Who fancies chicken layer cake, shot with a hubba bubba heart and a dollop of hamburger cream on a stick? As unappetising as they sound, these items are at the cutting edge of US baking - and to understand what’s on the horizon here, it’s best to go west.
Recently, of course, the US has brought Britain the cupcake - essentially a pimped up and larger fairy cake - along with muffins, gourmet marshmallows and rainbow cake. A couple of years ago, the whoopie pie (think inside-out cupcake, with flattened sponge discs sandwiching a creamy filling) began selling fast. These days, it’s widely available, and Betty Crocker launched two whoopie pie home baking kits last September.
Another recent trend has been cake pops - small squidgy cakes on sticks - and these, too, are in our supermarkets, cafés and coffee shops. It was perhaps inevitable that resourceful bakers would find a way to combine cake pops with another big Stateside trend, the revival of pies, and they’ve done so in style with the pie pop, which combines all the qualities of pies (both sweet and savoury) with the advantage of (no surprises here) being on a stick. It’s a doddle to make - and it wouldn’t be a stretch for it to translate into home baking kits, and other products, over here.
But what about homegrown bakery trends? On the back of the jubilee fever, scones are making a comeback, popping up in corporate goody baskets. They’re not just for cream teas, but are increasingly being used in conjunction with Bacon, mince or curry.
Last year’s patisserie item du jour was the macaroon, and it’s still in fashion, with M&S unveiling Jubilee Macaroons earlier this year. Now, says top patisserie chef Claire Clarke, we’re in the year of the éclair. We’re not talking chocolate and cream, but a more permissive pastry in which anything goes - berries, sherbet, neon icing. Could cranberry and brandy butter éclairs be on the cards this Christmas?
Home baking: Selling like hot cakes
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Taste trends: anyone for pies or cakes on a stick?Taste trends: Anyone for pies or cakes... on a stick?