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Category ... Ingredients

Buona Italia to Open in Chelsea Market

Sep 25, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Nocciola (hazelnut praline ice cream) on the back porch for lunch. Yes I know it's Fall but it's 89°/32°C and this fabulous ice cream called to me from the freezer. I made it yesterday for dear friends who were visiting from Philadelphia. I promised that if the Agrimontana praline paste arrived from Europe in time I would make the ice cream. This praline paste is made with hazelnuts from the famed Piedmont region of Italy--60% pure hazelnuts and 40% caramelized sugar. It has no equal.

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My dear long-time friend Mariella Esposito, of Fante's, and me enjoying the ice cream and sunset last night. Nocciola is her husband Lee's favorite, which is why I made it.

This Thursday, September 28, Buon Italia will be opening in Chelsea Market in New York City but they also have an online site. And they carry, among other things, the Agrimontana praline paste and their 100% pure pistachio paste. Those of you who love these flavors of ice cream will be nothing short of astounded at the difference these quality ingredients make!

And for those of you concerned about my summer-long defection to ice creaming, i'll be back to baking, mixing the dough for a pane nero this very afternoon (posting to come about this special Sicilian flour imported by Gustiamo).

One of My Most Important Techniques for Maximizing Texture and Flavor

Aug 11, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Did You Know

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I've referred to it in every one of my books and have always wanted to put it all together in one place. Here it is now on Food52.

Berry Dangerous Beauties

Jun 28, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Black raspberries have the hardest seeds of any berry I know. I've always enjoyed picking the wild berries that grow down the road and eating them--some on the spot and others with yogurt or ice cream. But this Sunday something really bad happened and I want to warn you. One of the berry seeds cracked one of my perfectly healthy teeth.

Channeling my mother, who was dentist, I immediately contact her beloved replacement, Dr. Kellen Mori, who arranged to have me come in the very next day. This was so fortunate because she was able to save the tooth even though it had cracked very deeply. One day later would have been too late. I now have a temporary crown and we are hoping no root canal will be needed.

I will never again chomp on a black raspberry, however, there is a silver lining to the story: I have frozen the rest of our berry harvest to make into ice cream. It will be in the upcoming ice cream book. And I no longer have to look at the berries as enemies.

A New Chocolate Love

Jul 16, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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I have fallen in love with a new Valrhona chocolate called Illanka. I first tasted it when it was introduced at the recent Valrhona cocktail party in New York City and was nothing short of amazed. I've been a long time fan of the Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie, aka extra bitter 61% but I found the Illanka much more exciting. Not only is it extraordinarily creamy and well-balanced, it is intensely chocolaty with an enticingly fruity finish that makes me want to reach for more.

Illanka chocolate comes from Peru and is made from Gran Blanco beans--very rare white cocoa beans found in the Piura region. Valrhona has given it the name Illanka which comes from Illa, the light and Anka, Condor in Quechua, the speaking language in Peru.

Illanka is delicious eaten just as it is, without further enhancement, but also makes a fabulous ganache simply with the addition of heavy cream.

For a 61% chocolate such as Le Noir Gastronomie I use 9 ounces/255 grams cream (about 1 cup plus 1-1/2 tablespoons/259 ml) to 8 ounces/227 grams chocolate.

For the Illanka 63% I use 10 ounces/283 grams cream (about 1-1/4 cups/296 ml) to 8 oz/227 grams chocolate.

Illanka can be bought on line.
Valrhona will donate $1.00 USD to the Clear Water charity project for every 500 gram/17.5 ounce bag of Illanka chocolate purchased.

Illanka has an interesting history. If you would like to learn more about it and the impact Valrhona's creation of The Clean Water Project is making on the surrounding cocoa producing communities follow this link.


Essential Information on Egg Whites

Jul 13, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Food52 just posted my article about egg whites in baking. As a baker, you will find this invaluable.

Essential Information on Egg Yolks

Jul 05, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Food52 just posted my article about the shrinking of egg yolks and how to adjust for this. As a baker, you will find this invaluable.

