Dana’s recipe files

Publican Recipes (2016-present)

These are the recipes we use day in and day out to fill the dessert menus, pastry cases, brunch offerings, catering orders, private events, and everything else in between. Most of them translate well to being made in home kitchens, provided you work with a scale.

Certain successes achieved in professional kitchens come from the efficiency of our equipment, and the quality of the products we are able to buy, particularly chocolates and alternative sugars. I’ll never understand why home cooks get the short end of the stick on cocoa powders.

I say this not to frighten home cooks from using these recipes, but to warn you that they have not been tested in home kitchens with the kinds of ingredients available in grocery stores. These are the recipes we use professionally. We leave them that way because there are countless recipe resources for home cooks, and surprisingly few for professionals. We at The Pastry Department have committed ourselves to furthering our own profession, and believe by sharing the professional grade recipes we use with other professionals we can best help our fellow pastry chefs grow.

I have shrunk the recipes from our production batches, which often make over 300 cookies, 100 sticky buns, or 5 gallons of ice cream at a time.

Soft Peanut Sorghum Cookies

Cornmeal Cranberry Muffins

Buckwheat Graham Cracker

Graham Cracker Crumb Crust

Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Pie

Lucky Peach Recipes (2014-2016)

I wrote a column for Lucky Peach called Pastry School that included some of my favorite fundamental pastry techniques. After Lucky Peach folded (R.I.P. friend) and the online archives disappeared, I started receiving requests for the recipes I provided. Here they are- I’m sad the column ended, we barely scratched the surface of fundamental pastry technique together.

How To Make Meringue

French Meringue

Italian Meringue

Swiss Meringue

All About Pie Crust

All-Butter Pie Crust

Enriched Butter Pie Crust

Cream Cheese Pie Crust

Tender Lard Pie Crust (or Shortening)

How To Make Pastry Cream

Pastry Cream

Creme Baumaniere

Creme Chiboust

Diplomate Cream

How To Make Pate De Choux

Pate De Choux

The Ultimate Cream Puff

How To Laminate Dough

Rough Puff Pastry

Galette de Rois

Almond Cream

How To Temper Chocolate

Sugar Cookies Two Ways

Soft Sugar Cookies

Rolled Sugar Cookies

How To Make Custard

Baked Custard

Creme Anglaise

Frozen Custard

Steamed Custard (flan)

How To Make Ganache

All-Purpose Ganache

Thick Ganache for Truffles

Thin Ganache for Glaze of Sauce

Blackbird Recipes (2012-2015)

These are our formulas, direct from the pages in our kitchen binders at Blackbird and Avec. They aren’t the kind of recipes you’d see when flipping through the pages of a high gloss cookbook or posted on a website. They are written so professional cooks can achieve a consistent result on a daily basis. They are formulated for professional grade equipment, and assume a basic working knowledge of ingredients, pastry equipment, and technique. These formulas are exactly how our team achieves results.

We decided to post them exactly as we use them. There are a million and one recipes written for cooks in a home kitchen, and at the risk of isolating some of our readers, we decided not to rewrite our recipes for home use.

That being said, they do contain a great deal of information, and absolutely can be recreated in a home kitchen. You’ll need a digital scale, and a little thought. The ideas are the same, just structured a little different. We too leave our highly functional working kitchens and go home and bake. But more often than not, we have stocked our kitchen with a few things that make cooking and baking at home easier. The short list….. a food processor, a kitchen-aid  stand mixer, a blender, half sheet pans, a fine mesh strainer, nesting stainless steel mixing bowls, industrial grade plastic wrap, sheets of parchment, , and a bag of ice in the freezer. Beyond these few items, everything in my kitchen looks much like any avid amateur baker.

At one time I used to make impassioned speeches  on why home cooks need to buy a digital scale. I used to say comically arrogant things like, “oh, how many cups is that? it’s 2/3 of buy a scale” But in the past few years my cause has been championed by so many others I needn’t lecture.

