when i make ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Golden Dream Wedding Cake (page 397), i need A LOT of lemon juice. here is a handy tool:
Growing up in Peru, I’ve been squeezing limes since i was 3 y.o. Lime juice is an essential ingredient in Peru, with limonada, moliente, ceviche, salsa criolla, ensalada rusa, arroz blanco, cazuela, aguadito, ensalada de lechuga a la juliana, pie de limon, pisco sour, merengues, cocadas, etc. (I no longer write translations because you can google it).
I own just about every lime juicer that have been invented. Yesterday, I decided to give the New Metro Juice Lab a chance. I was very skeptical because it “looks” like a simple citrus reamer with the addition of what appears to be additional parts to clean: a strainer, a lid, and a beaker.
The manufacturer describes the beaker as handy to catch and store the juice. The beaker doubles as a sturdy base, comfortable and ergonomic. The strainer catches seeds and pulp. I agree, but honestly, I wasn’t sold with these features because all my other lime juicers are also easy to use. My Dad has been collecting lime juicers for decades.
What sold me is what I felt when I used the Juice Lab! There was zero mess, no splashing, no squirts on your face, and no seeds flying off. Take a close look at the grotesque grooves in the reamer. The grooves catch the seeds with precision, and directing the juice to the beaker.
You have to try it for yourself as it is almost like telling someone exactly how you want to juice a lime. It works for lemons and small oranges too. Here are the pictures. The seeds and the juice are where they belong!!!
hector’s take on ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Golden Lemon Almond Cake (page 37) using kona lemons with 3 stages of ripeness. kona lemons are full of flavor and can be used when they are green, orange, or yellow.
playing with the new zest nest. i loved it. this cake uses a lot of zest.
growing up in Peru, i remember eating ‘maizena’ or a delicate milk and corn starch pudding. it is simple, yet smooth and delicate, the flavors of milk and corn starch, served cold, lingers on the tip of my tongue todate.
hector’s new take on ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Torta de las Tres Leches (page 211), wheat free, using corn starch instead of flour for the cake, is ‘maizena’ take on cake. i adore this version so much, i don’t make the flour version anymore. shaping it like a rose is a labor of love.
i had never baked a mochi cake, also loved and known as butter mochi. during my experiments with rice flour for ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Whipped Cream Cake (page 29), i made what i experienced as the best tasting mochi cake i have ever encountered, yet it doesn’t contain a drop of butter.
this mochi cake is also very easy to make, mix all ingredients all together till uniform, and without any particular order. the changes are, all by weight: substitute the cream with sour cream, substitute the cake flour with rice flour (not mochi-ko flour). click here for the rice flour i used
the resulting cake is only half height, but i think this is perhaps the most beautifully shaped mochi cake you will see.
I hope you have enjoyed Rose’s half dozen blog postings regarding our meet-up in Hawaii. The only thing I can add: Rose is everything I imagined for and more. I gathered as many people and places to be with Rose in Hawaii, because otherwise I would think this meet-up was a dream. Here is a summary video:
If am already putting you to sleep, please enjoy the following coffee video. Rose had a coffee experience unique and difference each day during her stay. We tasted coffees from all regions thanks to my friends from www.coffeesofhawaii.com
It was an honor to make Rose’s cappuccino by 8 am. After lunch, I made a second one for her, together with a black americano with lots of sugar for my now-good-friend Woody Wolston. We also tasted Rose’s Coffee Panna Cotta and Luca’s Tiramisu.
To finish with ‘broche de oro’ allow me to share this video again taken at Mauna Kea Telescope Park. This place is above the clouds which is how I feel exactly right now.
Mar 02, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose, posted here
Touring around The Big Island
Back in Kona we were eagerly anticipating the tour that Hector had been planning over the past 7 years awaiting our visit.
We had been hearing about Ken Love and were greatly looking forward to meeting him. Ken Love is a larger than life person and it would take a book to do him justice. In a macadamia nut shell, he travels around the world researching and giving lectures.
Love wears many hats. He is president of Love Family Farms on the Big Island and has been growing pineapple, and numerous other tropical fruit for nearly 30 years. He is vice president of the Kona Kohala Chefs Association ACF. As president of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers he is instrumental in the development of prototype sustainable agriculture systems for farmers in Hawaii. He assists growers with market development for unusual tropical fruit by establishing farmer chef relations and agtourism options. Most recently Love has recently performed a feasibility study on marketing Kona coffee in South India and is currently assisting with avocado market research and managing fig variety trials. He has just completed filming a documentary with Bill Pullman, called “The Fruit Hunter.”
So you can imagine how at lunch with him at the Nasturtium Café, over bison burger, chicken with mango chutney, and fish quesadillas, we were all spellbound by his contributions and accomplishments.
After lunch Ken invited us for a tour of his amazing farm. In the front yard we got to taste an orange from a tree that is the oldest orange tree in the United States, planted in 1792 by botanist Archibold Menzies.