More on Beating Egg Whites

Jul 02, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

A while back, I did an in depth posting on beating egg whites, but I have something important to add if not using cream of tartar to ensure stability.

If the proper amount of cream of tartar is used it offers 100% insurance against over beating and drying out the egg whites, which would decrease the volume of the baked goods significantly. When using the cream of tartar, the egg whites can be beaten to stiff peaks.

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But when cream of tartar is not used, the egg whites should be beaten only until what the French refer to as bec d'oiseau which translates to bird's beak.

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By not beating quite as stiffly, when folded into another mixture the whites do not deflate as much but will not offer quite as much volume. An example, in my orange chiffon cake, is when the whites are beaten to completely stiff peaks only 9 egg whites are needed instead of 10 when beaten to bec d'oiseau (curved peaks) to achieve the same volume when baked.

Heat-Treated Flour as an Alternative to Bleached Flour

Jun 04, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Siemer Milling is a Midwestern milling company that mills specialty flours for its clients all over the world. We became acquainted with the company through one of our bloggers who works for them. When she informed us that one of Siemer's specialty flours is a heat-treated flour as an alternative to bleached flour, we asked for a sample to test against chlorinated bleached cake flour. I had done similar tests both on my own and with the inventor of Kate's Flour, Kate Coldrick, when I was at her Devon, England home several years ago. I was so impressed with her flour that we included her technique for making it in one's own microwave in Rose's Heavenly Cakes and on our blog. Although we found Kate's flour to produce similar texture and height results, it does add a slight 'nutty' taste to cake batters.

At times, we receive questions regarding alternatives to chlorinated flours, especially from England and other former British Commonwealth countries. So we were eager to try this flour that is a commercially produced alternative. We tested the Siemer's heat-treated cake flour head to head with Soft as Silk bleached cake flour for making a single layer, whole egg, butter cake. This is the same cake batter recipe that we had used for our "The Power of Flour" tests and blog posting that we conducted several years ago. With our control cake test notes for referencing, we made two cakes--one with Siemer's heat-treated flour and the other with Soft-as Silk bleached cake flour.

Our testing resulted in the following observations for the Siemer's flour:
The flour has a darker off-white color than Soft as Silk.
The texture of the cake was slightly denser and coarser, but had almost the same softness as Soft as Silk.
The flavor did not have the 'nutty' taste that we experienced with home-made microwaved flour.
The flavor had a slightly 'rustic' taste compared to the Soft as Silk cake.

Our conclusion for this flour is:
The Siemer's heat-treated flour is a viable alternative to chlorinated bleached cake flour, with the understanding that the texture will be somewhat coarser and denser.



Baking Powder on the Rise

Jul 25, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Baking Science

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Our preferences for baking powders are ones that are made with an all-phosphate product containing calcium acid phosphate and non-GMO cornstarch. Baking powders containing sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS), to aid in releasing more carbon dioxide during the baking stage, generally have a bitter after taste, especially noticeable when added to pie dough.

Recently, Rumford released a new baking powder, Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder, which contains 52% less sodium than leading brands and no aluminum. Rumford informed us that this new product activates mostly during the heating/baking phase. We were curious to test this new baking powder since timing of activation has a great impact on baked goods, especially muffins and cupcakes.

Letting the cupcakes rest before baking gives the cupcakes more rounded tops because if more of the baking powder activates in the early stage from the liquid in the batter there is less to disrupt the cell structure, during baking, needed to collapse the crumb to form a flatter top.

My White Velvet Butter Cake recipe served as our test recipe, since it is an egg white based butter cake and has a somewhat neutral flavor, which enables us to perceive differences during tasting more easily.

Since there can be a relatively long time frame to fill over a dozen cupcake liners, during which the baking powder will have begun to activate, we wanted to see if the new baking powder, which reacts more in the baking stage, would give us a wider window of time to fill the cupcakes and result in more uniformly shaped cupcakes.

