Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss Phase 6: Photography Styling Sessions  

Erin Mc Dowell perfecting a bowl of ice cream with Matthew Septimus lining up his camera

Erin Mc Dowell perfecting a bowl of ice cream with Matthew Septimus lining up his camera

May of 2019, Team RoseWood reconvened for our ice cream beauty and step-by-step photography phase. Matthew Septimus was once again setting up his cameras, lights, and computer. However, this time he only had to set-up at one location~~Erin McDowel’s house. Erin had done an incredible job baking and styling for the full page beauty shots for Rose’s Baking Basics. Where baking or savory styling gives the stylist and the photographer some leeway for making that cheeseburger-- mouth watering, or a slice of pumpkin pie looking like it just came to the Thanksgiving table, ice cream is a whole different ball game. The stylist and photographer have a mere few seconds to minutes to capture a beauty shot, that can be worthy of a full page, before the ice cream melts. 

Since there are only a limited number of ways for showing a scoop of ice cream, Erin had to plan how to make 80 different flavors come alive in a unique and creative way. Katie Wayne was once again Erin’s invaluable assistant. The photography was divided into three 2-day sessions to give time for the massive amount of advance prep.

When we arrived for Day 1, we were glad to have brought our sweaters and sweatshirts. Erin wanted to keep the house temperature around 50˚F/10˚C to maximize the timeframe before any ice cream poised for the shoot would become a puddle. (I wore all of 4 layers.) She had bought a full size freezer that was filled with containers of ice cream, and her refrigerators were filled with flavored custard base waiting to be churned. That was to be one of Woody’s tasks, in addition to churning and adding any additional mix-ins to make one-pint batches of ice creams with an armada of three ice cream makers.

Erin’s dog Brimley, greeted us at the door every day, and was all too happy to have houseguests to play with and nap upon.

 A big advantage of shooting at Erin’s was that she had virtually any prop that she wanted within an arms length, from the styling area. I was charmed that she greeted me with a special present: an ice cream scoop with my name embossed on it.

 

To make those critical seconds count for as many shots and camera positions as possible, Matthew usually started with a whiffle ball stand-in sitting in the dish, cone, or glass for him to establish his camera settings.

 To aid Erin and Matthew in planning the shots, I sent ahead all of my beauty shots from our ice cream testing.
The following slideshow are the steps for making a possible book cover photo.

 Day 6, our final day, included taking several book cover photo possibilities. Some that did not become the cover photo did become chapter openers. On departure, Matthew’s and our cooler chests were filled with many flavors to share and enjoy, and to remember this exciting time.

Rose On Video presents: Downy Yellow Butter Cake

Our September recipe of the month is The Cake Bible’s All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake .
Here you can watch Rose on VideoKraft several years after the release of The Cake Bible.

You can see a listing of all of Rose's over 150 transcribed videos on YouTube by doing a search for "Rose Levy Beranbaum You Tube" which will show a home page for Rose's videos. You can click  "Video " on the menu bar, then scroll to find the video you want to watch. The VideoKraft series aired during the 1990s and PBS Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

Ice Cream Bliss Phase 5: Manuscript Read-throughs Finished

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Our most recent book, Rose’s Baking Basics, was a completely new approach for our recipe writing. Our goal was to stream-line the recipes while maintaining all the critical information for success.

Instead of writing the instructions in paragraph form, the recipes were written as numbered steps. Another change was to begin most recipes with a Mise en Place (Set Up of Ingredients) section.

Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss has been written with a Mise en Place section and numbered steps as well. We then did read-throughs of each recipe twice, with one of us reading out loud to the other from the pdf, while the other reading the text from the hard copy.

Backed up on two hard drives, we submitted our manuscript to our editor, Stephanie Fletcher, who went through it with a fine-tooth comb, and then sent it to the copy editor for further proofing and formatting.

Our style photography phase came a couple of months later, which inevitably triggered some revising and additions to the recipes.

 

Next up: The Style Photography

 

 

 

Did We Write or Miss That? We Have Corrections

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Last week we received this comment on our Book Corrections postings from one of our frequent bloggers.

Hi Rose/Woody,
Page 325 in the Rose's Heavenly Cakes, the grams for the sugar and the cake flour for the "Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes" should be 150 grams for both, and not ounces.
David Chau

As you can see from the photo I took of the chart, David was right. We missed seeing this error when we read through the last laid out pages version of the book before it was sent to the publisher’s printing house. I immediately went to our Book Corrections & Enhancements: Rose’s Heavenly Cakes post to add the correction as shown below.

p. 325 The Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cakes sugar and cake flour weights should be 150 grams for both, and not noted as ounces. The ounce’s column listings are correct.

 One advantage you have with Rose’s books is that we do have book correction posting pages for each of her books. These pages are updated any time we see an error or receive a note about an error, as David had sent. We also add enhancements and adaptations to recipes as well. Corrections are also sent to the publisher for correcting future printing runs of a book.  

ON ROSE’S BOKS PAGE

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No matter how good the author, editor, copy editor, and proofing editors are with their magnifying glasses scouring to find errors, errors happen. Sometimes generated at the printing house. We had an error with Rose’s Baking Basics where 2/3 cup was inputted for printing to be stated as 1/3 cup. The correction is listed.

