Rose on Video presents: Your Cake is Done When

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 6. Here are two easy ways to tell when your cake is fully baked.

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

How Many Cups Does My 2-Piece Tube Pan Hold?

16 CUP 2-PIECE PAN with trash bag liner being filled with water

16 CUP 2-PIECE PAN with trash bag liner being filled with water

It is important to know the volume capacity of your pans and pie plates, as we have noticed that some manufacturers have been making their pans smaller. This is especially true with cake pans that have sloped sides, as most layer cake recipes are written for pans having straight sides.

We at times receive comments on our Ask A Question inquiring why a cake did not fill a pan to our stated level for the recipe. In most cases, it was that the pan held a different volume.

When I was still in Minneapolis, MN several years ago, Rose called me.

“Please see how many cups of water your angel food pan holds. You can probably use duct or masking tape to tape the two pieces together so that the water does not leak out. Call me back in a half hour or so when you have an answer.”

I called her back in five minutes. “ 16 cups.”
“How did you do that so fast?” Rose exclaimed.
“I lined the pan with a light weight trash can liner and filled it with cupfuls of water.”
“Why did you do that?” As Rose is always questioning.
“Because I did not want to remove the tape and have to wash the pan.”

Angel Food Cake designed for a 16 cup pan

Angel Food Cake designed for a 16 cup pan

 Rose then called a leading pan manufacturer to ask their cake pan technical department if they had a specification sheet for the cup capacity on their current series of pans. When they unbelievably responded they did not, Rose lectured them on how to get that specification using my method.

 

 

 

Zesting After Freezing?

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Lemon zest, the colored portion of citrus peel, freezes well after juicing and zesting. But my step-daughter Beth, who is an architect, came up with this great idea for zesting citrus peel after the fruit is juiced. Many recipes call for freshly squeezed lemon, lime, or orange juice. But after the fruit is juiced, the remaining outer portion of the fruit becomes too limp to grate into zest.

 

If you wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in a reclosable freezer weight bag, and freeze it until you are ready to use it, it will be rigid enough to allow it to be grated with ease. The frozen peel is just as easy to hold as an unjuiced lemon. So if you didn't think of grating the fruit's outer peel while it was still whole, this is a terrific method.

Blueberry muffins with grated lemon zest to enhance their flavor

Blueberry muffins with grated lemon zest to enhance their flavor

Whipping Egg Whites: Duck VS Duck & Chicken Whites

Pink Spatula: DUCK & CHICKEN WHITES / Green Spatula: DUCK WHITES ONLY

Pink Spatula: DUCK & CHICKEN WHITES / Green Spatula: DUCK WHITES ONLY

With country living, it is always good to know your neighbors. One day Woody saw a sign for free compost from a horse farm neighbor and also duck eggs. I love duck eggs for…. And duck yolks are great in spaghetti carbonara…. Which means there can be a lot of white, since large duck eggs can have up to 50 grams of egg white compared to chicken eggs having up to 35 grams. The problem is that duck egg whites do not whip up to the same volume or stiff, dense peaks as chicken egg whites.

We did the following test to see if chicken whites could be combined with duck whites to obtain a similar texture to whipped to stiff peaks chicken egg whites.

 OUR TEST PARAMETERS:
1. We used a Breville hand mixer with its whisk beaters.
2. We used the same mixing bowls: 45 grams of duck white VS 22.5 & 22.5 grams of mixed whites.
3. Both whites had the same amount of cream of tartar 1/8 + 1/16 teaspoon.
4. NO sugar was used, which would have helped to stiffen the whites.
5. We beat both sets of whites to stiff peaks.
Technique: Starting at low speed until the whites were foamy, then increasing to high speed to make stiff peaks

RESULTS:
Duck whites only: Green Spatula in photos below
1. Loose and porous consistency and very white in color
2. Began watering out at 10 minutes
3. After 20 minutes, very significant collapse

 Duck & Chicken Whites: Pink Spatula in photos below
1. Dense and very firm texture (though not quite as firm as 100% chicken egg whites), and off white in color
2. Began watering out slightly at 18 minutes
3. After 20 minutes, still holding their shape


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

ON ROSE’S BOKS PAGE

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

ON OUR BLOG PAGE

 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.

