Guilty Pleasures

I’ll admit it. I like canned icing. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I much prefer canned icing.

I have no idea why I still find it so appealing. It’s in a plastic can that I’d rather not buy, and has a tongue-twisting list of ingredients including partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, high maltose corn syrup, distilled monoglycerides, color added and Yellow 5&6, polysorbate 60, sodium stearoyl lacytate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and potassium sorbate. Not a horrendous list of ingredients, but not a great one either.

Luckily I don’t eat the stuff that often. When I was growing up, my mom had a home business decorating cakes. Every week, she made cake. And buttercream icing made of shortening and sugar. Whenever I said hey I’m hungry for a snack, my mom would point me toward the thin piece of cake she sliced off the top of each round to even it out for layering and tell me to have at it. Bleh. I was soooo sick of cake. And icing. So even now when I’m out to make a cake, it’s rarely a layer cake with icing, it’s more likely a bundt-style cake.

cupcakes photo: Creative Commons / PDH

photo: Creative Commons / PDH

Last night I made the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes from Cook’s Illustrated for my husband’s birthday.  If these cupcakes aren’t the ultimate in chocolatyness and cupcakyness, they’re certainly darn close.  On the rare occasions I make cake that requires icing, like these cupcakes, I’ve tried making homemade icing. I tried real buttercream that used tons of butter from cooks illustrated. I tried fake buttercream that uses lots of powdered sugar from somewhere on the internet. I just don’t particularly like them.  I’ll eat them in a pinch, but for some reason nothing says yum to me quite like a thick layer of Betty Crocker rich and creamy vanilla frosting out of a white plastic can.  Until I can find a suitable replacement that actually tastes like it, I’m not sure canned frosting is a habit I can kick.  On occasion I’ve even been known to dip a finger without having cake to eat it with.

Is there any commercial food product out there that is a guilty pleasure for you, one that’s hard to give up?


About Marie Altobelli

I live in NJ with my husband and my dog. I love spinning, weaving, history, gardening, reading, environmentalism, and chocolate.
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