On Tuesday, Mom brought home a paper menu. “You would like this,” she said. I arched my eyebrow curiously and she slid the sheet over the kitchen counter top, “there’s a new dessert shop in Kaimuki.” She corrected herself, “not a shop exactly. He bakes from home. You have to call this number to order.” And then she handed me a post-it with a phone number scribbled in black.
I scanned the menu. “Desserts, Etc.” Cheesecakes dominated. Other whimsies that caught my eye: Chiffon Cakes and Pies in Lilikoi, Mango-Orange, and Guava. Coconut Cream Pie. Austrian Ischi Cookies. Pistachio Cake. And a very simple sounding Triple Chocolate Cake.
A few questions in, I learned that mom had sampled his cakes at a holiday party. She recently obtained his information from a friend of a friend. “Let’s order a few cakes for Christmas dinners,” she suggested. And so we did, starting with the pumpkin cheesecake, more light than rich with a sour cream top and graham cracker crust.
The Lilikoi Chiffon pie was more my speed, as a slave to all things lush and effortlessly easy on the tongue. Chiffon, or rather, the local Hawai’i understanding and reproduction of chiffon, is the type I have come to love.
Resting above the pastry shell (which needs to be flakier) and below a mound of fresh whipped cream, is a good two inches of lilikoi chiffon in the airiest of sense. The wonderful thing about chiffon is that you can simply place a cut upon your tongue and it’ll give, just give away without thought, billowy and graceful. The lilikoi is subtle as the pie itself, and everything becomes a hazy tropical memory.
My cousin, however, much preferred the Triple Chocolate Cake. Chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips. Chocolate mousse layered between. A ganache-esque chocolate frosting to finish. It was, sadly enough, overkill for me, but perfect for him. My affections for chocolate have dwindled with age. I used to be strictly chocolate all the way, before moving onto vanilla, and then fruit.
But now? Those three basics still speak to me, though less strongly than before. Cream is at the top of my list