Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crazy for Rose's Heavenly Cakes!!

Rose Levy Beranbaum's book Rose's Heavenly Cakes (RHC) is my new favorite cake book! I've had it since late 2010 (really more an impulse purchase as I found the front cover so pretty) and only looked at it with serious intentions of baking some of the cakes during the recent Holiday season. I just got bored with the usual cakes that I bake that I finally decided that I needed to learn some new recipes and techniques through the books that I already have.

I was immediately captivated by the beautiful pictures and wealth of information contained in this book that I couldn't put it down! It has now become my goal to bake each and every one of her cakes in this book including the wedding cakes (but probably scaled down a little bit LOL). What better way to practice right? Her two-stage technique is so new to me though that when I made her Yellow Butter Cupcakes (sadly, no pics), I had to re-read the procedure a number of times just to make sure everything goes smoothly especially with the temperature and timing. It's a method that you will eventually get the hang of though after a few attempts. The results of the cupcakes were amazing! That was the only time I understood what a "velvet crumb" is and how a cake/cupcake should be like. I've baked a lot of cupcakes and even attended a few classes about them but never really achieved the kind of delicate crumb and moistness that I achieved with her recipes. I conclude that it must be because of her innovative two-stage method.

Well, I got so hooked on her book that I decided to bake a few more of her truly heavenly cakes. The photo of her Apple Upside Down Cake looked so delicious that I had to make it first. I had some Golden Delicious apples in the fridge and they were perfect for this cake! Just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. I was able to follow the recipe to the tee (including using a baking stone) but guess what? I forgot to peel the apples! LOL. Good thing it softened a bit so it was just an added texture to the cake and didn't affect the flavor at all. Here it is, topped with a generous amount of chopped pecans (instead of the suggested walnuts). I was supposed to make the Bourbon whipped cream as well only to discover, as I was about to whip the cream, that my Bourbon has gone missing....hmmmmmm. But this cake is SO DELICIOUS on its own. Really, the whipped cream is unnecessary but would still give it a try in the future. My mother and brother loved this cake so much that they're excited for me to try the peach version of this cake. My Hubby, who isn't really a fan of sweets finished a whole slice and asked for more!

Made more of RHC for our New Year's Eve party. This time though I thought of making 3 of the more challenging sponge cakes and 1 butter cake.

Torta de las Tres Leches -- A biscuit de Savoie soaked overnight (I did 2 days soaking) in 3 kinds of milk (well 4 if you consider the heavy cream). It really became a cinco leches cake because I swirled my homemade dulce de leche on the gelatin stabilized whipped cream which created a lovely marbled effect. Out of all the RHC cakes I made for the party, this was the one I couldn't wait to try! I must say that this was out-of-this-world good with the dulce de leche.

I think the cake weeped less milk because of the 2 day soaking...

Here is the Almond Shamah Chiffon Cake -- had a lot of extra raspberries so I topped the whole cake with them (also so I could hide the unattractive brown raspberry specks from the jam). This was really good! So moist and I love the texture of the cake with the ground almonds. Will definitely make this again. I think it would work well with peaches and passionfruit as well.

Here is the Tiramisu. I only made half the recipe as I only had a small pan. This was everyone's favorite and we had no leftovers! good thing I got myself a slice before it disappeared. Once again, it's another delicious cake from RHC! Truly amazing....not too sweet and the coffee flavor is just right. I've made Tiramisu before but using Italian Meringue instead of beaten egg yolks and Strega and Sambucca instead of Sweet Marsala. This recipe is a winner and I will make this again and again because it's so easy to make too. I made it in the morning, kept in the fridge the whole day and then served in the evening! How easy is that?

I also found that brushing the savoiardi biscuits with the espresso syrup instead of dunking them ensured that the biscuits wouldn't get overly soggy.

It's another cake I failed to take a pic of unsliced sigh :(

And the last but certainly not the least, I made one butter cake -- the Devil's Food Cake with Midnight ganache. I honestly found it OK, nothing spectacular but once again, very moist with a velvet crumb. I'm going to use the Midnight Ganache on other recipes as well as it is very easy to make but takes long to reach spreadable consistency though. But once it got there it was so easy to work with! I was able to have fun with the decor and add simple shell borders at the bottom of the cake.

These are certainly not the last cakes I'll be baking from RHC! Next up would be the peach version of her Apple Upside Down cake and the Orange Glow Chiffon! Can't wait!!

P.S. I loved RLB so much that I bought her Cake Bible! Another book worth having!! Her Pie and Pastry Bible and Bread Bible are also on my Amazon wish list LOL.


  1. All your creations look wonderful. I loved the Tres Leches Cake. "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" is such a wonderful book. Too bad the baking group for that book just came to a close. It was a wonderful ride. If you go to my blog and look for the "HCB" label or "Heavenly Cake Bakers" label, you'll see the cakes I baked from the book. I didn't bake every single recipe in the book. There are several I haven't made but would like to. A little over a week ago I made the Golden Lemon Almond Cake which is SO good (if you like lemon and almonds).
    Good choice on buying The Cake Bible. The other two are wonderful also, so is her Christmas Cookie Book :o)

  2. Thanks Hanaa! I wanted to join the HCB but probably can't anymore because everyone's pretty much done with their baking. Hope it gets revived though!

    I also just checked your HCB entries and they all look so amazing!! Your Rose Genoise looks so perfectly risen...and I like how you made your own version of the cakes by changing the decor. Now I'm inspired and need to start baking RH cakes again. The Lemon Almond Cake is one of the cakes I intend to bake real soon...looks very easy to make too. I need to invest in more bundt pans! Which is your favorite among all the RH cakes you've baked? I'm sure it would be hard to choose one!

  3. It's hard to pick one :o)
    My top 5 (from memory) is:
    - Pumpkin Cheesecake
    - Barcelona Brownies Bars
    - Whipped Cream Cake
    - Golden Lemon Almond Cake
    - Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  4. ^Wow so many LOL but I agree it's hard to choose a favorite! I've got to try both those lemon cakes! The Golden Lemon Almond cake sounds really delicious. I do intend to bake it, in fact I just bought lemon oil yesterday so I could make this cake-- it's really hard to find here so I bought 3 drams :)

  5. Can you tell I like lemon? Ha ha. The whipped cream cake is delicious and surprisingly "buttery" tasting even though there's no butter in it. When I make it again I think I'll add orange or lemon zest, or maybe spices to give it a little twist.
    Good idea on stocking up on lemon oil. I just finished the last slice of the Golden Lemon Almond Cake today (I made 2/3 of the recipe and used my 6 cup Bundt cake pan). Have fun baking!!

  6. LOL Hanaa, I love any cake that has lemon or anything citrusy in it too! The lemon luxury cake looks really good too.

    Thanks for giving me the proportions for a 6-cup pan which is perfect timing coz I just bought a 6-cup Nordic Ware bundt pan! Can't wait to use it.