Posts By: Dana Cree

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 »

Adventures In Setting Cream

Crème Brulee. Pot du crème. Panna Cotta. Custard. Pudding. Pastry Cream. Yogurt. Crème Fraiche. A pastry professional spends a lifetime setting dairy. Every time we do this we are attempting one thing; to disrupt the fluidity of dairy with enough matter change it from a liquid to a solid state. Sound complicated? It’s not, I’ll bet you have watched… Read more »

Rice and Chocoalte

We’ve been playing with a lot of starchy components in the blackbird pastry kitchen these days. Specifically, potatoes, rice, and beans. It’s been an interesting venture. A savory cook makes a quick study of the pitfalls and successes of these starches, working with them in their natural state early on in their career. I won’t… Read more »

thinking about gluten and wheat

I make a strong effort to keep one, if not two (or three!) gluten free desserts on the menu at blackbird. Yes, it’s a hot topic these days, as our awareness of celiacs disease and the effects wheat and grains have on the human body grows. We in the kitchens are catching up, as those… Read more »

apples and restraint

A long time ago, in a city far away, I worked at a restaurant named Lampreia. It is the first restaurant I list on my resume, my genesis. The heart that pumped the life into this small 40 seat restaurant in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood was a man named Scott Carsberg. It was in his kitchen… Read more »


This morning I walked into my kitchen to another pastry chef working on my counter. She was rolling peeled medjool dates between two pieces of acetate. It was quite exciting for me to walk into this situation, as I too am working on a dessert with dates, and the marbled sheet of pressed date presents… Read more »

Black Raspberry

 photo by Christian Seel “The running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven” according to the prose of Walt Whitman. A testament indeed to the wide reach of bramble berry vines, found  in nearly every corner of our planet, and as Whitman believes, celestially as well. Bramble berries, those small sweet clusters that adorn thorny vines are possibly the most abundant and… Read more »

Sorghum Syrup

What flavor is your sugar? This is a question we ask ourselves when we start developing a dish. Sugar, for us, is a family, not that white granulated stuff in a bag in your cupboard, or in a bin in your pastry department. That’s sucrose, and before I open that can of worms, I’ll save… Read more »

Corn Pops

For a recent composed cheese course using Pipers Pyramid, a paprika dusted goat cheese pyramid from Capriole farms in southern Indiana, we explored the complimentary flavor of corn. We wanted to exploit summer on a plate, and were fiddling with the flavors of corn and tomatoes. In our travels on and off the plate, we… Read more »


It wasn’t development on a new dessert that brought Danish into our pastry department. It wasn’t a desire to explore the limitations of lamination, a lesson in classic technique for our cooks, or any previous experience on my own part that caused us to start rolling sheets of enriched dough around slabs of cold butter. It was the… Read more »