Posted on May 30 2012

Sugar Cube Blog Tour!

I am so excited to be a part of the Sugar Cube Blog Tour!  I’m a sucker for amazing food trucks – and dessert food trucks set my heart on fire.  I know that sounds painful, but that’s totally a good thing!  When I first heard about a food truck in Portland called The Sugar Cube, (after I got over the PERFECT name for a dessert food truck!) I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new cookbook!  And rightly so!  It’s always a good thing when you’re flipping through a cookbook and there’s nothing you pass over.  There was some serious deliberating as far as what I was going to make for my leg of the tour because, honestly, everything looks so very good!

I decided on the Black Cow Panna Cotta for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I love a Black Cow.  Let me fill you in, in case you’re in the dark here: a Black Cow is a blended up Root Beer Float!  You suck it down with a straw to wash down your chili cheese fries and/or coney dogs.  Trust me, I know.  I spent a summer working at a really adorable drive-in A&W.  I drank gallons of Black Cows, probably, which made working for my sister (who was the manager) a little tolerable.  My older sis had real authority over me to boss me around.  I hated that.  Don’t get me wrong, my sister is very sweet, but she holds no punches with me.  “Oh Crystal, you messed up everything?  That’s okay!”  then two seconds later, “EMILY!  YOU DROPPED A FRY!  YOU’RE THE WORST!”  Maybe I’m remembering things a little skewed, but I’m 97% sure that was an actual conversation.  (Maybe 47% sure.)

Second of all, I couldn’t resist the charms of panna cotta because I love a good custard dessert!  (I don’t have a story to back up this opinion.)

The cookbook is adorable in every way – the photos, the layout, the font, and the friendly language in every recipe.  I love my old Betty Crocker cookbook, but the dry language definitely doesn’t get me super excited about what I’m making, nor does it make me feel like I know the person on the other end of the recipe.  I understand it’s a cookbook and I’ve never met Kir Jensen, so I’m not going to start sending her letters talking about our BFF status, but I like liking the person who’s recipe I’m tackling.  Is that weird?

All the components were so easy to whip up, and assembling these tiny gems was a breeze – the custard, then some root beer drizzle, finished with a dollop of fresh “whoop” as she calls it in the cookbook.  Now that’s cute!  There’s a healthy dose of vanilla bean throughout the dessert, which is hard not love, too.

The flavors are there, and once you have a spoonful of the whole mix, it’s truly like a high-end Black Cow!  These little guys are to be made in 4 oz jars (or ramekins) which makes them the tiniest, most guilt-free dessert ever.  Unless you’re dessert is raw carrots.  Then that’s the most guilt free dessert.

This covetable cookbook is a greatest-hits collection from Sugar Cube, a tiny pink food cart in Portland, Oregon, that is thronged daily by hungry hordes craving voluptuous sweets intensified with a spike of booze, a lick of sea salt, or a “whoop” of whipped cream. Sugar Cube founder and baker Kir Jensen left the fine-dining pastry track to sell her handmade treats on the street. Recipes for 50 of Kir’s most enticing cupcakes, cookies, tarts, muffins, sips, and candies are made more irresistible (if possible!) by 32 delicious color photographs. Sassy headnotes and illustrations that resemble vintage tattoos liven up this singular boutique baking book.

This cookbook has quickly become a favorite of mine!  AND YOU CAN HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN ONE!  The lovely folks at Chronicle Books want one of you lovely readers to ave one too!  Leave a comment letting me know your favorite go-to dessert!  What can’t you live without?  Be sure your comment is left by 12 am on Thursday May 31st, and I’ll announce the winner this Friday, June 1st.  Best of luck!


UPDATE: The winner!

Comment #7:

“Katherine Ross says:

It’s a toss up for me…. fruit pavlova or German chocolate cake. Really, I have yet to meet a dessert that I didn’t like, but those two are what my mother made most often when I was young. They fix any problem and always feel a little bit like home.”

Congrats!  Contact me at kastner (dot) emily (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your lovely prize!!!

