Baking tips from Rose Levy Beranbaum, the diva of desserts
Measuring ingredients and calibrating your oven are key to baking perfection, says Beranbaum
You could say Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of best-selling The Baking Bible, The Pie and Pastry Bible, and The Bread Bible, wrote the bible on all things baking.
The diva of desserts, known for her precise recipes and imaginative creations, is in Vancouver this week to make a special wedding cake for food journalist Nathan Fong.
"We're right not in the throes of the whole thing. Today is the day we're making the frosting, we're going to be applying it, then tomorrow we tier it, then we have to make the decoration and hope that stands up for Saturday," she said.
Beranbaum has made hundreds of wedding cakes and it's no surprise her upcoming book is called Rose's Wedding Cakes.
Here are a few tips from the baking-bible writer herself.
Beranbaum says weighing ingredients is the easiest and most precise way to put a baking recipe together. People used to be able to eyeball precise measurements by simply baking often.
"People had a tradition of being able to bake. They learned at their mother or grandmother's elbows," said Beranbaum.
Check the oven
The oven is the "common denominator of failure" when it comes to baking, according to Baranbaum. She encourages people to calibrate their ovens to ensure the temperature is precise, especially when baking something delicate, like cakes.
She says trying to make up for a weak oven by baking something for a longer period of time just doesn't work.
"With cakes, for example, if it doesn't bake within that range … it's not going to set right. And when the texture's off, the flavour's off."
Beranbaum says her next book will be a series of tutorials with step by step photos on the baking basics.
She will be at Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks for a meet and greet on Sunday, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. PT.
To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Diva of Desserts Rose Levy Beranbaum shares baking stories and tips.