Sugar Rush: Sweet Dutch Baby at Tilikum Place Café, Seattle


[Photograph: Jay Friedman]

If a pancake and popover could mate, the result would surely be a Dutch Baby. At Tilikum Place Café (named after the Chinook word for welcome) in the shadow of Seattle's Space Needle, the Dutch baby is a staple on both the weekday lunch and weekend brunch menus. There will be three choices: basic (always available), sweet (always changing), and savory (also always changing).

The Savory was tempting with its salami, fava beans, and Parmesan cheese, but I was here for the Sweet Dutch Baby ($9), with almond scented cherries and toasted almonds. Ordering any of the Dutch babies will slow down your hungry mates, as they all require 20 minutes to prepare. Place your order and the chef puts plenty of butter in an oven-heated cast-iron pan, then adds salted batter of eggs, milk, and flour. Bing cherries flavored with amaretto and almond extract go into this Dutch baby, which goes into the oven and cooked until puffy.

The Dutch baby comes to the table incredibly hot, served right in the pan and almost popping out of it. All the butter helps caramelize the concoction, with still has soft insides and a topping of toasted almonds. It's not too sweet (the warmed cherries were just slightly tart), so you'll want a pour of maple syrup that should come with the plate. The texture is fluffy, and the flavor is rich and eggy. A side order of house-made breakfast sausage helps round out the meal.

About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.

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