 

We have looked at many cookbook authors’ web/blog sites and have not seen any book correction postings for their books. Many authors provide a Contact Us and sometimes an Ask Me section for contacting them, but not a readily available listing.

ON OUR BLOG PAGE

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 We encourage you to go to our correction pages. Which you can access on Our Blog page’s right sidebar, or clicking on the Book Corrections link button towards the bottom on Rose’s Books page. Corrections can be copied as a Microsoft Word document. You can then print them to include with your books.

Please let us know if you see any errors in your books, but please do so after you have checked your book’s correction pages.

Happy 10th Anniversary!! Rose's Heavenly Cakes~~IACP's Best Book of the Year

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Traditionally, the 10th year of marriage is marked with tin or aluminum; in our case, it is marked with us still writing cookbooks. Rose’s Heavenly Cakes was my 9th and Woody’s 1st. As far as jewelry and gemstones are concerned to mark the anniversary, diamond is the stone of choice for the tenth wedding anniversary. For us today the diamond was having black raspberry ice cream and word from our editor that Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss’s BLAD (Basic Layout and Design) is in the mail to us for my 12th book.

With equipment choices expanding and the widening availability of ingredients for the home baker, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes was able to expand many horizons which were not available at the time of The Cake Bible. This included revolutionary new cakes, such as the Deep Chocolate Passion and buttercreams such as the White Chocolate Buttercream. It also included improving my classic recipes such as: All-American Chocolate Cake, Mousseline Buttercream, and Chocolate Génoise.

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes won BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR at the annual International Association of Culinary Professionals conference and awards in May 2010. We were up against many strong contenders, including Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc.

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Our first demo for launching Rose’s Heavenly Cakes was at KitchenAids’s Epicurean Classics event in August of 2009 in Michigan, was our first demo with us as team RoseWood. A bright culinary student , who recently graduated from Cornell, was assigned to us as well~~Eunice Choi. (She just recently left working at Food 52 to move back to California.)

We did two demos for the Classic; and we were the only ones doing baking. Pictured below, we are at our author’s book signing table and serving Golden Lemon Almond Cake. The cake became our go to demo cake for most of our following book tour.

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Rose's Ice Cream Bliss Phase 4: PREORDERING Has Started!

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Over the last few years, publishers have been permitting book sellers to put books up for pre-sale further and further before the pub date. This gives the publishers, reviewers, and book sellers a barometer of how the book will be received. Thus we are posting this Phase of production months earlier than it has been posted for previous books.

We are happy to announce that Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss is now available for pre-order on a few on-line websites such as the link below. 106 recipes : including ice creams, toppings and mix-ins, and ice cream socials (cones, cakes, pies, and cookies).

Last Saturday, we posted Phase 3: Recipe Testing, so you can see some of the flavors in our upcoming book. Here are a small sampling of photos from our Beauty/Style Photography Sessions and Recipe Testing.

Next phase: The Read Throughs




Ice Cream Bliss 3: Testing Recipes

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We were not starting from scratch when it came to writing recipes or testing them. I have over a dozen ice cream recipes in The Pie & Pastry Bible for filling a pie or topping a pie à la mode, and a few favorites in The Cake Bible. My goals for each ice cream recipe were: distinctive flavor, creamy texture, no iciness, and preferably without using stabilizers.

Dana Cree’s ice cream book My Name is Ice Cream became an important reference book for her methods of stabilizing ice cream. Working with my base recipe from my books, I first created a list of possible flavors and toppings. For cones, sandwich cookies, and filled cakes, Woody came up with calling them ‘ice cream socials’.

We then started testing using my standard method with out stabilizers, and adapting recipes that needed stabilizers, such as my thorn berry recipes using a cornstarch slurry. Our back road walks brought home wild mint for testing making mint chocolate chip and black raspberries for black raspberry ice creams.



Many of our afternoon breaks at the porch table included ice cream from the morning churning. Many tests were during the winter months, giving us the advantage of transferring churned ice creams from the ice cream maker into containers in our frigid garage.

Tons of photos were taken as reference for the eventual style shooting, and to grace my computer screen for my screen saver slideshow.


Next up: Completed Manuscript Read-thrus

CKBK The Best Online Cookbook Subscription Service

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A few years ago, I was approached by Matthew Cockerill of the UK who was planning what sounded like a very useful and unusual online subscription service for cookbooks.

 I was delighted to test the waters by offering one of my two savory cookbooks (that are no longer in print): Rose’s Celebrations.  Ckbk, offers an online subscription for unlimited access to many of the world’s best cookbooks.

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 This week, my author interview went live.

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For anyone interested in subscribing, ckbk is offering a 30% discount off the monthly subscription price for the first year with the promo code below. The discount will go through automatically on applying during checkout, If you sign up, you will get a 14 day free trial which can be cancelled at any time.

