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Category ... Questions and Answers

Ask Your Questions

Jun 01, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Dec 01, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Jul 01, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Dec 01, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Apr 28, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Jul 01, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Mar 21, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Oct 07, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Ask Your Questions

Oct 02, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Ask Your Questions

May 05, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

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Refiners Syrup

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


Is refiner's syrup the same as cane syrup? In other words, is Steen's syrup the same as Lyle's Golden syrup? Thanks.


Lyle's Golden syrup is a natural byproduct of cane sugar refining. It is cane syrup with no artificial colors flavors or preservatives.

I'm not familiar with Steen's syrup. Lyle's is the only refiners syrup I know of. Look on the label of the Steen's to see what it contains. A side-by-side tasting is the best test. as they say, the proof is in the syrup -- or was that pudding?!

Barcelona Brownies

Mar 01, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Dear Levy,
I am a spanish woman (from Barcelona) and I read that you made a brownie called Barcelona. ¿Is it truth?. I want, if it is possible a recipt of this brownie. I can't find it in your website. Thank you in advance and sorry for my bad english.
Mary Carmen Artiga


thank you for asking for the recipe. I will post it on the blog this month, along with a little story of my visit to Barcelona.


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


Feedback: I followed the traditional challah recipe exactly and caught the mistake to add the 1 tsp yeast to the sponge. After many hours in a very warm environment, the dough hardly rose. I tried it several times with no luck and even switched yeast which is very much alive. There is definitely something wrong with the proportion of ing. I'm an advanced baker and it's gotta be a problem with the recipe. also after making the sponge, do i immediately add the flour blanket or let the sponge sit for an hour first? When the flour blanket is added, can i refrigerate it that way? If so do i taked it out to come to room temp and then mix? I searched the book for answers and was more confused. Please help. I know once its right it will be sooo delicious like so many of the recipes i've made from the cake bible. I'm a diehard baker and have learned more from your books than any other. Thank you.


bread that is rich in egg, butter, and sugar or honey, is very slow to rise. You can speed rising by putting it in a warm environment with hot water in a container, such as an oven without a pilot light but with just the light bulb on. You don't want the temperature to be above 85°. If this doesn't work, it has to be the yeast. I'm sure as an experienced Baker you'll are not killing the yeast with excessive heat. you could also try increasing the yeast. But the recipe as I wrote it works for me.

When making a sponge, I always like to put the flour blanket on it as soon as possible. Then I cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep any part of the sponge that bubbles through the surface of the flour blanket from drying, and refrigerate it. I do mention in the book temperature the dough should be depending on the different methods of mixing it, for example, if you are using a stand mixer, you want it to be colder when you start mixing then if you're using a bread machine, because the friction of the beater raises the heat of the dough. When using a food processor, I have everything as cold as possible because the movement of the blades creates the most heat. Please look through the book, exact temperatures are given for all methods.

In the coming weeks, I will be offering my new recipe for challah, that incorporates old sourdough starter. It makes braiding dough much easier because of the extra elasticity, and I think the resulting bread is even more delicious. I can't wait to post this recipe -- the picture is so stunning! But I wanted to answer everybody's questions before I posted any new things.

Rose's Christmas Cookies

Feb 28, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books

Many people have asked where they can get this book, touted by Tina Ujlaki in Food and Wine Magazine (December 2003) as "...one of my all-time favorite holiday cookbooks."

Fortunately, Jessica's Biscuit carries it all year 'round.

Call 1-800-878-4264. The catalogue number is D612, price: $19.60

A Lovely Love Note

Feb 23, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books


Feedback: This seems like a reasonable time to drop a love-note to Rose. Years ago I used to pick up the Cake Bible in bookstores to read and re-read the story of your brother's wedding cake and the snowstorm of 1983. Eventually my husband gave me the book as a gift. The story about your discussion of "sifting" with your (eventual) husband was a gem. It is the stories, I guess, that make me love the book and so, you. The recipes, resource information and photos are the frosting on the cake, as it were. Thanks for all of it. Kathy Mc (devoted fan!)


I'm going to put this up near my computer monitor for inspiration as I work on my new cake book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Canadian Flour

Feb 23, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


In the Bread Bible you recommend some brands of flour which I can't find in Canada. We have Robin Hood, Monarch, Five Roses and then the generic store brands. I have gone to the brand websites but they do not post the protien count of their flour. Could you recommend some brands that we up here in Ontario Canada can use to make bread?


Canadian unbleached all-purpose and Canadian bread flour perform well in my yeast bread recipes. For quick breads using butter, however, it is necessary to use bleached all purpose flour or the center of the bread will fall and have a gloppy texture on cooling. For more information or specific questions regarding Canadian flour/brands and baking, you can contact editors@betterbaking.com

A New Real Baker is Born!

Feb 23, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Feedback: I recently made your All-American Chocolate Torte for Valentine's Day and it was a hit with my boyfriend. Although, I was questioning whether or not I acheived the correct texture of the torte. I am new to world of "from scratch" cake baking, so I followed your instructions to the letter. I was expecting a dense cake, but mine was light, airy, and very soft in texture. Did I succeed in making your torte or does my technique still leave something to be desired?

Thank you for such wonderful recipes!

you did great! that''s just the texture i was aiming for. brava! (scratch on--you'RE obviously a natural)


Feb 22, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Do you have any experience with Parisian-style macarons? I've been a huge fan of these for years, always visiting Laduree and Stohrer when I'm in Paris. It's been my "life's dream" (in the realm of my baking anyway) to make the macarons as close to French patisserie quality as possible; I've been working on them lately and have had mediocre success. Main problems: many crack and split open while baking. I've tried the approach of letting them sit out for a few minutes before baking and baking immediately and nothing seems to guarantee consistency. I've contacted Laduree (they have a book now, in French!) to ask if I can visit their kitchen, but they didn't like that idea. Do you know of any secrets to these and getting them as tender and as close as possible to the real things?

