Dec 08, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Back in October, Marie Wolf and the Heavenly Bakers were having problems with the caramel topping on the Caramelized Pineapple Pudding Cakes. The caramel was either clinging to the molds upon unmolding or crystallizing in sheets on top of the pineapple. This had us perplexed so it was back to the kitchen for Woody to retest. We found that the stated temperature for the caramel was not high enough, which caused the caramel to perform as the Heavenly Bakers had reported. This resulted in a couple of revisions which we posted on the Book Errata/Corrections on October 25.
Marie suggested that it would be helpful to have a few photographs of the process. And Jenn, one of the Heavenly Bakers, came up with a great alternative way of reheating the pudding cakes on the cooktop instead of the oven.
Make the Caramel: It is necessary to have the caramel turn a deep amber at 350˚F/175˚C, followed by gently stirring in the butter.
Bake the Brioche Puddings: After baking and cooling the pudding cakes, refrigerate them for 6 hours to 12 hours. This will allow the caramel to dissolve slightly and the flavors will intensify.
When ready to serve, cover each mold or cup's top tightly with aluminum foil and reheat them in a water bath of simmering water. This can be done in the oven or on the cooktop.
Reheat the pudding cakes until an instant-read thermometer registers 160˚F/70˚C, or a skewer inserted into the center feels hot.
Unmold the Brioche Puddings: After inverting them onto serving plates, allow them to sit for 10 minutes before lifting off the molds.
Your pineapple pudding cakes should come out looking like our plated cake above, ready to garnish with the reserved juices and crème anglaise. Retesting the pudding cakes gave Woody the opportunity to bake the one recipe on which I had let him off the hook when making all the recipes for the original testing: the wonderful Classic Brioche bread. Snce he had never baked bread before, we let the supermarket furnish the bread. This time he baked the brioche with flying colors, and to Marie's and my approval.--not his first loaf, but that is another story for later this month.
Mar 20, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
As many of you know from personal experience, one of the biggest challenges of making a chocolate génoise is eliminating the little flour pellets that tend to form when adding the flour to the egg mixture. I've always recommended reaching down to the bottom of the bowl adn pressing them out between your fingers before adding the chocolate mixture, but fellow blogger Matthew Boyer has come up with a superior method that works brilliantly for the "Moist Chocolate Génoise," a recipe I created over 21 years ago for The Cake Bible.
Woody has confirmed how well the technique works by performing several tests and collaborating with Matthew on results. He discovered, in the process, that the chocolate mixture needs to be warm to blend with the other ingredients without losing volume.
The resulting photos by Woody will show you step-by-step the process of how easily it works and the ideal temperature and consistency of the chocolate mixture. The photos of the finished cake and comparison to the cake made according to the original method are from Matthew. (Matthew also tested this method extensively for the classic chocolate génoise, but unfortunately it doesn't maintain the full volume of the batter.)
Feb 03, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
In response to a request from Susan for photos of the few cakes that were not pictured in the new book we have combed through our photo files and came up with some photos that while not perfectly styled shots will at least serve to show the textures of most of those cakes and/or frostings.
A snippet of the White Velvet cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache
Génoise Très Café
The cake on the left was baked in a silicone pan. The one on the right was baked in a cast aluminum pan. The difference in color of the chocolate swirl is only a function of how much batter was mixed into the chocolate and not the way the pan baked.
And for good measure, a close up of the Heavenly Coconut Seduction Cake
Jan 27, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
This posting is for those of you who couldn't resist purchasing the Nordicware wreath pan for the fruit cake in Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Hector has put the pan to a spectacular new use!
Here's how he described it:
"We made a 4X batch, wet and dry ingredients on my 6qt ka filled
touching the pouring shield, was beautiful, no strain on the motor
since it is oil batter and also beater blade was fine. Then with a
baby tub, we mixed carrots with a large wooden spoon. Josephine, 8 years old,
held the wooden spoon with 2 hands and did all the mixing of carrots
on her own!
