Monday, March 25, 2013

Cake Pops: Worth the trouble?

For my baby shower late last year, I thought I'd try out the cute trend of cake pops. They looked so adorable and yummy, and how hard could making round little cakes on sticks be, right?

And I guess overall they aren't that hard - I'm not much of a decorator when it comes to baked goods, and even I could do them - but they were so darn-tootin fiddly that by the end I'd had enough and never wanted to see a cake pop again. Cup cakes are way easier to make and decorate.

And I didn't even eat any of the finished product, probably because I ate too much melted chocolate and cake scraps as I went, they sight of them made me sick! :)

Anyway... in case you still want to try....

I'd bought the silicone cake pops moulds. They worked alright, but as you can see from the picture, instead of the overflow coming out of the holes in the tops of the moulds, it swelled underneath and pushed the mould up so the balls became conjoined in one big mass of cake. They were salvageable, though, by just shaving away the excess until they resembled balls again.

I just used a packet Red Velvet cake.

Then I dipped the sticks in melted chocolate and stuck them in the balls, and then stuck the other ends in styrofoam and left them for a few minutes for the chocolate to harden.

Even with the chocolate 'glue' a few fell off, but they weren't too bad.

Then I melted chocolate to dip them in - I made some milk chocolate and some white. The white melted better for dipping, but was harder to cover the dark coloured cake evenly without it showing through.

For some reason, even with adding oil to the milk chocolate, it was really thick. This made it difficult to dip, and the chocolate layer on my cake pops was pretty thick! Still yummy, but rich with so much chocolate.

Then I just sprinkled different coloured sprinkles on top of the still wet chocolate (or over some I drizzled melted chocolate of the other colour) and put them in the styrofoam to dry. 

For some reason - perhaps because I was so sick of them by the end - I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake pops by themselves, but you can see them here on the left in the picture of all the baby shower snacks. I put them on a wire cupcake stand to display them, the sticks through the holes in the stand.

They aren't too complicated or difficult for just about anyone to do - even kids could help with the decorating stage, just probably not the dipping stage - but they just take a loooong time.

If you really want them, maybe they'll be worth the effort to you, but if you can I'd recommend roping in some other to do it for you...I mean, help you do it...

If you are going to give them a go, a few tips:

- Use a metal cake pop mould tin - these have clamps that hold it shut so you won't have to trim them up at the end.
- Make sure your chocolate is runny by adding vegetable or coconut oil when you melt it,  or you will have more chocolate than cake 
- Pre-pierce holes in the styrofoam to rest your cake pops in. You don't want to try and push the delicate things in, or you will have balls falling off sticks and melted chocolate everywhere.
- Do it with friends - many hands make light work, as they say. I had my husband helping me in the end, because it was taking so long. I was also pregnant and exhausted which didn't help. But I reckon if you had a whole group of people, you could have fun.

Verdict: I'm happy to have given them a go, and they were well received, but at the end of the day...

ain't nobody got time for that!

Happy baking! (Or not!)

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