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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

I'm a fan of the concept of the cake pop, though in practice I always find I'd rather eat a slice of cake, mainly because cake pops lack real cake frosting. And I do like salted caramel anything, though the endless variations never compare to a simple piece of caramel with big chunks of sea salt on it. So I decided to give Starbucks's new Salted Caramel Cake Pop a chance.

Generally, I think Starbucks's sweet treats are pretty good. They're never impressive, exactly, but considering how mass-produced they must be to end up all over the world, they're never gross or disappointing.

Unfortunately, the Salted Caramel cake pop was a little bit of both. The ball of cake was of indeterminate flavor: it was dark brown yet didn't really taste like chocolate or caramel (although if I had to guess, I would say that the latter is what they were going for). It was overly sweet, although it did have a nicely dense and moist texture.

The pop was covered in a coating of hard milk chocolate, and topped with a hat of white chocolate, a squeeze of caramel, and flakes of salt. There really wasn't much caramel (unless the cake flavor counts) for something named Salted Caramel, and a lot of the caramel and salt was on top of the white chocolate, which wasn't the best combination.

I wouldn't pick this up again. However, now I really want the improved Salted Caramel Cake Pop I'm imagining in my head. A big ball of vanilla cake, dipped in chocolate ganache, bathed in sticky caramel, and sprinkled with chunky salt. Anyone have a recipe for this?

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