A Side Dish that Steals the Show

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 I discovered this recipe, by Jane Black, in the January 9, 2008 food section of the Washington Post which I read religiously every week and sometimes write for as well. One of my favorite columns is the occasional series “Staff Favorites” in which staff writers share favorite recipes. (As the Post says: “….that we turn to time and time again.” Though I’m a chronic clipper of appealing sounding recipes, they usually end up in the “to file” pile for someday. This one I made the week I clipped it and surely will be making it time and time again myself! If ever there were a vegetable accompaniment that upstages the main course this is it: Endive Gratin: creamy, nutty-sweet with a gilding of Gruyère cream sauce, the endive within slightly crunchy and slightly and deliciously bitter to offset the richness of the sauce.The French have a wonderful term for this quality aigre-doux which refers mostly to sour/sweet but it is this contrasting yin yang flavors that lifts up a dish and makes it compellingly pleasing. I served it with steak but I will also serve it with lamb and even with fish. Since there were just two of us I divided the recipe by 3 and, for a change, made no changes what-so-ever.

I’ve been given permission to reprint the recipe as it appeared in the Washington Post and on their website. Don’t wait--make it this week!

An Indulgence Worth the Weight This French side dish is typically rich but always a crowd pleaser: an elegant, less-starchy complement to roasted meat.
It can be made 1 day in advance; reheat, covered with aluminum foil, in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. 6 to 8 servings

 Ingredients: 
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
6 medium endives, cut in half lengthwise, stem ends trimmed but left on
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I used fine sea salt)
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C. Set an oven rack at the lower third of the oven.
2) Lightly grease a 12-inch oval gratin dish with the butter.
3) Place the endive halves cut side down in a large saute pan. Add the broth, lemon juice and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, until the endives are fairly tender but not cooked through.
4) Use a slotted spatula to transfer the endive halves to drain in a colander.
5) Pat dry with paper towels, then nestle half of the endive halves in a "V" pattern in the gratin dish.
6) Sprinkle with half of the Gruyère cheese. Use the remaining drained endive halves to form a second layer atop the cheese.
7) Pour the cream over the top and sprinkle with the nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Distribute the remaining cheese evenly over the top.
8) Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly and the cream has almost evaporated.

Serve hot.
Recipe Source: From Food staff writer Jane Black. Note: My friend Zach Townsend transforms this into a main course by wrapping each poached endive with a slice of jambon!

This recipe is a reposting from April 12, 2008 in Savory Cooking category on Our Blog page. We have 50 plus postings for you to explore.  

The Loss of My Baking Idol, Maida Heatter

Maida Heatter, My Baking Idol

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Maida Heatter was my baking inspiration. I discovered her first book, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts, in the early 1980’s and was spellbound by her writing. To this day, no one describes a dessert with greater appeal, that makes one want to stop everything and run right to the kitchen to bake it. What a happy day it was every time a new Maida book appeared, and I bought them all.

 I identified with Maida because we had so much in common in addition to loving baking. We both were born in Long Island and lived in New York City. We both were fashion designers who turned our love of craft to baking. But when my baking students encouraged me to write a cookbook I thought “why bother—Maida is all that is needed.” Then one day, in one of her books, I read something along the lines of “tempering chocolate belongs in a laboratory.” And a bell went off in my head chiming there’s room for me! My place would be to bring my passion for science and the way ingredients work to baking. And my goal became to build a bridge between the home and the professional baker.

 In 1988, when The Cake Bible was about to be published, my editor Maria Guarnaschelli asked me to choose someone to write the foreword. I called Maida and introduced myself. She politely declined, saying that she had just written a foreword for a baking book that failed and she didn’t want to associate herself with another possible failure. My response was: “You are the only person I am asking and if you don’t write it there won’t be a foreword so you can take as long as you need to look at the manuscript and decide.” Her response: “Hold on a moment and I will ask my husband Ralph.” Within seconds she came back with a “Yes!” She would look at the manuscript and let me know in a few days. I ran to Fed Ex and she received it the next day. And the very day after she called and said: “I see what you have done and I will do it.” (I get the chills of joy remembering and writing this.) I knew that Maida’s blessing would put my book on the culinary map. But more than that, I had the approval of the baker I admired most.

 As a new author, it was up to me whether or not to have a book launch (and to pay for it). The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center had just reopened and Roseanne Gold, who worked with Joe Baum, generously arranged to make it affordable. I made four of my favorite large cakes from the book and 150 cupcake size Grand Marnier cakes to give as take away gifts. My family and just about everyone I knew and respected in our field was there. But September 7 was Maida’s birthday and she was unable to make the trip from Miami.

 I had never actually met Maida in person so I asked if we could come to Miami for a short visit. It wasn’t to get baking secrets though. The secret I was after was how despite her celebrity she was able to maintain a happy marriage.

 Maida arranged a book signing in a local bookstore. Someone asked if she was my mother (to whom she did indeed bear a resemblance) and she laughingly told them “more like grandmother”! After the book signing, Maida invited us to her home. I was so spellbound, that despite my rare ability to remember events as far back as my infancy, I don’t remember anything except her utter delight that my Canadian husband idolized not her but her adored father, the renowned Gabriel Heatter, radio commentator he listened to as a little boy during WWII.

