Pie & Cake Restaurant Fight
Pie and cake restaurant fight has Houston chefs and foodies choosing sides
Pie, pie me oh my. Nothing tastes sweet, wet, salty and dry all at once, o’ well it's pie. Apple! Pumpkin! Minced an' wet bottom. Come to your place everyday if you've got em' Pie, me o my I love pie.
I’m not a huge sweets fan but on the occasions that I do go for a dessert, I prefer pie to cake. Because pie can be all of those things mentioned in the Pie Song. I like pie with ice cream, just like Sally in When Harry Met Sally.
“But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real. If it’s out of the can then nothing.”
Now that’s pie perfection. And others agree.
"There are too many different ways for pie to turn out. You're not always sure what you’re going to get. But with cake . . . well, it’s just a unicorn in food form."
“I like pie because you can serve it warm and a la mode,” says Ruben Ortega, executive pastry chef for Backstreet Cafe, Hugo’s and Caracol. “I like peach pie and blueberry pie the best!”
And since this is National Peach Month, I’d say get yourself a slice of peach pie with a big scoop of vanilla on top.
I'm not much for cake. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a piece of cake. And I don’t know any songs about cake except for that one where someone left it out in the rain and I’m pretty such they’re not singing about a real cake.
But cake does have its fans.
Take chef Shannen Tune of the new Revolve restaurant at Hotel Derek:
“Cake! Always cake, it’s fluffy, fun and accountably delicious. There are too many different ways for pie to turn out. You're not always sure what you’re going to get. But with cake . . . well, it’s just a unicorn in food form. A trusty, magical dessert sure to please any sweet tooth!”
And it doesn’t get any sweeter than cake for Ooh La La owner and baker Vanessa O’Donnell.
“I love, love, love icing,” she says. “So cake for sure! Any day of the week. My favorite cake flavors are classic vanilla with vanilla butter cream icing and hummingbird.”
Hummingbird is an old Southern favorite, a cinnamon layer cake made with crushed pineapple and covered in cream cheese icing and crushed pecans. But I still prefer pie. It’s never Thanksgiving morning without a cup of coffee and a slice of cold pumpkin pie while watching the Macy’s Day Parade on TV.
But if you still want cake, here’s Ooh La La’s recipe for hummingbird cake.
Ooh La La Dessert Boutique
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1¼ cups mashed ripe banana
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple
Grease and flour two 8' or 9' cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place butter in a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave for one minute. The butter will not melt completely. Whisk butter until it is smooth and liquid. Set aside to cool. Place all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.
Add eggs and vanilla to melted cooled butter. Whisk together by hand until the eggs are completely incorporated into the butter. Add mixture to dry ingredients and combine well using a rubber spatula.
Add pineapple and mashed banana and mix gently until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking pans.
Bake cakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of each cake.
Cool pans on cake rack for 15 minutes. Unmold pans by inverting them on rack. Remove parchment and cook cakes completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar (3½ - 4 cups), sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add one cup confectioner’s sugar at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat frosting until smooth.
To frost cake, place one layer on serving platter or cake tray. Spoon frosting on top and smooth with a spatula until it’s about a half inch thick. Top with second cake layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate sides with toasted chopped pecans, if desired. Refrigerate cake until it's ready to serve.