21 June 2011

Cake-Pops – Love Child of the Cupcake and Lollipop

Just when you thought the cupcake boom was over and you had finally resolved not to buy any more muffins the size of your head along comes a new temptation. Yet you might, just might, find this one a little less calorific than those other coffee shop enticements if you have a measure of self control at least. This is the cake-pop or (to put it bluntly) it’s a cake on a stick. And if it hasn’t already, it’s coming to a bakery or coffee shop near you soon.

Yes. A cake on a stick. A cake with a stick in it. A stick upon which rests a cake. If you are furrowing your brow right now or simply rolling your eyes you won’t be the first and you most certainly will not be the last. Is it just another passing fad or will the cake-pop be a stayer? From sales in the US and the UK it looks as if it will be around for a while.

Why? It’s all down to the size. The marketing wizards are pointing out (quite blithely and without even the hint of any crossed fingers) that you don’t have to break out in to guilty cold sweats after you have devoured one of these because they are (for a contemporary cake) small, petit, dainty even. They have been compared to calorie control on a stick. Cake pops on a stick are not part of any diet plan.  No matter how much you adhere to the Medifast diet and have an abundant stock of Medifast coupons when it comes to cake pops its all about portion control. Yet, for me at least there is a but– and it is a very big but (there is a tempting play on words there: however). Could you stick to just one?

After all, it’s cake. It’s cake mixed with icing. It’s cake, mixed with icing and then dipped in chocolate. It’s cake mixed with icing, surrounded by chocolate and with anything else you want on the top – jellybeans, marzipan animals, M&Ms – anything. One? Not even paraphrasing the British vernacular, you’re having a larf.

The fad, nevertheless is fast gaining ground. One British supermarket has just introduced a range of five (yes, five – not one!) all of which of course will have to be tasted. Then there is the celebrity endorsement. Never one to let a little self promotion go by, Lady Gaga (who makes Madonna in her heyday seem publicity shy) has been spotted with one cravenly shaped in her image.

They come in at around two hundred calories each which means if you are a woman you can greedily scoff eat about nine each day and if you are a man that number increases to twelve and a half (or so) and not put on any weight. If you are still under parental care, well, you have your pocket money and enough secrets for one more to make no difference. You could even argue that because they are half the calories of a normal cupcake you can therefore eat twice as many. Cake logic.

And there lies the rub, really. You may by now have surmised that the slightly acerbic tone of this article is down to the fact that the author is at the moment trying to lose a little weight. You would be right and the concern here is that one would simply not be enough. Nor, perhaps, would two.

Great for on the go, what would stop me from ordering three with my russet colored, wonderful smelling liquid sustenance at that famous shop named after a Battlestar Galactica character? After all, no one individual would spot me ravenously devouring them if I was on the move. Guilt free? More like freely guilty.

Yet even though fads come and go (unlike fat it seems) the cake-pop is fast gaining ground globally and it looks as if it may become what something is referred to these days if it last more than five minutes – an institution. There is already at least one cake-pop recipe book available and the little blighters seem to be a little more versatile than cupcakes. After all, cupcakes come, pretty much, in one shape.

Cake-pops however, can be baked in any shape (however gaga) you can dream up. Not long, then, before you can ask to supersize your cake-pop and we are faced with the prospect of hordes of people noshing hideously large chunks of cake. On a stick. In the street. At least with cupcakes, generally, you have to sit down or at least stay still to eat one.

Perhaps this is all part of that ghastly plot to make us all as big as the humans in the WALL-E movie (I’ve read the wikileaks). Or perhaps moderation and indulgence are words that can, after all, go together. While you ponder that, excuse me while I pop down to the bakery.