July 12, 2005

Piece of cake

Ah, inspiration, sweet inspiration. So elusive and so ephemeral, here one minute and gone the next. And, contrary to Liberty Bob's prediction, it wasn't someone pissing me off that finally gave me some inspiration. No, it was a Twinkie. Well, sort of.

It started with a purple cupcake, actually. In connection with the upcoming "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie, Hostess came out with Chocolicious Wonka Cakes, which they claim are "purplicious." How exactly was I supposed to resist that, can you tell me? Right, I couldn't.

So, one recent evening at our local 7-11, The Best Brother in the Whole Wide World generously sprang for a package of these violet wonders when I mentioned that I looked forward to trying them. I got them home and held off for as long as I could, but they were calling to me from the bag. I thought I heard them say, "Don't touch that squirrel's nuts!" but I could have been imagining that part.

Anyway, I finally unwrapped them with delight, took one out and admired the strange hue of the icing on top, which we all know is always the best part of Hostess cupcakes. At long last, it was time for that first bite. I made sure I took a big enough bite in order to reach into the cream center, to get the full flavor and experience.

And it was awful. All I could taste was the icky fakeness of the food coloring they'd used. I dipped my tongue into the center just to see if it was as bad as it seemed, and it was. Then I peeled off a bit of the top icing to check if it was as dull and lacking sweetness as I thought, and it was. I couldn't even enjoy the chocolate cake part. What a disappointment. I felt so let down by the promise of the purple. It was a sad moment.

Then today a banner ad caught my eye, which is a fairly unusual thing. Generally I ignore them almost completely, but this one finally pulled my eye upward enough times that I had to read it. It was for none other than the Wonka cakes, and even knowing that I hated them, it drew me in and I clicked on it just to make the orange curlicues stop rolling across my screen.

It took me to the Hostess site and I was completely sucked in. Did you know there are recipies for Twinkies?!? I think I would feel a mite cheated if someone actually served me a Twinkie wedding cake, but apparently not everyone feels that way. And how about some Twinkie sushi? I am seriously tempted to whip those up next time it's my turn to bring goodies in to work and see what the reaction is. Or the pink Sno Balls Caterpillar? (Does anyone else wonder why they displayed this one on what looks to be an actual bit of asphalt?)

But then it got even better, as I stumbled onto Planet Twinkie and my, oh my, talk about reliving one's childhood! You can send e-cards with the different Hostess cakes "retro characters" like Captain Cupcake, King Ding Dong, or Twinkie the Kid, play games, learn weird stuff about Hostess products, and even buy products like the Hostess Snack Oven, which has a much higher cuteness factor than a plain ol' Easy Bake oven.

All this had me wishing that I snagged a snack from the cupboard at home before I left for work, and I'm planning a trip to the nearby Hostess outlet to calm this sudden craving.

Which begs the question: Which, if any, is your favorite Hostess snack cake? If you're more a Little Debbie fan or Drake's Cakes afficionado, please substitute your favorite of those. I'll enjoy reviewing your answers over a couple Ho-Hos and a tall, cold glass of milk.