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Category ... Cakes

Flourless Nut Torte Technique Photos

Mar 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


While going through and editing out over 2000 of my photos on the computer I discovered this great series of step-by-step photos, taken by Woody, of the Hungarian Jancsi Torta from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

As I have just posted a coffee pecan version of the cake, we thought it would be helpful to share the technique photos that are essentially the same.





























Jansci 5-08 before cooling.jpg


Jansci 5-08.jpg


My Favorite Passover Flourless Pecan Torte

Mar 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes


Sean Nutley, owner of the wonderful cookware shop Blue Cashew, in Rhinebeck, New York, made this fabulous version of what was my single layer torte from Rose's Heavenly Cakes--cousin Sybil's Passover Pecan Torte. It has become my new standard and what I will be making for this Passover. (Sadly, Sybil Zashin passed away several months ago. But the memory of this lovely woman remains.)

During Passover, tradition dictates that flour must not be eaten. The nuts in this torte replace the flour which not only results in a delicious flavor but is also suitable for the gluten intolerant. No need to reserve it just for Passover--this torte would serve as a festive dessert for any holiday or special event.

Note:: The following posting will be a series of step-by-step photos for another flourless nut torte which uses walnuts instead of pecans and includes chocolate, but the technique is the same.

Serves: 8 to 10 if one layer, 16 to 24 if two layers

Oven Temperature: 350F/175C
Baking Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Make this batter twice if planning to make a two layer cake.

Special Equipment One 9-1/2 by 2-1/2 to 3-inch springform pan, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round. Do not coat sides.








superfine sugar

3/4 cup, divided

5.3 ounces

150 grams

pecan halves

2-1/4 cups (plus extra if sprinkling on top as garnish

8 ounces

225 grams

coffee extract (or instant espreso powder, preferably Medaglia D'Oro)

2 tablespoons or 1 tablespoon



7 large eggs, separated, at room temperature:

yolks 1/2 cup (118 ml), whites 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (207 ml)

yolks 4.6 ounces, whites 7.5 ounces

yolks 130 grams, whites 210 grams

cream of tartar if not for Passover (optional)

3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon (17 ml)



Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set oven racks at the middle level and preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

Divide the Sugar In a small bowl, place 1/4 cup of the sugar for the nuts. In another small bowl, place 2 tablespoons of the sugar for the meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar.

Toast and Grind the Pecans Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes to enhance their flavor. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely. In a food Processor, pulse the pecans with the 1/4 cup sugar and espresso powder, if using, in long bursts until very fine. Stop before the pecans start becoming oil or pasty. Empty them into a medium bowl.

Make the Yolk Mixture In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, add the yolks to the sugar and beat on high speed for 5 minutes, or until very thick and fluffy and when the beater is raised the mixture falls in ribbons.

Detach the whisk from the mixer and use it to fold the pecan mixture and the coffee extract, if using,into the batter until evenly mixed. If you don't have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the egg whites (and cream of tartar if using) on medium speed until foamy. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks for whyen the whisk is raised slowly. If not using cream of tartar, stop beating just before stiff peaks to prevent overbeating The peaks should curve over slightly when the beater is raised.

Complete the Batter Add about one-quarter of the meringue to the yolk mixture and, with a large balloon whisk or the whisk beater, fold until completely incorporated.Gently fold in the remaining meringue in three parts. For the last addition, be sure there are no white streaks of meringue in the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula or silicone spatula, spread the surface evenly. The batter will fill the pan half full.

Bake the Cake Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch when pressed very lightly in the center. An instant read thermometer will read 185F/85C. In a 2-1/2 inch high pan, the batter will have risen to the top of the pan.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Leave it undisturbed until the pan feels completely cool to the touch. Reinvert the pan. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly agains the pan, and remove the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a flat plate and remove the pan bottom and parchment. Reinvert it onto a serving plate. There will be a 3/8 depression to fill with coffee cream.

Coffee Whipped Cream Double if making a two layer cake.

Makes: 2 cups/9 ounces/256 grams







heavy cream, cold

1 cup (237 ml)

8.2 ounces

232 grams

superfine sugar

2 tablespoons

0.9 ounce

25 grams

coffee extract (or Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon)




4 teaspoons



powdered gelatin (see Note)

1/4 teaspoon



pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon



Make the Coffee Cream In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and espresso powder, if using, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the mixer's beaters alongside the bowl.)

In a 1 cup heatproof glass cup, place the water and gelatin. Allow the mixture to soften for 5 minutes. Set the cup in a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can be done in a microwave, stirring once or twice.)

Remove the cup from the water and cool the mixture to room temperature, about 7 minutes. (It can be held longer but should be covered to prevent evaporation.) the gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to the cream.

Whip the cream mixture, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, just until traces of the beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the gelatin mixture in a steady stream, whipped constantly. Add the vanilla and coffee extrat, if not using the espresso powder, and whip just until stiff peaks form when the eater is raised. To avoid the risk of overwhipping, when almost stiff enough, remove the beaters and use them, or a whisk, to finish whipping by hand.

Immediately swirl the cream into the depression on top of the cake. If making a second layer fill and frost the entire cake with the whipped cream. If desired, sprinkle with the extra chopped pecans. The cake can be refrigerated overnight and will keep at room temperature for several hours.

Note: The gelatin will keep the whipped cream from watering out on standing.

Almost Blueberry Time!

Mar 19, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes


Spring is in the air, which means it's getting closer to fresh blueberry season! Charlotte Wright has a great blog posting which includes tips and recipes from many bakers, including me, for blueberry muffins. Muffin Paradise

Hector's Latest Take on My Cake--Gluten Free Génoise

Feb 27, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2015


Last week, the Alpha Bakers made one of my favorite cakes from The Baking Bible, "the Lemon Posset," page 111. You can read about all of the results on their individual blogs if you click on Alpha Bakers Bake Along on the left side of this blog. It is fascinating to see all the different ways in which they used this ethereal cream that consists only of lemon, cream, and sugar. One person, Hanaa, even used it as a sort of tres leches by pouring it on top of the cake before it was set so that it saturated the cake.

Hector used the posset as a glaze on a génoise made with 100% cornstarch. The texture of the cake crumb looks exquisite and I look forward to trying it for taste and tenderness evaluation!