We took exactly 1x by weight, the batter grams you say fills each 9"
pan x2 and made the nordic wreath, was 3/4 full or 3/4 inch from the
top. So I say, 1x recipe is perfect for the wreath pan, all imprints
The rest went to the mini cakes you see. Filling each mini loaf pan
less than half full."
Here's a close up of just the carrot cake baked in the wreath pan:
I also like Hector's treatment of the cake in the original 9" by 2" pan. He used macadamia nuts and set a ring of them around the pan touching the sides.
Jan 20, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Luca Rizzi, Hector Wong's friend, used this unusual fluted tube pan from Paderno with a recess to make the Gâteau Breton.
He filled the recess with a tart grape jam and said it reminded him of a crostada. Great idea! It looks attractive even without the jam as the design from the bottom of the pan imprints itself on the cake.
Jan 13, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream
This fabulous buttercream came about in a most peculiar backdoor sort of way. It started in my imagination as a cake! I long had the idea that it would be interesting to try my Chocolate Oblivion from The Cake Bible as a milk chocolate version which, in fact, was a viable idea (see page 372). I also wanted to try a white chocolate version and that's the one that metamorphosed into said buttercream. My original recipe called for combining just three ingredients: eggs, butter, and dark chocolate, which bake in a water bath to a creamy, dense, yet slightly airy custard that has been referred to as a chocolate mousse wedded to a chocolate truffle.
When I replaced the dark chocolate with white chocolate, baked and then cooled the cake, it was not firm enough to cut. Though the cocoa butter in the white chocolate and the butter are very firm when chilled, the cocoa solids in the dark chocolate are needed to give it a firm enough texture.
Of course I tasted it and it was luscious/delicious. What to do? I didn't want to add more white chocolate as it contains about one-third sugar so it had to be either cocoa butter or butter. Since butter is more readily available I tried beating softened butter into the white chocolate custard. The texture was amazingly soft, luxurious, rich (in the words of blogger Bill who wrote: What ever possessed you to try mixing eggs white chocolate and butter to make a custard? It is a miracle that the buttercream made it onto the cake and not directly into my mouth.
This buttercream became the base for the lemon curd version on page 46 and a deluxe version on page 176 where I added cream cheese.
Woody used the lemon curd version for his Lemon Luxury Layer Cake on page 43 and we were both surprised that in the photo it looked so lemony yellow. Actually we liked it but when we had made it, the color was a lighter ivory. So Woody set to work and discovered than when the buttercream is beaten longer at the final stage of mixing it becomes both lighter in color and firmer. It's hard to see the color change in the photos but they will give you a glimpse into the behind the scenes fastidious work that Woody has been doing over the past five years of his association with me and the book.
The Different Stages Showing Changes in Texture and Color During Beating
The Completed Buttercream with Out Favorite Lemon Oil
Jan 06, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Stiffly Beaten Egg Whites
Beating Sugar Syrup into the Stiffly Beaten Egg Whites
Final Stage of Stiffly Beaten Egg Whites with Syrup
Adding the Stiffly Beaten Egg Whites to The Butter
Mixture Beginning to Curdle
Mixture Curdling More
After Further Beating Buttercream Almost Completely Smooth
Perfectly Smooth Mousseline Buttercream
Dec 30, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Ever wonder what the rest of the cake looked like after seeing the Matterhorn like slice in the book? Timothy Sulivan did and searched all over for the pan. Finally he appealed to me and this inspired me to post the photo and information about the pan. It's Nordicware's Elegant Heart pan.
Dec 23, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
These next photos show Woody leveling a wedding cake:
The cake raised slightly above the top of the pan using cardboard rounds.
The long serrated knife resting on the edges of the pan as a guide for cutting off the slightly domed top to make it level.
The leveled cake.