Thanks! Zach


Macaroons are very difficult to make at home. but I can give you one tip othat was given to me by a Swiss chef: after piping them, let them sit uncovered overnight before baking them. This helps to keep them from cracking, resulting in smooth tops. as Dorie Greenspan says in her delightful book Paris Sweets, each Parisian has his or her favorite place for macaroons. for this New Yorker its Laduree, but then, I have yet to do a thorough tasting investigation.

Using the Right Size and Type of Pan

Feb 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


Feedback: The last few times I've tried to make lemon bars they come out all wrong. Instead of a pale yellow soft filling, I get a brown crusty thin layer.

Is it because I'm using a glass pan? The pan is 9x9 instead of 7x11, but I can't see that making such a huge difference.


this is an excellent question julie because many people think that the exact pan size and type aren't important and you have demonstrated perfectly just why it is!

first: when a recipe that has always worked suddenly stops working you must think hard about what you are doing differently or what might have changed. in this instance it is the pan type and size. and here's why it isn't working:
glass is transparent so heat enters it more quickly. therefore when using glass bakeware, set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower.

but what is equally significant, especially to the lemon curd topping, is that since it is a slightly larger pan, there is a thinner layer of the lemon curd so this also causes it to cook faster and the sugar in it is carmelizing and turning brown.


Feb 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


Feedback: I was wondering about an additive, such as granular lecithin, which you would add to cookies and scones to improve shelf life? Is there such a thing? Thanks, Emily Veale ( I have the Cake and Bread Bibles WONDERFUL!!)


the king arthur catalogue sells granular lecithin that they claim is "shelf-stable" and the liquid lecithin is available in health food stores. it is a soy product that becomes rancid very quicly so i store any lecithin product in the refrigerater. you will have to experiment with amounts and it does indeed improve shelf-life but can also give an off flavor to the baked goods if used in excess.

Baking Magic with Rose

Feb 11, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Can this series be purchased on dvd? I checked the amazon.com link and
it is not sold there.


regrettably it is not available from the producers. you could get in touch with your local pbs affiliate and ask them if they would make it available.

Flat Cream Puffs

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Pie and Pastry Questions


Feedback: I live in Mexico and the humidity is very high. I made cream puffs today. They rose up and were beautiful until I took them out of the oven. They fell flat and felt soggy. Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?


If you are also at high altitude you will need to decrease the amount of liquid to give more structure to the cream puffs. But for the high humidity it is essential, toward the end of baking after the cream puffs have set, to make a small cut into the side or bottom of each cream puff and then return them to the oven that the moisture can escape.

Baking Class Curriculum

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Feedback: I am going to be teaching an introduction to Baking night class at a local high school. What are somethings that I should add to this as this is my first time at taking a class and I really want to make it memorable.


Two of the most important things are the proper measuring and weighing of dry and liquid ingredients, and a discussion of the variety and quality of the key ingredients used in baking such as flour, leavening, sugar, butter, and chocolate. Best of luck.

Sourdough Starter

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Sourdough


Rose (I feel as though I know you since reading your book since Christmas),

In making our own starter we followed the directions day by day, my wife and I are both engineers so lists and organized plans are VERY helpful. The starter didn't appear to follow the double a day that you mentioned. This may have happened while we weren't looking and then deflated. At the 5 day point, we decided to keep with the daily routine. At the 10th day, the starter does look a bit more energetic.

Do we need to mature the starter by feeding it every 3 days at room temperature or should it be in the fridge? How much should we be feeding, 60g of flour and water without removing any while it is matured? Should we remove a cup before we start expanding it?

We would both appreciate even a quick response. The description that starts at the end of page 429 "for example ......" confuses us when we follow the instructions in the last paragraph of page 433.

Thank you in advance for the help,


because sour dough is an alive entity it is not something the you can nail down hundred percent.

The last paragraph on page 429 of my book referred to an already established starter. The last paragraph on page 433 is referring to one that is not yet mature.if you have an active starter as I mentioned at the bottom of page 433 if you don't plan to use it for several days feed it to double it, let it sit one hour, and then refrigerate it.
as I wrote, for the first two weeks feed it at least three times a week.if you are not feeding it every day you need to refrigerate it between feedings. I wrote that during maturing you need to keep a minimum of 1 cup. In answer to your question how much to feed it, I wrote that you need to at least double it, so this depends on how much you keep. You can do it by a eye, or as I prefer, by weight.

By way of encouragement, everyone who has written to me about problems starting a sourdough starter has, with patience, arrived at a successful one. What follows is one person's very helpful suggestion which I have not tried myself but suspect will work brilliantly:

"... i had a asked for advice earlier about a sourdough culture that was
going flat and not responding to the feeding after 2 days. the trick i had
about using a 50/50 mix of organic rye and bread flour during the next
feeding to reintroduce more wild yeast into the sourdough did the trick of
waking it back up. it responded right away and i just went back to normal
bread flour feedings. i haven't had any troubles since in case anyone in
the future has this problem"

Small Measuring Spoons

Feb 07, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


Feedback: Hi..how do you measure 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoons without a scale? I have the bread bible and wanted to make something that has 1/4 teaspoon yeast.Is there a place where i can buy odd size teaspoons, if so where? Thank you...p.s I love your work.


The one quarter teaspoon measure is available as part of the standard set but the one eighth is not usually. There is however a delightful little set of measuring spoons called a pinch, a dash, a smidgen. It's available at Crate and Barrel.