 I was blessed by Maida’s support and belief in me. My upcoming cookie book (2021) will, of course, be dedicated to her,

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Rose is Inducted into Heritage Radio's "Hall of Fame"

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Last month, Heritage Radio located next door to Roberta’s Pizza in Brooklyn inducted me into their “Hall of Fame.” I love the interviewers and so enjoy the pizza afterwards not to mention the most amazing sticky bun ice cream sandwiches!



Click on “MY PODCAST INTERVIEWS” to take you tho Heritage Radio’s Hall of Fame.

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Ice Cream Bliss 2: Heritage Radio's "Life is a Banquet" Gets the Scoop

“LIFE’S” HOSTS ZAHRA TANGORRA & BRETTON SCOTT with US at ROBERTA’S PIZZA

“LIFE’S” HOSTS ZAHRA TANGORRA & BRETTON SCOTT with US at ROBERTA’S PIZZA

Although I usually have an idea of what my next book should be, it is generally after the previous book’s promotion that the publishing house commits to the project. This changed with Rose’s Ice Cream Bliss, for which we were already researching, testing, and writing recipes when we did our book tour for Rose’s Baking Basics. On tour. Our event audiences were pleased.

 We were delighted to return to Heritage Radio for another podcast interview. Zahra Tangorra and Bretton Scott are the wonderful dynamic hosts of  “Life is a Banquet,” who were all ears to hear about ice cream. Their inquisitive conversation, but casual style created the atmosphere that we were all friends chatting over cups of coffee.

 Bretton proclaimed his success in baking from being self taught by baking recipes from The Cake Bible and The Pie & Pastry Bible.  Both Zahra and Bretton have been chef/owners of restaurants. Since virtually all chefs make sauces that require reduction, we presented each of them with my latest kitchen tool design for my American Products Group signature line—Rose’s Reduction Spatula.

Our Interview on Heritage Radio’s “Life is a Banquet “ Podcast

We then talked about our upcoming ice cream book. One of the essentials for producing great home-made ice cream I elaborated on, was keeping your ice cream custard base cold and your ice cream containers chilled before transferring the churned ice cream from the ice cream maker. During the winter months, Woody and I would set up in my frigid garage to transfer our ice creams. Zahra one-upped us by sharing that her ice cream makers were in her restaurant’s walk-in freezer. The finale of our podcast was naming each of our 3 favorite flavors.

So to get you in the mode for ice cream next May, here are our favorites~~blackraspberry, dulce de leche, pomegranate, mint chocolate chip, and bust my bourbon balls (adults cookies and cream, named by, of course, Woody).

After the interview, we all walked just several steps out of the studio to enjoy slices of Roberta’s Pizza.

All Those Egg Whites from Making Ice Cream

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What do do with them?! Friend and esteemed colleague Nick Malgieri told a class that he saved them in a huge container and when it was full...he threw them out! With testing for our ice cream book, I had containers filled with them too. In 2010, I decided to discard the 2007 and 2008 containers. Fortunately this year, Woody has used most of them for making angel food cake for his bridge club members.

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Also, my husband Elliott reminded me he likes egg white omelets. I still had a batch so he was not deprived. I set out to perfect his omelet.

As Elliott was aspiring to eliminate as much cholesterol as possible, i heated a small non stick frying pan over medium heat. When it reached 350˚F (hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle) I sprayed the pan with baking spray (Pam) and poured in 2 lightly beaten egg whites. I sprinkled them with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

The first time I rolled it up and served it plain but the second time Elliott organized 3 slices of cooked sausage and a few pieces of cheese. When I lifted an edge to assure that the bottom was nicely browned, I turned the heat off and set the cheese and sausages in the middle of the set egg white. Then I flipped over each side of the egg white to cover it and let it cook for about a minute to melt the cheese. (The plate was heated first in a low oven so it worked perfectly but it would also work to zap it in the microwave for 7 seconds on high.

Now I'm looking forward to collecting more egg white (no problem), and while waiting to be transformed into Elliott Omelets they serve to keep the freezer more filled. Freezers work most efficiently when filled even if it means filling milk cartons with water and freezing them so why not egg whites instead?!

If you intend to use them for meringue baking, we recommend to only store them frozen for 3 months. After thawing them, empty them into a bowl large enough that you can gently whisk them to a somewhat uniform consistency.

This is a reposting with additions from an earlier post on May 8, 2010. Rose has almost a hundred savory postings on our website along with hundreds of baking posts.

How I Got My Hirschfeld Caricature and How My Version Became Part of His Archives

Ma Vie En Rose Part 3

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Growing up as a New Yorker, I long admired Hirschfeld’s amazing caricatures in the NY Times and joined the ranks of people counting the Ninas hidden in the lines of his drawings. (Nina was the name of his daughter and each of his caricatures always had one or more Ninas in it.) I never would have dreamed of having a Hirschfeld of myself but when I became a cookbook author, my editor told me that fellow author Marion Burrows’s husband had purchased one for her to use on the book jacket. So I called my mother and asked her if she thought I should commission a Hirschfeld. Her response: “Why would you want a caricature which exaggerates one’s worst feature?” My answer: “I think of Hirschfeld as the poet of line drawing—that he sees into one’s soul, and I’d like to see how he would see mine.” My mother’s response: “If that’s how you feel about it, then you should do it.” No doubt that was in good part because I wasn’t asking her to pay. But when I found out the cost of such a work of art I was unsure.