Here is Hector's description of what he did:

Reading all of Rose's 10 books, the Lemon Posset Shortcakes from The Baking Bible caught my interest. These are genoise little cakes topped with a light lemon curd. There are a few reasons for my choice.

First, I love making genoise, and knowing I learned how to use any
cake pan size and shape to bake genoise, I felt confident I can make it into an odd shaped cake. Also, one of the office staff is wheat intolerant, so checkmate... I decided on using my no-flour variation.

Secondly, the lemon posset was described as a lemon curd without eggs, so I felt for all the mothers whom ask me to make a cake without eggs because their kids are allergic to eggs. I feel so depressed to know
eggs is on the no-foods list. I tell those mothers, go somewhere
else, because eggs are fundamental in my recipes. I do feel terrible.
With the lemon posset, I could at least offer a filling or frosting
without eggs! I can offer a recipe of lemon curd without eggs with
the amazing lemon posset!

Thirdly, I knew making an odd shaped cake will leave me unsatisfied. So, I decided to make a giant cake batter,
sufficient for my client's odd shaped cake and for a bundt cake for
myself! I whipped a whopping 20 cup genoise cake batter, filling to
the rim my 7 quart spiral mixer. For a 10 cup genoise cake batter, a
5 quart mixer is sufficient.

I used Rose's Heavenly Cakes Genoise Rose recipe multiplied by 2, to make a 20 cup genoise cake batter. To make the cake wheat free,
substitute by weight the cake flour with cornstarch. With all cornstarch, the rise and grain are glorious. However, the texture is a little coarser such as there is a crunch when you bite on the cake. Everyone seems to like it, and describes it as a light and moist cake. It really is lighter than air. I describe my wheat free genoise as a
ladyfinger with buttery taste.

To determine how much lemon posset to make for a 20 cup genoise,
compare the amount of eggs used. I scaled up the lemon posset recipe
by 5 1/2 times. Also, and perhaps the best piece of information from
all my writing, is that I used a true old-fashioned heavy cream. It
just makes everything made with cream much more delicious and with an amazing thick consistency. To do this, replace 1/4 of the cream with
melted unsalted butter. I learned this from Cake Bible's Real Old Fashioned Whipped Cream recipe.

Bake the cake, cool it, moisten it with lemon syrup, chill it overnight, place the cake on a rack, pour the lemon posset like a glaze, collect what drips and pour again about 3 to 4 times until there is very little drippings.

Hector's Christmas Present to You!

Dec 24, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes


Hector's Take on my Cran Raspberry up-side-down cake from The Baking Bible is extremely clever, attractive, and practical. It can be adapted for other cakes.

From Hector:

Here is my take on Baking Bible's Cran Raspberry Upside Down Cake. Aside from heating the caramel too dark, I adore this idea!

I needed this cake for a large party, so I made a double recipe and used a 12" pan (twice the volume of a 9" pan equals to one 12" pan, rounds, 2" deep).

To provide center support, I fitted a 6" cake pan on the center. The end result is a large ring cake, perfectly level, plus a little 6" cake.

Pictures can describe step by step what I did. Note I am using a gluten free flour. I am happy with the looks and taste.






Note from Rose: When using wheat flour the cranberries do not rise to the top of the cake so that when inverted the cranberries are on top.

Hector's Pumpkin Chiffon Bundt Cheesecake

Dec 03, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2014

For the holidays, Hector is offering this special new "Take" on my cake. He says that it's like eating pumpkin chiffon pie.


My cheesecake ebook has recipes for 3 types of cheesecakes, techniques I learned from Rose! These are: sour cream batters, heavy cream batters, and no-bake batters. I like to use a bundt pan for the no-bake cheesecakes. Un mold it like a jello mold, after dipping the pan in hot water for 2 minutes. The cake serving plate should be chilled in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, so the melting cheesecake runs off "just enough" and sets into irresistible lickable drips.

The recipe is on my ebook. Basically is part pumpkin or other flavor custard cream, part cream cheese, part cream, and part italian meringue. If you don't have my ebook, you can use the instructions on RHC's no-bake cheesecake. The crust for no-bake cheesecakes on a bundt pan is pressed on top of the batter, which when inverted becomes the bottom crust. For my pumpkin take, instead of a cookie crumb crust, I used whole pecans... perfect ocassion to use lots of pecans prior all get exported to China!


canned pure pumpkin: 240 g (about 1 cup)
sugar: 25 g (about 2 tablespoons)
gelatin: 10 g (about 1 tablespoon)
ground ginger: 1/2 teaspoon
ground cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon
ground nutmeg: 1/2 teaspoon
salt: 1/2 teaspoon

Stir together all the ingredients. Rest, covered, until the gelatin is hydrated, about 10 minutes. On medium heat, stirring continuously, cook until it starts to darken and thicken, about 10 minutes. Puree with a food processor or immersion blender, until very smooth. Keep lukewarm, covered.


egg whites: 90 g (about 3)
cream of tartar: 3/8 teaspoon
sugar: 175 g (about 14 tablespoons)
water: 45 g (about 3 tablespoons)


cream cheese: 450 g (about 1 lb)
heavy cream: 465 g (about 2 cups

Conversations with Dédé: The Golden Chiffon

Nov 11, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious

The Renée Fleming Golden Chiffon


Dédé has written another engaging story about the cake from The Baking Bible which I dedicated to the glorious opera singer Renée Fleming. Click on this link for the story and also the recipe.

Renée Fleming just sent Woody and me each a disc of her latest release Christmas in New York along with a lovely note.


Apple Walnut Muffins: A Highlight of the Apple Season

Oct 04, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


During our stay in August at the Maplestone Inn Bed and Breakfast, near New Paltz, New York, we enjoyed these marvelous muffins made by inn keeper Patte Roche. What we loved most about the muffins was the exceptionally large amount of diced apples suspended in them, in fact, there were more apples than batter. When Patty sent us the recipe, we were surprised to see that the apples supply the liquid in the batter. We adapted the recipe slightly to make 12 instead of the original 10 and we used clarified butter instead of oil as we love the flavor of butter. We clarified the butter to avoid adding extra moisture to the batter as the apples provide just the right amount. If you prefer to use oil, see note below.

