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Updates to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible

Cake Bible If I was stranded on an island and could only have one book about cakes with me, it would be Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible.  Last week, Rose published updates to her Cake Bible.  I plan to print these out and stick them in my Cake Bible.

From Rose’s Blog

Changes for the Cake Bible

When the Cake Bible was published over 21 years ago, 2-inch high cake pans were almost impossible to find so several of the layer cakes were created for the then commonly available 1-1/2 inch high pans.

Now that the 1-1/2 inch high pans are harder to find than 2-inch high pans, in the newer printings of The Cake Bible, when using these 2 inch high pans I recommended either to do 2/3 the recipe for 1 layer or 1-1/3 times the recipe for 2 layers.

As higher pans require proportionately less leavening (leavening weakens structure) it is also advisable to decrease the baking powder by 1/8 teaspoon for 1 layer and 1/4 teaspoon for 2 layers.

The Triple Layer Devil’s Food Cake on page 62 was created for (3) 1-1/2 inch high pans and works best in that height pan. ( It is not enough batter for (3) 2-inch high pans so it will not bake well and it is too much batter for (2) 2-inch high pans. Woody and I have done upwards of 12 tests trying to adjust the batter and discovered in the process that even if filling the pans less full, the layers were still too low at the sides and too domed in the middle.) We have come up with two viable solutions if you only have 2 inch high pans:

Either make the Devil’s Food Cake in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes that was adapted for 2-inch high pans with the addition of bitter chocolate and crème fraîche, or make the original batter as follows:

Use a total of two whole eggs (3.5 ounces/100 grams/3 fluid ounces) and 4 egg yolks (2.5 ounces/73 grams/minimum 2 fluid ounces).
Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to the flour mixture.
Add 2 tablespoons/1 ounce/28 grams of canola or safflower oil with the butter.

Fill each pan a little under half full (28 ounces/800 grams each) and use the remaining 7 ounces/200 grams batter to make four cupcakes.

Bake the cakes at 350˚F/175˚C for 30 to 40 minutes and bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes.

The cakes will be just a little higher than 1-1/2 inches.

The following changes have been made in later printings.

The Lemon Chiffon page 157 change the words baking powder to baking soda (as it is on the chart)

The Chocolate Chiffon Cake page 159: weight of the sugar is 350 grams (not ounces)

The Ethereal Pear Charlotte page 291:

To ensure that all of the gelatin dissolves and offers a firm texture to the Bavarian filling, it is best to soften it in 4 teaspoons of the reserved poaching syrup. Stir to moisten the gelatin and allow it to sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. (If longer cover it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.) After stirring the poaching liquid into the egg yolk, stir in the gelatin mixture.