Don’t Guess Wrong, Dot Your Cords

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If I had put a check mark on a chart for every time I plugged in our mixer, drill, toaster, vacuum cleaner, or (you can fill in the blank) with one of those two prong A/C plugs with the wider prong that goes in the LEFT side slot of an A/C outlet, my guess is that I have been wrong 75% of the time in trying to plug the cord in the wrong way. Of course it is only takes a few seconds to recognize failure and turn the plug over to finally get it in right. But it is annoying, especially when plugging into one of those under kitchen cabinet A/C strips that we seem to have a zillion of.

Solution: Put a white self adhesive dot on the big prong side of the electrical plug for dark electrical cords, a colored dot for white electrical cords.

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Now the cord is marked to remind you to put the wider one in the LEFT side slot (the ground prong slot, should be at the bottom of the three slots). You may have to put some clear tape to secure it, depending on the shape of the plug.

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Happy plugging!

Capping Off Your Angel Food or Bundt Pan

 We all have done it, and we all have strategies for not dropping cake batters down the center tube of an angel food or bundt pan. A solution that has worked for us is to "cap" the center tube's opening. We have tried 3 different ways. 

Our favorite, as pictured, is to "cap" the opening with a small piece of plastic wrap and wrap it around the center tube about a half inch down the tube to hold it in place.

A small circle of aluminum foil folded over the center tube or a bottle cap that sits snugly on top work too. Both of these may dislodge.

Remember to remove your "cap" before popping your cake into the oven. 

REMOVING PLASTIC WRAP "CAP" FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE SPANGLED ANGEL FOOD

REMOVING PLASTIC WRAP "CAP" FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE SPANGLED ANGEL FOOD

foil "cap" on bundt pan for making orange splendor butter cake

foil "cap" on bundt pan for making orange splendor butter cake

Scissors and Custard Cup for Finely Chopping Herbs

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It is summertime! Our herb garden is abundant with oregano, thyme, sage, chives, and more to add fresh flavors to our summer meals on the porch. A convenient method for finely chopping herbs for savory baking recipes is to use a small kitchen scissors and a Pyrex custard cup. After washing and drying the leaves to be chopped, fill the custard cup about halfway full. Then use the scissors to ‘chop’ the herbs to your desired size. While you are ‘chopping,’ it helps to change the angle of the bowl to the scissors, from time to time, as well as to move the scissors with short pecking like strokes.

Rose on Video presents: Perfectly Whipped Cream

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 11. Here are some tips for whipping cream to perfection without the addition of stabilizers like cornstarch, arrowroot, or gelatin.

This whipped cream will hold up for 3 hours in cool room temperature..

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

The Meniscus: Do I measure from the Top or the Bottom?

meniscus |məˈniskəs|

noun (pl. menisci |-kē, -kī| or meniscuses)

Physics  the curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube.

A cup of water, measures 8 fluid ounces, but does not weigh 8 ounces. Look up water in the dictionary. It defines one fluid 8 ounce cup of water as 236.6 grams (8.3 ounces weighed). The volume reading should be taken at eye level and the meniscus--the clear space at the very top--should be above the measuring cup’s marked line.

If one mistakenly measures with the top of the line level with the cup’s, one can be short as much as one tablespoon. Shown below at 223 grams.

(Incidentally, liquid measures are not designed to measure solids such as sugar and flour which need measuring cups with unbroken rims on which to level off the ingredient.)

Rose on Video presents: Buttercream Made Simple

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 13. No need to have a thermometer in hand when you make Rose’s Neoclassic Egg Yolk Buttercream using corn syrup or refiners golden syrup. Just bring the sugar mixture to a rolling boil and add it to your beaten egg yolks.

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

Rose on Video presents: Caramel Sauce

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 15. Tips for making caramel sauce for drizzling on cakes and ice cream, and blending into ganaches and buttercreams. We like to it drizzle on slices of our marble cake with chocolate curls. An instant-read thermometer is a worth while baking tool for successful results. We use it to check the temperature of: baked cakes, pies, breads; butter, mousseline Italian meringue and whipped butter; frying oils; sauces; and grilled foods.

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

Glazes for Breads: Did You Know?