We made two batches of cupcakes with each baking powder serving as the leavening for each batch. Once we filled the cupcake liners, we also let some of the cupcakes rest 20 minutes, and others 30 minutes before baking them. We baked all of the cupcakes for the same amount of time.

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ORIGINAL RUMFORD ON THE LEFT, LOW SODIUM RUMFORD ON THE RIGHT

The test card shows the height in inches, then the width in inches.

The cupcake on the left, made with the original Rumford baking powder, had the batter stand for 20 minutes after filling the muffin cups and before baking as did the one on the far right, made with the new Low Sodium Rumford baking powder. (It is both flatter and wider.) The middle cupcake, which is very similar to the original Rumford, but made with the low sodium baking powder, stood for 30 minutes before baking.

The results indicate that the new Rumford baking powder is more effective in preventing doming for up to 20 minutes of standing time but not longer. However, when we gave them a taste test we found major differences. The original Rumford cupcakes had a more pronounced flavor and texture. The sodium reduced Rumford ones were milder in flavor and fluffier. We preferred the original Rumford for flavor and texture.

People are always asking either how to get more rounded cupcakes or flatter ones to hold more frosting. One of the major problems is that if making 12 or more cupcakes, by the time the last few cupcake liners are ready to be filled, the batter has been sitting in the bowl for at least 10 if not more minutes, resulting in more doming in the baked cupcakes. The longer the batter stands in the bowl before dispensing, the more the loss of leavening action during filling the liners. Once the batter is dispensed into the muffin liners this action slows down but is still taking place. So when the muffins are set in the oven, there is less leavening available to burst through the air bubbles in the batter to flatten the crumb during this heating phase.

Did you know that different brands of baking powder have different compositions, reactions, and results in the finished product? If you'd like to know why, continue reading!

Continue reading "Baking Powder on the Rise" »

Nouvelle Génoise (Repair)

Aug 18, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Book Errata/CORRECTIONS

When Things Go Wrong and Sister Bakers Collaborate

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Over the years, occasionally people have written to me telling me that their génoise comes out with a coarse texture and twice this has happened to me as well. It happened most recently when Woody and I were testing a 12 inch layer for an upcoming wedding cake.

The recipe had already been perfected 26 years ago in The Cake Bible, but I was curious to see if it would work with Wondra flour which I subsequently found to be easier to integrate into the batter and to result in a more tender génoise in a 9 inch layer. I also wanted to see what the flavor would be like with rose water syrup instead of a liqueur.

The batter filled the pan even more than usual and seemed to have more body but, to my dismay (actually horror), after about 10 minutes in the oven it started to collapse. On cooling and syruping, the resulting crumb was more toward cornbread than the usual fine texture.

My first thought was: "what would I say to a blogger who posted a question along the lines of: it always worked before so what went wrong? I would say: What did you do differently? And the answer was two things: I used a mixer with a different high speed from the Kitchen Aid on I usually use, and I replaced the cake flour/cornstarch mixture with the Wondra flour.

The change of mixer explained the difference in volume and why the cake collapsed. So Woody and I went on to make a second cake using the usual highest speed on the Kitchen Aid mixer. The cake did not collapse, but the texture was still coarse and the cake tasted unpleasantly eggy. More often than not, when the texture is off the flavor is also affected but eggy? The first matter to deal with was the texture.

We made a third 12 inch cake using the usual cake flour/cornstarch combination at the correct mixing speed and the cake again did not collapse, but the texture was still coarse and the flavor eggy.

I decided to reach out to my dearest friend and colleague, Lisa Yockelson. And sure enough, Lisa has been working on a recipe based on her own continuing research, which is why she understood my textural concerns immediately.

Lisa asked if the cornstarch was genetically-modified, as we were going over the ingredient list, only to isolate every detail. The answer was yes, so we considered the possibility that it might be part of the problem.

