Hector's Rose Reappears Via Jenn

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I was checking out this weeks' heavenly bakers to see each rendition of the cake of the week which was the Many-Splendored Quick Bread and low and behold: look what I found on Knitty Baker Jenn's blog--a stunning rendition of Hector's "rose valentine." I think it is the most perfect design for a heart-shape cake ever which Jenn adapted from a round version: The Strawberry Maria from The Cake Bible.

Hector & the Mango Rose

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I asked Hector to do a writeup on the 2010 Kona Mango Festival as he had the honor of being their star presenter. Here's the stunning mango cake he offered: To see a gloriously detailed description of the event complete with photos, do read on!

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What an adventure my passion for -the rose- has taken me! During the day, I am an information technology manager for Hawaii Stationery Co. Before sunset, I canoe paddle for Kamehameha Canoe Club. At night, I bake. Every now and then, all my skills are put to use together. I have just participated at the 2010 Kona Mango Festival held at the beautiful Keauhou Beach Resort. This is a yearly event, but my invitation arrived only a month prior. Without much introduction, Ken Love from the local tropical fruit association asked blindly if I could be part of the mango festival. I gave it all I have, yet they gave me much more in return. Publicity and community involvement started to pour in. I was frazzled. How can I keep my cool? I asked Ken. The answer: "just do your thing, cut mango, and make the mango rose." Ken asked if it was possible that I could bring a few cakes for tasting. He assured that I will have plenty fresh mangoes to cut and show, and that if cake wasn't possible, people will be just as happy if I show pictures of my previous cakes. Ken got the point, who is Hector? or where does Hector come from doesn't matter... all you need is to see his work. The minute I arrived at Kona, I was asked to be here and there. I experienced first hand the island's bounty. First, on Friday afternoon, I ran a quick demo at NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority). They were having a cold water seafood market, and local chef Olelo Pa'a Ogawa demonstrated a delicious lobster salad. Olelo asked me to cover dessert, so I brought a couple of Miette's Tomboy cakes and topped it with mango roses. I thought of this as a warm-up exercise. Second, on Friday evening, I ran a more serious demo at the ballroom of the resort, and the target audience was the local culinary federation ACF KKCA chefs. Not many people showed up, but I took this as an opportunity to video tape my demo and have my internet friends join in. I brought the Coconut Cheesecake, baked without crust and topped it with mango roses. I also ran a keynote presentation, and of course: I hooked up my own cables! Enjoy the photo collage by local food writer Sonia Martinez Third, on Saturday afternoon, I ran my official demo for the festival. The turn out was double than what everyone expected. My 6-tier demo cake was cut into small 1-inch squares and fed near 200 people. Chef Patti Kimball from Konawaena High School and the best of her 100 plus culinary arts students baked 6 tiers of Gâteau Breton for me! We used macadamia nuts instead of almonds, yum! Patti was short on emails, yet my instructions were lengthy. Judging by the gorgeous texture and taste, Patti and her students were stellar. She followed my scaled up recipe to the gram. She followed the measurements to the 1/8-inch: referring to the nerve wrecking request to cut cardboard rounds 1/8-inch narrower for each cake, so it would look pretty, and also referring to the need to drill a 1-inch hole on the center to accommodate the acrylic poles. On the morning of the festival, I was nowhere to be found. I was slicing and making 20 lbs of mango roses. Luca was skinning mangoes and glazing the cakes with local fruit jellies. The minute I walked out from the resort's kitchen, I held strong to Sonia and the rest is history. I love Sonia's side of the story posted on her blog As I carried the now 40 lb cake to the presenter's stage, I stomped with Ken, Patti, and several friends I made during the week. They helped me answering questions to the crowd of people that made me feel I was The Beatles! I dreamed of you been there and share this experience. I said at the closing: "I never dreamed that one day I would be making mango roses for an audience." This said while I held a framed picture of my Rose World Cake. I carry your hearts everywhere I will go with Rose.