CHALLAH with EGG WASH & POPPYSEEDS

CHALLAH with EGG WASH & POPPYSEEDS

The quality of bread crust is not determined only by the type of bread being baked. There are glazes and toppings that can help to achieve a range of textures from soft and velvety to crisp and crunchy. Here is the full range of possibilities:

Type of Glazes and Toppings

A crisp crust: Water (brushed or spritzed)

A powdery, rustic chewy crust: Flour (dusted)

A soft velvety crust: Melted butter, preferably clarified (1/2 tablespoon per average loaf)

A crisp light brown crust: 1 egg white (2 tablespoons) and 1/2 teaspoon water, lightly beaten and strained (the ideal sticky glaze for attaching seeds)

A medium shiny golden crust: 2 tablespoons egg (lightly beaten to measure) and 1 teaspoon water, lightly beaten

A shiny deep golden brown crust: 1 egg yolk (1 tablespoon) and 1 teaspoon heavy cream, lightly beaten

A shiny medium golden brown crust: 1 egg yolk (1 tablespoon) and 1 teaspoon milk, lightly beaten

A very shiny hard crust: 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch and 6 tablespoons water:
Whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the water. Bring the remaining 1/4 cup water to a boil and whisk the cornstarch mixture into it; simmer for about 30 seconds, or until thickened and translucent. Cool to room temperature, then brush on the bread before baking and again as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Note: When using an egg glaze, it goes on most smoothly if strained. I like to add a pinch of salt to make it more liquid and easier to pass through the strainer. An egg glaze will lose its shine if using steam during the baking process.

This Weekly Baking Tip is a reposting from November 3, 2012  in Tips & Techniques category on Our Blog page. We have 16 other Tips & Techniques postings for you to explore.  

Rose on Video presents: Do's and Don'ts of Whipping Egg Whites

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 14. The right amount of cream of tartar will virtually let you beat your egg whites meringue “until the cows come home”. And mound it sky high for meringue topped pies.

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UPDATE with writing Rose’s Baking Basics
* For meringues with no or a small amount of sugar, we now whisk the cream of tartar with the egg whites after measuring the egg whites into the bowl. We then beat on medium-low speed until foamy. Sugar is then added gradually while increasing the speed to medium-high.
* For meringues with a large amount of sugar, like a angel food cake or pavolova, we measure the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar into the mixer bowl and whisk them together until blended. The bowl is then covered for 30 minutes at room temperature. The mixture is then beaten starting at low speed and increased to medium-high speed per the recipe’s instructions.
* If you are using frozen egg whites, it is necessary to lightly whisk them in a bowl to make them uniform in consistency before measuring them.

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

Curl Off the Old Chocolate Block

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There are times when a busy pastry chef or chef de cuisine does not want to turn on the tempering machine and make space on the counter to spread tempered chocolate for making a large quantity of chocolate curls. When just a few curls are all that’s needed to garnish a plated dessert, having the ideal size chocolate block at the ready is a very useful solution.

A silicone financier mold produces perfect 3 by 1 by 1-1/4 inches high shiny blocks of chocolate that unmold with ease and can be stored airtight away from humidity and in a cool spot for months. And a quick temper of the chocolate is all that’s needed to produce fat shiny curls.

Chop bittersweet chocolate and partially melt it in a small microwavable bowl, in the microwave, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or in 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 before it is completely melted and stir until fully melted. This is essential to temper the chocolate that will maintain its shine and flexibility.

A financier pan with bar-shaped molds 3 by 1 by 1-1/4 inch high (1/4 cup/59 ml) cavities, each of will hold 2 ounces/60 grams of melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set for several hours until completely firm before unmolding.

The chocolate needs to be moderately soft in order to curl without breaking or flattening. The small block of chocolate can be softened by placing it under a lamp or in a microwave using 3 second bursts. It usually takes a few tries to get the chocolate soft enough without over-softening it, but once this point is reached, it will hold for at least 10 minutes, giving you enough time to make lots of beautiful curls.

 I find the best utensil with which to make the curls is a sharp vegetable peeler. Hold it against the upper edge of the chocolate block and dig in the upper edge of the cutter, pulling it toward you. Increase pressure to form thicker, more open curls. Decrease pressure to make tighter curls. Until the chocolate is sufficiently warmed, it will splinter. When it becomes too warm, it will come off the block in strips that will not curl. But if the strips are not too soft, you can use your fingers to shape the curls. Keep your fingers cool by periodically dipping them into ice water and drying them well.