Continue reading "Apple Walnut Muffins: A Highlight of the Apple Season" »

A Special Chocolate Cake for Father's Day

Jun 11, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Epicurious


The Chocolate Pavarotti


I posted this recipe two father's day ago and was such a hit i am posting it once again.

Perhaps the most remarkable sound I have ever heard was achieved by Luciano Pavarotti, in a recording of Bellini's I Puritani, when he reached an impossible sounding F above high C. This cake is dedicated to him and will appear in my upcoming book.

In the past, I've added melted white chocolate to yellow cake, and also to white cake, with excellent results of higher rise and more moistness. One day it suddenly dawned on me that it could be equally wonderful in a dark chocolate cake. Yes!

The Chocolate Pavarotti
Serves about 8

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake 30  to 40 minutes

Makes:  A 1-7/8 inch high cake

The Batter







white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped


4 ounces

113 grams

unsweetened cocoa powder (alkalized)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (sifted before measuring)

1.5 ounces

42 grams

boiling water

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces)

4.2 ounces

118 grams

2 large eggs, preferably Safest Choice Pasteurized, room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces)

3.5 ounces

100 grams


3 tablespoons (1-1/2 fluid ounces)

1.5 ounces

44 grams

pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoons



bleached cake flour

1-1/2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off)

5.5 ounces

156 grams

superfine sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon

5.7 ounces

162 grams

baking powder

3-1/4 teaspoons




1 teaspoon



unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)

8 tablespoons (1 stick)

4 ounces

113 grams

canola, safflower, or sunflower oil, room temperature

2 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

Special Equipment One 9 by 2-inch cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment round, then lightly coated with baking spray with flour.

Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Melt the White Chocolate Heat the chocolate until almost completely melted. Use a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often- do not let the bottom of the container touch the water.).

Remove the chocolate from the heat source and, with the silicone spatula, stir until fully melted. Allow the chocolate to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

Mix the Cocoa and Water In a medium bowl whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.

Mix the Remaining Liquid Ingredients In another bowl whisk the eggs, the 3 tablespoons of water, and vanilla just until lightly combined.

Mix the Batter In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter, oil, and the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and beat at medium speed for about 10 seconds until evenly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.

Bake the Cake Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake spring back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. It will have a few cracks in the top.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert it onto a wire rack that have been coated with cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up, and cool completely.

Sprinkle the cake lightly with powdered sugar shortly before serving or frost with your favorite buttercream. Ganache would be a great choice!

Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake for Father's Day

Jun 08, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Eggs



This is the original photo by Ben Fink, from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. filled and frosted with whipped cream and adorned with ValRhona chocolate pearls or mini chocolate chips.

My dad had a major sweet tooth. He would pile three heaping tablespoons of sugar into his tea and when I expressed shocked indignation, after all his wife, my mother, was a dentist, he would out an out lie that he didn't stir the sugar into the tea!

I thought he would adore angel food cake because it is so unremittingly sweet but, in fact, he complained that it was too sweet so I came up with this version that he loved. I fold grated bitter chocolate into the batter. The very lightest and most tender texture comes from using Wondra flour as it blends easily into the batter without deflating it significantly. This recipe is adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.
Note: Egg whites from Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs offer the most stable meringue foam. Be sure to double the cream of tartar for the best results.

The Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

Equipment: a 5 quart or larger stand mixer, an uncoated 10-inch two-piece metal tube pan (16 cup capacity). A long necked soda or wine bottle, or a large inverted metal funnel that will fit into the opening at the top of the pan (have this ready before baking and weight it by filling it with water or marbles to keep it from tipping).

superfine sugar1-1/2 cups, divided10.5 ounces300 grams
Wondra flour OR cake flour3/4 cup (lightly spooned and leveled off) OR 1 cup (if cake flour sifted into the cup and leveled off) 3.5 ounces100 grams
salt1/4 teaspoon..
16 large egg whites, preferably from Safest Choice Pasteurized eggs2 cups (473 ml)17 ounces480 grams
cream of tartar2 teaspoons (4 teaspoons if using Safest Choice Pasteurized eggs)..
pure vanilla extract4 teaspoons..
fine quality unsweetened or 99% cacao chocolate, grated.2 ounces56 grams

Continue reading "Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake for Father's Day" »

Hector's Case Study: Chocolate Domingo Wedding Cake.

Sep 01, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Recipes

Hector has created another stunner, dapting one of my top favorite chocolate cakes to wedding cake proportions.

IMG_6157Chocolate Domingo Wedding Cake.jpg

In Hector's Words:

The Chocolate Domingo Cake is a beloved chocolate cake from the Cake Bible. The recipe is for one 9" round cake pan, 2" deep. I offered this cake for a party of 100 and converted the recipe into a wedding cake: a top tier consisting of two 9" cakes, and a bottom tier consisting of two 12" cakes. What attracted me to make this recipe a wedding cake was its high butter content which near guarantees a moist and tender cake even after 3 days of baking, which is the average span of time of a wedding cake to decorate, deliver, and display.

For the top tier, I multiplied x2 every ingredient and baked two 9" pans. For the bottom tier, I multiplied x4 every ingredient; and in addition multiplied the baking powder and baking soda x0.84, which is indeed a subtraction, and baked two 12" pans. A 12" pan is very close to twice the volume of a 9" pan. I used Rose's Heavenly Cake strips on all pans, fitting 3 strips with large paper clips on each 12" pan. Oven temperature was as indicated in the 9" recipe. The oven times were longer since i baked two 9" cakes at once (35-45 mins) and then two 12" cakes at once (50 to 60 mins).

It worked PERFECTLY!!! The cakes rose beautifully. The cakes didn't collapse nor volcanoed in the middle. The cake was level and a dream to stack.

Chocolate Domingo Wedding Cake - 1.jpg

Chocolate Domingo Wedding Cake - 2.jpg

The texture of the 12" cakes were indistinguishable from the texture of the 9" cakes. I came about the x0.84 subtraction of the leavening from studying the Rose Factor charts from the Cake Bible. I can't tell you for sure yet that this is magic rule, but it is a handy start for converting a 9" butter cake into a 12"!!!