Red Velvet Cake

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions


Dear Rose,
I am an avid fan of yours and have been dedicated to the Cake Bible for as long as I have been baking. I've always wished you had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake in your book. I have tried to use your method of incorporating ingredients, but still have not found the success I experience with your recipes in baking. Do you have a recipe and if so would you share it?
Thank you for making me a better baker. Your book is amazing (as is your pie cookbook which I also love).
Most sincerely and with much admiration


thank you dear libby. a red velvet cake is simply a layer cake that uses one bottle of liquid red food color for some of the liquid, so all you have to do is chose any of my cakes (yellow or white) and replace an equal volume of the liquid with the red food color.

RETRACTION i was so wrong and those of you who have my newest book Rose's Heavenly Cakes will see that I have created my version of the classic red velvet cake which I now love so much I even made a wedding cake which is also posted on the blog!

The Cake Bible and the New Cake Book

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books


I am thinking about purchasing The Cake Bible. When is the new book coming out and what will be different? Should I wait for the new one or should I purchase both of them?

I'm a novice to pastry making. Will there be a new pastry book also or am I safe to purchase The Pastry Bible?

Thank you for a very informative site.


i would highly recommend getting the cake bible and here's why: last year i did a revision but the only things i felt needed changing were the chocolate recommendations and the equipment and ingredient distributors. chocolate is now expressed in % of cocoa mass rather than manufacturer and some of the chocolates i recommended no longer exist! the recipes, however, have become classics as the book has survived for close to 18 years now and still going strong. i found there was nothing i wanted to change with the exception of the burnt almond milk chocolate ganache as the chocolate bar used to make it is no longer being manufactured so i replaced it with another delicious milk chocolate ganache (lesson learned not to have a product-dependent recipe!)

the cake bible is filled with explanations about how cake baking works which is ideal for beginning and advanced bakers who want to know more and have more control over what they are doing.

the new cake book will be entirely different with emphasis on the visual (some aspect of every cake will be pictured) and contain all the new ideas that have come about over the past two decades since the cake bible.

re the pie pastry bible, if i ever do another on the subject it will be many years from now! but do check out the new pie crust that's on the blog. it's a variation of the cream cheese pie crust but uses heavy cream instead of water and is more tender and more delicious.

Mini Cheesecake Pans with Removable Bottoms

Jan 15, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


Hi Rose,

I have used your 12 cup Muffin Pan with great success.

Do you know where I can get 12 mini cup pan with a removable base ideal for individual mini cheesecakes?

I had to get the above muffin pan in Boston as we do not have them here.

Thank you, in anticipation,


they're produced by chicago metallics and i've seen them at williams sonoma! great pans!

Rusk Crackers, &Baker's Ammonia

Jan 13, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


Feedback: 2 questions:{1} What could I use in place of Rusk Crackers in a piecrust? as I can't find Holland Rusk. I have a recipe for a custard Rusk pie thats really good,, do they still make them? #2 what is a replacement for baking ammonia? I have a very old recipe for Drop cookies that calls for 3lbs flour 1/2 oz. baking soda, and 1/2 oz. baking ammonia,ect, also what would 1/2 oz. equal in teaspoons? Thank You


can't help with the rusk crackers as i don't remember what they are. maybe someone else on the blog can.
for the baker's ammonia: i used it to make melting moment cookies and got it from sweet celebrations. not sure if there is a replacement for it but i believe it predated modern day baking powder. if they still carry it, 1/2 ounce would be about 2-1/2 teaspoons.

Glorious Bread and a Beautiful Blogger!

Jan 09, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books


FH_Email: geekyrandomgirl@gmail.com
Feedback: I've been baking bread out of The Bread Bible for a couple of years now, and I wanted to let you know what an important book it has been to me. It was the first book on bread baking I bought, and it was such a great way to start out. My mom/grandmother are spoiled on store bought cinammon raisin bread because of you. Even starting out, the bread recipes from your book were easy to follow and turned out marvelous. I've learned alot from books by other bakers (Peter Reinhart and Dan Lepard are my other adopted mentors), but it seems like every time I learn something from them, I come back to your book, and it was there all along.
So I guess I'm trying to say thanks, because your book started my obsession with bread baking. I hope someday to open my own bread bakery. Do you have any advise for a pretty good amateur baker like me?
Also, I have a food/baking blog, I'd be thrilled to death if you looked at it: http://ratherbebakingbread.blogspot.com/
Thanks again Rose!


i'm deeply touched! and i must say in excellent company. one of these days--sooner rather than later--i'm going to list my version of peter reinhart's struan bread--a bread so wonderful i wrote him immediately after baking it for the first time to tell him how proud i am to be in the same profession as he. i don't know dan lepard but i'm sure i'd like to!
my best advice to you is to continue reading and baking and trust no one completely except your own personal experience. you will eventually create your own vision of bread. i'm sure you will be a great baker as you already are a great person. i can tell. and besides, it's impossible to be a good baker otherwise--the bread knows--believe me!

Humidity's Effect on Baking Ingredients

Jan 08, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


Love your books and just discovered this blog. WOW!

I'm a firm believer in weighing everything, but flour and brown sugar bother me. Since these two ingredients absorb water, how does humidity in the air affect their performance in recipes? In other words, does, say, 1 lb. of flour weighed on a hot and humid summer day actually contain less flour (and more water) than that weighed on a cold and dry winter day? How does a person compensate for this variation other than adding a little bit of flour or water at a time (which seems rather unscientific) as one goes along?


actually the 2 ingredients you mentioned have similar problems as they tend to dry out if improperly stored. they both benefit from airtight storage especially brown sugar that gets very hard when dry. i store mine in canning jars and never have a problem but if it comes in other containers it will dry and then you'll need to put a little foil cup in with the sugar and set a paper towel that has been dampened in the cup and then cover the container tightly. in a few hours the sugar will become soft again.

in very humid or very dry conditions the flour used for bread making will be affected but this can be controlled easily by adding a little flour or water to the dough if the consistency seems to require it. for cakes i don't find much of a difference. i do find a difference in salt that is so hygroscopic some days 1 teaspoon weighs 5.3 grams, other days it weighs 6.6 grams. but even that doesn't seem to make a noticeable difference in the baked product.

in any case, the volume of the flour or the brown sugar will be affected by humidity as well as the weight and weight is always a more accurate way to go because measuring varies from time to time by factors far more significant than humidity!