 In 1988, when The Cake Bible had just come out to great acclaim, Elliott and I were invited to a New Year’s Eve party at the Eldorado—the most elegant apartment house on Central Park West, home of the fictional Marjorie Morningstar, and actual home of David and Leslie Newman, screen writers of Superman. I didn’t realize right away that the reason for the invitation was because Leslie was writing her first cookbook Feasts, and planned to change careers from screen writer to cookbook author. Her husband David seemed not altogether happy about her abandoning a lucrative profession for a questionable one but, since my book was such a success, he was encouraged to think that maybe he could divine my secret.

We rang the doorbell and Paula Wolfert appeared, whisking us into the kitchen saying: “This is where the food people are.” And there was Leslie, pulling out ingredients for the choucroute garnis midnight supper. I knew that Elliott was none too happy to be relegated to the food people so I nervously made a futile attempt at introducing him to Leslie. “Just a minute,” she cried out, “I’m just taking out the sausage.” I don’t know what desperation possessed me to offer up the following non sequitur, but here’s what it was: “Well, speaking of taking out the sausage, I’d like you to meet my husband Elliott.” I was afraid he would walk out and leave me on the upper West side, but he had to laugh because so were Paula and most of all Leslie, who rushed out into the living room to announce what had just been said. I heard a roar of amusement and realized it had become our calling card for meeting all the non-food intelligentsia, such as Gay Talese and others of the literary circle.

 On our way out, as David Newman ushered us to the door, I noticed that in the foyer there were myriad Hirschfelds and other artists’ caricatures of famous actors and celebrities lining the walls.  I realized that this had to be the perfect person to ask for advice about the Hirschfeld. I got no further than saying that I was considering having one of me when he cried out with eyes wide open in awe-filled admiration: “Hirschfeld wants to do you?” (I think at that moment he decided that his wife’s defection from screen writing just might be a good choice.) It was a hard split second decision: whether to let him think I was now that famous, or whether to tell him the truth and get his advice as to whether it was worth the price. I chose the former with an emphatic YES! It was one of the few lies I ever told and to this day I do not regret it. And when it turned out that many people when seeing the caricature had the same assumption as David Newman, my husband admitted that he had been wrong to discourage me from spending all my savings to commission it saying: “Had I known how you would use it I would not have objected.” And the truth of the matter is that I had no intention of ‘using’ it—I just wanted it for myself. I think….He probably knew me better than I knew myself.

 And now for how I ended up in Hirschfeld’s archives:

 Cook’s Magazine had its first annual event honoring the Who’s Who of American Chefs. Craig Claiborne, formerly a long-time restaurant reviewer for the NY Times, who was still a frequent contributor, was in attendance. Alex Ward, head of the living section had told me that Craig was doing a duck story and that I should send the story I had proposed to him. Weeks had gone by and I had all but forgotten it, but when I saw Craig I seized the opportunity and politely asked him what ever happened to my submission. His response was to put his hands around my neck in a mock choking position, saying: “I wish you would all go away and leave me alone.” Edna Lewis, one of the most refined and polite of food writers, looked totally embarrassed and would have blushed if she could have. It was such a horrible feeling that when I turned around to leave and the next person I encountered asked me the usual, “how are you?” I burst into tears. (This led to another story that will be written at a later time, which includes how I stopped talking to Craig for many years until shortly before his death when he came to my book launch party at restaurant Daniel and we became ‘friends’ again. I promise it will be hilarious.)

 Some time passed and I was invited to participate in “the Book and the Cook” in Philadelphia along with other cookbook authors including Craig Claiborne. Shortly before the event I received an invitation to attend a dinner at Le Bec Fin honoring Craig. And the entire front page of the invitation was a Hirschfeld caricature of him. Yes! Hirschfeld fulfilled my prophesy of seeing into the soul of a person. He depicted Craig with his hands gleefully around the neck of a little chicken.

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Here’s what I was inspired to do: I shrank my Hirschfeld to the size of the baby chicken and created my own version of Craig’s larger one. This was prior to the completion of The Pie and Pastry Bible,  and I promised myself that the moment I finished this enormous and demandingly detailed book I would send my amalgamation caricature to Hirschfeld along with the story.

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Several years passed and Hirschfeld was well into his 90’s by the time I sent him the letter. And then, to my delight, I received this postcard from Hirschfeld’s wife, the archivist. I wish Craig could have known….. I wonder if I was the only person ever to be sort of choked by him. Do let me know if it happened to you and what you did about it!

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It Has to Be Ice Cream! My 12th Book Coming in May 2020

VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED WITH HOT FUDGE, WHIPPED CREAM, AND CARAMEL

VANILLA ICE CREAM TOPPED WITH HOT FUDGE, WHIPPED CREAM, AND CARAMEL

I have said many times that because of The Cake Bible, I’m best known for cake, most proud of my flaky and tender cream cheese pie crust, love most to bake bread, but it is ice cream that is the sweet I love most to eat.

