"Does Anybody Like That?" Inexplicably Popular Desserts.

by moderndomestic on February 24, 2010

King Cake 5

King Cake. Loved. Reviled. Controversial.

I got some funny looks when I told people I was making King Cake last week. “Why would you want to make that?” was a common reaction, as was “King Cake – ugh, that’s kind of disgusting.” I also got, “does anyone actually like King Cake?”

Well, I do, but the only kind I’ve had is my own (I would bake it for the annual “St. Margarita’s Day Party” back when I lived in a group house, which was a St. Patrick’s Day/Mardi Gras themed party my roommates used to throw. And yes, there is a long story behind the name). But I did a little online research, and there’s a general sentiment that King Cake is as reviled as it is loved.

This, of course, got me thinking about how there are some desserts that are “classics,” but whom no one actually seems to like. You totally know what I’m talking about – like those syrupy, cloying chocolate covered cherries that you get in candy boxes. Who actually likes those? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone ever eat them, except by mistake.

I’d put on my list:

  • The really dry, hard petite fours that are covered in fondant.
  • Any dessert that uses a jello mold and contains pieces of cut up fruit.
  • Flourless chocolate cake. Okay, so maybe that’s a personal taste issue – I just never actually enjoy eating it.
  • Anything with marzipan.
  • “Classic” buttercream frosting (the kind that really tastes like whipped butter).

So, what about you? Are there any desserts that seems like no one likes – and yet never disappear? Or that you can’t understand why people like? I’m curious if it’s just me that thinks about this stuff.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

musketnuss February 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

This is a typical taste-issue 😉 I don’t know King Cake and I’ve never heard of it before I read your post about it. I think I’d like it. But I also love everything with marzipan! And my brother can eat a whole flourless chocolate cake at once. Personally, I can’t understand why people like plum pudding. Tried it once and probably will never do it again. But maybe that was because it was bought and self-made is way better. I don’t know.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I’ve never made plum pudding, but I’m kind of interested in it. There’s a resurgence in British food these days . . . hmmm . . .


Alice February 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I love flourless chocolate cake and marzipan (in small quantities). I’m not a big fan of bread pudding, or rice pudding (except for the Indian version, khir) though, and think jello is disgusting. I’m also really not a fan of any less than full fat frozen dairy product. And I have to agree that the king cake looks less than tasty. To be fully honest though, I’m not the biggest fan of cake in general… too much boringness. I only like cakes if they’re broken up with fillings or frostings, so pound cakes are just not my thing.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Mmm, I love pound cake and I love good bread pudding. Haven’t had a lot of rice pudding. And I love whole milk in lattes, but I only want skim on cereal. Funny how people’s tastes differ.


Lauren February 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Chocolate oranges. Ick! Fruit cake, unless it’s mostly nuts and less candied fruit.

I also love marzipan and just about anything that incorporates almond paste (i.e. French apple and apricot tarts) num, num.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Hah, I love chocolate oranges! Oh this is so fascinating – so many people like/hate different things.


Kristen February 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Yes, I would have to agree with Lauren on fruit cake as well…I do not get it! It looks like, well, I do not want to write it here.

Also, flan (sp?). Looks like creamy jello…eewww. Probably just a texture thing.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I love flan. When it’s done right it’s creamy and silky and not jello-y at all. But I think you’re bigger on texture than I am.


deborahdawn February 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I love Jell-O and especially Jell-O molds! In fact, I hope someday to see a Jell-O resurgence – and Jell-O will once again be commonly utilized for both sweet and savory dishes.

That said, I’m with you on the petite fours covered in fondant. I always figured that was more for decoration; it’s so yuck! Also, any store-bought angel food cake is always pretty awful.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Good call on the angel food cake. I forgot you were a jello fan – weren’t you going to do a guest post for me about savory jello?


deborahdawn February 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm

The gauntlet has been thrown. Now the only question is who is going to eat my tester recipes for the post? The bf will not be pleased when I show up at his house with a lemon-salmon mold for snacking.


Alejandra February 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I love Cellas chocoalte covered cherries though I think I like them because I have an emotional attachment to them thanks to my mom. I have a severe aversion to de la rosa mexican candy…it’s marzipan…and a few other mexican candies. And wedding cake. I really hate how dry and flavorless wedding cake is.


katy February 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I think rum balls are seriously foul. I do like King Cake, though.

Not a fan of most fruit pies, though…I don’t really like pie crust. I’d rather just spoon the filling over ice cream. :)


Martha February 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I love cherry cordials! I hate marzipan, but there are people in my family who enjoy it. I’m okay with molded jello as long as it’s clear and doesn’t have carrots or raisins.

Desserts I think are gross: Banana and Coconut cream pies. Sick. Also rice pudding and bread pudding. The only good bread pudding I’ve ever had was made with brioche, whiskey and apples.


ieatdc February 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I LOVE marzipan challah candies–they are adorable (see http://sweetlifeny.com/marzipanchallah.aspx). I also love flourless chocolate cake. Besides being a Passover-friendly delight, if done well just a little piece can satisfy the deep chocolate cravings of a person like me.

I think Egg Nog is one of those things. I love it, but most people find it vile.


James February 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Marzipan and Fruitcake top my list. I have an aunt who makes both every year. She takes great pains in painting it pretty, but I have never ever liked it. I like most deserts, especially if chocolate is involved…(damn sweet tooth). I love kitchen sink cookies (oatmeal, chocolate chips, raisins, etc), but never seem successful at work.

Great America Restaurants flourless chocolate cake is amazing…but you have to like the bitterness of dark chocolate. Found out the hard way that Buttercream frosting tastes better using Crisco as it provides a neutral base to build on.


moderndomestic February 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’m with you on the buttercream. I had a buttercream at Buzz and loved it – didn’t realize until their PR person sent me the recipe that is used Crisco. I NEVER would have guessed!


probonogeek February 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I don’t get disliking desserts. Like, there are certainly desserts I prefer over others, but that someone can actually HATE a dessert has never made sense to me. Perhaps one can dislike all desserts because, as a young child, your mother punished you by eating sugar or something.

If it’s sweet and comes off a dessert menu, there’s no way I’m turning it down on the basis of taste or texture… it’s only my avoidance of calories that keep the desserts at bay.


Brooke February 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I’m probably the only hater but why are people always going crazy for key lime pie?! Not a fan…

But I do love bread puddin’ – give it another chance! :)


Sean February 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Try this one… crack pie from NY’s Momofuku restaurant. Sadly his recipe wasn’t included in his cookbook but hopefully this will be as good as the real thing…making it this weekend.



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