Last month it was Rob's birthday. I did a little drive-by at his house at stupid o'clock in the morning on his birthday just to leave his presents outside his front door. Cute idea, right? Anyway! So I figured I'd make a cake. But I tend to have these brainwaves of what I think are AMAZING ideas until it comes to actually doing them. At last minute, in true Bliss woman style. This brainwave, my friends, was cake-pops.
Anyway it turns out there are like a million blogs, tips, recipes, methods and advice all over the internet about cake-pops and how you should make them. I've made them a couple of times post-birthday-baking-stress-out and I must say, they get better with practice! I made some over the weekend when the Mister and I played house, and he thought it would be nice for me to share my method. There aren't many photos to accompany, but I waffle on so much I'm sure you'll get the idea. So, my first How-To on the blog, here we go.
YOU WILL NEED:-
- Cake mixture - Either your own or from a box. Completely up to you. I've tried with both and they come out more or less the same. And whatever ingredients/flavours you like. For Rob's birthday I made raspberry and white chocolate pops and double fudge brownie pops. This weekend I made double chocolate. Your choice.
- Frosting - Again either store-brought or your own. This is to bind your cake together to make a kind of dough, to be rolled into balls. I tried with icing with not much luck. Frosting all the way! If you buy a box cupcake mix, you'll get frosting mix in there, too.
- Cake Pop Sticks/Lollipop Sticks/Skewers - Whatever you have to hand. You can buy cake-pop sticks from supermarkets (12 for £1 at ASDA right now), also from craft shops like Hobbycraft and food shops such as Lakelands.
- CHOCOLATE/ICING - For dunking!
- DECORATIONS OF YOUR CHOICE - Use the toppings you get in your cake mixture box if you get them, or use hundreds and thousands, raspberry pearls, chocolate sprinkles, crushed meringues, whatever you fancy!
- STYROFOAM/CRAFT FOAM/FLORIST FOAM - To stand your cake pops up in, if you choose to.
Make up your cake mixture and bake according to your instructions. Again if you're using a box mixture follow the directions on the packet, or if you're using your very own homemade mix bake it up according to your method - just as you would if you were making cake!
Once it's baked, allow to cool on a rack until completely cool. While it's cooling, make up your frosting.
Next; take your cake(s), and break them up into breadcrumbs in a bowl. This may seem like you're destroying wonderful cake - completely goes against nature, I know - but trust me.
Once you've got a breadcrumb texture to your cake, add a teaspoon of frosting at a time and get your hands dirty! You want to bind the cake together using the frosting to make a sort of dough consistency. I strongly advise you to add a small amount of frosting at a time because if you add too much you'll have sloppy cake. Sloppy cake does not make good pops!
Once you've got a doughy consistency, to the point where every piece of cake from the bowl is in a nice neat ball, you can start taking an amount and rolling into balls. They can be however big or small you like. I use a tablespoon amount, that seems more or less the right amount for my pops, just it's each to their own. Just remember not to go too crazy, they have to stay on your stick and withstand dunking. You want them to stay on, as well as making sure you and whoever you share your pops with can get a good mouthful!
Place in the fridge for about 60-90 minutes. Or 30 minutes in the freezer. You want them to firm up a bit!
Once they've had time to take shape, you can start melting your chocolate! The best way for me is to heat a pan of water, place a bowl over the pan - making sure the bowl is not touching the water - and melt the chocolate that way.
** HANDY TIP ** To make sure your pop doesn't fall off it's stick during the dunking process, insert the tip of the stick into the chocolate before inserting it into a cake pop!
Be wary of how far you insert your stick into the pop. You want to aim for half way - too far in and you very well might end up with the stick poking out the top (especially if you've made particularly large and heavy pops!) and not far enough in and you'll have them falling off the stick and right into the chocolate. Nightmare.
Once you've inserted your stick into the balls of cake, get dunking! Tap the stick on the side of the bowl to get the excess chocolate off. Then insert your pops into your styrofoam or whatever block you've got, sprinkle on your topping the leave to set.
If you haven't got a piece of foam handy, you can always leave them to set Cake-Pop down, with sticks up. However you fancy, they taste delicious either way!
Now you have your very own Cake-Pops! Delicious! All you need now is a party, an event, a bit of sunshine or whatever excuse you need to indulge. Nom nom nom...
I hope you enjoy your very own homemade Cake-Pops, and I hope for those new to them that this post has been quite handy!