IMG_6129Chocolate Domingo Cake.jpg

Now, if u want a 6" third tier, make one 9" recipe and bake two 6" pans! A 6" pan is very close to half the volume of a 9" pan. It is recommended to increase the baking powder and baking soda when baking on smaller cake pans, but I find it unnecessary with a 6" pan; it is so small that any arguing can be shouted off with some serrated knife action post baking!

Buy, borrow, or steal, a copy of the Cake Bible to understand my full thinking. Read pages 490-492 and you can expand on my case study for any pans up to 18" wide.

My Favorite Valentine's Cake

Feb 08, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories


photo credit: Ben Fink

For the recipe and interview in the Santa Fe New Mexican click here.

My Chocolate Cake for the UK

Dec 31, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

Recently, Green & Black's Chocolate has published its second recipe book and publisher Kyle Cathie, who was my dear editor for the UK edition of The Cake Bible, once again asked me for a contribution. I offered one of my favorite chocolate cakes, hoping that it would work well with the UK flour which is always unbleached.

On a recent visit to Kate Coldrick in Devon, England, I spied a copy of the book and quickly turned to my recipe. To my delight, there was a gorgeous photo of the cake and the crumb looked absolutely perfect, but when I scrutinized the recipe I saw that self-raising flour replaced the cake flour but there was still the 4 teaspoon of baking powder. I was certain that this excess of leavening, together with the unbleached flour, would cause the cake to fall, but then discovered the addition of melted 70% chocolate. Ah ha! Could that solve the structural problem resulting from unbleached flour and so much leavening.

Knowing that Kate is in the middle of a move I hesitated to ask her to take on another task but thankfully fellow blogger Catherine Mason, who had come down to visit us all the way from Gloucester, offered to try out the recipe with all UK ingredients and it worked!

Here is the recipe as I wrote it originally and the changes for the UK are at the end. You can use your favorite buttercream or ganache. The one in the Green & Black's Book is for my Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Buttercream also in Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

Continue reading "My Chocolate Cake for the UK" »

My Favorite Waffle Makers

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

photo by Scott Hewitt

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

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

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

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

Chef's Choice 852 Classic Wafflepro 2 Square Waffle Maker

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

Orange Waffles with Burst of Cranberry Topping

Serves: 4

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

Burst of Cranberry Topping








1 cup

8 ounces

236 grams


1-1/2 cups

10.6 ounces

300 grams


3 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed

4 cups

14 ounces

400 grams

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

Waffle Batter







unsalted butter, softened

8 tablespoons

4 ounces

113 grams

bleached cake flour (or bleached all purpose flour)

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

8 ounces

227 grams

baking powder

4 teaspoons




1/4 teaspoon



orange zest

1 tablespoon



2 large eggs

3 fluid ounces

3.5 ounces

100 grams


1 cup (8 fluid ounces)

8.5 ounces

242 grams

whole milk

1 cup (8 fluid ounces)

8.5 ounces

242 grams

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

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

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

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

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

Baking Style is Born!

Sep 26, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

Baking Style, for media use.jpg

It is with great pleasure that I share with you the arrival of Lisa Yockelson's newest and long awaited masterpiece: Baking Style. Baking Style: Art, Craft, Recipes

I am a great fan of my dear friend and colleague Lisa, and have long awaited her baking diary. We've all had the pleasure of enjoying Lisa's recipes and now we have the story behind the story. This uniquely personal book is structured as a series of 100 essays that, as she writes in her Baking Style Prelude:

...offer a magnifying-glass look at a particular baking recipe--its design, reasons for interest, and composition--embracing the quirks along the way. Each essay is accompanied by one or more primary recipes and appropriate supplementary recipes as needed. An essay, essentially its own package that evolves into a narrative of how something came to be in my hands, is one of my favorite ways of enlightening and teaching. Through it, I can tell you what has inspired, astonished, or utterly badgered me as I bake. The stirrings, backstage baking stories, and all-encompassing love of the process shape the groundwork for my choice of recipes passed along in this diary format.

Yes, Lisa weighs her every word and crafts her every thought with exquisite precision and eloquence.

Even the organization and sometimes playful descriptions of the chapter contents are uniquely Lisa:
(On a personal note, one of the photos in this section contains my Aunt Ruth's pearls that I gave to Lisa as a thank you for recommending me to her pearl of an editor!)

Continue reading "Baking Style is Born!" »

Doesn't This Look Tempting?!

Apr 06, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes


My wonderful friend and colleague Lisa Yockelson just sent me this link to one of her sensational sounding (and looking) new cake recipes published today in the Boston Globe!

A Better Banana Cake

Oct 26, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Announcements

I've made the following addition to the Changes for the Cake Bible but am posting it here to call your attention to it:

For those of you like me, who love the flavor butter gives to the Cordon Rose Banana Cake on page 69, but also loves the moister texture of the banana cake in the new book Rose's Heavenly Cakes, we have worked out a perfect compromise: Use only 8 tablespoons/4 ounces/113 grams of butter and add 2 tablespoons/1 ounce/27 grams canola or safflower oil to the butter when mixing. The cake will also be about 1/8" higher than the original.

May 03, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Web Appearances


My recipe posted on David Leite's blog leitesculinaria while I was away (his beautiful book, The New Portuguese Table, also won an IACP award for best first book). Here is the posting and recipe now for those of you who may not have my new book Rose's Heavenly Cakes!

Whipped Cream Cake

Jan 22, 2010 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

Maybe I should have called this cake "Where's the Butter?" because at first glance there appears to be no butter in it. In reality, the butterfat contained in the heavy cream is more than the butter usually added separately!

As this seems to be, perhaps, the most popular of all the cakes in my newest book Rose's Heavenly Cakes I've decided to list the recipe on this blog for easy access.

Continue reading "Whipped Cream Cake" »

You Gotta See This!

Jun 22, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

Kate Coldrick just posted the most fanciful unicorn cake ever on her blog

What little girl wouldn't be delighted by a cake like this!