When necessary to level a cake, always position the cut side down to avoid getting crumbs in the frosting. The only one of the wedding cakes in this book that needs leveling is the banana cake pictured. This is because of the potassium contained in the banana that absorbs and holds moisture, creating steam during baking. Together with the extra structure from the banana fiber there is no way to get a totally level cake and believe me we tried!
Close up of the lemon peel rose wedding cake decoration.
Close up of a slice of the Double-Chocolate-Whammy Groom's Cake showing the brownie pieces suspended in the baked cake batter.
Those of you who, like me, have sat underneath this white plate with dental instruments hanging over it may enjoy knowing that this is the original milk glass plate that my mother had in her dental office even before high-speed drills became available and the white plates smaller (i have that one too!) I just love the way photographer Ben Fink shot this photo and the choice of shiny black background Roy Finnamore, the prop stylist, chose which reflects the white plate giving the scallops a double image. It was his idea to use the dental plate--devining a long-time wish on my part. Years ago, when my mother retired, she gave me the plate saying "maybe someday you can use it for a cake." Had she lived to see it, she would have been 98 three days from today.
Dec 16, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Ingots, also known as financiers, in a silicone financier pan.
I love the way this photo captures the glistening points of butter on the surface.
Woody took this great shot of the Plum Round Ingots using pluots which shows the side view as the book photo shows the overhead view.
This photo demonstrates how different the crust looks when the mini vanilla bean pound cake is baked in a non-disposable metal pan.
The silky-fine interior crumb of the mini vanilla bean pound cake
The photo in the book of this baby lemon cheesecake uses 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon curd (1 1/2 times the recipe given in the book). This is how it will look if you use 1 tablespoon of lemon curd. I was testing it with a chocolate biscuit base but prefer the yellow version as in the book photo.
The Quail Egg Indulgence Cake (not shown in the book)
I love the special antique glass that Zach Townsend used in this photo when testing The Bostini.
It was a difficult choice deciding which of many wonderful photos to show of Isabelle Chirls and The Mud Turtle Cupcakes. I love this one because it shows her beautiful anticipatory smile.
Dec 09, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
This photo of the Frozen Candian Crown illustrates how the lady fingers rise above the filling when the bottoms of the fingers are not trimmed off.
A slice of the Frozen Canadian Crown with Untrimmed Lady Fingers
The Whipped Cream Filling Version of the Chocolate Featherbed
A Forkful of Chocolate Featherbed
The Completed Jancsi Cake Batter
Jancsi Baking in the Oven
Dec 02, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
I love the way the cracks formed on the top of this Angel Food Cake
The Completed Chocolate Apricot Roll
Génoise Process Shots
Fully Beaten Batter Increased in Volume by Over Four Times
Mixing a Cup of the Batter with the Clarified Butter and Using a Slotted Skimmer to Fold in the Flour
The Slotted Skimmer Moves the Flour through the Batter Evenly without Deflating It
The Red Fruit Cake When Wine Berries Were in Season in Hope
Woody Testing Notes:
The cake flour (or all-purpose flour) & cornstarch, cake was lighter, slightly drier, and more open grain. It absorbed the berry juices more readily and evenly. People preferred it over the Wondra for this type of cake
The thinness of the Wondra in the center when inverting to put on the juices risks that the cake might tear.
The Pinch Cake Before I Learned How to Use My Digital Camera! (Doesn't this sort of remind you of an Andy Warhol?)
Close Up of the Tres Leches
Zach's Photo of the Apple Caramel Charlotte Note the rose tint to the apples (he used the red apple peel when poaching the apples).
