Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crazy for Cake Pops

I was able to review Molly Bakes' book, Crazy for Cake Pops. I've been interested in cake pops, but definitely intimidated. This book is great for people like myself who are just getting into cake pops and need a step by step tutorial. Aside from the basics, the book tackles 50 different ways to make these, from the super simple to the really complex (like a teapot).

I made the vanilla cake pops with a simple candy coating. Now let me mention I've had this book for a while but haven't been able to make these because of how hot it has been here in Florida. I couldn't find a store with candy melts because they were melting in transit. Seriously.

Like I said, I made the vanilla cake pops which consist of vanilla cake and vanilla cream cheese frosting. I also had a helper, and he was quick to remind me that he made the cake.

Here's how you make that:

For the cake you need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup of self-rising flour, sifted (funny I just read the sifted part...whoops)
4 tablespoons milk, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch round cake tin or an 8 inch cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Mix the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add half the flour and then half the milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, leave to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

For the frosting you need:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Gradually add the sugar, then continue to cream until light and fluffy. Finally, mix in the vanilla. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Once your cake is cool you need to crumble it . Molly suggests doing this by hand, or you can use a food processor. You want to remove the crust of the cake so you do not have any lumps.

Once the cake is crumbled you want to take you frosting, a heaping tablespoon at a time, and mix it into the cake crumbles. You may not need all of the frosting, so just do it a little at a time. Keep mixing until you have a fudge-like texture.

Wrap your mixture in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

After it has chilled you want to roll the cake balls into the size of a ping-pong ball. Place each ball on a tray lined with parchment paper and chill for 15-20 minutes.

Next you want to do your candy melts. Take a 14 oz bag of candy melts and melt in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Take the candy out and stir it, you made need to microwave for another 30 seconds (no lie, I almost typed minutes, wouldn't that be awful?!). If your melted candy isn't silky you can add 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. The candy will stay melted for 20-30 minutes if you continue to stir.

Now you want to dip your lollipop stick into the melted candy (about 3/4 inch deep) and immediately insert the stick into the top center of each cake ball, about halfway through. Do not insert too deep or too shallow. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper to allow the candy to set. This should take 1-2 minutes.

Before you dip your cake pops you want to pierce holes into a polystyrene block (yeah I didn't read this part until I was ready to do it and that's just not something I have lying around). Dip your cake pops into the melted candy and make sure the bowl is deep and filled with candy so you don't have to tilt it. Gently tap the cake pop over the bowl to remove any excess candy. Place securely in the polystyrene block and allow to dry. This should take 1-2 minutes.

For decorating I just used icing, but there are literally a million different ways to decorate these.

I am amazed at some of the ways Molly decorates her cake pops. You would honestly never know they were cake, it is so cool.

I will admit these are a lot more challenging than I thought, and I cannot wait to try again. I think I'm going to do the red velvet pops next time, they sound sooooo good!

Have you made cake pops? What are your tips and tricks?

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