Meet Kir Jensen, the Chicago native who, much to the west coast’s delight, packed her bags , moved to Portland and after working in several gourmet bakeries, decided to open her own food truck. The Sugar Cube, as far as I’m concerned, must be a pink painted miracle. At just 8×14 feet, this little food truck is turning out the kind of rich dessert you’d never dream could come from a kitchen on wheels; from Cherry Lambic Sorbet to chocolate ganache filled brownies.
Having spent plenty of time in Portland, when I first picked up this cookbook all I could think was, “Why have I never been to this food cart?!” And then as I continued to read through it, that question transformed into, “How does she do all of this in her food cart?”
This question did not go long unanswered. When you pick up The Sugar Cube cookbook you will be happy to know not only does she list every cooking tool she uses in the first few pages, but also they’re pretty simple; if you do any regular amount of baking, you probably have most if not all of them. My only caution or complaint about this cookbook is if you aren’t residing in a city like Portland or Seattle where we really love our organic markets or specialty stores, you may have to call around to hunt down some ingredients. I made a couple of the recipes when visiting my folks and tracking down leaf lard in their neck of the woods took a bit of leg work.
First we tried creating the Le Almond; moist almond cake with a lemon teacake kind of twist, topped with lemon curd and fresh berries. Is your mouth watering yet? Following the recipe closely, I found this cake to be dense and flavorful. The almond was subtle but by no means overwhelmed by the lemon. I do prefer making my lemon curd in a way that doesn’t require straining, but I know that method tends to be standard practice. So while this makes sense due to her background, I was a little surprised this method was being employed in a food truck as it seems like you’d want to minimize your steps as much as possible. Regardless, this cake was a ridiculous hit both at home and work.
I’m a sucker for caramel apple anything so the Apple-Apricot Crostatas were irresistible. The rich flavor of the apricot drew out the vanilla bean in the caramel sauce and created almost a warm cinnamon-like undertone that tempered the tartness of the granny smith apples perfectly. The pastry crust was amazing, just the right amount of buttery flavor and flakey goodness. I was so excited to try it (it smelled so amazing!) that I put the ice cream on a little too soon. Melty vanilla bean ice cream may be delicious but it doesn’t photograph too well. Oops!
So many other recipes I wanted to try, but I’ll leave those to you. If you have a sweet tooth, if you have a penchant for baking, if you just need a dessert go-to that doesn’t make your head spin you need this cookbook. It’s cute, it’s fun and surprisingly simple to make even the most intricate of tasty treats.