Calling all Cheez-It fans for the ultimate treat. In collaboration with extraordinary Chef Stephanie Izard, this Cheez-Itennial Cake, a special 100th birthday cake, will have everyone re-thinking the ingredients and flavor combinations in dessert. For the biggest foodies, this cake will be on their must buy wish list.
Combining sweet and salty can be the most delicious flavor combination. While salt can enhance sweet flavors, chefs have been pushing the boundaries and challenging people’s perceptions of food combinations. Just because the pairing might not be typical, does not mean that that first bite won’t be food nirvana.
As part of the brand’s 100th birthday celebration, the Cheez-It Cheez-Itennial Cake is that bite that will have everyone talking. Although it might not be the flavor sitting on many bakery shelves or a cake coming out of the home kitchen, it will spark a food conversation that needs to be had.
Since momentous events deserve a celebratory cake, the brand appreciated that its cake needed to stand out in a crowd. According to Jeff Delonis, Senior Director of Marketing for Cheez-It. “To celebrate the 100% real-cheese cracker that fans have been enjoying for 100 years, Cheez-It needed an absurdly cheesy way to kick off the celebration. We couldn’t think of a better way than to give fans the ultimate cheesy take on birthday cake.”
Why did Cheez-It choose Stephanie Izard to make its special birthday cake?
After being the first female Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard has become a force in the culinary world. From the opening of her Little Goat restaurant in Chicago to the various other restaurants that followed, she has become a successful restauranter. With her recent opening of Sugar Goat bakery, Izard has brought her culinary creativity to the sweeter side.
Many years ago, Izard’s original Little Goat pastry chef, Matthew Rice, created a Cheez-It inspired cake for her wedding. While this cake was all about Chef Stephanie, known to her friends as a Cheez-It super fan, the idea proved that snacks can be transformed beyond the snack bowl.
When Izard launched her Sugargoat bakery, one of the cakes is inspired by Cheez-It. That combination of sweet, cheesy and a touch salty has made everyone take notice. Partnering with the brand for this 100th birthday cake was an obvious choice.
During a recent conversation with Izard, she shared some insight on this special Cheez-Itennial Cake. For her, it was about bringing that right amount of sweetness while still highlighting the cheese. Each bite is about that balance.
Izard said, “to me when you’re eating a flavor, if it’s all one note, if it was all cheese, you don’t appreciate as much as if you have a secondary note that makes you really appreciate it.” That is how she thinks about this cake as well as all her desserts.
Each bite “really makes you appreciate the salty. crunchy cheese.” From the touch of strawberry Nesquik in the icing to the Cheez-It shortbread layer for texture to the cheddar caramel to white chocolate coated crackers, each component builds on the other. It will be a slice to remember.
This special cake is a great example of what Izard does best. Just like she does in her savory dishes, it is about “creating layers of flavor” in creative ways. All of her desserts reflect that concept.
Although there is an element of “food science” to baking, Izard does appreciate the experimentation aspect. Even if the creation might not be perfect, that willingness to “play” can be beneficial. She has enjoyed “playing with that side of her brain.”
For years, Izard had put sweet items in her savory cooking. It wasn’t that she was trying to push the flavor boundaries, but she appreciates how various food choices can go together. From a “black olive caramel on a seared tuna” which was a riff on a nicoise salad to the blueberry gastrique in cupcake, food is meant to elicit a response and create a memory. Having the traditional flavors and combinations is too pedestrian.
If you want to try this Cheez-Itennial Cake, the cake will available via Goldbelly starting at May 17, 2021 at 12 p.m. EDT and will be available through May 20, 2021. Only limited quantities will be available each day and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
Sugargoat, the Stephanie Izard bakery, does sell its desserts on Goldbelly as well.
Are you excited to this Cheez-Itennial Cake? What is your favorite sweet and savory dessert combination?