By Rachel Forrest
Hampton Union, Friday, July 8, 2011
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Deb Cram Photo]
HAMPTON -- They're colorful, cute and just "three perfect bites" of cake and nowadays, with many trying to keep from over indulging on sweets, these little spherical sweets on a stick called "Lollicakes" are just enough fun and flavor.
Maureen Sickel of Hampton started her Lollicakes business only a few months ago and she's already sending them all over the country and even constructing wedding cakes out of them for brides looking for a creative twist.
"I sent about 18 dozen all over the country for Easter gifts and did a three-tier wedding cake with fondant," she said. "I stuck the Lollicakes all over it. The bride wanted something different and casual, and people were just amazed."
Sickel encountered the cake-on-a-stick concept in a Woman's Day magazine.
"I thought they were great; then I came up with all my own recipes. I've always loved to cook and bake. These are all hand-dipped, hand-formed and sealed with the chocolate. The recipe for the chocolate is a secret."
Sickel, a massage therapist, said she was looking for something to augment her income while raising her children.
"I always cook for the kids, and they'll see something in a magazine and say 'Mom, try that!' So I do experiment in my cooking. These are great because they aren't messy and they're so good for favors, birthday parties."
Sickel said she had to experiment with the cooking process before coming up with one that went smoothly.
"I tried making a chocolate cake but it was too dry and fell apart, so I came up with a recipe that was more dense, that I could form into the ball. It has to be almost like (the texture of) a Devil Dog. And then I tried different flavors. I have 12 now with red velvet and lemon. I did try a carrot cake with pineapple, but it was too moist. I try to use local ingredients and as all-natural as possible, too."
She is also experimenting with more savory flavors, using ingredients such as red and white wine and peppermint, but flavors such as peanut butter are so popular, they have to stay the same.
"Milk chocolate, with a peanut butter topping and then there are dry-roasted peanuts I grind myself. The lemon cake has candied lemon peel. It's all fresh and hand made, the coconut is freshly flaked coconut for that flavor. I try to keep them as healthy as possible. The cake itself is made with egg white."
Through trial and error, Sickel learned how to make her process go quickly, and when she has to make 500 Lollicakes at a time, that efficiency comes in handy.
"The dipping was slow at first," she said, "but now I can dip six a minute. And the kids help with packaging and putting the sticks in. Each is wrapped individually and tagged."
The cakes are $2.50 each and up to $25 for a dozen, and Sickel hopes to expand into more retail outlets. She'll ship across the country and deliver in the Seacoast.
"I see big potential," she said. "It would be nice to be at many more retail locations and maybe even franchise."
Owner: Maureen Sickel
E-mail: info@thelollicake shopnh.com
Web: www.thelollicake shopnh.com