Hot Cakes in a Jar Selling Like . . .

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Eve M. Tai
Molten chocolate meltdown.
Autumn Martin was slated to donate the dessert course for a farm-to-table fund-raising dinner when a Mason jar came to mind. "I wanted to create something cute, hip, and fitting with the [farming] theme," she says. So into little canning jars she poured the fixin's for molten chocolate cake. She baked them on site right in the jars and served them. Within moments she had a craze on her hands. Diners begged for more--even putting in orders--for what Martin now calls her Take 'n Bake Molten Chocolate Cakes.

It helped that the chocolate was from Theo Chocolate, the Seattle company known for their stylish organic and fair-trade chocolate. But it's Martin's creativity and commitment to quality comfort desserts forged from local, organic ingredients that have sustained her 3-year-old company, hot cakes confections.

Martin spent several years at Theo as head chocolate mistress, developing recipes for the company's famed truffles and 3400 Phinney bars. Although her true love is chocolate--"I'm actually not that great a baker," she says sheepishly--you'd never know it from her luscious lineup of baked goods, including cookies, Josephines (a teacake named after her sister), and hand pies chubby with fruit or potpie veggies. And though it's not a baked good, her handmade caramel sauces also sweeten life.

Since the farm dinner, Martin has created two more flavors for her Take 'n Bake cakes-in-a-jar. The original, Dark Decadence, is a big favorite, followed by the Milk Chocolate Brownie and Vegan Dark Chocolate. And ready for this? The Dark Decadence is dairy and gluten-free. Designed for convenience as much as for novelty, the cakes are blended raw and poured into jars to be taken home and stored in a refrigerator or freezer. To prepare, dessert lovers just bake the cake, jar and all, for 20 minutes.

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Eve M. Tai
Old-fashioned favorites.
In warmer weather, hot cakes confections pocket pies are a big hit with farmers market shoppers: "Summer is about fruit and I wanted to find a way to serve them." Martin's favorite is the apple, ginger, and cardamom pocket pie, and it's easy to taste why. It's updated Americana filled with wholesome, quality ingredients. (Pocket pies come in savory flavors like potato-leek too.)

Martin hopes to open up her own shop someday. For now, you can find hot cakes confections at the West Seattle, Wallingford, Ballard, and Columbia City farmers markets as well as at PCC, Theo and DeLaurenti's.

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