Crisp Vs. Chewy Cookies

Jan 08, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in General


Feedback: sometimes i like my cookies crisp-other times chewy.does substituting oil for shortening(or butter )make a difference or are there other factors?Thanks for any help.

you are right--there are many factors involved so the best thing is to make the type of cookie that is intended to be crisp or the type that is intended to be softer and chewy and store these cookies separately from eachother so they stay that way!

Shine on Royal Icing!

Jan 04, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

i just consulted with my friend hans welker who is head instructor of the bread baking kitchen at the french culinary institute and he said that a little glucose (which is a thick syrup, thicker than corn syrup) would do the trick as well as gycerine but if you can't find glucose, use a little corn syrup.


Jan 03, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


Feedback: The site is fantastic! Thanks for taking the time to answer so many reader questions.

Mine is a little late - I made a traditional royal icing for Xmas cookies this year, and read that it remained shinier if you added a couple of drops of glycerin. So I bought some at the drugstore and (although it said 'do not ingest this') I put in a couple of drops. Well, EW. It tasted like plastic!

Is there a food-grade glycerin to be had? Or is there a better way to keep the icing shiny?

Thanks so much,


thanks heath. i try to respond as soon as possible but starting january 18th i'll be travelling off and on for several months so may be harder to keep up quite as quickly!

i wouldn't use glycerine from the pharmacy especially if it says non-food grade. i got my supply from a wine making supply shop but they also have it at cake decorating supply places such as sweet celebrations in MN. it is a staple of candy making and rolled fondant. if you taste just a drop it does taste bitter but i find it's entirely over-ridden by all that sugar. if they don't carry the glycerin they will recommend other products that create the sheen in royal icing. i seem to remember when i studied at wilton that they had a product called numolene that helped to keep the icing soft as well.

Silicone Pans

Dec 29, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


Feedback: I just got silicone baking pans for Christmas, do they need to be greased/pam when using, any other tips for using this type of pan or where I can find more info. Thank You


although manufacturers of baking and cooking pans use the term non-stick, this is a relative thing. there is no substance on earth that is 10% non-stick. silicone is the best of all non-stick materal but it still requres preparation. a light coating of oil will work for non-chocolate cakes but a sray that contains oil and flour or oiling and flouring the pans is necessary for chocolate cakes.

i wrote a booklet for lékué silicone pans that is packaged with the pans. these pans are carried in many stores around the country including fantés in philadelphia that does mail-order.

Read about my association with Lékué Silicone pans and bakeware from Spain.


Dec 29, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients


You mentioned that ganache was a really easy frosting to make, but that doesn't seem to be true for me. Every time I make it, the ganache develops a layer of oil and looks clumpy. This has happened with your sour cream ganache, light whipped ganache, and the regular ol' ganache. I suspect I am overbeating it when I add the dairy, but is that truly the case?
Thanks, Jennifer


no, at least not for the regular ganache.you are overheating it and the cocoa butter in the chocolate separates and cannot be reincorporated. if you do it in the food processor as i indicate there is no way to overheat it because only the cream gets heated while the chocolate is ground and melts from the heat of the cream alone.

the ligt whipped ganache wil indeedl get clumpy if overbeaten.

Cooking for a Crowd

Dec 29, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers




i would make about 4 of the sicilian vegetable pizza rolls on page 220 of "the bread bible."

The Best Chocolate Cream Filling in the World

Dec 27, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Feedback: I have a recipe for a delicious cake filling that combines whipping cream, vanilla, and chocolate frosting mix. Since dry packaged frosting mix is no longer available, how can I get a very rich chocolate cream filling. Thank you


i know of none better than chocolate ganache. it is in many cookbooks including my own: the cake bible page 269 and it's really easy!

Coconut: the Love/Hate Ingredient

Dec 26, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


FH_Name: Debbie
FH_Email: seitzdeb@yahoo.com
Feedback: I often see cookie or cake recipes that I'd like to try, but they contain varying amounts of coconut, which I detest. What is the maximum amount of coconut that I can omit, and still have the recipe come out right? Or is there something I can substitute?


coconut is a very assertive flavor so there are those who adore it and those who detest it. if there are a lot of ingredients in say a cookie recipe and not a large amount of coconut it would surely make no difference if you left it out but if coconut seems to be the main or dominent ingredient the best thing is to chose another cookie or cake--there are so very many to chose from it shouldn't be a problem.

Freezing Fruit Purees

Dec 25, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Feedback: canraspberrypureebefrozen?



Increasing Recipes

Dec 21, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers


Feedback: I've just started getting into this baking stuff and for a party last week I quadupled the recipe for muffins. This also meant two teaspoons of salt since 1/2 teaspoon was called for. I ended up with salt-licks embedded with blueberries. When increasing a baking recipe, do you increase everything proportionally? Or when it comes to some items, like salt, should you do something different?


yes--you increase all the ingredients proportionately. but i find that if i don't write down the amount for each ingredient i often make mistakes. you may have added the salt two times. if it was the right amount of salt in the original recipe you would need 4 times the amount for 4 times the recipe. something went wrong.

