Once upon a time, there was a chef who loved his sweets. As a matter of fact, he never turned down a dessert whether it was a slice of pie, a piece of cake, baked custard or any flavor of ice cream. Where is this story going, you ask? Well my friends, its about yours truly. Yes, me.
My name is Jasper Mirabile Jr. and I have a sugar addiction. Now that’s not a bad thing if you can control it. But sometimes, it gets out of hand. Take, for example, a recent weekend this past September when I awoke in the middle of the night, craving something sweet.
I went into our kitchen at home where my wife had some leftover cannoli filling. (Hey, it is September and it is National Cannoli Month. I know, I declared it.) I also saw in the counter a nice slab of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that my friend Kyle gave me. You see, my friends keep me well supplied with sugar. His partner Anthony of Sweet Salvations actually baked it and in this chef’s opinion, it may be the best Ooey Gooey Butter Cake this side of the Mississippi.
What is an Ooey Gooey Butter Cake? It’s a rich St. Louis tradition of a creamy butter cake prepared with cream cheese, eggs, butter, graham crackers and a hint of lemon.
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So what does a chef do when he sees both of his favorite desserts on display in his own kitchen. You got it, you combine both and create an Ooey Gooey Butter Cannoli. Talk about delicious!
It was like St. Louis meeting Palermo, Sicily. This could be bigger than chocolate meeting peanut butter in the creation of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. It could be more successful than Duncan Hines discovery of cake mixes. You never know.
Ahhh … La dolce vita, baby! Sweet heaven in a fried pastry shell.
I finished my share of this delicious combination and retuned to bed. When I awoke the next morning, I thought it was a dream. A good dream indeed. But it wasn’t.
So I called Kyle and requested that Anthony prepare four more Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes for the weekend and I would combine with my own Cannoli filling and sell as a special at my family’s restaurant.
He did and I did. And wow, what a response. In all the years that we celebrate 30 cannolis in 30 days during National Cannoli Month, this one single cannoli knocked it out of the ballpark like a Hosmer home run for the Royals. I’m talking rave reviews from customers.
And so my fellow readers, when life gives you sweets in the middle of the night, don’t ever pass them down. Enjoy some and go back to bed. When you awake, you may think it was a dream until your significant other asks about the crumbs on the counter and the mixing bowl in the sink. Just reply like I always do, “It’s for research, honey. Somebody has to do it.”
A huge “mille grazie” to Kyle for the inspiration and a bigger one to Anthony of Sweet Salvations for perhaps the worlds greatest Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. I owe you both.
To order your own Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, email Sweet Salvations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s runs his family’s 62-year-old restaurant with his brother. Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He is host to many famous chefs on his weekly radio show “Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen” on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM. He also sells dressings and sauces.