each new brand or design of measuring spoons and liquid measuring cups I eagerly ran (with hope in my heart) to the sink to start checking by pouring in water. A cup of water, by the way, measures 8 fluid ounces but does not weigh 8 ounces. Look up water in the dictionary. It defines one fluid 8 ounce cup of water as 238.35 grams which is 8.4 ounces. The volume reading should be taken at eye level and the meniscus--the clear space at the very top--should be above the line. (Incidentally, liquid measures are not designed to measure solids such as sugar and flour which need measuring cups with unbroken rims on which to level off the ingredient.)

Continue reading "The Importance of Pourfection for Baking" »

No Barista Can Do It Better!

Aug 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in New Products

i promised last posting to reveal the favorite use of air in the “food world” and here it is: cappuccino! (yes it’s a beverage but as you may remember from one of my first postings, coffee is the most important thing to “pass the portals of my lips.” and for me, it’s more than a beverage—it’s my daily breakfast.

as i reflect on my restaurant and home cooking experiences over the past 40 years i am struck by the fact that in the beginning most if not all of the best dishes had to be made by a chef. gradually this changed as the best ingredients became available to the home cook and more recently the best equipment as well. it’s a sad irony that people seem to be cooking less at home now that they could make the most delicious and nutritious dishes to their own taste. i honestly think my husband is torn between envying the control i have over what we eat and enjoying almost all of it!

coffee has been the last bastion of “better consumed out.” it was never as good at home because cafés have a faster turnover and for coffee, freshly roasted and ground is an imperative. then along cake illy and nespresso with stunning and efficient hi-tech machines and equally if not more important, high quality coffee vacuum sealed in individual packages. but i still had to go OUT for a good cappuccino. two guys from the UK came up with aerolatte—a terrific battery operated foaming device so effective it was immediately knocked off with lower quality by another major company. the original model was far better and easier to use than the foaming devices on even the most expensive cappuccino machines because, for one thing, the aerolatte did not introduce any steam into the coffee during the foaming process.

my one problem with this hand-held device was that it necessitated my running back and forth between the microwave to heat the milk, the coffee maker, and back to the microwave to retrieve the milk and foam it before the coffee cooled. not enough calories burned to counteract the teaspoon of sugar i added but still….agitation was not the way i wanted to start the morning (foaming is another thing.)

finally nespresso introduced the foamer of my dreams: the aeorccino. it makes foaming the milk so perfect and so easy that it has served to increase my coffee consumption by double. it is a stunning stainless steel little ‘pot’ with non-stick lining and a two magnetic little devices—one a coil which fits on the bottom to foam milk for cappuccino and the other that fits onto the top for making latte. the pot sits on a small plastic base that plugs into an electric outlet. (my base was a little wobbly so i stuck a few small layers of masking tape under it on one side to steady it and it has stayed securely in place for months.)

to become the barrister barista of your dreams, you simply pour milk (i use whole milk but 2% is fine too) up to the mark, cover it, press the button, and in seconds have perfectly foamed milk—the thickest finest foam ever.

caffeine has little to no effect on me but i’m happy to report that both illy and nespresso produce decaf pods that are as delicious as the caffeinated variety.

yes, the aeroccino may seem expensive at $80, but it pays for itself in a matter of weeks when you consider the price of ordering cappuccino out!

to view the aeroccino go to www.nespresso.com and select all accessories.


Bread Ovens

Jan 12, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

MONICA QUESTION

Feedback: Hi Rose! Do you have any recommendations on bread ovens? I am looking into buying a separate oven just for baking bread (and if it had steam injectors, I'd be thrilled!) Have you looked into any of the products that are out there?

ROSE REPLY

i haven't actually tried it yet but kitchen aid has a new built in oven with "steam assist" that sounds very promising! it's projected to come out in 2007. meantime it has a duel-fuel range with steam assist.
http://www.kitchenaid.com/catalog/product.jsp?src=RANGES&categoryId=115&productId=897

EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!

DATE ARCHIVE

Featured on finecooking.com