As in all things, baking goes through phases and trends. Some years ago, cupcakes were the uncool childish cakes covered in buttercream and hundreds and thousands that you make with your mum on a Sunday, now they are the height of sophistication. Macaroons used to be only eaten by the French upper classes, but now there is a macaroon stand in the shopping centre of my Yorkshire hometown. The advent of Lakeland, the internet and a far wider range of cookery books mean that the complex patisserie creations formerly ownly created by master pastry chefs are now attempted by normal people like me, case in point being that I had to be dragged away from a home croquembouche kit in Lakeland recently.
However, whilst I have in my time embraced most of these trends, there is one that I have avoided. The cake pop.
I don’t know why, but this trend did not entice me – I found myself confused rather than interested, thinking ‘why on earth would you want to eat a ball of squished-up cake on a stick?’ It wasn’t due to a case of baking snobbery – I just honestly didn’t see the attraction. Yes the decorations were cut, but still – cake lollies? Not convinced
Gradually I started to come around to the idea. When you make a lot of cakes, the attraction of a small cake is increased – the same reason I like mini-magnums. Putting it on a stick went from annoying and difficult to whimsical and attractive. I started thinking that maybe I should give them a go. When Max agreed that they sounds a good idea, I gave in.
Making them for the first time, I learnt many things
- Don’t use the recipe on the packet – It doesn’t work!
- Sponge cake is not suitable for cake pops unless you want the stick to pass right through the cake pop
- Gravity is not the friend of cake decorations, particularly when using dark chocolate!
- A cake pop stand is necessary – using Max’s flag stands results in slightly tilted cake pops!
However, I also learnt that going back to your childhood is great fun. Yes, these aren’t the neatest, they are messy and look like they were done by a five year old. But in that mess sits a fun morning, a chocolate covered work surface (well, silicone mat) and a happy heart.
Anyway, over to you. Where do you stand on the cake pop?