Bubka Bliss

Feb 23, 2008 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

I first met fellow author and baking sister Marcy Goldman in Montreal during the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) annual conference. She had invited me out to her home for a visit along with two other bakers and it was an enchanting experience to be in her kitchen tasting the cakes she made for us as we all talked baking. She also presented me with a beautiful rolling pin of her design which I used yesterday to roll out the bubka from her new book A Passion for Baking. I am sitting here (having already eaten a piece for breakfast and I don't usually eat breakfast, trying to fight off the impulse to defrost a slice I stashed in the freezer to make just such a temptation less convenient.

One of our fellow bloggers asked me what I thought of Marcy's bubka compared to the babka I had described in a previous posting. So of course I had to find out first hand even though I knew it was going to be wonderful--all the more so!

Continue reading "Bubka Bliss" »

Getting Ready to Bake a Cake

Dec 29, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

in french it's called mis en place and refers also to "putting things in place" for cooking. everything works more smoothly when one is well-prepared. with cakes, if key ingredients aren't at the proper temperature, it will adversely effect the texture of the baked cake.

the five most essential things in cake baking to get ready are:

softening the butter if used
the butter needs to be between 65 to 75°F/18 to 23°C. cold from the refrigerator it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to reach this temperature depending on how cold the frig and how warm the room. to speed softening slice the butter in 1 inch/25 mm pieces. it is amazing how quickly butter comes to temperature when more surface area is exposed. you can also cover the pieces with plastic wrap and as they start to soften, press them flat.

combining cocoa and boiling water if used
be sure to cover the mixture so that there is no evaporation and allow it to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch.

preheating the oven
most cakes bake at 350°F/175°C. and close to the center of the oven. set the oven rack just below the center and start preheating the oven a minimum of 20 minutes before baking.

warming the eggs
eggs need to be at room temperature but this is easy to accomplish if you forget to take them out ahead of time. place them still in their unbroken shells in a bowl of hot from the tap water and allow them to sit for 10 minutes.

preparing the cake pan
except when a recipe such as angel food or chiffon cake requires that the cake pan be left uncoated it is necessary to grease and flour the pan. i prefer using a baking spray which contains flour, especially for fluted tube pans. if there is any clumping of the spray brush it away with a silicone or bristle pastry brush to avoid holes in the top crust.
if the pan has a non-stick coating it isn't necessary to line the bottom with parchment.
for the most even cake layers that are not over-baked or dry at the edges use a cake strip.

(if you use rose's heavenly cake strips there is no preparation of the strip--just slide it around the cake pan.if you are using cloth strips you need to wet them first and attach them with a pin unles they have velcro closures.)

Quick: Get this Babka Out of the House!!!

Dec 18, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Bread

...because i can't stop eating it! when i saw the article by my friend and esteemed colleague joan nathan in last wednesday's new york times, the texture and swirl of the crumb just drew me right in. i grew up on 95th street and central park west and my parents each went to eclair on a regular basis (eclair was mentioned in the article), my mother during the week to pick up my favorite whipped cream filled eclair and my father on sundays to pick up a babka.

in my bread book i have recipes for brioche and for kugelhopf, both of which are similar to babka but not the same thing. babka is somewhere between a rich coffee cake and a brioche. compared to my brioche it has about half the egg, two-thirds the butter, and about 1/3 cup more liquid. All this conspires to make a softer and lighter cake/bread.

i am a great fan of ann amernick whose new book "the art of the dessert"(john wiley 2007) contains this recipe. you can also get the recipe by going to this link at the New York Times. you will find several choices of filling and topping. i used the cinnamon-raisin filling adapted from katja goldman, but soaked the raisins in rum as adapted from mrs. london's, saratoga springs, n.y. and i used ann's streusel topping with the cinnamon.

here are a few of my baking notes:

i like ann's use of part cake flour as it makes a more tender cake-like crumb but it also makes the dough fragile and prone to tearing so lift it carefully when placing it in the pan and if it tears as mine did, just pinch it together. it actually looks most attractive with some of the raisins and sugar spilling out and carmelizing on the crust. but i wouldn't try twisting it as indicated when placing it in the pan unless you use all ubleached all-purpose flour or you want it to break open.

those of you who prefer weight to volume, the all-purpose flour (be sure to use unbleached or the dough will fall apart completely) is 10 ounces/285 grams and the cake flour 3 ounces/85 grams. alternatively use a total of 13 ounces/369 grams unbleached all-purpose flour.

if you use instant yeast you can add it directly to the flour. use only 2 teaspoons and add the 1 tablespoon of water to the milk (which by the way i prefer to scald and then bring to room temperature before using).

i also increased the salt from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon.

i used my nordicware "Classic Anniversary Bundt" which is non-stick and 15 cup capacity but the standard 12 cup bundt that's called for will work as it didn't come up to the very top of the pan. but the extra height did serve to shield the streusel topping so if using the 12 cup bundt you may want to tent it loosely with foil after the first 30 minutes of baking. by the way, i did not line the pan with parchment, but coated it with cooking spray and it released beautifully--even the escaped caramel part.

my instant read thermometer registered 188 after 50 minutes of baking. i unmolded the babka onto a rack as soon as it came out of the oven. almost all of the streusel stayed on what was now the bottom. as it was 11:00 at night, and i didn't want to ruin the crisp crust and streusel by covering it, i stayed up to watch "kinsey" on othe late show and by the time it was over the babka was completely cool! so i covered it with an inverted plastic box and dove into it this morning.

when you see the photos i took you'll understand just why it provided such a temptation. by the way, the little brass doorstop in the photo is an antique punch and judy. i usually move it away from the best light location for photos but this time it seemed appropriate as babka means little old-lady. actually just old lady or grandmother but in my era they were always little (now we take calcium pills)! bubba, alta bubba, babcha--they're all yiddish and polish variations which sound as endearing, comforting, and lovable as this recipe.

p.s. except for one piece, the missing part in the photo was all consumed by me withint 10 minutes!

My First and Worst Cake

Jun 23, 2007 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

I think I’ve told this story before but for those who may have missed it, here’s the background to this photo that I hope you will find inspiring, i.e. I hope you will see how much one can improve with practice and determination!