We had a long probing discussion at the end of which was a major part of the solution: Based on several years worth of research, Lisa has been adding an extra yolk to her 4 egg génois and using cake flour entirely. All cake flour made the biggest improvement, for it tenderizes the texture, adds delicacy to the finished "crumb," and refines the mouth-feel of the baked cake. In the end, in addition to a few other tweaks-in-the-works, Lisa has been using an extra egg yolk in a 4-egg génoise and 1 cup cake flour (sifted before measuring).

Coincidentally, I had mentioned to Woody at the start of making the first test génoise that since the proportion of egg yolks to whites is smaller than it had been in the past I wondered if this was going to have an effect on this cake. (Egg yolks have gotten smaller because the laying hens are now younger.)

We have found, when making cakes where the yolks and whites are separated, or where all yolks are used, to get the equivalent of what used to be 4 yolks, you may need to use as many as 6. Egg yolk provides natural lecithin which is a great emulsifier.. So I made yet another 12 inch génoise, but this time separating the 7 eggs and weighing the yolks and whites before combining them. I had to use a total of 9 yolks. I also replaced the cornstarch with equal weight cake flour Eureka: perfect texture. But once again I syruped the cake with the rose water syrup and it still tasted eggy.

Back to the drawing board for the flavor solution. I made a 4 egg, 9 inch by 2 inch génoise, and syruped it with the usual syrup containing 2 tablespoons of liqueur. The liqueur was barely discernable but neither was the eggy taste of the cake. In future I may add more liqueur to the syrup (and reduce the water proportionately). I reported this to Lisa who loved the idea!

I also decided not to point a finger at cornstarch unless I was certain it was part of the problem. So I made what I thought to be the final test (#6) with a 9 inch cake, using the correct amount of yolk but also the cake flour/cornstarch mixture. The results: acceptable but not as fine as using all cake flour. The right amount of yolk was the answer but not the whole answer.

Just to seal the deal, Woody decided that one more test was necessary: test #7 was for a 9 inch cake, using the correct amount of yolk with the cake flour/cornstarch mixture using non-GMO Rumford cornstarch. And that was the winner. Compared to the 100% cake flour génoise, it was 3/16 inch higher but what was more important is that the crumb was finer, more even, and softer.

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Moral of the story:

Either weigh or measure the yolks and whites separately, or add one 1 yolk for every 4 eggs.

Use non-GMO cornstarch or replace the cornstarch with equal weight cake flour (for 3/4 ounces/100 grams, 1 cup sifted into the cup and leveled off).

Add a minimum of 2 tablespoons of liqueur for a total of 3/4 cup/177ml syrup for the best flavor. 1/4 cup of liqueur will not be overpowering because a sponge-type cake does not hold the volatile liquid as effectively as a denser cake.

Note: I have found that eggs graded jumbo now have yolks that are the same size as eggs graded large used to be so I often choose them and freeze the extra egg white for another use.

Testing a New Baking Ingredient

Jul 19, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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When I read on the internet that there was a new product called a cake enhancer, that was purported to produce cakes that would be softer, moister, more fluffy and stay fresh longer, I couldn't resist trying it, especially when it consisted of familiar ingredients such as rice starch and fatty acids derived from vegetable fats, which act as emulsifiers, allowing fats and liquids to combine more easily and also serve as stabilizers and texture enhancers.

I made two identical cakes, with all ingredients weighed, and at the same temperature, mixed for the same amount of time at the same speeds, and baked in the same size pans. I added the recommended 1 tablespoon of cake enhancer per cup of cake flour to one of the cakes. This batter was promisingly smoother and spread more easily but the baked cake was disappointing. It rose significantly more than the control cake but cracked a lot on the surface. It was sweeter, less flavorful, fluffier, and more dissolving, but rather than being moister, had a slightly dry aftertaste, though becoming pasty on chewing.

A Flour by Any Other Name...!

Jul 12, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Did You Know

Just under the wire--12 days before The Baking Bible was ready to ship to the printer--Woody bought a new bag of "Gold Medal Better for Bread Flour" and to our shock, the name of the flour on the bag had changed to "Gold Medal Bread Flour."