Stitched Bindings for Cookbooks

Dec 21, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Rose's Books


Feedback: I have owned the Cake Bible for years, but the pages keep falling out. I would like to buy a used copy on the Internet, but fear getting the same edition. Can you tell me what to look for to make sure I get a later publication (and, thus, a better bound editon)?


sadly the publisher doesn't stitch the bindings in their books so if they get a great deal of use they come unglued. once i discovered this i vowed never to sign another book contract without a guarantee that my book would be stitched. so the bread bible is stitched and my next cake book will be stitched but the only way to get a stitched binding cake bible is to bring it to a book binder. there is, however, a newly revised edition in which i have updated all the ingredients such as chocolate, and equipment. there is a small, quarter size, label on the upper right side of the front cover that says "revised ingredients and equipment sections.

Size of Bundt Pans

Dec 18, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

Sue Question:
I have a question. My recipe calls for a 12 cup bundt pan. I have not been able to locate one. In addition the size is not given in cups, they are given in inches, so I bought one that says 9-1/2 inches. How does 12 cups equate to 9-1/2 inches? Will my recipe turn out using this size pan?

Rose Reply:
for the future, the best way to know pan size is to use a liquid measure to pour water into it. if it’s a two-piece pan line it first with a plastic bag such as a garbage bag.

i can tell you that by june, nordicware will be reissuing the famous 12 cup bundt pan. your 9-1/2 inch pan is almost certainly 10 cup capacity.

a good rule of thumb is to fill it no more than two-thirds full. but i sometimes fill it as much as 1-1/2 inch from the top and then it domes above the center tube while baking.

you will have extra batter using the smaller pan so use it to bake cupcakes.

Dutch Processed Cocoa

Dec 17, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

June Question:
would like to know the differences between Dutch processed and regular unsweetened cocoa powder?
thank you

Rose Reply:
Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize some of the acidity of the cocoa and give it an attractive reddish color.

Storing Fresh Ginger

Dec 17, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

Rosalie Question:
I have a piece of fresh ginger and would like to store it for awhile. Seem to me I read that one can put it in sherry, maybe, or water - I can't remember. Do you know? Thank you in advance for your reply.

Rose Reply:
i hate to tell you how old my ginger in sherry is—maybe 15 years!!! and it’s still fine. i’ve stored it in the frig. but these days i simply freeze any left-over. it freezes very well.

Yeast Conversion

Dec 15, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

Linda Question:
What is the conversion factor for substituting dry yeast for compressed yeast. Yeast cakes are getting harder to find in the supermarket. Thanks!

Rose Reply:
for those of you who have "the bread bible" the yeast conversion is on page 562

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 teaspoons fresh cake yeast

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.

Please Note: There is a second posting about yeast conversion so put yeast conversion in the search box and you will find it if you need more information.

Crème Fraîche

Dec 14, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Patricia Question:
How do you make creme fraiche?

Rose Reply:
it’s really easy if you can find cream that has not been ultra-pasteurized which heats it to a much higher temperature than for pastuerized cream. pasteurized cream thickens much more quickly.

pour 1 cup of heavy cream into a canning jar with tight fitting lid. add i tablespoon of buttermilk. set it in a warm spot, such as over the frig, or near a warm cooktop, and try not to be like me who visits it frequently with anxious glances. let it sit undisturbed for 12 to 14 hours or until thickened but still pourable. ultra-pasteurized cream may take as long as 36 hours.

for a speedy crème fraîche that is a little less tangy but still delicious: combine 1-1/2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup sour cream.

Ingredient Sources

Dec 12, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Kathy Question:
I welcome the coming of your baking web site, and would like to ask that you include a section which leads us to quality sources for some of the ingredients needed for the recipes. My plight (lack of supplies) is becoming more critical as the winter holidays come closer - I would like to make cookies which require a substantial amount of whole unblanched almonds (I want to grind my own) but the local stores - including Whole Foods and Balducci's) only carry small bags of slivered nuts. This problem is endemic across the board - it's hard to find good ripe peaches for pies, good ground (not canned) poppy seed etc etc. - AS IF the processed varieties, when available, are just as good.

NO! Only someone who does not have a good gustatory memory would ever believe that canned poppy seed, canned almond paste are as good as the products you would make for yourself. For example, when I grind my own almonds, I can taste the whole almond and see that it is plump and not dried out. It begs the imagination to believe that whoever makes the canned product takes care to be sure the raw ingredients are really prime.

Enough! Please include sources, where we can buy items like nuts and figs and prunes, top quality, in bulk, for a reasonable price.

Rose Reply:
you’re right! quality of ingredients is why sets professional bakers (and chefs) apart from home bakers. they often have access to the best. more and more places are selling to home bakers but they usually sell in large quantities.

penzey’s is a great source for spices and poppyseeds. i would never buy them ground, however, as they get rancid so fast that way. even whole, i store them in the freezer.

i list several good sources in the bread bible and of course the web is often my source for researching where to find special ingredients.

please also check out chefshop.com, and also, here’s an article i did for Food Arts Magazine on my greatest formerly secret sources!

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SOS: www.sos-chefs.net 212-505-5813

Silicone Cake Pans

Dec 10, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment

Allison Question:
Hello Rose,

I am a novice baker who's been turning out fabulous cakes thanks to your Cake Bible.

I have,however, had trouble locating magic strips for my cake pans, and was advised to try a silicon pan to achieve an even layer. What is your experience with silicon cake pans?

Thank you,

Rose Reply:
i am so entranced by silicone that i now represent (am spokesperson for) Lékué silicone of spain. the cake layer is not quite as high but it is more even and interestingly it has a more even, lighter, and i think much improved texture.

Read about my association with Lékué Silicone pans and bakeware from Spain.

Quantity Cookies

Dec 07, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cookie Questions

Henna Question:
Hi Rose,
I'm working in a new bagel shop/bakery and i am in charge of the bakery department. i'm looking to introduce some new items based on recipes that i use at home. at the bakery we measure everything in pounds, ounces and quarts. how can i charge my cookie recipe that makes 24 cookies to a recipe that makes 400 cookies???

i'm stumped and i've been looking for the answer but i can't find any clue anywhere?
can you help me or can you point me in the right direction?


