Sunday, 19 December 2010

Cake Pops (everything you need to know)

So, I've already had the sister requesting instructions for something from the "back catalogue" so here it is...
all that I learned about "Cake Pops".

The brainchild of "Bakerella", cake pops are balls of cake mixed with frosting coated in chocolate suspended from small lolipop sticks.

You can find the Bakerella website here...

and her brand new book here...

The book is very cute indeed, but I wouldn't purchase it without making a batch of these if I were you as the chances are you may well say NEVER AGAIN!!!

It's so worth at least one go though...

so you...
Make a cake (any sponge cake) as you would normaly.
Make a batch of frosting.
Mix the frosting into the crumbed cake mix.
Take a small amount in your hands and make into balls, putting onto a tray of greaseproof paper.
Put balls in the fridge to set.
Take balls out of fridge.
Take a 'Wilton' lolipop stick, (you can buy from Hobbycraft) and dip one end of the stick into the melted chocolate.
Push chocolate coated end of stick into ball and set aside.
You will be here:-

 If you need further guidance in video form, I know I did, look here...

(some good tips in this video, and plenty more videos on Youtube that save a lot of frustration because you're forewarned...)

Nearly all Cake Pop info on the web is from America, and therefore they recommend using "Candy Melts" for the chocolate coating.
These are basically chocolate chips with a high oil content, often colored in bright shades.
I used Dr Oetker chocolate coating. This was fine.
This also has a high oil content and it therefore melts easily (but does take some time to dry as a result).
The best solution of all are chocolate chips high in cocoa butter (not vegetable oil) but these are hard to get hold of... scoopaway in Bristol on Gloucs Road may have them apparently!
If you want coloured chocolate, you can tint white chocolate with "oil based" colourings, such as gels from specialist cake shops, food colouring will probably be a let down!

Back to the process...

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over steaming water.
Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.
Have chocolate deep enough to easily submerge the cake pop.
As soon as the chocolate has melted, take saucepan off the heat.
Take a cake pop on stick, submerge and pull out, do not twist or spin in the mixture, it will fall into the chocolate and you will lose it off the stick :(

Once chocolate has stopped dripping, put cake pop into large block of polystyrene that will not fall over.

If coating them in roasted chopped nuts, siverspoon sprinkles or crushed flake do this when the chocolate is still a bit wet so that it sticks.
I saved some as blank ones so that they could be decorated with decorating gels
(bought in a pack of white choc, dark choc, milk choc and toffee flavours) from Sainsburys.

I contemplated presenting them in...

Wine glasses with glass beads.
Champagne glasses.
Fabric or paper covered polystyrene

...but in the end opted for nagging James to make special stands, painted white, with holes drilled into the stands at regular intervals, to a given depth... (we are just about still speaking ;)

Was worth it when I had lovely cake pops to give Harriet, Rhian and Karen for their 30th birthdays, though.


Finally, if you can't be bothered with all this faff, I found a seller in Chepstow...

They sell them for £1.50 in a small plastic bag...

You can also buy these little presentation bags from Hobbycraft by Wilton by the way, and I think my Mum has been buyin similar from Sainsburys.

Marks and Spencers are selling strange Christmas editions of cuboid cake and brownie pops, with a donation to Shelter at the moment also.

For me, it will be a while before I contemplate Cake Pops again, which is why the stands are on a long loan to Priya. I eagerly await photos of Xmas cake pops... :) Maybe she can post some on here, if she isn't reserving them all for her own food blog! We'll see...


P.S. Shop bought frosting made me feel quite sick when I bought a tub of Betty Crocker, so I threw it out and made the Hummingbird Bakery Cream cheese frosting.

I also attempted a box mix of chocolate cake, thinking it would save me time.
This too was vile and I chucked the cooked cake, and started again, making the "Chocolate Devils Food" cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and a Victoria Sandwich cake from a BBC Good food recipe...
and it hardly took any more time than the revolting packet because it was an all-in-one cake... lesson learned! 

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