Today is my best friend’s birthday and nothing short of a Buttercream Rose Cake will do. This is also the perfect cake for Easter, which is just around the corner. Creating the buttercream roses and other flowers requires a bit of special equipment and some practice, but this is just the kind of activity that relaxes me and I hope you agree. I’ll walk you through building the cake that will be the canvas for your floral top and then show you how to create the buttercream and roses.
I have some tutorials on my Instagram page, but you can find even more information on my youtube channel (links for each step below).
This week has been epic and nothing short of a cake draped in gold seemed right to celebrate all that it brought. It started with a trip to New York to join my friend, Kevin Masse, and the folks at TheFeedFeed, for two events. But, before the official business even started we gathered at Gramercy Tavern to visit with the pastry chef, Miro Uskokovic, and tour his extraordinary kitchen. It was a coming together of some of my favorite bakers on Instagram: Erin McDowell (The Fearless Baker), Rebecca Firth (The Cookie Book), Brian Hart Hoffman (Bake from Scratch Magazine), and Erin Clarkson (The Cloudy Kitchen). We took over the pastry prep kitchen for a few minutes to try our hand at shaping the burger buns for service the next day. There was more laughing than rolling, but it was inspiring just to be in that space. I forget how thrilling a commercial kitchen can be. That evening was capped off by seeing David Lebovitz at his book signing for his book, L’Appart. He is the gold standard of writers, bakers, and bloggers, this book is as smart and funny as he is.
The next day I sat on a panel of cookie bakers at TheFeedFeed studio and we discussed our love of all things cookies. This is my life! Pinch me. Spending time with folks who love to bake was such a joy. Rebecca Firth and Erin Clarkson baked us all cookies and I got to visit with Jessie Sheehan, whose angel food cake I made several months ago and it remains one of my favorite posts. It is the yang to this Devil’s food’s ying.
The next day my greatest baking wish came true. I am getting choked up as I write this. I baked with Dorie Greenspan. We each made a recipe from our new books for a Live IG event at Thefeedfeed (you can watch it here). This date was organized by Kevin Masse and it was the most satisfying and joyous event of my career. Dorie’s work is what I hold as the highest mark of cookbooks and her newest is no exception. She made Salmon Rillettes from Everyday Dorie and I made a cracker lavash and round braided challah from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day. We baked, laughed, and ate; I left that studio beaming. Dorie is humble, kind, generous, and exudes joy, the baking date of my dreams.
This has been a big week in my household. My eldest child turned 12 and got an electric guitar, we celebrated Mother’s day with breakfast in bed, and my first book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day made the Wall Street Journal Best-sellers list. I have all of you to thank for this last piece of good news. We are beyond thrilled and grateful that the book continues to bring homemade bread into so many homes!
Finally, after two years of eating artisan pizza at nearly every meal (my kids love me for it), our third book is available on Amazon for pre-order. It is a thrill to see it alive and in color after working so hard on it. Though the official publication date for the Pizza book is October 25, 2011 (just in time for cooler weather), you can place a pre-order for Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day now on Amazon.
Please visit breadin5.com for recipes and if you have any questions about the books.
Today is my birthday. I am a woman of a certain age and I think it is worthy of celebrating, so I made one of my favorite candies, chocolate-covered toffee, with a hit of coffee. I never buy Health Heath Bars, but every year I manage to convince my boys to give me them from their Halloween bags. This year was no different. Then on my travels for the book tour I ended up with the ultimate version, which has completely ruined me to the Hershey’s product. Not so sweet, a powerful kick of coffee and really lovely bittersweet chocolate. The maker is Poco Dolce and Samantha at Omnivore Books in San Fran turned me onto them after our book signing there. I love her and hate her for that! I bought several varieties and all of them were delicious, but the little bag of coffee toffee was like a bag of chips, you can’t eat just one. I brought them home and considered not sharing with my husband, but after leaving him at home for 9 days with the boys I figured it was the least I could do to share my candies. Big mistake. He ate them all. Well not really, but they were gone. I had only one choice, make my own. It is surprisingly easy and perfect for wrapping up as holiday gifts or just hiding in your desk drawer, or both.
Every year my husband and my boys set off on the loving task of baking my birthday cake. This year my husband outdid himself and made a devil’s food cake with cream cheese icing and a fresh raspberry filling. You can see his lovely work at the end of the post. Read More