Elliott and I were not yet married so this was a little over 31 years ago. Elliott’s son Michael was celebrating his 13th birthday and had the good taste to request see ingthe Broadway play Dracula with Frank Langela. I offered to make the birthday cake. This was BG (before ganache) and I wanted a rich dark chocolate frosting if not for the cake itself at least for the decoration. So I kept adding brown food coloring, not realizing that it would darken on its own after several hours.

Continue reading "My First and Worst Cake" »

Making Larger Cakes

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


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

Thanks so much,
As always, your devoted fan,


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

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

Lumpy Buttercream

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


I made my first chocolate buttercream icing for my son's 1st birthday. It was a disaster! The final product wasn't smooth or spreadable. It was clumpy. I practically lumped it on and patted it thin. Below were the called for ingredients:

3 sticks of softened, unsalted butter
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
4 3/4 c sifted confectioners' sugar

I think the only mistake possible was I didn't sift the confectioners' sugar. Could that have been the problem?

Buttercream Help!


It's been years since I made confectioners sugar buttercream. I much prefer chocolate ganache which is even easier to make, especially if you use the food processor. I seem to remember that you need a bit of liquid for confectioners sugar buttercream. If you prefer making this kind of buttercream, and it's lumpy, try beating in a little milk, a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Sifting the confectioners sugar may not be necessary unless its lumpy, but sifting the cocoa is a good idea.

Problem with Cake Mix

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


I've made at least 500 rum cakes using a boxed cake mix, a fluted bundt pan and glaze. They are always turned out high, light and fluffy until recently. I have not changed oe thing.
Could it be my oven? Am I overbeating it or underbeating it? Thanks.


Cake mixes are designed in order to have "tolerance".what this means is that you can add things to it, up to a point of course, under beat it slightly, overbeat it slightly, and it will still work. In all probability it is the cake mix that has changed. I encourage you to try baking from scratch. This gives you a lot more control over getting which you want in flavor and texture.

Funny Looking Muffins

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


Feedback: Hello, I may not know who is Rose but I am interest in baking! I have this big problem here. Whenever i bake muffins, the muffins would 'pop' up after awhile and would become not good-looking. Can you tell me what is the problem?


I think that you what you're saying is that the muffin Tops Peak and crack rather than being gently rounded and smooth. The problem is the structure of the batter is too strong. Either you need to use a softer flour, such as bleached all-purpose if you're using all-purpose unbleached, or cake flour which a softer still. It also works to increase the baking powder. Another thing that you can try is not mixing as much. the batter should be mixed only until the flour disappears entirely.

Layer Cakes Rising Higher Than the Pan

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


Hi rose! I love your book.

The issue I'm having is that in your Book The Cake Bible, you say to use 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch round pans for making the All Occasion Downey Yellow Butter Cake. I followed your instructions to the letter. The layers rose above the tops of the cake pans. Did I do something wrong? Should I just be using the 9x2 inch pans instead?

Thank you!


It's okay if layer cakes rise a little above the sides of the pan as the structure can still support it. The real indication is if the finished height after unmolding is the same as I specified. The batter may be a little too much for the 1 1/2" high pan but it is not enough for the 2 inch high pans.

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.

Fear of Génoise -- an Important Lesson

Jan 09, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

You're going to love this: I've made my first failed génoise ever! And I learned an important lesson in the process.


People have told me over the years that they were afraid of making génoise. I even taught an 80 year old friend of the family in Harrogate England how to make génoise and it worked perfectly. But I haven't made génoise for a while now and what I remembered best was all the fearful statements of others. It never pays to do anything with fear because either one is too tentative or too bold and cavalier. I fell into the latter category. After all, I've made hundreds of génoise and I developed my original recipe for Cook's magazine almost 25 years ago. After all, what did I have to fear but génoise i mean fear itself?! But though cavalier and génoise are both French words the two should never be combined when baking! I could tell something was wrong when I poured the batter into the pan and it only filled the pan half-full instead of the usual two -thirds. Also what was odd was that the top was filled with little bubbles. Predictable, the cake never rose more than 1 inch.

My heart fell. Had I lost the magic? What if I never again would be able to make a perfect génoise? And what went wrong? Does cornstarch have a shelf life after all? (Mine was several years old.) Did I fold in the flour and cornstarch too much and deflate the batter? I felt just like everyone else who's ever asked me to diagnose or sleuth out his or her baking problems on things that always worked before and suddenly went wrong.

I sprang into action whipping up a second génoise before I lost the courage. The horrible thought occurred to me that now I understood the story of the chef who killed himself when his recipe failed-I think it was a soufflé but maybe not. Could it have been a génoise?

It always takes so much less time when you've just made something to make it again- all the thoughts are still active on the hard drive of one's mind. I narrowed it down to the one thing I did differently (what I was referring to as cavalier). I made the mistake of thinking: "Why do I have to beat the eggs and sugar for five whole minutes on high when after three minutes they look thick enough and don't seem to be getting any thicker or fuller in the bowl?" So I stopped beating at three minutes, and that was what made the critical difference as to the texture and height of the finished génoise (see photograph for comparison).

So the lesson is clear: Don't be fearful; and follow the instructions in the Cake Bible, especially if you wrote it.

Cake Strips

Jan 06, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose in Equipment


I have a question regarding cake strips. I have several sets that I've been using for many years, but they don't seem to be working anymore. I saturate them in icy water, squeeze them firmly and wrap them around the base of the pan, but the cake layers heave and crack and don't stay level. (The oven temp. isn't too hot) Any ideas why my cake strips aren't doing the trick anymore?

PS: I have all of your books and love them all.


thank you! I've used cake strips until they were falling apart and they never stopped working. Recently I learned from my friend and colleague, Dede Wilson, how to make my own cake strips simply by enclosing folded, wet paper towels in a long strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil, overlapped to be the same height as the cake pan.

are you using the same cake recipes that worked well before? are you using all-purpose instead of cake flour? Are you sure the oven isn't hotter? Is the leavening old? That's all I can think of.

