We look at the popularity of a foodie freebie and (at last) an end to age-old problems with unspreadable butter in our tongue-in-cheek Stop the Week

Innately wired to love a freebie

Have you ever noticed that people quite like a freebie? Food tastes better when it’s free and it is vital to eat free food even when suffering not a pang of hunger.

This philosophy was once again proved when Dr Oetker gave away 1,000 free chocolate cakes to promote its home baking line. They didn’t last long with each 10-slice cake swiftly being swiped by commuting consumers.

It sounds greedy - why not distribute sweet little individual cakes - because the point was that the lucky fed-for-free would go on to their respective offices and share their good fortune. Like that happened.

The London Bread and Cake Company made the cakes up to Dr Oetker’s recipe also supplying the packaging. The cakes carried labels such as ‘Take me’ and ‘Eat me’ - no problem there.

The ones emblazoned with ‘Share me’ may not have been so popular.

Cold butter problems solved worldwide

We at British Baker love a nifty invention and were thrilled to see A Proper Knife For Cold Butter. It deserves capital letters because consumers have for years wrestled with over-cool butter that then mangles your beautiful bread - and even toast if it’s cold enough. Who has ever inwardly seethed with rage when out to dine and the euphoric high on the delivery of heavenly, warm (and free) bread is just as quickly negated by butter straight out of the freezer?

We shall suffer no more, because an angel in Australia has recognised the problem and developed an ingenious stainless steel butter knife with tiny slits in the blade. It scrapes up “silky ribbons” (divine) of hard butter ready for a smooth slather. The ButterUp knife costs $20 and we say that’s money well spent.

Yes, patience in waiting for the butter to come up to room temperature is another option, but we don’t want to wait.

Fancy a snack on gold?

So sometimes people grumble that everyday goods are getting a little on the pricy side. London, in particular, is to blame for these financial gripes with beer lovers often having to part with a fiver or more for a pint. Even coffee has got a bit big for its boots of late and it’s not unusual to find yourself £2.30 out of pocket for a doughnut.

£2.30? It’s a bargain. Canadian bakery Dolicious Donuts, in West Kelowna, has developed a gold-plated $100 deal. Well, the Donutopia is not actually gold-plated, but it is decorated with 24-karat gold flakes and edible sugar ‘diamonds’, served in a sugar bowl. The batter is made with Bling H2O - a ‘luxury water’ (what?) from the mountains of Tennessee, which is sold at $29 per 200ml bottle.

Pinot Gris ice wine has been added to the cream filling, and the chocolate icing is infused with imported balsamic vinegar, which also contains gold flakes.

We can only assume the residents of West Kelowna have more money than sense.