  1. Amber says:

    I do love a black cow although I always grew up calling them rootbeer freezes. I probably have one at least once a month. Easy and delicious who could resist and in the warm summer quite refreshing as well. My favorite go-to dessert is probably my easy version of strawberry shortcake, fresh homemade angel food cake with sliced strawberries and a little whipped cream if you so desire. I like to slice my strawberries the night before sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over them and leave them in the refrigerator overnight to let them ‘juicify’ as I like to call it so the sweet sugary strawberry juice can sink deep into my angle food cake. It’s a dessert I can prepare ahead of time which is nice. If I’m feeling fancy it’s creme brulee.

  2. sarah v says:

    great post, emily! dirt cake was always my favorite dessert growing up. i just made it for the kiddo’s birthday snack at school and had a new appreciation for how freaking long it must’ve taken my mom to make that every year, it took hours somehow? but smacking the oreos with a rolling pin was very relaxing, i recommend that part.

  3. Amy D. says:

    I’ve spent the past couple hours trying to choose my favorite go-to dessert. I’ve concluded that I just have too many categories depending on the season, the number of people, the occasion, my mood, my time, etc. I do return to homemade vanilla ice cream with homemade caramel sauce. I love mixing the hot and cold when they’re both fresh which makes it suitable for both warm or chilly nights. Then, there’s the leftover caramel that sits in our fridge just asking me to take a bite after lunch. That could be another category, “desserts that you eat right out of the fridge”.

  4. Sarah says:

    oh my, it’s hard to pick a favorite dessert, because I love any and all sweets…. I may go with my Grandma’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. She used to have the dough made up in balls in her freezer so she could pop them in the oven when guest’s popped by. :) What a great idea! I tried it once, but ended up just eating the raw cookie dough balls.

  5. Jessi Lee says:

    My go-to dessert is a delectable lemon cupcake. There is just something wonderfully sweet about a tangy mini-cake with jet-puff marshmallow icing and pretty wrapper. Would love to have some new go-to desserts under my belt from the Sugar Cube book!

  6. Lindsey says:

    I love your Black Cows! You could make them for Whisk Bakeshop’s next market!

    My go to dessert is a very simple bar of dark chocolate. Must be over 70 percent. I love keeping a stash in the wine shelf, hidden with it’s perfect complement, favorite companion, and true love. I like Theo’s lately as Cody’s from Seattle. I like sea salt and almond! I love love love sea salt in my dessert!

  7. Katherine Ross says:

    It’s a toss up for me…. fruit pavlova or German chocolate cake. Really, I have yet to meet a dessert that I didn’t like, but those two are what my mother made most often when I was young. They fix any problem and always feel a little bit like home.

  8. Laura S says:

    It’s so hard to choose just one, but when Creme brûlée is on a menu, I can rarely resist! Especially when served in a shallow dish so you get the maximum custard to crackly sugar ratio! I’ve experimented with different flavors at home, but always come back to good old vanilla bean!

  9. Beth says:

    My go-to dessert is probably a nice Tollhouse cookie pie. Easy to make, but still delicious!

  10. Kim says:

    I have loved snickerdoodle cookies for as long as I can remember! I don’t know what it is about them!

  11. jules mcnubbin says:

    my go to dessert is usually brownies with chocolate sauce or a strawberry trifle during summer

  12. Carl S says:

    I would be very sad if it were no longer possible to get Pineapple Upside-down Cake. But really, who wouldn’t? If only because it’s so much fun to say.

  13. Allison Blakeley says:

    I’ve been coveting this book! I’ve never heard of a Black Cow Panna Cotta, but I’m definitely trying it out!

    My favorite dessert is probably a good ol’ fashioned pudding pie :)

  14. Julia says:

    Hi Emily, loved your post and great documenting the panna cotta! Kir is one of my “BFFs” and she is a gem, please so send her a note! Thanks for capturing my dear friend and all her hard work in such a nice light! Cheers. Julia

  15. Jing says:

    I hope I’m not too late! My favorite go-to dessert is rum & raisin ice cream! Ice cream makes everything better!

  16. Jessica says:

    This was such a difficult decision to make, but I would have to go with my Aunt TT’s scrumptious pear tart! :) It is so yummy!

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