We followed Ken through the gardens tasting all manor of exotic tropical fruits including mangosteens, noni (a South American cure-all fruit), dragon fruit, white fruit with black seeds, huge ugli fruit, Tahitian gooseberries, bilimbi (used for salad oils and pestos), guava, bread fruit (sought after in the story of Mutiny on the Bounty), and rambutan.
Next on the tour was a fascinating visit to the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Plantation and Factory.
Unbelievable as it may be given all the chocolate from around the world that I have tasted, I had never seen it growing before. We had the opportunity to see the cacoa pods growing on trees, a pod cut open, and to taste the chocolate.
All of the chocolates are pure single origin with no blending. My favorite was the Criollo for its smooth round flavor. Owner Bob Cooper gave an informative lecture on chocolate production with such enthusiasm it seemed he was doing it for the first time!
Day two of our tour we were on the road at 6:30 am to circle around the island, stopping at many interesting sites. The Hilo side of the island has an entirely different environment from the Kona side as it is on the side of the mountains that receives most of the rain. As it was a day long drive, it gave Hector the opportunity to practice his talent as a talk show host, interviewing me and wanting details of the roots of the Cake Bible and my entire past that led up it to it.
We stopped by the side of the road to enjoy the rainbow and then it was on to the famous Akaka falls with their 492 foot drop and walk through the rain forest.
On the way to the Kilauea Volcano we stopped at the Akatsuka orchid green house where I saw more orchids than I had ever seen before in my life. I always thought orchids had no smell but was proven wrong. One orchid even smelled like chocolate.
We had lunch at a lovely rustic Inn, the Kilauea Lodge Restaurant, near the volcano where we all shared a delicious passion fruit margarita, and ate less delicious crab cakes and bison burgers.
The Kilauea Volcano is still active so the volcano’s open crater interior varies in height virtually every day.
We saw maps indicating the new island that is growing under the sea to the south of Hawaii.
Hector send us this amazing photo of Kapalana lava flowing into the ocean, taken by Bruce Omori at dawn on New Year’s day of this year.
As we drove back to Kona, we stopped for a short but dramatic visit to the black sand beach, created from pulverized lava rock. If you look closely you will see the high wind that is blowing everything including us and the surf.
Next day was the much-anticipated highlight: private astronomer guided visit to the Keck Telescopes on Mauna Kea, the world highest mountain when measured from the bottom of the ocean.
Feb 23, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose, posted here
Last Day in Honolulu Brunch at Hector and Visit to Pearl Harbor
On our last day in Honolulu, Hector wanted us to meet as many of his friends and family as possible given the size of the apartment. Eight people attended, each bringing a special dish. Debbie Story, who offered to pick us up from the hotel along with cups of coffee, made fabulous spinach, mushroom, gruyère, and poached egg casserole (she gave me permission to post the recipe in future).
The buffet table was laden with goodies from pastries to Chinese dim sum to Portuguese sausages.
Kevin Kawahara brought delicious squares of pumpkin mochi. He also brought a jar of mango chutney and of lilikoi butter (passion curd) prepared by the students at thePunahou School where he works as part of the IT staff and where President Obamawas once a student. Kevin explained to us the special story behind the preserves: The students make these preserves each year to sell at the Punahou Carnival held on the first weekend of February. The carnival is put on by the junior class and parents, and supported by the entire Punahou community. All proceeds from carnival are used to help fund the financial aid budget – the same fund that helped put Barack Obama through Punahou! One of the more popular and famous parts of Carnival is the Mango Chutney. Just before all the mangoes start to ripen, students and parents collect green mangoes and spend hours and hours peeling, slicing, cooking, and canning the chutney to sell. It is only available twice a year – once at the Christmas craft fair, and then at the carnival. People wait in line for hours to buy as little as a single jar. While almost everyone knows about Punahou Carnival Mango Chutney, the lilikoi butter is in much shorter supply, and arguably more desirable – it disappears before the chutney.
I asked everyone to give an introduction describing themselves and what they brought to the table! Hector and I listened with obvious delight.
I was especially delighted to meet Hector’s younger brother William and his charming girlfriend Breanne.
The grand finale was cutting the cake that was made at the demo the day before. It was the “Golden Lemon Almond” using macadamia nuts in place of almonds–a “Hector Take on My Cake.” It never was better!
Before flying back to Kona, Hector arranged for us to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial to the Dec 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. We watched a movie depicting the events surrounding the incident that president Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed as “the day of infamy.” Walking through the museum of displays we noticed there were also many people from the military viewing the exhibits. As there was a high wind, the boat that goes out to the Arizona Memorial was cancelled but we could see the Memorial from the shore.
Christopher, Hector’s partner, joined us at the airport and for dinner in Kona atQuinn’s. My dear friend Leslie Harlib, who is in the process of moving from San Francisco to Hawaii, made this recommendation and advised us to try the Ono Cajun sandwich with fried onion rings, which we all enjoyed, girding ourselves for the next days of touring to come.
