I've had a good Monday overall, and despite my somewhat busy day in work and getting home late I still managed to be in some way motivated to head into the kitchen to create and conquer! My quest this evening was to make my first ever attempt at cake pops. The preparations began yesterday, when I whipped up a simple chocolate sponge to leave aside in a tin for today's preparations. I have to say I was ever the optimist as my task began, but these tricky treats are a little harder than they look to conjure up!
There are a few steps to Cake-Pops. The first being you need to make a sponge base from which you can form the pops. I decided to follow the recipe from Clare O'Connell's 'Pop Party' book. The following is what I did:
Basic Chocolate Sponge
125g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A 20cm cake tin (greased and lined) - I used a round tin.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Put butter and sugar in food processor and blend until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs slowly and beat into mixture.
4. Sift in flour, salt and cocoa and mix until combined.
5. Pour into lined tin and bake in oven for 25minutes,or until knife comes out clean after
6. Leave to cool in the tin for 30minutes, then turn out and leave on wire rack for a few hours.
50g Cream Cheese
115g Icing Sugar
280g Candy Melts (approx.)
Sprinkles/Hundreds & Thousands (or other decorative ingredients of your choice).
Late yesterday evening, I broke the cake up and placed it in a tin overnight to keep it fresh. This evening I removed the cake from the tin and placed it in the food processor, forming a crumb like mixture. I set this aside and then mixed the following ingredients together in the processor:
50g full fat cream cheese
115g icing sugar.
Once these ingredients were blended I blended them with the crumb mixture. I was careful to ensure the cream cheese mixture became well combined with the crumbs. Next using my digital weighing scales I weighed out balls of the mixture - 30g each. I placed the 14 balls carefully on a plate and placed in the freezer for 15minutes.
Meanwhile I got a container of Wilton vanilla flavoured Candy Melts. For those of you not familiar, candy melts are wafers of candy which you melt in the microwave to form a liquid coating for dipping the cake pops into. Candy melts can be bought in specialist stores like Decobake or Kitchen Compliments in Dublin, or any good specialist kitchen or sugar craft stockist. Alternatively you can purchase the melts online. Candy melts can be bought in a wide range of colours - for details see the Wilton website link below. For my début attempt at Candy Pops I decided to keep things simple this evening and stuck with cream coloured melts. I melted the candy melts as per the instructions on the container (for short periods of time, stirring continuously, ensuring not to burn the candy). To make the melts smoother, you can add vegetable oil to the mixture until you reach a smooth consistency with which you are happy.
Next I removed the chocolate balls from the freezer. I purchased some thick and sturdy 'Lolly' sticks from Decobake (Dublin) at the weekend for the occasion. I placed each stick into the melts mixture before pushing into each chocolate ball carefully, at a depth of approximately 0.5cm. Next I dipped each ball into the 'candy melt' mixture until well coated. Then when still wet I placed each ball into the sprinkle or sugar mix of my choice. I carefully balanced the sticks in a set of Cath Kidston beakers and placed in the fridge to set.
All in all these stick perched sweets are very tasty and look very cute. That said I was so intent on completing the project I didn't realise that I spent nearly 2 hours creating them! They are definitely trickier than other things I've tried but I look forward to experimenting and perfecting my technique. Watch this space....I really hope this is only the beginning of my Cake-Pop adventures!!!
E-D's Useful Links:
Wilton Website: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?sku=pg_candymelts
Decobake Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Decobake-Bachelors