I raced over to the computer to see how many instances the flour was mentioned in the book with the old name and there were 17. Then I put in a call to my editor, Stephanie, telling her what had happened and asking if it were possible to make this one last change. She called Jamie, the production editor who said it was possible. Whew!

When I first started working as a spokesperson for Gold Medal, several years ago, the name of the flour had been changed to "Harvest King Flour." Apparently many people were confused, thinking it was no longer the same bread flour. Some years later, after I was no longer the spokesperson, the name of the flour went back to "Better for Bread Flour." I'm so glad I can now make the change to refer it to in print as its latest name: Gold Medal Bread Flour, as it won't matter what the name may be changed to in the future, it will always be just that.

I use this flour for most of my breads as it has a slightly lower protein content than other bread flours and has the ideal extensibility, giving it the best rise and texture.

I recommend that if using other brands of bread flour, most of which have a higher protein content, to use half bread flour and half unbleached all-purpose flour.

For a soft white bread I prefer unbleached all-purpose flour which has a lower protein content.

And to achieve a high gluten flour, using Gold Medal bread flour, I add 3.7% vital wheat gluten or about 2 tablespoons per cup of flour.

The Secret Shelf Life of Arrowroot

Apr 05, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Did You Know

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Arrowroot is used as a thickener for sauces and glazes. It is made from a tropical rhizome (underground stem). I like using it for glazes to top fruit on a tart, pie, or cake because it has a slight sparkle and also because it starts to thicken long before the boiling point so does not cause the fruit to soften.

Although cornstarch, also an effective thickener (when allowed to come to a full boil), has an indefinite shelf life if stored in an air-tight moisture-proof container, I have found arrow root to have a limited shelf life.

As a result of my move from New York, I discovered I had three bottles of arrowroot each of a different vintage. I seized the opportunity to do a comparative testing of their thickening powers.

The oldest one (now don't be horrified as I was!) was 24 years old! The next to oldest was 19 years old. And the third one was 14 years old.

The results were: The oldest arrowroot thickened but not effectively as it still had flow. The next to oldest thickened but not as fully as the last one which also was less tinged with yellow. This was was kept in an airtight container in an air conditioned room which accounts for its unusual viability. I recommend that if you want to be sure of the full effectiveness of arrowroot, use it up to two years from the purchase date and then replace it.

Oh Sugar!

Dec 21, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

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Several years ago, when I was writing The Sugar BIble for Food Arts Magazine, I obtained many different varieties of sugar. One of them, beet sugar, I intended to try out in sugar syrups and cakes as I had heard claims that it did not perform as well as cane sugar. I had heard that beet sugar would cause syrups to crystallize but on experimentation did not experience this. I never got around to trying it in a cake.

Recently, however, I came across a beautiful sparkling sugar: Zulka Morena sugar. Morena is a description of granulated sugar that has not been processed with conventional sugar refining methods such as filtering through bone char. It is an all vegan, organic sugar and non-GMO. As it contains a small amount of its residual molasses it has an attractive light tan color and lovely flavor. It's moisture content from the molasses is 0.6% compared to ordinary refined granulated sugar which is 0.4%.

Although I loved the flavor of the Morena sugar when tasting it plain, I was curious if it would change the taste or texture of a cake. So I ran a test of three sugars: fine granulated sugar, Morena, and beet. The cake with the Morena sugar took 3 more minutes to bake than the other two. The texture of the Morena and fine granulated sugar was the same but the beet sugar cake had a coarser crumb and a slight crunch. The flavor of the fine granulated and beet sugar cakes was identical but the Morena sugar cake was my preference although the difference was so subtle I'm not sure anyone would notice if they weren't looking for it.

The Zulka Morena sugar is so attractive I will use it when sprinkling on top of pie crust, pastry, and cookies.