Overbrown Cake

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


Everytime i make poundcake, the bottom 2/3s is completely brown in color and the top 1/3 is golden yellow the way it should be. The brown part tastes fine and is nothing wrong in texture, it's not burnt. Just brown in color - im so puzzled and dont want to serve it to my customers like this for obvious reasons. Im using wilton's dark nonstick loaf pan - spraying it with nonstick spray. I bake it at 300 degrees in my commercial convection oven. Here is my recipe - i hope you can help.


i don't like dark pans bc i don't want a dark crust on the cake. but if you are using them, it's a good idea to lower the heat 25 degrees and another 25 if using convection so you're doing the right thing. the problem sounds like the recipe itself. have you ever made It successfully using another oven, or another type of pan? you have three ingredients in it that promote browning: corn syrup and baking soda. if the lower part of the cake is getting more brown maybe the corn syrup is settling a bit. i use only 1/2 cup sugar for 1 cup of flour. you are using 1 cup of sugar for 1 cup of flour plus the corn syrup. that's a huge amont of sweetner.

Cake Questions

Nov 30, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cake Questions

Update Nov 2007: Have a new question? You should visit the new Cake Questions section of the forum, or the more recent blog entry, Cake Questions Too.

Jessica Question:

I live in Australia and decorate cakes for friends and family. I just discovered an old copy of your book the cake bible in my local library. I think its great so I have looked up your site. I was just wondering if the book has been revised and updated since first being published? I notice that mud cakes are not covered at all in the book I borrowed and there are some other modern things missing too. Anyway I know you're busy so thanks for your time. Keep up the good work.

Rose Reply:
thank you for asking. in fact, the first revision of the cake bible has just come out but i haven't added any new cakes. what i revised was the equipment and ingredient sources, how to adjust batter for the more current pan sizes that are 2 inches high instead of 1-1/2 inches, and the chocolate sections because people don't talk chocolate brand anymore, they talk percentage of chocolate mass!

i am, at the present time, working on a comprehensive four color cake book for wiley which will be out in the next two or three years and it will include some of the newer cakes.

Cheryl Question:
Is it possible to attach ribbons made from fondant around the bottom edges of the tiers of a buttercream frosted wedding cake? How and at what point in assembly would you attach them? Thanks.

Rose Reply:
the answer is yes! i would apply them after the cake is assembled. they will stick to the buttercream so you should have no problem holding them in place.

Stacey Question:
What is the difference between your "favorite yellow cake" in this blog and the yellow cake in the Cake Bible in terms of taste and texture? Also, I recently made a French buttercream that tasted like a bowl of butter and a powdered sugar and butter frosting that tasted like pure sugar. What is the best vanilla frosting to use for cupcakes?

Rose Reply:
my favorite yellow cake on the blog is the same as the one in the cake bible. i put it in because i wanted everyone to have it even if they didn't have the book.

not everyone likes french buttercream. some people prefer the sugary, slightly gritty texture of powdered sugar buttercream to the satiny texture of the french variety. in any case, it's going to taste like butter and sugar because that's what it is. but it should also be flavored with pure vanilla extract. and of course there are many possible additions to buttercream such as coffee, orange, praline....

Melvin Question:
thanks for writing. i made the cheese cake but i was a little lose the next day i used low fat cream cheese was that a mistake? or should i have cook longer? thanks

Rose Reply:
i strongly advise against using low fat products in baking. they will adversely affect both taste and texture. better to cut smaller servings!

Rene Question:
Dear Rose,

I love baking and always have. And now I have the priviledge of helping a young woman, who is like a sister to me, with her wedding cakes. Unfortunately what she wants is a fair distance out of my league. I am hoping very much that you might be able to answer a couple of questions for me.

A single cake, I could do. What she wants to have one cake on each table, which turns out to be about 40 individual creations. (Ouch.) She is hoping for 2 tier cakes (around 8 and 6 inches.) We are tentatively planning 7 different designs with fillings including everything from dacquois to conserves.

It is the sheer volume that puts me out of my depth. It means that everything must be done as far ahead as possiblem, which I have very little experience with. I usually serve my cakes as soon after I make them as possible. Your Cake Bible is helping me a lot because it has so much information about storing each of the components. I am just trying to work out some logistics.

Is it better to prepare the components, store them individually and then put them together as close to the wedding date as possible OR is it better to put the cakes together and store them (for as long as 4, even 5 months?) ready to be decorated? Or could we even decorate them so they are ready to be tiered and finished? I really don't know.

I could just not begin to thank you enough for any guidance you could give me. I love this girl and want to do everything possible to help her wedding day be just the way she dreams of it. I just don't know how the best way to organize this size of a baking project.

Since I am here writing, I have a side question: what is your experience with using flower petals IN your cakes and buttercreams. I have seen these recipes, but have not tried them. Are they a pleasant suprise? Or more novelty, less than delicious?

Thank you, by the way, for all of the help your books have given me in pursuing my favorite hobby. :) Now that I know you have a blog, I look forward to enjoying that too. :)


Rose Reply:
you are a saint!!! most professional bakeries when they make cakes ahead store the layers unfrosted in the freezer (well-wrapped). but this may be bc this gives them the option to use them with different buttercreams as the orders come in. but it is also easier to wrap an unfrosted cake. to freeze a frosted layer you would have to freeze it first and wrap it after the buttercream has set. so probably the best approach is to freeze the layers.

when you make cakes ahead, it is helpful to use a little simply syrup sprinkled on the layers to keep them from drying.

we all hope you will send a photo of this massive undertaking so we can post it to the blog!

re the flower petals, i don't imagine they would offer much in terms of flavor or in texture. there are wonderful extracts such as the rose syrup carried by la cuisine in alexandria.

Surrogate Baker

Nov 28, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Happenings

we should be across the street having dinner. a colleague of my husband's actually invited us. (it is a rare event that anyone is willing to cook for me.)

i brought a cake i'm working on though he said he was making a galette. we arrived on time to find his galette sitting in a warm oven. apparently after living in ny for 3 years he had never used the oven and it only seemed to have a light, i.e. the heat was coming from a light bulb. so i insisted on bringing the galette back across the street to bake in my oven. with an american type flaky crust it would have been pointless as the warmth would have caused the butter to leak out of the dough and loose all its flakiness. but the cookie crust of a galette is not flaky to begin with so I thought it was worth the effort.

to find out how i rescued this soft pie crust set on a pan that didn't fit into my quick preheat carousel microwave/convection oven (the soft crust loaded with fresh fruit that he was threatening to stew on the stovetop), read on!

