Monday, September 5, 2011

Cake Pops - Easy (with bit of practice)

Cake pops are quite easy, although you do have to get the hang of them.  For tips and ideas, see Bakerella website.

Basic cake pops - Triple Chocolate, the ones I served at D*C

Box chocolate cake mix
Can of chocolate frosting
Parchment paper or waxed paper
2 bags Wilton dark cocoa candy melts or similar dipping chocolate - the Ghirardelli dipping chocolate is wonderful! 
Lollipop sticks (from craft store)
Styrofoam block or ring 
Candy bags with ties (if you like, for presentation)
Make a box chocolate cake mix in a 9x13 sheet pan.  (or 2 layers, it doesn't really matter)  Let cool completely, then crumble the whole cake into a large bowl.  Mix crumbled cake with the can of chocolate frosting.  Note - you can use homemade frosting here, but it needs to be the thickness and consistency of canned frosting.   

Thoroughly mix the cake and frosting with a spatula or your hands.  It is very, very messy.   Roll little balls of the mixture and place them on baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or waxed paper.  One box mix should give you approx. 75 cake pops, depending on size.  Start with them kind of small - they are easier to work with.

Place the sheets in the fridge to chill.   While they chill, melt 1/2 bag of the dipping chocolate according to the package instructions.  Either melt in microwave or over a double boiler.  I prefer the double boiler as the water keeps the chocolate warm, which is nice if you are doing a lot of pops.  Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the chocolate, then insert it into the cake pop, about 1/2 way.  Repeat for all the pops.

Place pops with stick in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is good).  When they are firmly chilled, melt the rest of the chocolate.  Holding the stick, dip each ball in the chocolate, swirling gently so that the melted chocolate reaches the cold chocolate around the stick. Use a small spatula if needed.  GENTLY swirl the pop up, out of the chocolate and GENTLY tap against the side of the container, turning and tapping to remove excess chocolate.  (No, I don't really understand the concept of "excess chocolate" either - just tap until the choc doesn't drip off!)   Keep the ball up a bit, so it doesn't fall off the stick.  If you like, add some sprinkles or nuts at this point.  Place the pop upright in the Styrofoam block to set. 

A few tips:  the pops really do need to be very cold, so if you making a lot, dip in small batches while the rest stay in the fridge.  Also, at first, you'll have some pops fall off - you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly, so don't be discouraged.  If you want really smooth pops, tap and turn a lot - if you are happy with a bit of excess chocolate, don't worry about it.   Just get the heavy excess off.

When the pops are set, you can decorate with white chocolate swirls or candy markers, if you like.  Package in clear bags with twist ties.

Ackbar Earrings

By popular demand, a photo of my Admiral Ackbar earrings!  From ETSY.  

It's a trap!