Why make your own ice cream? Because you can make the flavors, combinations, and creamy textures of your dreams, but most of all, you can use the finest ingredients, and there is no need for additives or preservatives used in most commercial ice creams to keep them very becoming icy.

 Exactly one year from now, May of 2020, you will have all of our favorite ice cream recipes—over 100. You’ll be able to preorder the book as usual several months ahead. And we will be on tour for the book—my first spring/summer book ever.

 My personal favorite ice cream is the Black Raspberry. We both love it so much we planted 40 bushes so we could stop raiding the back roads. But Woody’s top favorite is the Back Road Mint Chip. We tried planting mint but it does better near spring water.

 We will continue to be posting the production phases of this book to share the excitement and watch it come together. Our style/photography sessions are almost completed. Soon we will be posting our appearance on Heritage Radio’s “Life is a Banquet”, in which we talk about our upcoming book.

OUR STYLIST, ERIN MC DOWELL, ON SET & EYEING HER PUDDING CAKE SUNDAE TREAT

OUR STYLIST, ERIN MC DOWELL, ON SET & EYEING HER PUDDING CAKE SUNDAE TREAT

Happy Mother's and Grandmother's Day

Ma Vie En Rose Part 2

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No! I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I inherited a very special one when I discovered it in a wooden box of silver plate flatware that had belonged to my aunt. When I saw what was engraved on the back, I knew that it had belonged to my father’s mother, my grandmother Etta, whom I called “big Grandma” because my mother’s mother was so much shorter.

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 The reason I know with absolutely certainty that the silver demitasse spoon belonged to her was because the engraving read: R.Wallace A1 Mayfair House and that is where my grandmother worked as “finisher” in the sewing repair room of the hotel in the 1930’s. (The Mayfair House became a New York City Landmark in 1981.)

 The spoon is so small that occasionally I think I’ve lost it and go into deep panic because it is my connection to a past long gone; and also because I am familiar with exactly how much sugar it measures, and most of all because it feels so right in my mouth—so smooth and gently curved. It is my every night after dinner comfort—an espresso with a little heavy cream, sugar, and that spoon stirring it and getting licked for the last drop.

 Both of my grandmothers were in the garment industry. My mother’s mother took care of me up until I was 5, while my mother spent the day working as a dentist and orthodontist. When my grandfather died she came to live with us, and continued to care for me and my younger brother while my mother continued to work.

 Grandma gave me one of my first toys—a fat wooden crochet hook on which I would warp a long piece of yarn. ‘Cheynenu’ was one of my first words and it took a while of crying to get my dad to understand what it was that  I wanted. And I still remember my relief when she didn’t scold me for getting a loosely knitted garment caught up in her treadle sewing machine.

 My dad gave me three other treasures of my very young years: he built me a sandbox with the fine sand from the nearby beach in Far Rockaway; he made me a wooden jigsaw puzzle, and he let me play with the little brass extension on his carpenter’s ruler. He also bought me tinker toys which I found a lot less interesting.

 When I was about 11, grandma gave me my first cross stitch project. It was a towel with the design of a pear. It is now 64 years old and I keep meaning to frame it. Little did I know at the time that I would marry a man named Beranbaum which means pear tree in German. His father was also in the garment industry.

 It was only in recent years that I realized how very special and rare craftsmanship is. I once dated a French chef who told me he could not marry me because he was a “manual” and I an “intellectual.” I thought, at the time, that he was wrong, but now I realize how wise he was but also not entire right because I am both. But he was right not to marry me because my “intellect” could not have long supported his concept that chef’s got fat because by handling food all day long they absorb calories from the pores in fingertips directly into the blood stream. My sense of humor is another story—but he had not been joking. He did have a way with food though. The recipe he taught me, pork stuffed with prunes in a cassis cream sauce, which I wrote up for publication, was once listed as one of the best 50 recipes in the past 50 years of Ladies’ Home Journal.

Ariela's Churro Pie Shell Piping Method

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We are presenting Ariela’s method for piping the churro pie shell for her marvelous churro pie with cajeta mousse and chocolate ganache fillings, incase you want to keep authentic to her recipe. This shell is also easier to pipe than my method.  The batter recipe, recipes for all of the other components, and instructions for assembling the churro pipe are on our current Recipe of the Month.

Pipe and Freeze the Churro Pie Shell
* You are going to pipe four sets of 5 inch long “ropes” stacked 6 to 7 “ropes“ high of churro batter to cover the sides of the pan. Then cover the bottom of the pan with concentric rings of batter. You need to make sure that the “ropes” touch each other to form a solid casing to avoid the chance that the crust will break apart during frying.

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* Place the cutting board and pie shell on the large bowl.

8) Fill the piping bag with a third of the batter.
9) Starting at the rim of the silicone pan, pipe a 5 inch long by 3/8 inch wide “rope” of batter. Repeat with piping another “rope” of dough directly on top of the first piped “rope”.
10) Repeat with subsequent piped “ropes” until the “ropes” cover a quarter of the side of the silicone pan and even or slightly higher than the bottom of the pan.
11) With an offset spatula, tamp the ends of the “ropes” to square them off for the next series of “ropes” to butt up against, and for the ends to form a straight vertical line of ends.