Zulka Mexican Cane Sugar 4 Lb

The Ultimate Cherry Pie

May 30, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Baking & Cooking Tips

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Here's a simple natural way to enhance the quality of sour cherry pie--a secret given to me by Justin Rachid of American Spoon Food. It's called Michelle's Miracle--an intensely concentrated sour cherry syrup made from Montmorency sour cherries. Just add 1 to 2 tablespoons to your cherry pie filling and you'll be astonished by the depth of flavor it provides. Michelle advises that refrigerated or frozen it keeps just about indefinitely.


If you cant find sour cherries, or you miss the short season, American Spoon Food's Fruit Perfect Cherries is an ideal substitute, in fact, I've often preferred it to the fresh picked cherries and the reason is the addition of the Michelle's Miracle! My recipe for using the filling is on the jar and just below.

Link to My Recipe

Cherry Pie Using Fruit Perfect Cherries


2 jars (13.5 ounces each) Fruit Perfect Cherries
1 tablespoon cornstarch (0.3 ounce/9.5 grams)
1 tablespoon water
l/4 cup sugar (1.75 ounces/50 grams)

Empty the cherries, with their
thickened juices, into a medium bowl. In small bowl, stir together the cornstarch
and water to dissolve the cornstarch. Gently and evenly stir this mixture
into the cherries with the sugar. Bake as for Cherry Lattice Pie, but at 400°F/200˚C for
30 to 35 minutes.

Finally an End to Twice Killed Pigs

May 25, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

I grew up in a kosher household where pork never made an appearance until the day my non-kosher dad brought home sausages, advising my mother to cook them until very well-done.

My mother, suspicious of any sort of pork, broiled them so thoroughly they were charred on the outside with only a 1 cm core of edible meat inside each sausage. When my father complained, she protested that she only had been following his advice to cook them well-done to which my dad said i told you to cook them well-done but not to cremate them"! i was hysterical with laughter and we had to throw out the sausages. That was the last time I remember pork ever entering our kitchen.

When I tasted my first pork hotdog, at the Wollman Memorial Iceskating Rink I was hooked. Bacon, pork roast, pork chops, juicy, flavorful--I couldn't get enough until suddenly pork became a bore. In an effort to bill pork as the "other white meat" it became closer to the other white bread--flavorless with lack of fat and dry also due to the recommended cooked temperature of 160˚F. It was sure death to a formerly delicious meat.

But hold onto your pigtails: big news from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture just announced yesterday: pork chops, roasts, and tenderloins can be safely enjoyed medium rare at a cooked temperature of 145˚F, followed by a 3 minute rest time(during which, presumably, the temperature will rise to 150˚F).

Now, to my knowledge, trichinosis has not been an issue for some time, so we could have (and some have) been eating juicy pork for years, but OK--no point looking back--let's applaud the return of tasty juicy pork products.

What a Wonderful World of Baking!

May 11, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

Recently a fellow baker from the UK posted her despair in regard to the flour and, I believe, her cookies that were not coming out well using the unbleached flour available to her. I referred her to Kate Coldrick's blog and the work she has done with her "kate flour." Here is here heart-warming thrilling response. Isn't it just wonderful how we can all help each other to be the best bakers we can possibly be. And isn't it wonderful that Kate Coldrick's brilliantly creative and relatively simple solution to turning unbleached flour into what it needs to be to create top quality baked goods in countries where bleached flour is not available is traveling around the world!

WOOOW JUST WOOOW !!!

Thank you sooooo much again for all your help this is incredible!!!!

So I made two batches of cookies (Toll house recipe), one using untreated plain flour (Protein: 10.3%) and one using Kate flour, AMAAAAAZING RESULTS !!!

The untreated were exactly as you described in your post, flat burnt pancakes w/no shape LOL !!! (and verrrry crispy in a verrrry bad way)

But the ones made with Kate Flour ...WOWZA !!! they were just PERFECTTTT, had shape, had height, perfectly even brown, AND were nice and chewy - Mmmm just AMAZING !!

So thank you soooo verrry much !!! You have changed my life forever !!! You are incredible !!! =D !!!!

