Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mini Gateaux Breton

What delightful little cookies 
Rose came up with!
Incredibly easy 
for finding the mini pans.

Surprisingly the cake decorating store
had sets but one half inch larger.
They were also ridiculously expensive so
I only bought two sets of four.

A simple cookie batter of Irish butter,
sugar, egg yolks, ground almonds and vanilla
mixed together then chilled.
I skipped the rum.

The dough is rolled into balls
and pressed into the molds.
I followed 
lead and weighed out thirty gram portions
for the larger pans.

And ten grams for a mini muffin tin.
I ran out of mini cupcake papers
but they worked well either way.

I was glad Rose provided the internal
baked temperature 
because these little gems
could easily over bake.

They are the perfect size 
for a
children's tea party
but I doubt there will be one
since my husband loves them!
Definitely on the make again list.
Next time I think I'll try Amaretto
or a bit of orange oil.
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pink Pearl Lady Cake

Rose's Pink Pearl Lady Cake

 This Lady certainly needed
a lady in waiting.
One high maintenance cake, indeed.

The cake itself was easy enough
and baked up nicely. 
I used all the batter, not holding
back the cupcake amount that Rose suggested,
only because the size pan I used easily accommodated the batter.

The fondant was entirely another matter.
Not a fan of fondant since being introduced
while wedding cake taste testing for my daughter's wedding
a few years ago.
Beautiful, gorgeous cakes but 
neither of us could get past the fondant.
One bakery even said
"Oh, people never eat it. They peel it off."
So why are we paying hundreds of dollars for an inedible cake?
The reason it's more popular over buttercream frosting 
is all due to temperature at the reception, 
especially in hot weather.

I was hoping Rose's white chocolate version
would make me a convert.
It's definitely better
but I still don't like it.

The strawberry mousseline which
covers the cake and fills the split cake layer
however, is delicious!
I used Trader Joe's Strawberry Spread
for the strawberry butter.
The flavor is nice.
My mousseline looked funny but
it was the correct temperature
and I didn't care at this point.

This cake could have easily stopped there
but it is beautiful with the fondant.
Extraordinarily beautiful.

I loved playing with the fondant
and sprinkling the pixie luster dust over the cake,
rolling the pearls about.

Because the white chocolate had vanilla bean flecks
in it, I dusted the top of the cake to cover them.

It is a show stopper
but my husband wanted to know
why the frosting was like eating clay?
So will I make it again?
Definitely, but not with fondant.
I saw a technique of using paper towels
to make buttercream look like fondant.
With the fun luster dust, 
I can see this cake making several 
appearances at birthdays.



Rose Levy Beranbaum

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pizza Rustica

I'm either a day late for serving
Pizza Rustica,
a month early.
This savory Italian pie,
Pizza Rustica,
 is served for 
the day before Ash Wednesday
or Easter Sunday.

It's fun learning new culinary traditions.

For the photo tutorial process,
head over to the Alpha Bakers.

I felt lucky just to get this made,
mistakes and all.
First off, I couldn't find the dried thyme I bought
so ran outside and picked fresh from my herb container pot,
hoping I was actually clipping thyme in the dark.

Secondly I forgot to add the pecorino cheese into the ricotta mixture
and slap dash sprinkled it over the top.
Since I don't eat meat,
ham was added to half.
No spicey meat eaters in the house.
For my side, I sauteed mushrooms,
layered artichoke hearts and fresh basil.

It took much longer to bake than the recipe 
indicated. Thank goodness for 
instant read thermometers.

It's an interesting dish with
the sweetened crust.
The mushrooms and basil really off set it.
Curious, I read many different
versions and the sweetened dough
is standard but not required.
It seems the basic mixture
of eggs, ricotta and cheeses
can be varied with almost anything.

I'm glad we made this because I never
would have attempted it on my own.
I like it.
I'll make it again without ham and
add even more mushrooms, 
but I'm leaving out the sugar in the crust.
While once was okay, I definitely would prefer it without.  
Rose Levy Beranbaum

Monday, February 8, 2016

Perfect American French Toast

We love French Toast in my house.
It's one of those things I can make 
without thinking twice.
Rose's recipe for
Perfect American French Toast
is similar to my standard recipe
except for two things:
one she uses nutmeg instead of cinnamon
and two,
she stacks slices together.
I've never heard of this being done before
unless stuffed with fillings.

Bread soaking in egg mixture

Rose specifies white bread made without
eggs or dairy. I found such a loaf at 
Trader Joe's with great texture.

Her soaking mixture is rich with cream,
whole milk, nutmeg beaten together 
with eggs and vanilla.

Cooking under glass

I have a trick that I came up with while making
endless French Toast for grandchildren.
Always concerned that the eggy custard was cooked thoroughly,
I started covering the pan with a lid.
The most amazing thing happened; 
this results in enough steam that the bread interior remains
soft, the outer edges turn golden and the bread sort of puffs,
no matter what kind of bread is used.

Rose offers a variation with 
Yogurt and Raspberry Sauce.
Plain yogurt is strained resulting in a thickened
Frozen raspberries are drained and pushed through a wire mesh
after thawing.
Since mine weren't sweetened, 
I added sugar and the called for lemon juice.

This is what it should have looked like
had I been patient enough to wait.
Greek Yogurt would probably work well, too,
and then no need to drain.

Instead, it looked like this:

No matter,
it's delicious! 
And the stacked slices
make a nice thick serving.

Such a pretty presentation,
perfect for Valentine's Day.
Rose Levy Beranbaum