The British baker behind the viral Sprinklegate affair will host a pop-up in Houston this weekend. Rich Myers, chef-owner of Get Baked bakery in Leeds, will serve some of his signature items at Fluff Bake Bar in The Heights this Saturday and Sunday.
For those who may have missed the initial controversy, NPR reports that Myers ran afoul of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards agency for using decorative sprinkles that contained a red dye that’s permitted in the U.S. but not in the U.K. His profanity-filled social media posts about the fiasco caught the attention of Fluff Bake Bar chef-owner Rebecca Masson, who immediately reached out to Myers.
“I don’t think it’s the story so much as how he handled it that got me,” Masson tells CultureMap. “If you look at his posts, he’s pretty snarky. He’s the snarky I’d like to be able to get away with, but I can’t.”
A plan to bring Myers to Houston came together relatively quickly. Working with Masson, he’s created a special menu that includes two of her signature cookies transformed into British-style pies, three Get Baked original pies, and Bruce, an absurdly decadent, 24-layer chocolate cake that consists of 12 layers of cake and 12 layers of ganache. Myers explains that’s the cake’s bulk gives it some unusual characteristics.
“It’s a very rare cake in the respect that normally a layer cake will take some time to set before you slice it,” he says. “Because Bruce is so dense, we can build a Bruce and slice Bruce straight away. It’s a cool thing to watch somebody build a 24-layer cake in front of you and slice it in front of you.”
Masson adds that she expects to serve at least 100 total slices of Bruce over the two day pop-up, which will take place from 10 am-6 pm on Saturday, March 5 and 12-6 pm on Sunday.
Some of the other treats will be pies inspired by Masson’s Coach Potato cookie (potato chips, cornflakes, pretzel, marshmallow, and chocolate) and by her One Night Stand snack (waffle cone, salted caramel, brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough, marshmallow). Myers will also prepare three of his original creations: the Pietro, a pie inspired by Ferrero Rocher candy; Mr Pistachio; and Tea and Toast, which replaces a standard pie crust with toasted bread along with layers of raspberry jam and a Yorkshire tea-infused custard.
“It’s cool because it tastes kind of breakfast-y,” Myers explains. “You taste the bread in an unusual way, but it’s obviously a dessert.”
Americans who are used to simple fruit pies may be surprised by how differently the term is used in England. Then again, fans of the Great British Baking Show may already possess that knowledge.
“When we say pie, we think apple pie or pecan pie,” Masson says. “These are more of a casual entremet; there’s layers, four or five different components, and crunchy and creamy [textures].”
Myers has achieved sufficient celebrity that Masson’s heard from people who are planning to drive as many as five hours to attend the pop-up. Others are contemplating camping out overnight in order to ensure they can sample the full menu. She appreciates the fervor but thinks such extreme endeavors will be unnecessary.
“I need people to understand that we’ll be open from 10 am-6 pm, and we plan on making a shit-ton of stuff. If you come in at 3 pm, maybe there won’t be any Bruce, but there will be pie,” she says. “If you come Sunday at noon, you’ll have the same selection as Saturday morning.”
When Myers and Masson aren’t baking, they’ll be dining around Houston. The visitor has a couple ideas about what he wants to sample during his first visit to Texas.
“I’m interested in going to as many good barbecue restaurants as possible,” he explains. “I’ve probably never had proper barbecue. In the U.K., it doesn't really exist. I’m very excited for that.”