Sunday, 17 August 2014

My First Cake Pops

Bitesize cake pieces on a stick. Enough said.

I feel that as a self-confessed baking enthusiast it is pretty shameful to say that I have never attempted to make cake pops; until last night! They just never really appealed to me for some reason but all of a sudden I had the urge to give them a go and I'm so glad I did!
As I baked them on a whim I didn't have a lot to decorate them with but I think the sprinkes look soo cute and give a slightly different texture with a bit of a crunch. And I just love sprinkes...

They were a bit more fiddly than I had anticipated but they are not particularly hard or messy once you get in a sort of routine. Another great thing about them is that it is completely okay to cheat and use a box of cake mix. I didn't just because I love baking so much but if baking isn't really your thing but you want to give these a go, cheat away!! My first attempt at covering the cake pop in the candy melts was a bit of a disaster to be honest but I ate it anyway then just learned from my mistakes! For me, dipping and twirling in a shallow dish worked far better than submerging in a deep dish, I then used a spoon to cover the slightly bare bits. I'm not going to lie, my cake pops were not evenly covered and were kind of bumpy but I imagine perfection will come with practice! I just wanted to share my first ever attempt with you all. I hate when you find a blog and try a recipe or a tutorial on there and it just ends up nothing like theirs, you feel so defeated so sharing a mediocre attempt at something can only be a good thing, surely?!

Decorating time: approximately 2-3 minutes per cake pop
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
You will need: Cake mix, Icing, cakepop/lollipop sticks, candy melts, sprinkles (or other decoration), tall glasses or polystyrene for drying.

1. Make the cake that you plan on using for the cake pops, whether it is a box mix or from scratch, and let it cool slightly. I chose to make cupcakes because I thought, as they are smaller they would be easier to turn to crumbs than a big cake but I'm not sure that would make much of a difference, Turn the cake into crumbs using either your hands or a food processor for finer crumbs.

2. Once you are happy with the consistency of your crumb mix, add a good dollop of icing (buttercream, chocolate fudge, cream cheese - something that will bind the crumbs). I used 8 cupcakes to make crumbs and mixed in around 2 very heaped tablespoons of icing. So start with a few tablespoons and add more - it is easier to add than to subtract when you add too much! Mix the icing and the crumbs together with your hands - it is far more messy but not only more fun but actually works better. The consistency should be a bit sticky and moist but still quite crumbly (see below).

3. Take a small handful or a level ice cream scoop full of the sticky cake crumbs and roll it in your hands into an even ball, about the size of a £2 coin. Do this for the whole cake mixture. The mixture may still feel quite crumbly but that is okay it will come together in your hands.

4. Melt a few of the candy melts in the microwave on the medium setting in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Do this until completely melted but be careful not to overcook and burn!! Then dip the tip of each lollipop stick into the mixture one by one and insert into the cake ball about half way in.

5. Carefully place into the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm up and make them a bit easier to handle. While these are chilling, prepare your decorations. Melt more candy melts with the same method as before but don't do this too far in advance as I found that they re-solidified quicker than I expected. For this reason work as quickly as possible in the next step!!

6. As I said earlier, I found that the dip and twirl method worked far better than the submerge method that other people seem to have success with, so find your own method that works best through trial and error (pick the worst least uniform balls for practice!). Then use a spoon to cover in sprinkles or whatever you choose to decorate with! When you finish with one stand it in a tall glass or in a polystyrene/Styrofoam block until it dries.

I hope your first attempts at cake pops (if you've never tried them before) are not as stressful as mine and I wish you success!! Happy baking, everyone :)

Teri x

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