Hawaii Part Four
Feb 16, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose, posted here.
The Culinary Demo at the Leeward Community College, Honolulu and Hector’s Yellow Kitchen
I was thrilled when Hayley Matson Mathes invited me to give a baking demo in Honolulu. Hayley is executive director of the Hawaii Culinary Educational Foundation, a charitable organization that brings in chefs from all over the world to give classes and workshops to culinary students. She and her charming husband Mike were the best of hosts. They picked Woody and me up at the Honolulu airport and brought us to the Halekulani 5 star hotel at Waikiki beach, with a glorious ocean view from every room, where Haley arranged for us to stay for two nights.
Hector picked us up for dinner at his apartment, home of The Yellow Kitchen, where we met his delightful partner Christopher Obenchain. Christopher is a free lance actor, who occasionally does commercials. He is also working on his PHD in education. He gave us a short viewing of his cameo appearance as a waiter in one of my very favorite movies “Dirty Dancing!”
I don’t know how Hector managed it, having been with us in Kona up until that morning and doing most of the prep for the upcoming baking class, then making us a tasty Peruvian dinner of Hake fish with rice and a sauce of Aji Panca marinade: vinegar, cumin, garlic, oregano,aji panca, and a touch of soy sauce. (Aji panca is a Peruvian dried chili pepper which gives a dark red color and has almost no taste. It is similar to paprika.), and onion salad. For dessert, the “Hector’s Take on My Cake” chocolate oblivion made with avocado instead of butter. If I hadn’t spotted a tiny bit of avocado green I never would have suspected it was there!
In the Yellow Kitchen, Hector has established his personal signature with as many appliances and tools as possible in yellow. Christopher even painted the frig yellow and made a hanging ceiling light from a yellow colander.
The second bedroom is set up as a baking studio. It was quite amazing to see how much Hector could fit into this space. Even the inside of the cabinet doors have brackets for tools to make more storage.
Early the next morning Haley and Mike drove us to the Leeward culinary school where we were introduced to Tommylynn Benavente, Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program coordinator, and Donald Maruyama, Leeward Community College Culinary Instructor.
Even though we have done this duet of cakes a couple of times (“the Deep Chocolate Passion” and “the Golden Almond Lemon Cake” from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes), and we come equipped with laminated recipe sheets and often with equipment as well, it always seems like the first time because the set up is always different. But this time we had Hector who did a masterful prep, bringing loads of equipment including his Breville oven and my entire Rose™ line. Chef Mike Scully, together with the students, made sheet cakes from both of the cakes being demo’d for the tasting, and one of the students, Crystal, provided excellent assistance during the demo along with Woody and Hector. (It was video taped so will eventually be posted!)
Hector prepared a “Deep Chocolate Passion” cake already frosted with a smooth undercoat for glazing, the Lacquer Glaze heated to the perfect pouring temperature, and the mis en place for all ingredients, weighed and labeled.
He also prepped the Golden Almond Cake, replacing the almonds with macadamia nuts so that we could try it for the brunch he was planning for the next day. (It was even more delicious than with almonds.) Woody handed out index cards for the students to write out questions for the Q & A at the end. Hayley had encouraged me to talk about my background and the route I took to become who I am today to inspire the students. So by the end of the demo, the students felt comfortable enough to ask questions out loud as well. One student asked about my biggest influence and without thinking twice I said Buddha! Another asked who was my favorite baker and again without reservation I called out “Hector,” and this gave us the perfect opportunity to hand him the Cordon Rose School diploma which Woody designed especially for him.) Woody was my right hand during the demo.
Despite being in the midst of final exams, 80 food science students and professionals attended the demo. It was most gratifying that they were exceptionally attentive and appreciative, and when Haley forwarded the ‘ratings’ they were all 100% positive.
The demo was followed by a book signing. Haley brought in several copies of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and I had asked her to encourage the students to bring any books they already had.
By the end of the demo and signing, when I had hardly any voice left, I was treated to an interview with Joleen Oshiro, Food and Arts reporter for the Star Advertiser. Her questions and comments were so fascinating I found just enough voice left to squeak some responses. She is now working on a special profile of Hector, about how he learned to bake from my books to the point where he could adapt many cakes using Hawaiian ingredients, and his unique artistry in decorating them.
After two hours of rest, and a walk by the ocean, we were whisked along to have champagne at Hayley and Mike’s stunning high rise and then on to a special dinner in my honor given by the delightful Hawaiian chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier at the Stage Retaurant. Hector’s date was his aunt Lavina Ho who had given him The Cake Bible in 1989 when he had moved from Peru and spoke very little english, which did not stop him from baking his way through the book! I had received so many orchid lei I stopped counting but the most beautiful lei was the one lovely aunt Lavina hung around my neck–it was composed of tiny rosebuds .
Next posting: Brunch at the Yellow Kitchen, visit to Pearl Harbor, and return to Kona.