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Thursday, April 18, 2013 - Page updated at 02:30 p.m.

Happy Hour
At Ballard’s Hot Cakes, spiked floats and boozy shakes

By Tan Vinh
Seattle Times staff reporter

The single-malt chocolate shake at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery is evil, just pure evil. Have you tried it?

It’s made with dark chocolate that’s been smoked over alder wood and spiked with a shot of Laphroig scotch, so you get lingering, velvety notes of cocoa and smoke.

It’s a frosty treat that — with its peat and bittersweetness — borders on savory. And it definitely goes down easy, too easy if you aren’t careful.

The grown-up shake was concocted by Autumn Martin, former pastry chef at Canlis and former head chocolatier of Theo Chocolate who now runs her own dessert shop, Hot Cakes, in Ballard, which is where you will find this decadent drink.

It’s also in her new cookbook, “Malts & Milkshakes.”

Known more for those gooey, molten chocolate cakes in Mason jars, her dessert shop also features a variety of dark and milk chocolate treats.

Decor here is part French country, part industrial chic. And while you wouldn’t normally find a bar behind a display counter of delectable cookies and tempting pastries, at Hot Cakes you will. Feel free to order an Old Fashioned, or partake of her drink specialties: spiked floats and boozy shakes.

Here’s her shake recipe. You can substitute a quality chocolate for smoked chocolate chips (though, you can buy the genuine article at her store or get the recipe from her book.)

Smoked Chocolate and Scotch Shake


½ cup heavy cream

½ cup smoked chocolate chips

½ cup smoky scotch

8 scoops chocolate ice cream


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil then remove pan from heat and stir in the smoked chocolate chips.

2. Stir until chips are melted and smooth. Cool in fridge.

3. Once it’s cool, blend it with scotch and ice cream.

4. Pour in glass.

Hot Cakes, 5427 Ballard Ave. N.W., opens daily: 6-10 p.m. Mondays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays (206-420-3431 or

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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