* If there is a slight gap after piping a “rope”, use an offset spatula to carefully press the “rope” to close the gap. If you make a mistake that cannot, use the offset spatula to remove the entire “rope” and re-pipe.


12) Place another third of the batter in the piping bag. Begin piping each new “rope” with it butting up to the corresponding “rope’s” end from the first stacked ropes. Tamp its ends and repeat with piping two more stacked “ropes” of batter “ropes” to cover the sides of the pan.
13) Starting even with the pan’s bottom, pipe vertical “ropes” down to the pan’s rim to cover the four junctures of the stacked “ropes” ends.
14) Move the cutting board on the countertop. Add more of the batter into the piping bag. Fill the bag with most of the remaining batter.
15) With an offset spatula, smooth any section of the “ropes” to be the same level as the pan’s bottom. Pipe a “rope” along the tops of the top “ropes” to make a continuous circle of dough on the edge of the pan’s bottom, letting it overlap its beginning. Smooth over the end to create a solid “rope”
16) Starting at a different point, pipe another “rope” ring alongside the first rope in the same manner. Pipe 7 to 9 more concentric circles until the bottom is completely covered.
17) With the offset spatula, spread more the bowl on top of the piped bottom rings and smooth the batter to form a fairly smooth bottom for the pie shell.

* Fill in any gaps in the piped “ropes” to encase the silicone pan completely.


18) Place the churro crust in the freezer to freeze for 8 hours up to 2 days. (Longer freezing can cause the crust to overbrown and/or leave doughy middles during deep-frying.)

Marble Cake with Chocolate Curls for the Joan Hamburg Show

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We were honored to be invited to return to the wonderful Joan Hamburg Show to offer Joan Woody’s successful version of the Marble Cake with Chocolate Pieces which Joan’s mom used to make for the family. This is how we will always make our favorite Marble Cake. The chocolate curls melt in your mouth against the softness of the cake crumb.

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Here’s the link to the Joan Hamburg Podcast Let Me Tell You

Woody tried chocolate chips, but was not satisfied with the outcome. Lacing in 1/2 inch wide thick curls of dark chocolate gave the cake added dimensions of texture and taste.

CHOCOLATE CURLS LACED IN WHITE BATTER

CHOCOLATE CURLS LACED IN WHITE BATTER

You can also listen to the show this Saturday, April 20th, on her weekly show on 77WABC 1-2 pm EST.

Woody’s Chocolate Curls Marble Butter Cake is our April recipe of the month. Click below to see the recipe.

Pastry Plus Conference

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On Sunday, March 24, we had the pleasure of attending and participating in the Pastry Plus 2019 conference at the ICC (International Culinary Center) in New York. The mission of Pastry Plus is: “To establish a pastry community that promotes a constructive exchange of ideas and information to secure the future of the industry.”

Jansen Chan, director of pastry operations for ICC, is the founder of Pastry Plus. He gave the opening introduction to over 100 fellow pastry students, professionals, and food journalists. Emily Luchetti, an advisor to Pastry Plus, gave the keynote address.

Rose was joined by Ron Ben-Israel and Zoe Konan for a panel discussion on various pastry topics moderated by Mitchell Davis, chief strategy officer of the James Beard Foundation. Francisco Migoya of Modernist Cuisine gave a presentation on their book Modernist Bread.

A variety of classes was offered during the afternoon. We first attended Emily Luchetti, and Beth Nielsen from Nielsen-Massey for a class on vanilla, in which we sampled five vanilla extracts and learned several new facts and information on vanilla and its production. Vanilla beans are graded and Nielsen-Massey only purchases the top tier. 

Miro Uskokovic, Executive Pastry Chef at Gramercy Tavern, and also an advisor for Pastry Plus, gave a highly illuminating class on alternative sugars. We tasted a dozen cookies using different sugars. Granulated sugar was the control to compare with sugars like jaggery, maple sugar, palm sugar, and honey.

A networking session capped the day.

 

We applaud the efforts of Pastry Plus and Miro’s annual Sips and Sweets, both of which provide a means for up and coming bakers and established bakers to connect.

My Most Special Story of Love and Loss and Bridging Boundaries ( and how I went to study at LeNôtre 40 years ago)

My Most Special Story of Love and Loss and Bridging Boundaries ( and how I went to study at LeNôtre 40 years ago)

I was saving this story for my memoirs but decided that in honor of my 75th birthday today, and because my treasured friend Max Brossellet died last month, I would share it now.

It all began with Mimi Sheraton, restaurant reviewer of the New York Times, who came to interview me about my upcoming cooking school. She complimented me on the mini cheesecake which I made for her and the choice of coffee I served (I knew from reading her columns which bean she preferred and where she got it) but she told me that my cake decorating needed to be more elegant and suggested that I study at LeNôtre in France. My response was: “now I can tell my husband that Mimi Sheraton said I should study there.” And I lost no time in enrolling for a class. Part of my rush was that I was pregnant and knew that if I had a baby it would be a long time before I would be willing to leave it to go to go to France.

 

The class on entremets (cakes) happened to fall on the week before Christmas. French friends warned me that the French don’t invite people for dinner and that the most I could hope for is a cocktail hour invitation. They also advised me that at Christmas time there was no chance of invitation at all. Happily, I ignored the advice.

