I usually dread the trip from New York to Boston. It's not much more than 200 miles, but it can be spectacularly uncomfortable at best, and longer than a flight to Europe at worst (12 hours, but that's a story for another time). But it was mother's day this past weekend, and during the celebration I discovered a treat worth traveling for: a Hong Kong Ding Dong from the Bread & Chocolate Bakery Cafe (108 Madison Ave., Newton).
My mom has taught me much about tea, and chocolate. And luckily she's still up for culinary exploration, so we headed to this bakery- which features a unique take on that classic childhood indulgence- as soon as I arrived. For $3.50, you're handed a hefty square with a glossy, bittersweet chocolate coating and telltale squiggle. I was a bit wary, recalling all the ho hos and ding dongs that have disappointed me over the years (and there have been countless, not always in dessert form).
But this is some fine chocolate, and tender, moist green-tea cake underneath. Even the sticky marshmallow filling is homemade, and it renders this cupcake so far from anything packaged or mass-produced that calling it a ding dong seems an insult.
It's more like a petit four on steriods, and simply mouth-crammingly delicious. And I like to think it's helping to introduce tea to those who would turn their nose up at a bowl of matcha under any other circumstances.
It may not be in its purest form, but sometimes purity is really overrated.