The Power of Flour, Part Two of Two

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The purpose of all these tests for Part 1 and Part 2 of "The Power of Flour" was to determine the optimum level of baking powder when using my two-stage method of mixing cakes to be baked in 9 by 2 inch high pans.The 'control' cake for Part 1 was the "Downy All-Occasion Yellow Cake" from the Cake Bible which uses cake flour and all egg yolks, adapted from (2) 1-1/2 inch high pans to (1) 2 inch high pan. The goal in Part 1 was to achieve the best texture and flavor if using bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour. In order to adjust for a higher 2-inch pan, we used 2/3 the batter that would be used for (2) 1-1/2 inch high pans and we decreased the baking powder from what would have been 2-5/8 teaspoons for 2/3 the batter to 2-1/2 teaspoons as higher pans need a stronger structure. The goal in this Part 2 was to achieve a level cake layer for use as a two-layer cake, if replacing the egg yolks with either all egg whites or whole eggs. In order to accomplish this goal we needed to see what adjustments of baking powder--if any--are necessary when replacing the egg yolks with either egg whites or whole eggs. Note: All Ingredients except for the baking powder and salt were weighed. (Eggs, and the yolks in proportion to the whites, vary widely from egg to egg so weighing is necessary for trust-worthy, consistent results.) Type of Flour: Cake Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 3 egg whites: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 3-1/4 teaspoons. Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 2 whole eggs: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 3-1/2 teaspoons. Type of Flour: Bleached All-purpose Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 3 egg whites: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons. Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 2 whole eggs: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 3-1/4 teaspoons. Type of Flour: Unbleached All-purpose Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 3 egg whites: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 2-5/8 teaspoons. Replacing the 4 egg yolks with 2 whole eggs: baking powder increased from 2-1/2 teaspoons to 3-1/2 teaspoons. Notes: We were surprised to find that though using all egg whites makes the structure stronger, using whole eggs makes it stronger still. These results are predicated on weight of the major ingredients. If using volume for the eggs, be sure to measure them as the proportion of yolk to white varies from egg to egg. If using egg whites that have been frozen, be sure to stir the thawed whites well with a fork to combine evenly. A 2-inch high pan makes a very nice single layer cake. If making just one layer you may want to decrease the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon to give it a slight dome. If making a two layer cake everything should just be doubled. Final Conclusions for Part 1 and Part 2: Egg yolks give cake a fuller flavor, egg whites give cake a softer texture. Egg whites will need more leavening than yolks (exact amount depending on the cake). Whole eggs will need more leavening than whites (exact amount depending on the cake) Cake flour and bleached all-purpose flour result in the best flavor and texture in cake. If using unbleached all-purpose flour, the best flavor comes from replacing 15% of the flour with potato starch. The most level cake comes from using egg yolks or whole eggs.

CAKE FLOUR WITH EGG YOLKS & 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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CAKE FLOUR WITH EGG WHITES & 3-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

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CAKE FLOUR WITH WHOLE EGGS & 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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BLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH EGG YOLKS & 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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BLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH EGG WHITES & 3 teaspoons baking powder

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BLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH WHOLE EGGS & 3-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

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UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR/15% POTATO STARCH WITH EGG YOLKS & 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH EGG YOLKS & 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH EGG WHITES & 2-5/8 teaspoons baking powder

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UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR WITH WHOLE EGGS & 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

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UNBLEACHED ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR/15% POTATO STARCH WITH WHOLE EGGS & 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Hector's Easter Egg Cake

