According to the Inquirer, even acclaimed haute cuisine restaurateur Marc Vetri is “a Tastykake lover who spent $1,000 shipping Tastykakes to his brother’s 40th-birthday party in Los Angeles.”
Philadelphians’ fierce hometown pride for these baked confections, plus the fact that they just taste really good, has resulted in chefs around town flexing their creative culinary muscle in order to incorporate Tastykakes into dishes both savory and sweet. In fact, deconstructed Tastykakes of all sorts have been popping up across the city for the past few years. But of late, the inventiveness has been dialed up a notch.
Here are our top picks for Tastykake-inspired dishes on menus throughout Philadelphia:
• Midatlantic Restaurant and Taproom: To make the Philly-Style Butterscotch Bread Pudding, Chef Daniel Stern removes the icing from Butterscotch Krimpets, melts it down into a glaze and bakes it with the cake as the “bread.” The dessert is topped with butterscotch sauce, and served with a vanilla bean and scotch syrup on the side.
• SquareBurger: Stephen Starr’s burger shack at Franklin Square whips up a variety of Tastykakes and vanilla ice cream into milkshake form, a.k.a the Cake Shake. Chunky gooey goodness. Also on the menu: the Butterscotch Sundae, with Butterscotch Krimpets, butterscotch sauce and heath bar crumbles.
• Adsum: The Kandy Kake Sliders that Chef Matt Levin introduced last week feature house-ground brisket patties sandwiched between Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, vanilla sponge cake lined with peanut butter and enrobed in creamy milk chocolate. Each slider is topped with American cheese and Sriracha-cherry jam.
• 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton: Pastry chef Monica Glass’ epic malted Tastykake ice cream served over her dark chocolate, caramel and peanut tart is no longer on the standard dessert menu, but she hasn’t ruled out rolling out a similar dish in the future. How could she, when even this gluten-free gal has a favorite Tastykake? (Peanut Butter Kandykakes.)
• Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant: To make the TastyKake bread pudding, the chef uses half stale bread and half Tastykakes dried out in the oven. Both are soaked in egg custard, baked and topped with whatever sauce (caramel, blueberry) suits the Tastykake flavor du jour. It could be Butterscotch Krimpets, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, Coconut Juniors, Pecan Spinwheels or seasonal Pumpkin Krimpets.