Perhaps you've been tempted by their superb sauces or bake-at-home molten chocolate cakes offered at your local boutique grocery store, but let's face it, if you haven't stood in line at their Ballard home base, waiting for them to bake you a tiny, rich, gooey circle of goodness served in a tiny Mason jar alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with one of their specialty caramel or hot fudge sauces, you haven't lived. Created by former Canlis pastry chef and head chocolatier at Theo Chocolate, Autumn Martin, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery is most certainly worth the schlep to this neighborhood along Seattle's Salmon Bay. In addition to serving up a fine selection of cakes, cookies, and other baked goods, Hot Cakes offers culinary curiosities including chocolate chips that have been cold-smoked over alder wood and Bling Blings, a tasty upgrade of the Ding Dong.
Yesterday, after a long day which included me running my first half marathon, I limped my way into Hot Cakes accompanied by my childhood friend, Brett, for their special (i.e., not always available) Nutella molten chocolate cake. As with prior visits, my choice most certainly did not disappoint. For me, the vanilla ice cream was necessary in order to cut the richness of the hazelnut-infused chocolate, and unlike their caramel sauce, which I can eat by the spoonful (just look in my refrigerator, as there's usually at least one almost-empty jar in there somewhere), the hot fudge on the plate didn't do much for my experience. Fortunately, I had a taster of their seasonal nettle (yes, nettle...we're in the Pacific Northwest, beyotch) caramel to temper my desire.
Hot Cakes is located at 5427 Ballard Ave NW in Seattle, Washington. Fortunately for you and your nighttime sweet cravings, they are open until 11pm Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday. Save me a spot in line!