Rose Reply:
i do everything in weights even for 6 cookies because it’s so much faster and easier. all you have to do is convert your smaller recipe to weights. make a batch weighing each ingredient and then multiply it. the problem you may run into is that things mix differently in larger quantities. you may have to adjust mixing time.

Measuring Pumpkin & Shortening & Re Dutch Processed Cocoa

Dec 04, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Christy Question:
Hi Rose,
I've got a couple of questions that Im sure you can answer for me. The first is this. When measuring out ingredients like pumpkin and shortening, which measure do I use, a liquid or a dry measure?

My next question is about baking cocoa. When a recipe calls for dutch process baking cocoa, can regular cocoa be substituted? I seem to have trouble finding dutch process in my area. Thank you so much for your responses!

Rose Reply:
pumpkin and shortening are both considered solids so they need to be measured in solid measuring cups, i.e. those with unbroken rims (no spouts) so you can level them off. the wonder cup is great for shortening bc you can push the shortening, which tends to be messy, out of it without having to touch it or scrape it with a spatula. of course i think weighing is a lot easier than any form of measuring cup!

re dutch processed cocoa, green and black organic is available at many health food stores and is a dutch processed variety. when a recipe is formulated for dutch processed it usually won’t work as well with regular cocoa which usually calls for baking soda to neutralize the acidity. some recipes, however, will be fine but it’s impossible to know without trying.

Thank yous

Dec 04, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

From Marti:
Rose, I was reading your comments about the egg yolks getting smaller. Since I raise laying hens, I was curious what the egg yolks from my hens would weigh. Here's what I found: Randomly picking 3 eggs from the refrigerator, I found that 3 egg yolks weighed 2 1/4 ounces or 66 grams; 3 egg whites weighed 4 3/4 ounces or 135 grams. I weighed the eggs that were just laid this morning, and 10 eggs in the shell weighed 24 1/4 ounces.

By the way, my hens are what I guess you would call "free range." They have a large fenced area they can run around in, scratching the ground, etc.

Just thought you might find this information interesting. I might pass your comments about smaller egg yolks on to the State Poultry Extension Agent and hear what he has to say.


Rose Reply:
thank you very much for pursuing this. i’d be very interested to know what the extension agent will say!

Patricia Question:
Congratulations! I love this new Blog as you call it and have signed up for the monthly newsletter. Just wanted to say "Hello" from North Carolina. I am so looking forward to your new cake book! You are the best ever teacher and because of you, I continue to be enthused about baking and trying new things. Always your friend. Pat

Rose Reply:
you southerners are the BEST. when i was in memphis filming a segment for the shop at home show i bought a great tee shirt that said southern girl on it. i figured that living in southern manhattan would make me qualify but no one has even questioned it!

thanks for your encouragement. i’m really enjoying working on the new cake book.

Gehanna Question:
Dear Rose

Thank you very much for this web site.

This morning when i read that you are writing another book i felt that i am over the moon

I bought all your books, and all my baking and cooking is from them .

You are a very great and special person.G-D bless you.

Could you please tell me when the book will be avaliable .?

I live in the U.K, but i always buy all the books from AMAZON .Com, i checked there today but i couldnot find any thing mentioned.

Waiting for your reply

Thank you in advance

Rose Reply:
i’m afraid it won’t be til 2008 or possibly even 2009 as a comprehensive cake book takes lots of time, especially since i plan to picture every cake. but once it’s finished you will have years worth of fun new baking experiences as i’m having with it now!

Bread Questions

Dec 02, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread Questions

A New Bread Coming Soon
those of you who are avid sour dough bread bakers, start getting your starters ready because in a few weeks i’m going to post one of the best bread recipes i’ve ever tasted from the wonderful restaurant primo in maine. i’ve tested it every which way but lose and have to admit that price, baker/co owner, is 100% right when he said you have to have a starter for this bread to come out right. it’s a carmelized onion focaccia and you’ll LOVE it!

Manrique Question:
Dear Ms. Levy Beranbaum,

I recently bought a copy of The Bread Bible and I read it when I go to bed! I also try out some recipes, of course. Thank you for your such an interesting book.

I've been trying to make baguettes and I'm getting better at it. I do have a question regarding the scrap dough described on page 337. You describe the mixture as "very soft and sticky" but I find that 57.5 grams of flour plus 1.2 grams of salt do not get soft and sticky if I add two tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of yeast water. Are the quantities that you indicate correct?

Thank you very much for your time.


Rose Reply:
i notice you are writing from another country so i bet your flour has a higher protein content and is therefore absorbing more water. OR you are measuring and not weighing and getting more flour than i specified. either way, add more unyeasted water until you get the proper consistency.

Christine Question:
Hi Rose,

I love this new site. Thank you for all your hard work.

Here's my question. When I want to double a yeast bread recipe, should I also double the amount of yeast? One cookbook I consulted says you should double all the ingredients except the yeast. Maybe you've discussed this in "Bread Bible," (which holds an esteemed place on my bookshelf, by the way) but I haven't been able to find the answer.

Thank you!

Rose Reply:
thank you! i always double the yeast when i double the recipe. i have also read that less yeast is required when recipes are increased but i’m quite sure, especially from experience, that this refers to larger increases. yeast and bread dough seem to behave differently in larger amounts.

Cheryl Question:
Hi Rose;
I have baked from your books for years, and love the Cake Bible, and the Pie Bible and am working my way through the Bread Bible. I've loved everything but tonight I finished baking the panetonne and am somewhat disappointed on two accounts. One, it is barely sweet--almost a non-sweet taste, I would say--and second, the flor de sicilia (which I measured very carefully) has left the bread bitter. I did not alter the recipe at all and it rose beautifully and has a great texture. Is is possible that more sugar or corn syrup should have appeared in the recipe?

