Posts By: Dana Cree

Tiramisu

I am a tiramisu purist. To me this means the quintessential Italian dessert is made with aged ladyfingers dipped in espresso, softened between layers of mascarpone that has been lightened with a Marsala sabayon. A proper tiramisu should contain nothing more, save a light dusting of bitter cocoa powder to finish. If I’m feeling really… Read more »

Culinary Schools

The topic of culinary school has come up lately here in Blackbirds pastry department as we get to know the newer members of our team, Krystle and Harry. Through conversation, it’s clear we all have a lot in common. However, it’s interesting how divergent our paths into this kitchen are. Jane currently attends the french… Read more »

Italian Jam Tart

Last summer I consulted a pastry chef with much more experience in the world of Italian desserts than I. I was in need of some suggestions for traditional desserts to inform my menu at Avec, and he has managed the sweet side of Del Posto in New York for long enough to make him an… Read more »

culture club

Spring has yet to spring here in Chicago. Temperatures still hover around freezing, and snow flurries obscured my vision as I walked home from work earlier this week. This hasn’t stopped my internal clock from sounding the bells of seasons change with no regard for the wintery climate outside. Without even a suggestion of the… Read more »

Waffling

It took a brunch baby shower at Avec and the guests request for an off-menu item to be served for me to see it. As I rounded up the requisite iron and discussed recipes, a hidden passion in my pastry cook came bubbling to the surface. Turns out, Amy McCudden loves making waffles. It may… Read more »

Craftsman and Cooks

With the flow of younger cooks in and out of the restaurants I work at, I hear snippets of conversations here and there often describing dreams for the future, and the chefs they want to be. Not in a lofty sense, actual names of the chefs they admire most and hope to grow into. These… Read more »

Found In Translation

The only thing constant about Blackbird is that it is in constant flux. The restaurant, founded to house the cuisine of Paul Kahan 16 years ago, was eventually released from his tenure as chef de cuisine, and transformed into a guided creative platform for younger talent. The reigns were first handed to Mike Sheerin who… Read more »

Molten Chocolate Cake

On the occasion I leave my restaurant for the night, or have entire days off, I can occasionally be tempted to join the greater part of society and attend a party. Years ago, on one of these such occasions, I found myself in a small circle of adults, foodies if you will, discussing my favorite… Read more »

Cracked Coconuts

We professional pastry chefs have at our fingertips access to something home cooks could never dream of. High quality fruit purees. They come to us frozen in 1 kilo containers, ready to be thawed and folded into our recipes with the simple removal of a plastic seal. Some are better than others but all in… Read more »

Hold For Service

A comment on twitter regarding the last post about posset doubted the recipe’s authenticity due to the inclusion of 2 sheets of gelatin. I can understand the doubts of the reader. The post told of a custard set entirely by acid, so what was a sheet of gelatin doing in there? It’s quite simple, and… Read more »