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Hector surprised me yesterday with this ultra artistic Easter-inspired cake. Here's what he wrote to explain how it came about and how he accomplished it: Happy Easter! My Holiday started with a 7:30 run for 18 minutes, followed by 10 pull ups, minutes of push ups and ab crunches, and then 90 minutes of outrigger canoe paddling. My coach asked if I could help with her surprise Easter egg hunt (she hid the eggs during the run!). She asked to bring a cake themed 'golden egg' to share with the team. She made my Easter, not only because now my canoe buddies realize I can bake and take cakes, but also because this is the first Easter egg hunt I ever did since it isn't a tradition in my family. Here is my take on a chicken egg nest. Dark chocolate brushed on the inside of egg shell halves; after the chocolate hardens, peel off the shells with surgical precision or leave a few shells for more realism (be sure to clean the shells prior brusging the chocolate: boil the eggs shells for a few minutes, rinse well, and air dry). The cake is ROSE'S heavenly CAKES Yellow Butter Cake, baked on a ring pan. There is a wide hole on the center of this cake, therefore the chocolate eggs are suspended on the air over caramel cage sticks. To make the caramel cake sticks, use the same technique for the cake Hector Builds a Bridge. Now, regarding outrigger canoe paddling, it is my new sport and I absolutelly adore it. You are all welcome to join my canoe club during the leisure season, just show up any Sunday from November to January. I found new friends that can eat all the heavenly cakes and burn calories at the same time. I have a confession: I am not able to do one single pull up to date and wonder if it has something to do with the skill of precision buttercream piping?

A Congratulations Cake from Carlos Perez!

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I met the very talented and charming Carlos in Montréal back in October at Appetite for Books. Here are two photos of his incredible cake: Félicitations Rose ! Can't say I'm really surprised about RHC's nomination- it is sincerely a remarkable work of art that benefits so many people. And so in honor of you and your oeuvre, and since the event will be taking place on Earth Day, here's a picture of a cake I baked for a friend's birthday last year : Chocolate Butter Globe with raspberry "lava" + buttercream oceans and continents. (The 2 candles represented my friend whose birthday we were celebrating here in Montreal and the other was for her lover who was in working in Dubai and whom she missed terribly.) Here's hoping that this image will be some kind of omen come April 22nd !

Milton Glazer Took the Cake

You may not know that my very first book Romantic and Classic Cakes, written in 1981, was the dress rehearsal for The Cake Bible. Irena Chalmers, publisher, came up with the great idea to do a series called “The Great American Cooking Schools,” to be marketed to Gourmet stores rather than bookstores. Her concept was that the recipes taught at cooking schools would be thoroughly tested and that transferring them to book format would be easy for everyone involved. This turned out to be far from true as in those days (the dark ages of cooking schools) people tended to be very secretive, giving mere outlines of recipes and filling in the important details in class. I was not one, however my recipes were typed on my IBM word processor single spaced and no copy editor was willing to touch them so poor Irena had to hire someone to retype the whole thing. As an inexperienced book writer I was unaware that a series had a format of a specific number of pages so I overwrote—three times the size that would fit. My dream was to have everything I knew about cakes under one cover. Little did I know that seven years later I would write a book about cakes that was three and a half times larger than my original submission! (Thank goodness by then I had a computer or I never could have done it.) I was upset at first to learn that I had to cut two-thirds of the book and stayed up all night ruthlessly cutting recipes. I had no choice, but Irena reassured me that I could eventually have everything under one cover in another book. That was until her senior editor informed me that there is such a thing as plagiarizing one’s own copyright! I went to Elliott in tears asking him what to do and his wise reply was “Nothing—just write the book and by the time you finish things will have changed.” I took his advice and by the time I finished the entire “Great American Cooking School Series” was remaindered so copyright reverted back to the authors and it was no longer an issue. The Cake Bible was born in 1988.

Romantic and Classic Cakes sold well enough to go into a second printing. The series had a charming design by the renowned graphic artist Milton Glazer who went to Music & Art High School (as did I) and then Cooper Union (as did my aunt Margaret who actually had gone out on a date with him!). Irena asked me to design a cake as a thank you and I did two: one that was a delicious chocolate layer cake and the other that was made on Styrofoam for him to keep. Inspired by his work, which reminded me of Matisse, I had a vision of each author being represented as a white goose flying against a blue sky toward Milton, the golden sun. I was tempted to have a golden egg dropping from Irena—head goose, but decided it was a bit risky (should have done it!). The senior editor’s husband, who was a writer, created the perfect poem too accompany the cake—I only remember one part—my favorite—that went something like: “Thus as it was in ancient days, we fly to honor genius—give it praise.” Oh good—just found the original: High in the firmament is Milton’s sun Toward which Irena and her flock do run In flight to celebrate their books’ enhancement By his design, for purpose of enchantment. Thus as it was in ancient lays We fly to honor genius give it praise, In token of which we present this cake. If these be ducks, let Milton be our drake. By Richard Atcheson November 11, 1981 I guess they are ducks but I thought of them/us as geese because of the golden egg! Milton enjoyed the cakes and commented that he was impressed by my design reminded which reminded him of Matisse. I had wanted him to be reminded of himself but that was close enough! I told Irena to tell him that both my parents were craftsmen—my father’s medium was wood and my mother’s ivory (she was a dentist). I also mentioned my Aunt Margaret but I don’t think he remembered her. I hope he remembers the cake. Here’s a sample of Milton Glazer’s work that was on a post card given by the Russian Tea Room. See what you think?

Hector's Preview Three from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes"

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I just LOVE Hector's take on my cake(s)! I think this one, in all its simplicity, is totally stunning. Of course simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve as one can't hide errors. Congratulations Hector--you have out done yourself. (And wait until the next one--it will be the grand finale!)from Hector himself: I have the honor to preview Rose's new wedding cakes, and one clause is to make the cake as written in the book. But, you know me . . . nobody said I couldn't rename the cakes and make them my own, so here is a "Slice of Heaven." The orange slice comes from the first orange tree planted in Hawaii, circa 1700s and perhaps the first in North America! The cake is the GRAND MARNIER WEDDING CAKE from the much anticipated book ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES. My project: 4 wedding cakes to preview, 365 days in the making. The progress: 3 wedding cakes completed, 1 more cake to preview by October 3 right after the book launches!

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You must be wondering how to pipe perfect beads? These are VALRHONA LES PERLES chocolate drops, 55% , dark chocolate, perfectly shaped pearls. Just place them one by one on the cake which indeed takes much longer than piping! I am renaming this cake (once again) as LES PERLES, for my yellow kitchen catalog. Now, let's bake. The cake recipe calls for Valrhona Les Perles, which I used but semisweet mini chocolate chips are listed as an alternative. First, coat Les Perles with some flour, then mix dry ingredients and some ground almonds, add the wet ingredients, then fold in the Les Perles. The batter uses about 5 tablespoons of orange zest but instead I used orange oil as one suggested alternative. I was skeptical, especially since I am good friends with an orange farmer an authority in Hawaii! Results? When adding the BOYAJIAN ORANGE OIL to the cake batter, I smelled I was inside an orange! It was orange heaven (sans the pollution, of course). The feeling was so great that I saved my mixer's beater in a ziplock bag and took it with me to the restaurant where I had dinner that evening! The cake baked flat gorgeous. I used ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKE STRIPS: 3 strips folded and held together with metal clamps per 12-inch cake pan. The cake rose exactly to double and as flat as a lake, all across. The Les Perles rose beautifully together with the cake batter; the bumpy blisters on the baked surface are the Les Perles. I have never seen a butter cake rise so even, especially on the 12-inch layer. I told Rose she wrote this recipe "flat gorgeous." The cake is frosted with Grand Marnier Ganache, yummy! The monogram I applied for this special occasion was done with the 3M MPRO 110 MICRO PROJECTOR. The projector is as small as my hand, and it is so practical for cake decorating! It comes with video and computer cables. Most definitely, I traced the monogram with Les Perles! You know I don't specialize in sugar craft nor cake painting, but considering during the day I am a computer guy, now it is time to use some of that to baking! You may have noticed my writing style has changed, just feeling a bit exhausted, of course, but saving energy when the actual book is in my hands. Enjoy the Grand Marnier Wedding Cake, make it as soon as you get the book. This cake isn't difficult, the hardest part is to find the Les Perles, for which I would recommend ordering them from http://www.chocosphere.com Also, it isn't a bad idea to have a good night sleep prior to monograming. Instead, I was running on solar power rather than good sleep because I served this cake for an aloha party where I also carved the lechon and run a full service Illy espresso bar! Tasting impressions: "the flavor of this cake is so extremely well balanced: not too sweet, rich yet light, I could tell the orange and the Grand Marnier. The ganache was right on to kill, I could have this cake with a thinner layer of ganache in the filling because it is that good. The pearls are intriguing and look too beautiful to cut, how did you make them so perfectly round? I can see how each wedding cake on the new book is special and distinguished, if I get married I would need to have 3 wedding cakes: the mac nut banana cake, the lacquer glaze chocolate cake, and this one." There was one observation that I puzzled about: if you look carefully at the picture of the cake slice, you will notice pockets of pastiness. I puzzled with Rose, and she agrees that the pastiness comes from chopping the almonds too fine in the food processor. I should have watched youtube as a refresher! Please watch the PBS episode for the Grand Marnier Chocolate Chip cake. Special thanks to Valrhona, Boyajian, 3M, and to Rose's Heavenly Cake Strips. Extra special thanks to Ken Love from Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, whom I will be honoring at my next wedding cake preview from the book!

Hector's Cake Bible Graduation

This is Hector Wong's interpretation of La Porcelaine on the cover of The Cake Bible. My marzipan roses were rose red but of course Hector's are yellow like his "Yellow Kitchen." I would say he graduates with honors don't you agree? Here's his note:Dear Rose, your La Porcelaine is a gem (short word for how beautiful I feel your cake deeply is). Your cake is BEAUTY-FULL. Working with your signature chocolate fondant was a pleasure, I loved it so much that I will consider this as the only fondant to work with! Deliciously chocolaty, naturally cocoa colored, tastes and perfumes of chocolate... we should rename this fondant: chocolate drapery! (Click on the photo for a much larger version and to see the bottom collage in more detail.) I made this cake for Luca’s birthday. When he saw the cake, he felt the truth: I made this cake for Rose, for the blog, and secondly for him! When I completed the cake, he joked in happiness: "so, am I suppose to act surprised when the restaurant brings the cake out to sing happy birthday?" This cake is yet my most intimate experience: a (literally) hard cover tribute to Rose, and a cake heart with Luca's wishes. The cake is La Porcelaine on the outside, but the inside is Luca's heart: white chocolate, biscuit a la cuilliere, and raspberry flavor... cake components most interesting for him.

This version of La Porcelaine was perhaps unnecessarily complex. Perhaps, the many components and flavors cancelled or masked each other. But, with all modesty... I ate 4 slices thought the day (6 by the time I finished typing this story) and claim with pride that this utterly complex multidimensional cake WAS THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE. It turned a jewel, a delicate piece of confectionery with several layers of textures and flavors enhancing and complimenting one other. This is my Cake Bible graduation. The cake was first sliced at the restaurant party. Then, the same evening the cake leftovers was taken to Emily's home while hosting a late night pizza party for 30 people. When Emily saw the cake, she immediately brought out her copy of Cake Bible. The next day, I finally confessed to Luca: yes, I made the cake for Rose, but you need to know that perhaps you are the only person in the universe to have this cake for a birthday or for life! HECTOR'S LA PORCELAINE: chocolate oblivion truffle torte baked in a spring form pan lined with cordon rose signature ladyfingers. top filled with a soft pool of white ganache. chocolate fondant case held thinly with raspberry ganache. the highest quality chocolate. 9-inches round, feeds 30, $2500. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: when slicing the cake, white ganache oozes down in visual contrast and in sweeter taste over the dark chocolate torte. ladyfingers' dry and plain texture was a great palate balancer for the many chocolate instances on this cake. the underlining raspberry ganache makes the chocolate fondant complimentary addictive and delicious to eat.

The Cake Lady of San Francisco

My dear friend Diane Boate, about whom I have written on the posting of the Daniel Patterson Alexandra Foote wedding cake a few epiphanies ago, has just sent me the most amazing cake she made for the Balboa Theater’s 83 birthday. I just had to share it with all of you and Diane, who is the soul of generosity (actually she even won Woman of the Year award for public service recently) gave permission unhesitatingly.Just in case you don’t remember, Diane is an amazing photographer, dress and hat designer, and was long ago dubbed “The Cake Lady.” There is nothing that Diane can’t make and she can even play the piano without music. (Is it fair that one person should have so many gifts?!) Diane wrote: I am calling this my Signature Cake (because I have been making variations of this for 35 years). It is your Mousseline Buttercream frosting with 60% Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate and coffee flavor to taste...... Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate.”

3 batters made and baked in 3 1/2 hours. Ah! or gan a zah si onthe bundt part - my mother's pan if you can do chocolate cabbage you can do chocolate kale, I thoughtcloned!separate single layerThis cake was gone in 15 minutes. Later, I saw folks pasting the crumbs together with their fingers.bundt pan cake with chocolate camellia leaves - the one part I brought home

Getting Ready to Bake a Cake

in french it's called mis en place and refers also to "putting things in place" for cooking. everything works more smoothly when one is well-prepared. with cakes, if key ingredients aren't at the proper temperature, it will adversely effect the texture of the baked cake.the five most essential things in cake baking to get ready are:

softening the butter if used the butter needs to be between 65˚ to 75°F/18 to 23°C. cold from the refrigerator it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to reach this temperature depending on how cold the frig and how warm the room. to speed softening slice the butter in 1 inch/25 mm pieces. it is amazing how quickly butter comes to temperature when more surface area is exposed. you can also cover the pieces with plastic wrap and as they start to soften, press them flat.

combining cocoa and boiling water if used be sure to cover the mixture so that there is no evaporation and allow it to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch.

preheating the oven most cakes bake at 350°F/175°C. and close to the center of the oven. set the oven rack just below the center and start preheating the oven a minimum of 20 minutes before baking. (in some ovens 30 minutes is better.)

warming the eggs eggs need to be at room temperature but this is easy to accomplish if you forget to take them out ahead of time. place them still in their unbroken shells in a bowl of hot from the tap water and allow them to sit for 10 minutes.

preparing the cake pan except when a recipe such as angel food or chiffon cake requires that the cake pan be left uncoated it is necessary to grease and flour the pan. i prefer using a baking spray which contains flour, especially for fluted tube pans. if there is any clumping of the spray brush it away with a silicone or bristle pastry brush to avoid holes in the top crust. if the pan has a non-stick coating it isn't necessary to line the bottom with parchment. for the most even cake layers that are not over-baked or dry at the edges use a cake strip. (if you use rose's heavenly cake strips there is no preparation of the strip--just slide it around the cake pan.if you are using cloth strips you need to wet them first and attach them with a pin unless they have velcro closures.)

What is the best way to stabilize whipped cream for frosting a cake?

Whipped cream tends to water out slightly after beating so to keep this from happening I use a small amount cornstarch which does not affect the texture.It will not hold up well at room temperature but in the refrigerator will stay well on the cake for 24 hours! Many people have reported that this recipes has saved their lives! For 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, use 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch (if your cream is very low in butterfat use 1 1/2 teaspoons), and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Refrigerate the mixing bowl and (preferably whisk) beater for at least 15 minutes. In a small saucepan place the powdered sugar and cornstarch and gradually stir in 1/4 cup of the cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for just a few seconds (until the liquid is thickened). Scrape into a small bowl and cool completely to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla. Beat the remaining 3/4 cup cream just until traces of beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the cornstarch mixture in a steady stream, beating constantly. Beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

