Cookbook Author and Baking Expert
Penny Eisenberg has been in the food profession for over 25 years; teaching, developing recipes and writing cookbooks. She originally studied with a Cordon Bleu trained chef, intending to learn French techniques of cooking. However, she soon realized that baking was her passion.
Penny grew up in New York City and was very accustomed to excellent bread and pastry. After moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1980, she missed the exceptional baked goods and pastries of her youth. “I knew that if I wanted high quality desserts I would have to make them myself.” And, so she did. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has taught seminars on dairy-free baking at the IACP and at Johnson and Wales University.
Penny has a “delicious” and informative website, Amazing Dessert Recipes, which is brimming with mouthwatering recipes. In addition, she has authored five cookbooks including her first, Passover Desserts published in 1994.
When we asked Penny for her thoughts on "must have" kitchen-baking tools she explained, “The three kitchen gadgets that I couldn't do without are my kitchen scale, my Thermapen instant-read thermometer and my oven thermometer. Measurements are absolutely the key to good and consistent baking. Without these, even desserts that you make again and again can fail. You need to start with proper amounts, which can only be achieved by weighing, the ingredients need to be at the right temperature, and the item needs to be baked at the exact temperature needed. These are the secrets to success.”
At Passover, the Eisenberg family’s favorite go-to Passover dessert is Chocolate Raspberry Silk Torte. She originally wrote it for her first Passover book, and then simplified it for her CD-ROM, Amazing Passover Desserts. A picture of it is posted on her blog. “It's decadently rich, so it serves a lot of people and it can be varied a little so that you can serve it again and again and it seems different each time. Year round, my favorite is my Pecan Pie, which is different from most, in that the pecans stay suspended throughout and it is more “caramelly, and less "jelled" than a typical pecan pie. My husband's favorite is Pumpkin Pie or Rice Pudding. “