Classic King Cake. A friend of mine in college was from New Orleans, and her family would send a King Cake to her every year for Mardi Gras; I was lucky enough to be in the group of friends close enough to share in the cake. I had a Mardi Gras-themed party of my own one year, and looked into having a cake shipped to Seattle from N.O. but the shipping costs more than the cake itself! I was sure I could make one of my own.
No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake. My blueberry-loving dad's birthday is in July, and while that typically isn't a sweltering month in Seattle, a no-bake dessert seemed like a good way to go. The layers aren't as clear in this photo, but it's really pretty with the crumb crust layer, then a purplish berry mousse layer, topped with white whipped cream and dark berries.
This is a blueberry and white chocolate cheesecake. I can not find the recipe for the components; I remember that I used crust, filling, and topping recipes that I'd used from other recipes, but combined them to create this dessert. Sadly, I didn't write it down.
Okay, not technically dessert:
Apple Puff Pancake from Marlene Sorosky's Entertaining cookbook.
I had this unassailable urge to make cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. It was with me literally for months, and I kept trying to suage it, but it persisted. I knew it would be intensive, but I finally gave in. It was SO much work. A number of years ago, the mother of a friend of ours had her specialty homemade sticky buns ready for us for breakfast one morning. But any way I examined and planned this recipe, I couldn't figure out how it would be possible for them to ever be ready in time for breakfast without getting up around 3 a.m. It took me 6 days (between the resting, rising, punching down, refridgerating, etc) before these guys were finally ready to go in the oven. On the left is the brioche dough with sticky bun topping in the bottom of the pan (I should have photographed after they were turned out.) On the right is the same brioche dough with same filling, but without the extra buttery sugary topping.
I'm not going to lie, these (below, left) were very good. But six days of work they were not. This is the recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible. It's probably easier to drive to Joseph, Oregon, where we had the best (and cheapest and most enormous) cinnamon roll (below, right) of our entire lives at the Mountain Air Cafe.