Monday, September 30, 2019

"The universe tends to unfold as it should"

White Castle Gooey Butter Cake On A Stick - 7-Eleven
As a movie buff, and a life-long resident of New Jersey, I hate to break this to you, but there is no White Castle in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. (That's right, the 2004 film Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is built on a foundation of LIES!) 
The aforementioned movie was filmed in Canada, and guess what? There are no White Castles there either. The one featured on-screen was a restaurant made to look like a White Castle for the movie, which then became a real burger restaurant called, Yuppie's Burgers. It's since been abandoned and cool urban explorers break in and write articles about it for nerds like me. (You can't make this stuff up people.)
So, like Harold and Kumar before me, I have to go on a 45-50 minute trek to consume tiny onion-filled burgers. It's a decent drive, that lacks Neil Patrick Harris, but I make this journey once or twice a year so I can stuff my face with fresh burgers. During my trips I've seen random menu offerings like BBQ pulled pork sliders and cheesecake on a stick, but I have never encountered butter cake. Since when is this a thing? And how can something so traditionally gooey stay neatly on a stick?   
These questions needed answers, so I grabbed a box and headed home to investigate.  
I went on the White Castle website and, sure enough, this is listed alongside the fudge-dipped cheesecake on a stick I remembered. Apparently these items have been there all along but I never paid enough attention. (I must have been blinded by the burgers.) Brand eating reported this as a new item BACK IN 2014! (Whoops.) 
Time to see what I've been missing out on all these years.
Inside the box are four individually wrapped cake-wedges on-a-stick. The slices are modestly sized, surprisingly sturdy, and it smells like rich, egg-y, vanilla-based custard. 
In South Jersey, our butter cakes have a chewy crust, but for the most part, the filling is a sugary river of delicious goo that cannot be tamed. Cut a slice, and it pools out into the pan and all over your plate. This butter cake's consistency is much more solid and dense, like a moist blondie, but the flavoring is still rich, creamy, chewy, and custard-y. It doesn't taste like the butter cakes I'm used to, but it's still really good. 
The flavoring reminds me of a pot of crème brûlée. The topping is crunchy in a sugary shell sort of way, the cake portion is dense, and the center is chewy like a fudgy brownie. The most prominent flavor is vanilla followed by butter, and in all honesty, this tastes way better than it has any right to. I mean this is a frozen pre-made cake, on a stick, from the refrigerated case of a 7-Eleven in Southern New Jersey. And yet, this is one of the best frozen/refrigerated desserts I've had in a long time. (Aldi, you've been slacking BIG TIME.) If you see this around, don't sleep on it!
Pro tip: the longer you let it thaw, the drier the cake becomes, so I recommend eating it before it reaches room temperature. Also, the colder they are, the chewier the center becomes, so keep that in mind if you like things extra chewy. 
PS. I love Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, and Euro-Trip (a film Kumar references/picks on in the movie.) Both films are a lot of fun and don't get the appreciation they deserve. 
Fans of these would also like: Arby's Crème Brûlée milkshake, Dr. Oetker's Creme Caramel, and Grilled Krispy Kreme Donuts
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