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sweet seattle


October 2014

Written by
Katie Vincent

Photography by
Michael Matti

With all the energy that goes into staying healthy, it can easily become a full-time job. But it’s important to save room for the sweet treats in life every now and then. And our temperate, tree-filled corner of the country is happy to help you find your occasional come-to-Jesus moment with some of the most carefully crafted, locally derived and downright delicious sweets imaginable.
Hot cakes photo
Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

A line always trails out the door at Autumn Martin’s dessert heaven, where the menu presents decadent delights like boozy milkshakes, cookies, seasonal cakes and the signature molten chocolate cake. Martin, the former head chocolatier at Theo Chocolate, is dedicated to supporting organic, local, small farms in all of her creations, such as the seasonal, local rhubarb bread pudding or the saffron from Port Angeles in her caramel sauce. “I grew up in Washington,” Martin says, “and my childhood full of eating Northwest treats like smoked salmon and fresh berries definitely informs my creations at Hot Cakes. One of my favorite examples is the cold-smoked chocolate chips; I love bringing the smoky flavor into sweets, where it’s an unexpected delight.” Many of Martin’s creations are available for sale online, and some of her products are also sold at retail locations throughout Puget Sound.

High 5 Pie photoHigh 5 Pie

Using her grandma Molly’s favorite all-butter crust recipe, Dani Cone has built a vintage kingdom of all things pie. That’s right, not just your classic nine-inch. High 5 Pie will satisfy your pastry cravings with crusted concoctions like bite-size pies, pie lollipops, pies in Mason jars, turnovers, and even the Mile Wide Pie for 30-plus people (or less, if you’re feeling ambitious). With a penchant for regional flavors, and a dedication to local flour and butter, Cone is proud to name marionberry as one of High 5’s most popular flavors. “Locals, of course, know this as one of our favorite regional berries, and out-of-town guests love learning about it and trying it for the first time.” Other Washington-sourced favorites include apple, salted caramel pear, and double blackberry.

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

In the last six years, Molly Moon’s has quickly grown to include six retail outlets and has become one of the models for Seattle-area ice cream. The company, self-described as locavore and artisan, sources local dairy from Edaleen Dairy Farm and gets 90 percent of its ingredients from small farms in the Pacific Northwest. According to Molly Moon’s Emily Arnold, most popular flavors include “Honey Lavender—made with Northwest honey and lavender from Purple Haze farm in Sequim—and Balsamic Strawberry—made with western Washington strawberries and local honey balsamic vinegar.”
Molly Moon's photo

The Confectional

Confectional photoWhy share a cheesecake when The Confectional can make you your very own? With over 12 flavors of individual-size cheesecakes, dips and truffles at their three iconic Seattle stores, the company is dedicated to transparency where each store features a visible kitchen in which customers can watch the chefs bake, dip and roll—a component co-owners Paul Verano and Destiny Sund affectionately call their “chocolate theater.” The Confectional especially enjoys devising special Seattle-themed creations. “The most Seattle-unique cheesecake was our Beast Mode Skittles cheesecake, topped with the number 12 last winter,” Verano says. “We couldn’t bake this yummy cheesecake fast enough. Currently, we are working on a Grand Slam Mariner’s cheesecake—made with real Grand Marnier of course!”

Fran’s Chocolates

Chocolatier and University of Washington alum Fran Bigelow has been in business since 1982, when she first opened Fran’s Patisserie and Chocolate Specialties in Seattle. Thirty-two years later, she has three retail locations featuring small-batch chocolates lovingly crafted in the company’s Georgetown facility. As far as local ingredients go, the Single Malt Whiskey truffle is made with a Scotch blend from Oregon distiller Clear Creek, while the Peppermint Imperiale is crafted from Yakima Valley mint. In a nod to Fran’s alma mater, the company is offering a commemorative UW box of salted caramels for the school’s 150th anniversary. This is quite the treat, as marketing director Kathryn Park says, “Our salted caramels are universally loved.”

Mike's Amazing Cakes photoMike’s Amazing Cakes

An Eastside fixture for the last 18 years, Mike’s has no trouble living up to its name. Owner and head pastry chef Mike McCarey boasts an impressive résumé of one- to three-dimensional confections ranging from elegant and sweet to quirky and monstrous. “Typically we could be doing the sweetest, prettiest little two-tier wedding cake with Swiss dots and flowers,” McCarey says. “At the same time, we could be working on a cake that’s a gothic wedding fortress with zombies attacking the bride and groom.” McCarey’s gâteau gift has won him multiple awards and a clientele that includes Dustin Hoffman, Julia Child, Rodney Dangerfield and the Smithsonian.

D’Ambrosio Gelato

Under direction of university-certified gelato master Enzo D’Ambrosio, this small gelateria has grown to three retail locations in Bellevue, Capitol Hill and Ballard and serves some of the most authentic gelato the Pacific Northwest has to offer. As Enzo’s son Marco puts it, “[We] upped the game on frozen desserts in the Northwest because we introduced to the market a very traditional and artisan way of producing gelato.” Made in small-batches by hand in D’Ambrosio’s Ballard kitchen, all of their ice cream is made with organic dairy from Fresh Breeze in Lynden, while any authentic Italian ingredients—such as pistachios—are shipped directly from the motherland.
D'Ambrosio Gelato photo

Boehm’s Candies & Chocolates

Housed in the infamous Edelweiss chalet in Issaquah since 1956—after a 14-year stint in Ravenna—Boehm’s has been producing fine chocolates in the Pacific Northwest for 72 years. Heritage is key in their recipes, per owner Bernard Garbusjuk. “One of our most popular confections would be our Mozartkugeln, which originated from Austria by my great-great grandfather. It has a marzipan center wrapped in a hazelnut confection and is double-dipped in our exquisite bitter or milk chocolate.” Other popular choices include Hawaiian sea salt caramels and the Sea Foam made from spun molasses. For a Willy Wonka–style day trip, take the family to Edelweiss for a guided tour with plenty of samples.

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