Monday, December 26, 2016

Triple Lemon Velvet Bundt Cake

This is a new unpublished
recipe from
Rose and Woody's
upcoming book

The name says it all.

The crumb is incredibly delicate
when fresh baked.
Rose advises flavor is better
the next day, which does
seem to be deeper and fuller.
The crumb feels heavier
but is still tender.

The only difficulty I had
was it baked too dark even
taking it out of the oven
earlier than the least amount
of recommended time
turning down the oven twenty five degrees
for the last ten minutes.
Not sure if cake strips would have helped.
Next time I'll start checking for doneness
way earlier, when the kitchen is wafting
with delicious lemon scent.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Perfect Christmas Stollen

This is the recipe for 
It was a real learning experience.
Growing up Stollen was not on 
our Christmas table.

I have been intrigued since eyeing Stollen
in a delightful bakery years ago.
The few store bought ones
I purchased
were disappointing.
Very hard, dry and tasteless.

The recipe calls for soaked dried fruit.
This fruit has been soaking
in rum for so many years
I've actually forgotten the exact number.
It was intended for fruitcake.

I'm not sure why,
 other than making two mistakes,
why the dough was so wet.
I poured all the flour into the sponge
instead just one half cup.
Also I had to pull it out of the "proofing" microwave box
and add a forgotten egg yolk.

I used White Lily flour and am
not sure if that affected the dough.
It was more of a thick cake consistency.

It is tasty though!
Very tender crumb.
The almond paste center is amazing.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kouigns Amann

Final curtain call 
for Rose's Alpha Bakers.
Our fearless leader,
thought it would be great fun
to once again make
the first recipe we
upon commencing 
baking through
The Baking Bible,
namely this Kouigns Aman.

I did not share that sentiment
because the first time around was daunting,
but I understood the reasoning.
We've weighed
flour, sugar, butter
in all their various 
percentages and incarnations,
slogging along 
through recipes
that would fell many a baker
for two years and eleven days.
If memory serves correctly,
and that's a big if,
we only took one or two weeks 
worth of breaks.

Baking at this pace is grueling.
Missing a week, 
or weeks at a time,
is like falling off a horse;
best be pulling up those boot straps
and climbing right back into the saddle.
Marie never missed a beat
even when she traveled the world
with her personal photographer/husband
He gets credit for sifting through our photos
when there were many superb
ones to choose from for the weekly roundup. 
I have loved seeing not only
my fellow Alpha's bakes
but photographs, as well.
many are magazine worthy.
So with
two years of baking under our belts
these should have been a snap,

The dough is easy peasy
to mix up.
How such few ingredients
transform into 
is nothing short of alchemy.

After that it's a lot of 
folding and rolling and waiting.
The dough texture is 
fun to work with.
The butter behaved.
It's only when sugar
gets involved in the last steps
that rolling is a bit dicey.
And that's where swearing doubts
make themselves known.
with Rose's recipes,
it's often blind faith,
 keep calm and carry on.

There have been many
a time I could 
easily have cracked a bottle
of rum, brandy, whiskey, bourbon, Kahlua,
chambord, Grand Marnier
and whatever 
leftover  Baking Bible 
spirits are in the cupboard
when I was on the verge of baking implosion
I'm not a big fan of alcohol
other than Amaretto
and oddly
Rose never called for Amartto.
If she did,
I drank the last of it and can't remember.

My six and half year old granddaughter
made good on her
promise to be here for the last bake.

Only she declared Blueberry muffins
needed to be made
because evidently,
as grandmother,
I set some sort of precedent 
without realizing it.

Grandma, remember how you always
made us blueberry muffins when we spent the night?

Next thing I knew it was tea party time.
Kouigns Amann had been demoted.

If I tackle these again,
it will be at the crack of dawn 
for this all day venture.

I will make a note to pull them out
at the least amount of baking time
and throw a foil tent over for the last
ten minutes.

Rose lists turning these into
French Toast
as a variation.
That seemed crazy to me
after all this effort
curiosity won out
And let me say,
Rose knows of which she speaks,
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones

Rose's Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones
are aptly named.
They are so delicate.

I used left over Irish butter
which is higher in fat
and thus were
extra creamy.

Her method of whipping
the cream and adding it
to the mix does make for an airy crumb.

Trader Joe's didn't have candied ginger
because it has lead in it.
I added left over golden raisins which
were soaking in rum
from a previous recipe of Rose's.
They go perfectly with the ginger.

I missed the instruction to make sure
they were a couple inches apart from each other.
Obviously mine were too close
but I cut them apart and they were fine.

I love Rose's method
for making these scones
and can see the flavors
easily being adapted.
They are truly spectacular.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Luxury Chocolate Buttercrunch Toffee

This is the last new recipe 
are making.
It was an uphill
battle for me
getting here.
I felt like the tail end runner
in a marathon 
that had to be carried across the finish line.

Lucky for me
I had a sous chef
who even made breakfast.

"I'll make you breakfast whenever I'm here
because grandpa isn't here to cook for you."

She's been baking along
with the Alpha Bakers/Heavenly Cake days
since she was three
and could scoot a chair up to the counter.

After stirring the toffee mixture
she decided
to add a 
saucier pan to the top
of her Christmas wish list.

First Thanksgiving apple pie

Baking can be lonely.
Having a child in the kitchen
always makes things lively.
Her younger sister
has dibs on
being here for the
Kouigns Amann 

This toffee is good.
It took a long time to reach the correct temperature.
I forgot the last step to put in the vanilla and baking soda.
Thankfully sous chef can read well
and caught my mistake.