 

The day of departure, as I was rushing to leave, I got a call from my great uncle Nat, telling me I had to call his friend Nadège when in Paris and that we would cook together. I didn’t have time to ask if this was a man or woman or anything more about his recommendation but on arriving in Paris I followed his advice. It turned out that Nadège was a married woman with three children and that she loved to cook. I was promptly invited to cocktail hour at their home on the left bank, a few blocks from Les Invalides.

 

The drawing room, with handmade lace curtains gracing the long French windows, was a study in elegance. I sat perched at the edge of my chair, trying to mind my manners and speak in the best French I could manage. Max, the husband, asked me a few polite questions, but things fell apart when he asked the inevitable question “avez-vous des enfants?” I started to answer but, to my horror, tears started welling up and try as hard as I could they would not stop. So, I explained that I had recently had a miscarriage (I didn’t know the French expression at the time so in error I said abortion!). Max’s response was immediate and gently compassionate. He said “Je pense que vous avez des caffards…” which translates to “I think you have roaches” but actually means I think you are homesick. And, to my total shock, he added that I should move in with them during my stay in Paris!

 

My grandmother, in all her wisdom, had taught me always to look to the wife, which was my first response, and when I did her expression changed from concern to compassion equal to that of her husband’s.

 

So I said: “Oui!” The next step was to write down the exact address to get there by taxi. I got out my prized Mount Blanc fountain pen, the size of a small cigar, and Max’s eyes light up with appreciation. “Ah a Mount Blanc!” he exclaimed and asked me if he could use it to write the address. Now I had been told never to let anyone write with my pen because the gold nib, which had softened to my handwriting, would be altered. So I explained this to Max and instead of his being intimidated he exclaimed with delight “un vierge!” (a virgin). I weakly countered by telling him it was a bit scratchy to which he smiled and said: “I’ll smooth it out.” Realizing that I had just achieved the near impossible of being invited not only to dinner but to live with this French family at Christmas time, it seemed utterly ridiculous to withhold my pen so I handed it over to him. And thus began a friendship that lasted for well over 30 years.

 

But here comes my favorite part of the story: I went back that very night to pack my things and took a cab from the humble hotel where I had been staying. The ride started out badly when I showed the driver the address and he told me that he couldn’t drive into that street which meant I would have to carry my heavy bags for several blocks. By then, the cab had filled up with thick smoke from a gitane cigarette the burley cab driver was enjoying. Timidly I asked him if he would mind putting it out. The response was a wordless grumble of discontent so I followed it up with: “Well anyway, it’s not good for the healthy.” Pas bonne pour la sainté? Not good for the health? He spat out. You can’t eat, you can’t smoke, you can’t drink anymore, what is left? And as always, my sense of humor got the better of me and I replied softly and with a smile in my voice: “En peut toujours faire l’amour.”* The driver stopped the car to turn around and scrutinize what manner of woman, with good French but American accent, would have the nerve to utter those words. And then he smiled and said in a resigned but amused tone: “Oui! En peut tourjours faire ça. Madam! I will take you wherever you want to go.” This was a moment I will never forget. And with that he drove me right up to the door of my new friends’ apartment house--la famille Brossollet.

 

The plan of my visit was that I would return for a few days after attending the baking classes and stay for Christmas, in fact, Nadège asked if I would make a bûche de Noël based on what I was to learn chez LeNôtre. But though Nadège was a first rate cook, she was not a baker and her oven door did not close securely which would not be suitable for baking. By the time I returned, however, just one week later, Max had bought her a new oven for my bûche to be! Nadège got out her collection of tiny toy buglers to decorate it and we all thought it was a great success. But I think what meant the most to her was that as her teenage children were mocking the holiday, saying how bored they were and that it was toujours la même chose (always the same thing), I succeeded in giving them a different perspective by telling them how I had been warned not to expect hospitality of the sort I was enjoying and that I felt it to be a great honor to be included as part of the family at such a sacred time.

 

Nadège, Max, and I were close friends for many years and many visits. Yes, Nadège and I cooked together and shared many intimacies and experiences, and Max, owner of the esteemed Belin publishing company, and also publisher of the French edition of Scientific American Magazine, was a fascinating conversationalist. During my last visit to their weekend Moulin in Normandy, Max drove me over to the ancient nearby church and told me that someday I would be able to visit them there because that is where they would be interned. The thought of losing this incredibly dear man made me very sad.

But also, it was during that visit that I realized it would probably be my last one and for a different reason. When I tried to share with Nadège my recipe for roast duck on the grill, she stopped me short by saying that all I ever wanted to talk about was food. I will always miss both Brossollets and sometimes dream about Nadège. I’m left with the feeling that I must have done something wrong but can’t imagine what. I guess people change. But I prefer the French expression “plus ça change plus c’est la même chose.” I still stay in touch with their son Martin who was always very special to me as a young boy. I will admit that food is my window on the world but it is not all that I am. You will see some of the rest if I ever get to write the rest of my memoirs.

 

* Tragically, this theoretical compensation I had suggested also became bad for the health with the advent of aids.

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