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This is a new unpublished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