Thank you for your help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara Question:
If I use the mini paper molds (individual serving size) instead of the 6”x4” size, what adjustments in time do I need to make at step 8 (final shape and rise) and step 10 baking)?

Thanks very much. Your recipes are always the best ever!

Rose Reply:
smaller panettone bake for 25 to 35 minutes. since the unbaked dough will rise to almost 3 times its height, and it’s nice to have it rise a little above the paper liners during baking, i would fill them about ¾ full.

Joyce Question:
Hi, I have a recipe from a 1941 cookbook that calls for 1 cake of yeast. Can I use the fresh yeast sold in supermarkets are they the same weight now as then? Also what would be the measurement for active dry yeast?

Thanks for all your help. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Rose Reply:

i can’t tell you the size of the cake of yeast but i can tell you about how much yeast to use in relation to the amount of flour in the recipe. also, i’m a great beliver in instant yeast. for 1 cup of bread flour use about ¼ teaspoon instant yeast. if using active dry add a tiny bit more. if using all purpose flour instead of bread flour use a scant ¼ teaspoon instant yeast. these proportions are for the basic hearth bread but if you’re making a bread with a lot of eggs and butter such as a brioche you will need to double the yeast

Lou Question:
Hi Rose,

First, let me start by telling you that I have all of the "Bibles" and they are fantastic. I have yet to have a recipe not come out perfect and I cannot thank you enough for that. Your cheescake and flourless chocolate cake are amazing and I have been asked countless times to make them for friends and co-workers. My new favorite is the Linzertorte. I have a bread question that I hope you can help me with.

My favorite bread is the Italian bread that is is found in all of the good bakeries (especially the ones in the Bronx). It is called a Bastone and it is torpedo shaped and covered with sesame seeds. I have searched high and low and cannot find a recipe for it. I have made your Ciabatta and Puglise and they were great, so I am hoping you might have a recipe.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.


Rose Reply:
thank you so much lou for your kind words. i’m sorry to disappoint you but this is not a bread that i have pursued. have you checked carol field’s book “the italian baker?” if she doesn’t have it i don’t know who would. do try the primo focaccia that i plan to post in a few weeks. i think it might make you forgive me for my lapse!

Sarah Question:
Hi! I made your chocolate chocolate chip bread twice and I think I'm doing something wrong. Everything goes really good until I add the second half of the cocoa paste in two additions. Once it is all incorporated the batter starts to look kind of grainy and possibly loses volume as well. The final product loses some butter which you can actually see almost condensing on the parchment paper used to line the loaf pan, and the flavor is almost a little watery. I followed the timing instructions exactly. Am I overbeating or something?

Rose Reply:
it sounds to me like the butter is too cold and can’t stay in suspension. it needs to be soft but squishable (65 to 75 degrees F). it shouldn’t be too soft or warm either. as for the flavor being watery—i wonder what kind of cocoa you are using and perhaps you should try another as this quick bread is intensely chocolatey. try the organic green and black which is fantastic.

Betsy Question:
Dear Rose-- Love your Bread Bible.

Question: I have been trying to perfect the sacaduros and am running into a few snags.
The dough looks exactly like your drawings but the finished product does not look like the last drawing. I just don't feel like they poof up enough during baking. I have been baking bread for a long time so feel like I know what I am doing.

So my question is: do the rolls need to rise for a bit before you bake them, or only while you are getting the whole pan of them ready?

Also--what causes the outer part of the roll to be "too" hard?

Thanks a million.

Rose Reply:
at daniel they did not let them rise before baking but maybe since they were doing a larger quantity they started to rise by the time the last ones were done. it wouldn’t hurt to try letting them rise a little. is suspect that would solve the problem. i was there a couple of weeks ago and found myself giggling bc the saccadoros were so hard on the outside i had trouble breaking into them with my fingers! they are a special treat so they are not always available. now that you’ve made them you know why—they’re very labor intensive!

if you would prefer for them to be softer, you could add some oil to the dough. when i want to make softer hamburger buns from my basic heart bread recipe i just add ¼ cup oil for 1 pound/3 cups flour.

Mitch Question:
I have made your recipe for sacaduros rolls. They are delicious but I am having trouble in having them open up during baking. I think I am sealing it too much when I cross over the dough. Got any hints?

Rose Reply:
i’m thrilled to hear you’re trying this recipe as my editor and i deliberated long and hard as to whether to sacrifice so many book pages to it! please see my reply above re letting them rise a little after shaping and yes, seal a little less firmly as they won’t open if sealed too tightly.

Crème Frâiche

Nov 23, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Dora Question:
Hello Rose,

Before I get to my question, I must let you know that your Cake Bible is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing all your expertise.

I've been an avid baker all my life, and this past April I made my first wedding cake for a very special occasion: my sister's wedding. She loves everything lemon, so I decided on a three-tiered cake, each layer consisting of an almond dacquoise base topped with a light layer of lemon buttercream, then alternating layers of genoise classique & lemon curd, and coverered with the buttercream and finished with porcelain white fondant.

Her bouquet consisted of white calla lilies, so I made some lilies out of the fondant for the top, and since she loves pearls, the cake was decorated with a royal icing "pearl" variation-on-a-theme: 7 pearls arranged in flower patterns for the bottom layer, 3 pearls arranged in a triangle for the middle, and single pearls for the top. It was a lot of work, but everyone loved it.

Now, onto my challenge. I've made creme fraiche many a time before, but lately I've been encountering lots of difficulty with it thickening properly. In the past, after having left the well-covered cream/buttermilk mixture on top of the fridge out to thicken for about 24 hours, it's thickened, and I've put it in the fridge to let it continue to thicken. Afterwards, I've sweetened it, and had no problems.