So here is a growing list of the formulas we discuss in our posts, categorized by the texture they provide in a plated composition. Use them as a guide to help you create something of your own!

Creamy Things

avocado pudding

Banana Pudding

Basil Custard

Chocolate Sambuca Pudding

Coconut Cream/Coconut Flakes (from fresh coconut)

Coffee Mascaropone

Creme Avec

Horseradish Butter Pearls

Licorice Cream

Madiera Mascarpone

Marigold Creme Bauminiere

Marigold Pastry Cream

Parm Whiz


Pumpkin Pie Puree

Sage Coconut Cream

Warm Chocolate Cremeux

Whipped Delice

Whipped Goat Cheese

White Chocolate Glaze (hot applications)

Doughy Things

Craqueline topping for cream puffs

Croissant Dough with Cultured Butter

Danish Dough

Liege Waffle

Pate De Choux- chocolate

Puff Pastry- Rough

Sourdough Crumpet

Chewy Things

Urfa Sticky Rice

Whipped Date

Cakey Things

Almond Cake Crumbs

Amaretto Cake

Bourbon Gooey Butter Cake

Black Walnut Daquoise

Italian Jam Tart

Oat Flour Brownie

Parmesan Cruller

Ricotta Cheesecake

Shaved Apple Galette

Steamed Pumpkin Cake

Teff Crepes

Crispy Things

Burnt Hazelnut – Buttercrunch

Bourbon Buttercrunch Toffee

Burnt Vanilla Pavlova

Chickory Streusel

Coconut Haystack Cookies

Coffee Toffee

Corn Pops

Espresso Streusel

Puffed Rice

Puffed Rice-urfa biber crunch

Roasted Parmesan

Sesame Brittle

Sorghum-Pecan Cracker Jack

Sorghum Strudel Leaves

Vanilla Meringue Shards

Fruity Things

Banana Wheels

Bourbon Rose Poached Pears

Cardamom Roasted Rhubarb

Cherry Poached Cherries

Chewy Apple Shreds

Compressed Asian Pears (in quince juice)

Fig Jam

Kumquats- Candied

Membrillo- Pipeable

Orange Segments- Charred

Pear-rose pudding

Pumpkin Puree

Satsumas- Peeled

Puree- Simmered Fruit

Puree- Strawberry and Raspberry – freeze/thaw method

Puree Roasted Stone Fruit

Puree Poached Fruit

Nutty Things

Black Walnuts- sanded with cassia

Buttered Hickory Nuts

Caramel Pine Nuts

Compressed Green Almonds

Enrobed Hazelnuts

macadamia butter

Peanut Sage Powder

Sorghum Syrup

Toffee Peanuts

Saucy Things

Black Licorice Streak

Black Raspberry Drip

Passion Fruit Caramel

Plum Caramel

Frozen Things

avocado leaf ice cream

Black Raspberry Sherbet

Fig Leaf Ice Cream

Medjool Date Ice Cream

Rhubarb Sorbet- Junior

Rhubarb Sorbet- Senior

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

Chocolatey Things

Chocolate Calvados Mousse

Chocolate Cremeux, pipeable

Chocolate Purse Batter

Chocolate Purse- Assembly

Chocolate Rock

Chocolate Sambuca Pudding

Chocolate Sesame Truffle

Morello Chocolate Shavings

Tanariva Cremeux- heat stable, for filling shells

Warm Chocolate Cremeux

Warm Milk Chocolate Profiterole- baking and assembly procedure

Oat Flour Brownie

Random Things

Cocoa Nib Brown Butter

Coffee Cubes

Banana Powder

Bourbon-Rose Pickled Rose Petals

Roasted Cassia

Rum Bling 

Almond Butter Caramels

Soft Caramels

Salted Caramel Bonbons

Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Meringue Kisses

Fluffy Nougat

Pate De Fruit

French Macarons