Continue reading "Surrogate Baker" »

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.

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.

Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

Oct 31, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust







unsweetened pumpkin, preferably Libby’s

1 cup

8.5 ounces

243 grams

sugar, preferably unrefined

1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

heavy cream

2 liquid cups

cream cheese

2 (8-ounce) packages

1 pound

454 grams

2 large eggs


3.5 ounces

100 grams

2 large yolks


1.3 ounces
(weighed with the shell)

37 grams

Garnish: Pecan halves(*)


1.5 ounces

42 grams

(*) If desired, use an additional 1/2 cup 1.75 ounces/50 grams of coarsely broken pecans for the center

Equipment: One 9-inch by 2 1/2-inch or higher springform pan, greased, outside of the pan wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage. One 12-inch by 2-inch cake pan or roasting pan to serve as a water bath.

CRUST: 4 1/4 oz. gingersnaps, broken (preferably Swedish brand), 2 oz. pecans, toasted, 1T sugar, 2 pinches salt, 2 oz. butter, melted. Process cookies and pecans, sugar, salt til fine crumbs (app 20 secs.) Add melted butter and pulse 10 times til just incorporated. Press into pan and up the sides.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the pumpkin and sugar. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a sputtering simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick and shiny.
Scrape the mixture into a large food processor, fitted with the metal blade and process for 1 minute with the feed tube open.

With the motor running, add the cold cream. Add the cream cheese in several pieces and process for 30 seconds, scraping the sides two or three times, or until smoothly incorporated. Add the eggs and yolks and process for about 5 seconds or just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan in the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. Remove it to a rack and cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. To unmold, wipe sides of pan with towel run under hot water and wrung out. The cake will be 1 3/4-inches high.

Optional Caramel and Pecan Garnish: Arrange the pecan halves around the perimeter of the cake pointed ends out. If using extra pecan pieces, scatter them evenly within the circle of pecan halves. The caramel can be added 6 hours ahead but the cake cannot be covered, as the condensation will soften the caramel.

Pour the caramel into a quart-size freezer weight zip-seal bag (without a “zipper”) or a piping page. Cut a small amount from one corner and pipe the caramel in swirls on top of the pecans.

Caramel Sauce

Take care when making it not to have any small children about and give it your undivided attention. Caramel burns are extremely painful.

Makes: 1 full cup, app 10.5 ounces/308 grams




room temperature





1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

golden syrup (Lyle’s refiner’s syrup) or caro syrup

1 tablespoon

0.75 ounce

21 grams


1/4 liquid cup

2 ounces

59 grams

heavy cream, heated

1/2 liquid cup

4 ounces

116 grams

unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon



Equipment: 1 heavy saucepan, at least 5 cup capacity, ideally with a non-stick lining

In the saucepan, stir together the sugar, syrup, and the water until the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (360°F to 380°F.). Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.

Use a high temperature spatula, to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping the thicker part that settles on the bottom. If any lumps develop, return the pan to the heat and stir until they dissolve. Stir in the butter. The mixture will be streaky but become uniform after cooling slightly and stirring.
Allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the vanilla extract.

For a decorative lacing effect, the caramel pours perfectly at room temperature. For the greatest precision, use a pastry bag with a small decorating tube or zip seal bag with a small amount of the corner cut.

Store: Room temperature up to 3 days; refrigerated at least 3 months.

To reheat: If the caramel is in a microwave-safe container at room temperature, microwave it on high power for 1 minute, stirring twice. Alternatively, place it in a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until warm, about 7 minutes.

Pointers for Success:
After the caramel is prepared, do not stir it too much as this also may eventually cause crystallization. The syrup will help to prevent this.

Variation: Bourbon Butterscotch Caramel: Substitute 2 tablespoons of bourbon for an equal amount of the cream. Add it together with the vanilla extract.

This recipe first appeared in an article I wrote for Fine Cooking Magazine, 2001

Why "Real" Baking

Oct 31, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Ingredients

why i believe in real baking, i.e. baking from scratch as opposed to a mix

i suspect that the two main reasons people bake from a mix is 1) that they think it's faster and easier and 2) it's practically foolproof. there may even be some who grew up with the flavor of a mix and actually prefer it.

i grew up without a cake baking tradition, in fact, my grandmother used the oven only to store pots and pans. there was NEVER anything baked in that oven until I went to the university of vermont, took a course in basic food, and came home thanksgiving vacation with the intention of making my father's favorite--a cherry pie. it was a disaster of melting bubbling soap that I hadn't realized was stored in the broiler beneath. in short, i learned scratch cake baking on my own--from scratch.

Continue reading "Why "Real" Baking" »

Rose's Favorite Yellow Layer Cake

Oct 26, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose in Cakes

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake 35  to 45 minutes

Makes:  A 1-3/4 inch high cake

The Batter




cool room temperature




4 large egg yolks

 2 full fluid ounces

2.5 ounces

74 grams

sour cream

2/3 cup

5.5 ounces

160 grams

pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoon


6 grams

bleached cake flour

2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off)

7 ounces

200 grams


1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

baking powder

1/2 teaspoon



baking soda

1/2 teaspoon




1/4 teaspoon



unsalted butter
(must be softened)

12 tablespoons

6 ounces

170 grams

Equipment: A 9 inch springform pan, bottom greased, lined with parchment, then greased and floured (preferably with spray that contains flour)

Preheat the Oven: 20 minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the Batter
In a medium bowl, lightly combine the yolks, about 1/4 of the sour cream, and the vanilla.
In a stand mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.
Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Increase to medium speed, or high speed if using a hand held mixer, and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.

Bake the Cake
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and it springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula, and remove the sides of the springform. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and reinvert onto a second rack it so that the top faces up. Cool completely before frosting or wrapping airtight.

Store airtight  3 days room temperature;  1 week refrigerated;  3 months frozen.

Pointers for Success
Use superfine sugar for the finest texture.  (You can make it by processing fine granulated sugar in the food processor for a few minutes.) 
Use cake flour without leavening or bleached all purpose flour.
Use unsalted butter for the best flavor. 
Use fresh baking powder under 1 year old. 

Adapted from “The Cake Bible”

Copyright 2005 Rose Levy Berenbaum


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