Monthly Archives: January 2012

Sweet Iron Waffles – the calm within the storm

When I was younger, I remember walking by myself around downtown Seattle on a really windy day. Being short and delicate, the breeze pushed me around fairly easily; my friends joked I was a kite without a string. I felt some serious nostalgia about those days last week as I tried to stay upright while waiting for the crosswalk light to turn green to walk to Sweet Iron Waffles.

After I passed that first test – and managed to shut the door – it was relatively peaceful inside. The staff were prepping the waffle machines and eating lunch, and as I ordered another guy joined us to eat a waffle and read the newspaper. You could still hear the wind howling outside, but it was slightly drowned out by Modest Mouse. Continue reading »

Deathcake Royale – a coffee conversion

I don’t like coffee. At all. I was one of those kids who ran past the ‘grind your own beans’ booths at the grocery store because the smell made me nauseous. I still can’t drink coffee, and I at least only find the smell mildly unpleasant now. Even so, I love taking opportunities to expand my coffee and food horizons.

In general, though, I’m a cocoa kind of girl – or, while I was waiting yesterday at Cupcake Royale, a steamed milk with vanilla kind of girl. The chain was hosting a coffee/spirits/Deathcake tasting at all of their locations, and I ventured out into the cold to try the Deathcake out in the name of culinary science. For the uninitiated (read: those not from the Seattle area), the Deathcake Royale is an homage to all that is good and sugary: Theo chocolate cake, Stumptown coffee ganache, and fleur de sel, topped with a wee confetti heart. At $3, it’s a tiny, not super cheap little bite of richness, but everyone swore up and down it was worth it. But I was still nervous.

I was nervous because when I hear ‘coffee ganache,’ I think of two possible variations: ganache using coffee to enhance the chocolate, and ganache with the coffee flavor front and center. Given that it was Stumptown coffee being used, I assumed that that ingredient would be the star of the show, and I had been selectively avoiding this Valentine’s Day tradition for years. I was woefully mistaken. The ganache is lovely and delicate, holding in the rich chocolate center. The fleur de sel can be a bit overpowering, but that helps it to linger as you savor your Deathcake. I totally snuck another morsel, and then went to buy more for later.

Also in attendance was Stumptown, which I still sadly avoided (though I adore their Mast Brothers cocoa), and Pacific Distillery’s absinthe, which was heady of anise in a way that made my nose tingle. But I was really too distracted by the Deathcake for alcohol. Another day, maybe.

If you’re not a fan of chocolate with coffee, but adore chocolate, I definitely feel you should try to get your hands on one, and at least give it a shot. But do so soon, for I just bought a three pack, and they stop selling them for the year on February 14th.

Cupcake Royale
1111 East Pike Street
Seattle, Wa 98122

Pie Tatin – a love affair with Frankensteins

Not the book – frankenstein desserts.

I am a very, very lazy baker in that I don’t often start on huge projects. Sure, I can bake a ton of cookies at once, but I much prefer baking six and freezing 60 so I can avoid the oven when I’m craving cookies. (Then again, in our household cookie dough doesn’t survive for long.) I talk big, mostly of days where I got really bored and made 1,000+ cookies in one sitting, but that was when I worked a job where I had three days off a week. Grad school does not lend itself to the opportunity to go all-out in a home kitchen.

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New Year Libations

On Thursday Chris and I donned our best snow gear and walked to New Year Libations, trekking poles in hand. I wasn’t able to stay long, as it was – gasp – a school night, but I still had a great time snapping pictures and meeting some amazing people. Thank you Schemer, Seattleite, Google PlacesWild Ginger, Bastille Seattle, Bathtub Gin, BOKA, Little Water Cantina, Poquitos, Tavern Law, The Pink Door, Tini Bigs, and everyone else who helped make it a fun evening!

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Computer History Museum – Mountain View, CA

When we were in Mountain View, we dropped by the Computer History Museum for a quick browse. (A really quick browse – we got there about an hour before closing.) If you’re interested in seeing old-school calculators and spy tech from the 70s, it’s an amazing slice of history. I admit the modern stuff was a bit silly, especially the Furby behind glass, but I suspect the next generation will be in awe.