Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cake Pops!

Have you fallen in love with Cake Pops yet?

It's just a matter of time before you're smitten...

They were popularized a few years ago by the utterly fabulous Bakerella... and now you can find them at Starbucks... you can buy machines to make them with, but I wanted to do it old school, the way Bakerella intended us to do.

Check out her site for loads of tips and adorable inspiration.... better yet, beg, borrow or buy her wonderful book:

It's utterly chock-full of the most marvelous creations.... and while the website gives you all you need to make your own cake pops, the book goes into the ins and outs in much greater detail.

I decided to make pops based on the Hello Kitty pops posted on her site. 

As instructed, I made cake from a packaged cake mix. I chose red velvet cake, but, with some modifications to make it more like from scratch (substituted melted butter for the oil, buttermilk for the water and added a tablespoon of vinegar for that familiar red velvet tang).

Once the cake is made and cooled overnight, break it all up til it's just fine crumbs.

You're then supposed to mix the crumbs with prepared frosting, but as I'm not a fan of canned frosting, I made the homemade cream cheese frosting from this site instead:

Mix it all together til uniform. You might need to use your hands (it's helpful to have some handy middle schoolers on hand for this messy job -- rewarding them with a lick of the frosting beaters helps!).

Pop in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up a bit. Then roll into balls (I used a scooper to measure out uniform amounts).

Put the balls in the freezer for another 15 minutes or so. In the meantime, melt some Wilton candy melts -- I had to use two 14oz packages to cover a batch of cake balls. Nuke them in the microwave in a small bowl for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, til they're all melted.

Now comes the fun part!

Take your balls, reshaping if necessary. Dip a lollipop stick into the candy melt and then push deeply into your cake ball. Set aside that ball while you do a few more balls.... it needs a little time for the candy melt used as "glue" to set.

When you're ready to dip into the candy melt, try to do it in one motion -- the less you swirl the cake pop in the candy melt, the better (too much time spent at this step will result in the bumpy surface). Gently tap the cake pop to allow excess melt to drip off, then give it a swirl to incorporate the last little drip into your pop.

This will make a perfectly round cake ball. Before the candy melt has set, you can sprinkle it with candy decorations.

To make the kitty shape, with ears, Bakerella cleverly instructs you to adhere chocolate chips where the ears are with candy melt before dunking... the smooth coating over the cake ball and chips will give you that adorable Sanrio shape.

Ideally, I would have punched holes into a spare bit of styrofoam to hold my drying cake pops, but, sadly, we had no such styrofoam, so we made do with a wicker basket, making for an odd device in the kitchen....

Once the candy melt has fully hardened, you can draw in extra features with edible ink pens. This is another marvelous invention Bakerella introduced me to! Felt tip pens you can use on food! They made drawing in Hello Kitty's features really easy....

This would be a fun project to do with kids or other crafty adults. Just have lots of interesting candies and sprinkles on hand to decorate your treats with...

Hope you enjoy!

No comments: