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What’s it like to meet one of your all time favorite cookbook authors? Cloud nine. Wrapped up in flaky scones and lemon bundt cakes.
This post is a bit different from my others. First of all, there will be no recipe today. Sorry friend. But what I share is still oh so amazing.
Last week I was went to a cookbook demo and signing of Rose Levy Berenbaum!!! Yes that deserves 3 !!!. Maybe even 4.
If you are not obsessed with baking as I am, then let me educate you. Rose is the author of The Cake Bible, The Pie and Pastry Bible, The Baking Bible, Rose’s Christmas Cookies, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and The Bread Bible.
And now Rose’s Baking Basics. Her brand new cookbook. This book I think is just genius.
The demo was held at Cambridge Culinary School where she made for us 3 recipes from the book – her flaky cranberry scones, beer bread, and lemon bundt cake. Each thing she made was pure bliss. I picked up some seriously good tips. She is just bursting with baking knowledge.
She started first with her beer bread. With every bread recipe, she has a bit of a sourdough starter she mixes in so it gives it amazing flavor. Something I am going to have to try. She called this a “beginner’s bread” because it is very forgiving to make. Well I will be trying it soon, so wait for that.
From the bread, she moved on to her lemon bundt cake. This packed a real lemon punch. She used lemon zest and lemon juice in the cake. Brushed the cake with a lemon syrup after baking. Then drizzled it with a lemon glaze.
She recommend using Baker’s Joy to spray the bundt pan (she doesn’t like the flavor that Pam spray with flour gives). So guess who went and bought a 3 pack on Amazon yesterday. Um, moving on.
Another fun tip I picked up? Put an aluminum foil cap on the center of the bundt pan to keep batter from falling in while you are pouring it in.
Last but not least, she made her flaky cranberry scones. These were perfectly flaky, and buttery. She recommends cutting her cranberries in half so every bite has equal sized bits of cranberry.
Another fun trick I picked up, was she presses her scone dough into a plastic wrap lined cake pan for the perfect round shape. And then refrigerates to get the butter nice and cold. So you end up with flaky flaky flaky scones.
Yes there may be a bite missing from that scone in the picture. I couldn’t wait…
The cookbook I noticed is different in a few ways:
- The recipe directions start with “mise en place”. Mise en place means to put in place, so she gives you a few tasks as part of the recipe that you should do first before starting the actual baking. For instance, for the scones she has you cube the butter and refrigerate, chop the cranberries. That way when you actually get to the measuring and mixing your ingredients are properly prepped. I mean why doesn’t every recipe do this? I am thinking moving forward my recipes need to be written this way.
- It has step by step photos for every single recipe so it can ensure you success for every recipe. So even if you are beginner baker, I know you will have success.
- The meticulous directions. She is very particular – down to telling you exactly kind of flour you use. Not just “all purpose” but bleached or unbleached. Even brands.
After the demo, Rose was lovely enough to sign all of her brand new shiny cookbooks. Yes if there is a house fire. I’m grabbing this on the way out the door.
So why am I sharing all of this with you? Just to brag. Ok maybe a teensy bit. But I share for good reason…but you are going to have to wait. I know I’m evil. Oh and I am going to be sharing one of her recipes here soon..so stay tuned!
Happy baking 🙂