Saturday, January 2, 2010

My first (and second) attempt at Cake Pops.

Cake pops, have you heard of them? The crazy talented Bakerella made them famous. In fact, she'll bake anything and put a stick in it. And the results couldn't be cuter. Or sweeter.

So I had to try them. And fortunately I'm excessive so I bought enough ingredients to make two batches. Thank goodness. Because I made a LOT of mistakes the first time around. So I made them again. And I made some improvements. And more mistakes. But I'll get to all that later.

The ingredients couldn't be simpler: A box of cake mix, a container of icing, and bark coating (or candy melts). Boom. Done.

Actually, that's not completely everything. The inception of cake pops is the cake mix. Most mixes call for water, oil, and eggs.

Make the cake mix according to the directions on the box.

Pour into a 9"x13" baking dish. Bake accordingly.
*This is not blood. I am not a vampire, although I like vampires (and wizards). But this is not blood. It's red velvet cake batter. And I vant to drink it.

After the cake is cooked and cooled, it's time to get dirty. In addition to the cake, you will need the icing, a large bowl, and the desire to squish, squash, smash, and mush.

Crumble the cake into the bowl, add the icing, and . . .

. . . Go. To. Town.

I vant to lick my fingers.

Now time to act your age. Wash up and start rollin'.

Roll the cake-icing mix into cute little balls. Place them on wax paper.

Okay, listen up. Melt just a bit of the bark coating. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the chocolate. Place the chocolate-tipped stick halfway into a cake ball. Repeat. Over and over and over. Place them in the fridge (or freezer) and allow them to firm up. This might take several hours.

Once they are firm (not frozen), get back to that chocolate.

Roll the pop in the chocolate and place them in styrofoam to dry (stick-end down).

Several of my pops fell off the stick (more about that later), so I placed them on wax paper to dry. Once dry, I dipped them in a light brown chocolate for this effect (fellow Buckeyes, you know what look I'm going for here.)

Here are some in white chocolate. I especially liked using white chocolate so that I could decorate them with colorful sprinkles.

Make sure to sprinkle before your chocolate dries.

And that's a wrap. Here they meet their final resting place, in styrofoam, waiting to be consumed by cake-lovin'-chocolate-devourin' humans. Or vampires. Or wizards.

Aren't they fun?

And pretty. And sweet. And cute.
(And deceiving - they are blood red when you bite into them.)

Okay, so I've got to be real with you, peeps. These did not go so well. Like I mentioned earlier, I made lots of mistakes. Lots. I look at Bakerella's creations, and I think she must be super-human.

So here is what I learned. Please, people, learn from my mistakes:
  • For starters, don't use an entire container of icing. I used the entire container for the first batch, and they never firmed up well. With the second batch, I used most of the container, not all - maybe 80%. That made a huge difference. The second batch firmed up beautifully and were much easier to use.
  • Make sure to roll quarter-size balls. Think small. With my first batch, I made balls that were about 1.5" in diameter. They were simply too heavy. Combined with the fact that I used too much icing in my first batch, they were falling off the sticks right and left. I ended up making them into cake balls (not pops). I salvaged them, but it wasn't pretty.
  • I bought 6" lollipop sticks. I think that might be what Bakerella uses, but I found them to be too long (Matt, I don't say this often, or ever, but you were right). I ended up chopping most of them, but next time I'll just buy shorter sticks.
  • Only melt a small amount of chocolate at a time, and melt it in 20-30 second intervals (stirring between intervals). Too much chocolate will harden before you can use it all. And if you leave it in the microwave too long, it will scorch.
  • Finally, I bought fun edible ink markers so that I could decorate the pops with words and phrases, but the markers were an absolute fail. I could not get the darn things to write well. Bakerella uses these, but I'm not willing to make the investment.
And if you don't trust me or you think my end product was a bit too Candyland meets Edmard Cullen, then click on over to Bakerella for her recipe and instructions.

6 comments:

  1. first - thanks for being so honest and sharing your "findings."
    second - your hands look HOT in these pictures. just sayin'...
    third - most important: you are so talented and i love you!!!

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  2. Erin, It's 2010. I need to see you sometime this year. Soon.

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  3. So fun!! You profile my kids, I will buy you the markers :) Just some friendly cousin bribery :)

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  4. Aw yummy! I mean seriously, I vant to eat that cake! Nom nom! I can't wait to see you tomorrow. I haven't seen you since last year :( Love ya friend!

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  5. Oh my gosh!!! These are sooo cute! I have been looking for a treat for Michael's valentines party, and I am always up for a challenge. I think I may try these! Love it!!

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  6. Crissy - the possibilities are endless! Valentine's pops would be perfect.

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