I still can't believe it's the same exact recipe =O !!! They should really make Kate Flour or heat treated flour available to the public, it changes the entire game of baking and opens us Brits to a whole new world of food. . . *sigh* one day.

THANK YOU!

Sincerely,

Tina P

Alternatives to Heavy Cream Based Ganaches

Apr 24, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Baking & Cooking Tips

My favorite frosting for the ultimate chocolate taste, texture and ease in making is chocolate ganache, which I wrote about, in a previous posting, Birthday Ganache.

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HEAVY CREAM / ALMONDMILK

SOY MILK / COCONUT MILK

When artist friend Martha Rast asked Woody, if we had any lactose free frostings,this lead to testing with unflavored soy milk to come up with a ganache that has a slightly tangier taste compared to the standard heavy cream ganache but also has an excellent flavor and texture making ideal for the lactose intolerant or vegan. The difference between a ganache made with heavy cream and one made with soy milk is that the soy milk gives a lighter color more toward a dark milk chocolate. Its preparation requires the addition of a higher percentage of the soy milk to keep a creamy texture that will adhere to the cake.

Here is the recipe for Soy Milk Ganache with Silk plain soy milk and Valhrona le Noir Gastronomie 61% cacao.

Soy Milk Dark Chocolate Ganache
Makes: almost 3-1/3 cups/29.3 ounces/834 grams

INGREDIENTSVOLUMEWEIGHT
dark chocolate, 60 to 62% cacao, chopped14 ounces400 grams
plain soy milk, preferably Silk2 cups (16 fluid ounces)16.6 ounces473 grams
pure vanilla extract1 tablespoon..

Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium glass bowl.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine. In a 4 cup microwave proof cup with a spout, or in a medium saucepan, stirring often, scald the cream (heat it to the boiling point--small bubbles will form around the periphery).

With the motor running, pour the cream through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Pulse in the vanilla. Pass the ganache through the fine strainer into the glass bowl and let it sit for 1 hour. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to cool at room temperature for several hours, until the mixture reaches a soft frosting consistency.

Storage times are even longer than the heavy cream based ganache of: up to 1 week at room temperature; 2 weeks refrigerated; and 6 months frozen.


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The success of the soy milk encouraged us to explore other non-dairy milks. We found that Silk Almondmilk works just as well as a direct substitution for the soy milk, is less tangy, adds a lovely almond flavoring which gives a richer dimension to the chocolate flavor.

Further exploration had us experiment with coconut cream and milks. Canned versions of both, which are thicker than heavy cream, produced a ganache similar in color to that made with heavy cream but had the disadvantage of a noticeably gritty appearance. Coconut cream contains 24% fat and coconut milk contains 17% fat. However, coconut milk in the carton has only around 6% fat. A couple of tests arrived at a ratio that works with the chocolate's weight at 15% higher than the coconut milk, which is the opposite of the soy and almond milk versions. The coconut milk gives a subtle coconut taste to the chocolate and the ganache's color is darker than the ganache made with either soy or almond milk.

Yeast Conversion

Apr 04, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

As this question comes up with great frequency, here's a second posting with a little more information on converting different types of yeast.

To convert fresh cake yeast to instant yeast, for 1 packed tablespoon/0.75 ounce cake yeast use 2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry

1 teaspoon instant (aka instant active dry)=1-1/4 teaspoons active dry or 1-1/2 packed teaspoons fresh cake yeast

1 teaspoon of instant yeast or active dry yeast=3.2 grams

Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour without proofing. it is available nationally under the following names:

Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast or Rapid Rise
Red Star's Quickrise
Red Star's Instant Active Dry
SAF instant
SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise

I store the unused yeast in an airtight container in the freezer where it stays fresh for as long as 2 years. (if it's a large quantity i store about 2 tablespoons of it separately so that the larger amount doesn't get subjected to oxygen and deteriorate more quickly. Instant yeast has more live yeast cells than active dry.

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