The Finished Pinecone by Woody
Nov 25, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Mise En Place (Preparation of Ingredients)
Cocoa and Boiling Water Mixture
Weigh or Measure the Eggs
Mixing the Dry Ingredients
Adding Butter and Part of the Chocolate Mixture
Start Mixing on Low Speed to Keep the Flour and Liquid from Flying Out of the Bowl
Batter after 1 1/2 Minutes of Beating
Scraping the Sides of the Bowl
Adding the Rest of the Chocolate Mixture
Scraping Batter into the Prepared Pans
Batter 1 1/2 inches from the Top of the Pan (half full)
Spacing the Two Pans in the Oven
The Baked Cake Side View
The Baked Cake--Taking the Temperature
Cakes Cooling on Racks
Showing the Slight Doming of the Cake Top
Comparing Cake Made with Butter with One Made with Butter and Oil (Note how much more even the crumb and less the doming of the butter and oil cake. The small addition of oil results in a higher cake layer with finer, moister crumb.)
Nov 18, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
The Deep Chocolate Passion Cake is one of the most exciting, revolutionary, and versatile cakes in this book. It serves as the base for:
The German Chocolate Cake
The Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
The Designer Cupcakes
The Deep Chocolate Passion Wedding Cake
Preparing the Cake Pan for the Batter
The exceptionally liquid batter fills the pan only 1/4 to 1/3 full.
But, the batter rises to the top of the pan when baked.
Coating the sides of the pan with Baker's Joy (oil and flour) gives the smoothest sides but shrinks in slightly at the top.
Not coating the sides of the pan results in a rougher crumb but perfectly straight sides. If coating with butter cream this is the best choice but if using a non-stick pan and care the sides will look fine uncoated as well
Nov 11, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
This is one of the most delicious chocolate cakes in the book but I found it a bit too tender so I have gone back to my original way of mixing layer cake batter (please see below). I also thought it would be of interest to know that the acidity of the brown sugar, crème fraîche, and unsweetened chocolate fully activates the baking soda leaving no characteristic slightly soapy taste.
Nov 04, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
Apple Up-Side-Down Cake Uncut
Cut Cake Showing the Texture
Plum and Blueberry Up-Side-Down Cake before Baking
Karmel Cake Whole (to show the exceptionally beautiful color of the top crust)
The Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream Cake Whole
Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake (If you push the crumbs in a little you will get this effect that Woody achieved)
The Cradle Cake Whole (Doesn't it look like Close Encounters of a Third Kind?!)
This Photo is of Me Presenting the Chocolate Tomato Cake for the Campbell's 50th anniversary celebrated at the NY Stock Exchange where they were given the honor of ringing the bell!
Chocolate Covered Strawberry (when I made it for the first time and was trying out different decorating techniques this one reminded me of a starry night.)
The Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake Whole
Woody's Magnificent Lacquer Glaze Perfected for the First Time on the Bernachon Palets d'Or Gâteau
Chocolate Velvet Fudge Cake Whole
Classic Carrot Cake Cut (to show texture)
Banana Ripe Enough for a Banana Cake
Oct 28, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in OUT CAKES
We have something really fun and instructive to share with you! it is the book within the book--all the photos Woody and I took during the creation of Heavenly Cakes! There are many process shots and also different views of the cakes and different variations so you will be able to see many more possibilities.
These postings will be every other week and will be arranged according to where the specific cakes appear in the book. I am posting the pumpkin cake first, however, because it is so perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. I thought you'd enjoy the beauty of the cake itself still in the pan. I love the way the three curved splits form--almost a pity to hide them with frosting!
Also there wasn't room in the book for the wonderful photo Ben Fink took below of shaping the marzipan leaves. Special thanks to Jason Menegus who provided the original pumpkin leaf from his pumpkin patch. It was difficult finding one that was still in good enough shape as there had already been a first frost. But this one held up long enough to photo copy. I then reduced it to a much smaller size more proportionate to the cake.
And here's the actual photo of the pumpkin leaf to print out and use as a template.
- Baking Science
- Book Errata/CORRECTIONS
- Book Production
- Book Review
- BREAD BIBLE PHOTOS
- Did You Know
- OUT CAKES
- Questions and Answers
- Restaurant Reviews
- Rose Knows
- Spanish Language
- Special Stories
- Travel Adventures
- Woody's Place