Special Note: It has been reported to me that many pastry chefs value ValRhona Manjari for making curls as the orange oil in the chocolate makes it curl more easily.

 

This Weekly Baking Tip is a reposting from June 7, 2014 in Tips & Techniques category on Our Blog page. We have 16 other Tips & Techniques postings for you to explore.  

Freezing Egg Yolks and Whites

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We are continuously saving egg whites that we are separating when making egg yolk based ice creams and from skimming them off as the excess weight when weighing out whole eggs. They can be conveniently be frozen for at least a year. However, the egg whites usually become a Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake a treat for my Monday bridge club group.

Egg yolks can also be frozen, but you need to add sugar to keep them from getting too sticky and unusable.

For 1 egg yolk/1 tablespoon+1/2 teaspoon/18.7 grams, stir in ½ teaspoon/2 grams of sugar.
Don’t forget to remove the amount of sugar from the recipe after defrosting the yolks.

 

This Weekly Baking Tip is a reposting from April 4, 2009 in Tips & Techniques category on Our Blog page. We have 16 other Tips & Techniques postings for you to explore.  

Rose on Video presents: Prepping Your Layer Cake Pan

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 5. When cake pans are prepared correctly before pouring in the batter the cakes will come out in one piece with no crumbs sticking to the pan.

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.

The Finest Sugar of Them All

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A dramatic visualization showing how 1/8 teaspoon of sugar spreads depending on degree of granulation.

Superfine sugar, aka “baker’s sugar,” is the finest granulation before becoming powdered sugar. It is called for in recipes such as meringue, because it will dissolve more easily into the egg white, in cookies when a smooth dough and exterior is desired, and in butter cakes for the finest texture.

 You can make superfine sugar by processing fine granulated sugar for several minutes, but if processing large quantities it will scratch the food processor bowl and make it a bit cloudy. Also, some bakers feel that the granules will be less consistently even but personally I have found there to be no noticeable difference in the finished product.

 Different brands of superfine sugar will vary in degree of fineness. I used Domino brand for years and then found that C & H was slightly finer. But the finest of them all is the India Tree brand.

 Note: All sugar will lump on storage, and the finer the sugar, the more prone it is to lumping. Powdered sugar, for example, contains a small amount of cornstarch to help reduce its tendency to clump. With refined sugar, all you need to do is press it through a strainer to restore its free-flowing consistency.

Here is the link to India Tree for their sugar:

If you would like to read more on sugar, Rose wrote a Sugar Bible article for Food Arts. Here is the link:


Blind Baking Tips for an Open-Faced Pie

Blind baking is an important technique both for pie fillings which don’t require further baking and also to ensure a super crisp crust for those that do. When rolling the dough, be sure to lift the dough frequently to allow it to shrink in so that it doesn’t shrink as much during baking and when lining the pie plate, ease the dough in and avoid stretching it. The ‘weights’ are needed to keep the pie crust from puffing. Choosing the right pie crust also is a great help to prevent shrinking.

A large coffee urn filter or piece of parchment, crumpled to help it conform to the shape of the pie plate, works perfectly as a container for the dried peas, beans, or rice. You can spray the under side of the parchment to ensure that it releases easily from the dough but I don’t find it necessary with coffee urn filters! If they are too high for your oven, trim them down a bit with scissors as we did here.

After lifting out the weights, set a foil ring on top to keep the border from over-browning, and return the pie shell to the oven for about 3 minutes. Watch carefully and press it down gently with the back of a spoon or spatula if it puffs up in places. Bake only until it begins to become golden brown in a few places. If you are making a pie that will require more baking, best not to pierce holes in the crust as it may cause the pie to stick to the pie plate.

Our blind baked pie shell became the perfect vessel for the open-faced apple pie from The Pie and Pastry Bible.

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Rose on Video presents: Why Weigh Your Flour

Rose’s PBS television series Baking Magic Tips 2 . See why weighing flour is so much faster, easier, and more accurate than measuring it!

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. Baking Magic aired in 2006. Along with the weekly recipe episodes, Rose had a tips segment. These tips are timeless.