But I'm getting really frustrated with all of my recent attempts. I know that heavy cream can vary slightly from batch to batch, but even though I've tried a couple of brands of whipping cream, I'm still not having much luck. And when I try sweetening it after it's been refrigerated a while, it liquifies way more than it ever has in the past.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time and for your generous spirit.

Warm regards,

Rose Reply:
crème frâiche is one of the most useful ingredients to temper the sweetness of desserts, to add to scrambled eggs for a rich creaminess and tangy flavor, and to sauces. there is an excellent product available from vermont butter and cheese company. as you know, making your own is quite easy if you can obtain cream that is NOT ultrapasteurized. sadly this is becoming more and more difficult. it has been my experience that with ultra-pastuerized cream, it will eventually thicken if left in a warm spot of 80 to 90 degerees but it may take several days. my best advice is to befriend your local bakery. they usually have access to commercial 40% butterfat cream that is not ultra-pasteurized. (that's what i've done!) offer to buy it and i'm sure they will be generous in ordering extra for you.

Raw Egg Safety Regulations

Nov 22, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Erica Question:
Good Morning Mrs. Beranbaum,

I purchased your book about a year ago and I think it is great

I am planning to use your buttercream icing recipe for a wedding cake that I'm doing in December. I wanted to know if I should forewarn people about the use of raw egg yolks? Actually, I was also wondering if the yolks were cooked a little when I add the heated sugar/corn syrup combo?

Thank you for your time. -Erica

Rose Reply:
food safety experts agree that the highest risk is for young children, the elderly, pregnant, and those whose immune systems are impaired. the hot syrup is not sufficient to eliminate all risk.

since i'm not a food safety expert, i'd like to direct you to the american egg board: www.aeb.org.
they recommend the following:

1) use the buttercream recipe on their website, or follow the guidelines for recipes you may want to adapt
2) use pasteurized eggs in the shell available in some markets (pasteurized is marked on the carton)

3) use egg product (liquid or frozen eggs). at the present time these are available mostly to food service.

Splenda and Sugar Free Cakes

Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Questions and Answers

Amy Question:
I have a question about baking with Splenda. I have an at home cake business and just received an order where the customer would like a sugar free cake. She wants a carrot cake (1/4 sheet pan) with cream cheese frosting. I was reading all the information about Splenda on the Splenda website but thought perhaps I could spare myself a lot of experimenting and some money by asking - does anyone have tips for making a great sugar free carrot cake and sugar free cream cheese frosting?

Thanks so much for your time. As always, thank you for your wonderful recipes and helpful advice in your books.

Rose Reply:

what follows is a short piece on splenda that i wrote for fine cooking magazine a few years ago. i hope it helps. i know it won't answer your question about a sugar free recipe for these cakes but perhaps another blogger might have a recipe to offer.

My philosophy regarding sugar substitutes is that there is nothing like the real thing sweetie! As a general principal, it is better to have a small piece of something wonderful than a larger compromised portion. But when it comes to specific physical intolerances such as diabetes, there can be a valid case for sugar substitutes.

The problem with "sugar substitutes" is potential compromise of flavor and texture. Of all the sugar substitutes, Splenda, however, comes closest to sugar in both, constituting a significant culinary breakthrough. In industry, it has dramatically improved the flavor of many commercial products that require sweetener.

Because Splenda's flavor is so close to that of refined cane sugar, it makes an ideal substitute in a wide range of desserts where a precise crystalline structure is not essential, such as all manner of custards including ice cream (though sorbet will be less creamy), pastry creams, buttercreams, mousses, cheesecake, and even biscuits for short cake. But as in all substitutions, though it may be acceptable it is not identical. Sauces and custards may not be as thick and will probably cook slightly faster.

In traditional layer and sponge cakes, however, where the crystalline structure is needed for aeration, Splenda falls short because it will not result in the same volume. It will also not provide the moisture retentiveness and tenderness.

But wouldn't you rather have a wonderful slice of banana cream pie than a less than perfect piece of cake?

For tips regarding cooking and baking with Splenda refer to their website: www.splenda.com

Addendum: I have listed several websites on Sites I Like for those who are looking for recipes for specific needs such as: sugar substitutes, gluten free, low far, and lactose free.

Rounded vs Flat Cake Layers

Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions


I hope you are well. I have had an interesting cupcake experience. Today I made cupcakes using your All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake, the recipe of which I have used on countless occasions for both cakes and cupcakes. I baked the first two trays of cupcakes in separate ovens at the same time and got basically the same result, I have gotten in the past. The cupcakes were mostly flat on top, especially when filled too high. (When filled lower I got a slight arc.)

While they were cooling, I ran out to the store, to get more cupcake fillers to bake the last of the batter (6 more cupcakes.) I baked these for the same amount of time, but got a much higher cupcake. It looked as if they almost erupted slightly...peaking like a volcano! I have attached a picture for you to look at...the one in the middle is from the second baking, the other two are two samples from the first baking.


Why did I get such a different result from the same batter? Did it have something to do with the batter sitting for more than 30 minutes before baking? Or that I used a 6 cup tray instead of a 12 cup tray? (The 6 cup tray was made of the same material as one of the 12 cup trays I used.) I would really like to be able to duplicate the result, since they looked nice frosted, but cannot understand why. Your insight would be invaluable!


cake batter that rises up in the center during baking resembling a volcano is always due to the cake's structure being too strong. this can be the result of using a higher protein flour or of inadequate leavening which i'm fairly certain is the case in your situation. baking powder is called double acting because part of it reacts on contact with the liquid in the batter and the other part from the oven heat. since part of your batter sat a while before baking, part of the baking powder activated leaving less to tenderize the batter. if you want to simulate the result, simply decrease the baking powder and you will get a more rounded top but a less tender cake.


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