I only topped it with chocolate and nuts.
Rose calls for also coating the bottom.
It truly is luxurious and buttery.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Brandy Snap Cannoli

All I can say is they are finished.
I've been dreading these 
but there was no hiding putting
it off any longer.
It was the last recipe I had to catch up
with the Alpha Bakers.

It was the multiple steps
and pages of instructions
that I dreaded
but I never thought 
this would happen.

All the little two inch circles 
ran a muck, revolted,
joined forces
and turned into a giant blob.

I just cut them into rectangles
and carried on
rather than chuck the entire
because I wasn't starting again.

Making the pastry cream
and marscapone mixture
wasn't difficult,
just time consuming.
I had my doubts about cooking
the dried fruit but honestly,
once the rum (out of Bourbon)
and orange zest was
added, it escalated to an
entirely new dimension.

And this is where I could have 
easily stopped 
doling the
lovely creamy wonder
into pudding dishes instead.

But I stuffed the cannoli
and finished the ends
with toasted pistachios. 

What this has done 
is make me want to make
the fried dough Italian version
with Rose's filling.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Mousseline

Yet again, another outstanding
bowl of cake batter
from Rose's repertoire. 
This time it's white chocolate.
Get out the spoons.

I paid attention and followed the instructions
to make the sauce first.

The meringue contortions weren't that difficult.
Not sure if finally after baking through
two of Rose's books it's getting easier
or this was just a lucky day.
My money would be on the lucky day.

Evidently a few errant raspberry seeds
made it through the fine mesh strainer.

These are pretty fancy cupcakes
even though mine don't appear to be.
The flavor is delicate,
 definitely a treat.
Perfect for a 
Fancy Nancy
tea party.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pomegranate Winter Chiffon Meringue Trifle

This was supposed to be in
a beautiful meringue pie shell.
I just didn't have it in me to fiddle
with the pie shell
in cold, rainy weather.
This will be a spot on dessert come the 
hot days of summer.

I've been eyeing these cookies
for years.
They were recruited in the making of this 
supposed to be pie
and worked like a charm.
Trifles are like that, though;
 easy to improvise.
I layered the cookies,
melted white chocolate,
pomegranate chiffon concoction,
I forgot to fold the whipped cream into
the chiffon mixture so layered that as well.
Drizzled with white chocolate and
the pomegranate glaze
it's a pretty spectacular dessert.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chocolate Sweetheart Madeleines

While I was dipping these lovely 
little morsels in chocolate ganache, 
I had visions of Lucy and Ethel
on the candy line.
Probably because
it was a slap dash operation.
There was lots of chocolate splashing about.

Rose's cake batters are dangerous.
why bother baking them at all?
Just hand out spoons and sit 
around the mixer bowl like a fondue pot.

I used both a large sized Madeleine pan and a mini.
The larger size worked better for me.
There were more casualties amongst the mini
which meant more 
to pop into my very willing mouth.

I'm too lazy to set up a nice tea party.
They are wrapped and ready to roll out of the house.
I like them far too much.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Irish Soda Bread

Rose's Irish Soda Bread
is delicious!

My daughter said that this
would be the easiest recipe
of Rose's I would ever make
and she was right.

After soaking the golden raisins in rum instead of whiskey,
it was toss flour, baking soda, sugar, salt,
buttermilk and butter together with the raisins.

I used the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid
for a brief knead.

I forgot to compare recipes
since my book is a rogue copy.
Sure enough, it didn't specify
to drain the raisins
and I poured the whole
lot in. You can see how
wet the dough is.

Mounded onto a pan for a quick bake.

I thought all was well 
Patty asked if I made the whiskey butter?
Ooops, forgot!
I soaked some more raisins
in rum and whipped up the butter.

I love this bread toasted
and the rum butter
truly set it off.

I'm so surprised by the flavor profile.
This will definitely be making
an appearance on St. Patrick's Day.

Rose Levy Beranbaum

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Prune Preserves and Caramel Cream Cake Roll

I really like rolled caked desserts.
Making one seems so intimidating
but Rose's instructions
are easy to follow.

I could see this with many different fillings.
The caramel whipped cream would compliment
probably any type of fruit filling.
I think it would be great as a summer
fruit basket cake.
Since I like prunes,
to me they are like candy!
the prune levkar filling is nice
with the caramel flavor.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Monkey Dunkey Bread

No monkey business with this recipe.
This bread is incredible!
It seemed so complicated
but actually
turned out easier than I feared.

The kitchen was filled
with a lovely aroma
while baking.
That gave me hope.
The caramel sauce even
turned out the right color.

Simply incredible.
This is definitely 
going to be a family favorite
for years to come.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Marble White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

This is more of a 
Vanilla Cheesecake with a Chocolate Center.
Obviously my marbling technique
leaves a lot to be desired.
Still, this is a wonderful

I opted to use Lady Fingers
instead of making the 
chocolate sponge cake base.
Chalk that up to 
nothing more than laziness.

The top completely burned
so I simply shaved it off.
No trace of burned flavor.

This is definitely a keeper.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cadillac Cafe Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding

This is definitely a rich bread pudding.
I opted for the cake pan rather
than the ramekins.

Topped with a dollop of
Kahlua whipped cream.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Bourbon Balls

I made these a year ago.
They were little chocolate bombs!
Rich, dense, chocolate-y with a hit of bourbon;
 cookies  for grown ups.
They could easily be adapted for the underage
set by following Rose's substitution suggestion
of omitting the bourbon and adding vanilla instead.
I added orange oil and my oh my!
The combination was amazing.
Rose Levy Beranbaum