Sunday, March 20, 2011

cake pops!

Hey, thanks julochka and Bee for letting me be silly here - for silly I plan on being ... I mean, what could be sillier than cake pops?!

I'll give you the short version first (and because I have no step-by-step photos - sorry!):
Bake a cake. Deconstruct it completely - as in reduce it to a pile of fine crumbs. Mix crumbs with icing (frosting) to desired consistency. Roll mix into lollipop sized balls. Freeze balls. Cover in chocolate. Decorate.
Silly huh?
From the first time I saw them, I just knew I had to try them.

cake pops
Your favourite cake recipe.
Now's a good time to decide whether you want chocolate pops, red velvet pops, vanilla pops ... try anything as long it produces a nice fine cake crumb. 
The original instructions call for a cake box mix, I know how we feel about those here but in all honesty, and especially the first time you make these, it's not such a bad idea.

Bake cake as usual. 
Allow to cool completely. Crumble (I know, I know ... it feels wrong, get over it).
I baked my cake in two halves and after I'd crumbled one I decided I had more than enough to work with, so froze the other half. One half produced over 50 cake pops.

Mix up your favourite icing.
Something nice and sticky, and preferably not too sweet. I think cream cheese icing or julochka's fabulous creamy vanilla frosting is a good call.
Again, you probably won't use it all - but I find emergency frozen icing never goes unused.

Spoon icing into crumbs slowly, mixing all the while, to get desired consistency. 
Truthfully I added too much icing to this batch, the texture of the cake balls were a little smooth (a bit more like truffles than cake) and they were a little too sweet. You're trying for a mix which will ball nicely but still have a cake-like texture when you bite into them.

Freeze balls on a baking sheet or tray.
Prevent husband from devouring them just like this.
I left mine overnight. A long time to fight off the devouring.

When you're ready to start icing, gather together all the bits you'll need before you start.
- lollipop sticks
- sprinkles and any other decorative elements
- a block or sheet of styrafoam with holes already pegged out in it (you don't want to be doing this with a top-heavy lollipop stick dripping chocolate, trust me).
- a damp cloth (for fingers)
- toothpicks, useful for all manner of reasons
- your sense of humour

Melt chocolate, either using a broken up bar or chocolate melts (also known as buttons or tabs). Apparently melts are better designed to be heated and reheated so you should probably go with those.
If you want to be authentic, melt chocolate over a double-boiler but let me assure you - the microwave works just as well.

Working with only a few balls out of the freezer at a time, dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate then slowly ease it into one of the balls.
Dunk ball in chocolate, swirling it around for overall coverage, patching and smoothing with a toothpick, tapping stick lightly against the side of the bowl to tap off excess chocolate.

Working quickly, before it sets, swirl chocolate covered ball through your sprinkles. Now's when you can add all manner of other decorative bits too. For more decorating tips and techniques it's best to visit the cake pop queen herself.

Now stand your cake pop up in the styrafoam and keep on going!

Awesomely impressive - if a little sweet - these might not appeal to all palates, but they certainly qualify as some delightful eye candy.
And just a couple of tips bakerella won't give you:
- make sure you pee before starting the decorating process
- have a hearty breakfast 
- if you live in a hot, bug-infested climate, make sure you've a pop-up fly net handy to keep your completed pops covered
- watch out for eyelashes, it seems you'll never lose more eyelashes than when working with melted chocolate
- have no, repeat NO, small children present at any stage of the procedure (at least not the first time you do it)
- when using a piece of styrafoam you dug out of the garden shed remember to wipe the underside before it's loaded with completed cake pops
- strictly make these at most a couple of hours before serving. Drooping sticks, cracked chocolate, cake oozes - let's just say they start looking a whole lot less attractive if they stand around for too long.

Get popping!


Elizabeth said...

They look perfect, what a great idea!!!!

julochka said...

they're so awesome! i did not imagine that they were balls of crumbled up cake...i thought a watermelon baller would be involved. i must try them when we hold sabin's birthday party for her class (we're waiting 'til the weather gets better, since she has a january birthday).

thank you so much for being our guest here!!

Lost Star said...

woah. these look amazing. now I just need an occasion to make them for!

Lynne said...

where on earth do you buy lollipop sticks? Or is there a back story here about eating lots of lollipops?

Bee said...

It sounds like a good kitchen project for the upcoming Easter holidays . . .

(thanks for the tip about eating heartily first!)

Molly said...

Thanks ladies, they were such fun to make!
Lynne - The Baking Tin, Belvedere Rd, Claremont - all kinds of baking awesomeness ;)

Michelle said...

Well....DO NOT continue to "raise the bar" :) I am happy to know that you people exist (the amazingly patient creative types), but wow - I'm really impressed and intimidated by all that time, talent and sugar..

Thanks for putting me in my place,
you rock, lollipop!


Lisa said...

What cute little cake pops. These must have been so fun to eat. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake pops up.


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