Making Larger Cakes

KIM QUESTIONI have a question about augmenting your White Chocolate Whisper Cake for use in my friend's wedding cake. Is there a rule of thumb I can go by when converting any of your cakes to larger or smaller sizes? I hope to achieve the larger volume of the recipes you've designed in your wedding cake section of the Cake Bible. The tiers are slightly higher and more dramatic than the recipes from the butter cake chapter. Thanks so much, As always, your devoted fan, Kim ROSE REPLY In my new book I plan to work on creating recipes for larger cakes based on favorite smaller ones. It can sometimes taken many tests to get it right. One of the cakes I've planned on is the white chocolate whisper cake! I think that's one that won't require much adjustment. You simply need to decrease the baking powder in proportion to the amount of flour as indicated in the charts in the wedding cake section. Do let me know how it works for you so it will give me a leg up on my recipe testing!

Problem with Cake Mix

PEGGY QUESTIONI've made at least 500 rum cakes using a boxed cake mix, a fluted bundt pan and glaze. They are always turned out high, light and fluffy until recently. I have not changed oe thing. Could it be my oven? Am I overbeating it or underbeating it? Thanks. ROSE REPLY Cake mixes are designed in order to have "tolerance".what this means is that you can add things to it, up to a point of course, under beat it slightly, overbeat it slightly, and it will still work. In all probability it is the cake mix that has changed. I encourage you to try baking from scratch. This gives you a lot more control over getting which you want in flavor and texture.

Funny Looking Muffins

JOSEPHINE QUESTION: Feedback: Hello, I may not know who is Rose but I am interest in baking! I have this big problem here. Whenever i bake muffins, the muffins would 'pop' up after awhile and would become not good-looking. Can you tell me what is the problem?

ROSE REPLY: I think that you what you're saying is that the muffin Tops Peak and crack rather than being gently rounded and smooth. The problem is the structure of the batter is too strong. Either you need to use a softer flour, such as bleached all-purpose if you're using all-purpose unbleached, or cake flour which a softer still. It also works to increase the baking powder. Another thing that you can try is not mixing as much. the batter should be mixed only until the flour disappears entirely.

Silicone Baking Pans

JEAN QUESTIONDear Rose, I have an older copy of your "The Cake Bible" that was written before the advent and proliferation of the silicon baking pans. In general, what changes to the baking process should I consider if I use these pans? Thanks, ROSE REPLY There are actually very few changes necessary. It is important to realize, however, that no substance on earth that I know of is 100% non-stick. Because silicone happens to be the most nonstick substance, if it is prepared properly (with oil and flour) it will release the cake perfectly with no crust stuck to the pan. It is best to allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack until warm or room temperature before unmolding it. Deep fluted tube pans, as they are now, do not conduct the heat well to the center of the cake and may require as long as 20 minutes extra baking. But this is a relatively new technology and is continuing to evolve. For small cakes and the standard 9 x 2 inch cake I feel silicone has no equal. The cakes rise more evenly, with no need to wrap the sides of the pans with cake strips, and the texture is lighter and more even though the actual height of the cake is slightly lower. Read about my association with Lékué Silicone pans and bakeware from Spain.

Layer Cakes Rising Higher Than the Pan

GUY QUESTIONHi rose! I love your book. The issue I'm having is that in your Book The Cake Bible, you say to use 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch round pans for making the All Occasion Downey Yellow Butter Cake. I followed your instructions to the letter. The layers rose above the tops of the cake pans. Did I do something wrong? Should I just be using the 9x2 inch pans instead? Thank you! ROSE REPLY It's okay if layer cakes rise a little above the sides of the pan as the structure can still support it. The real indication is if the finished height after unmolding is the same as I specified. The batter may be a little too much for the 1 1/2" high pan but it is not enough for the 2 inch high pans.