Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Cake Pops


I've a bit of a confession.

I hadn't heard of cake pops before a well known coffee chain started selling them a few months back. I was fascinated- what were these sweet treats on sticks?!

So I popped on Amazon and purchased a book by Bakerella, the original Cake Pop Queen herself.

[Bloomin' Amazon, who have my card details, which means I don't have to type them in, which means it feels like I'm not paying for anything, ergo large weekly spend on recipe books]

I read devoured Bakerella's book cover to cover one night before going to sleep. Which led to sickly sweet dreams. You have been warned.

Not only was the book suitably inspiring, but I'd also read on the BBC Food Blog that they are: 'thankfully nowhere near as daunting as creating the perfect macaron'. Following my further recent incidents with macarons, I was sold.

Ingredients

Madeira Cake
(from the Waitrose website)

170g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
170g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
4 eggs
170g plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
3/4 tsp baking powder

Frosting:

170g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
390g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

To decorate:

candy melts
sugar hearts
lollipop sticks

To make the madeira cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150Cfan/Gas Mark 3
2. Butter a 20cm-diameter round cake tin and line with greaseproof paper
3. Put the butter, sugar, orange and lemon zest in a food processor and whiz until fluffy
4. Still beating, add one egg at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next
5. Add the lemon juice, then the flour, salt and baking powder
6. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about an hour or until golden and springy

To make the frosting:

1. Cream the butter and vanilla
2. Add the sugar in three separate batches, continue to cream throughout
3. If needed, add the milk gradually to make the frosting less stiff

To make the cake pops:

1. Crumble the cake into crumbs using your fingers
2. Add the frosting and combine the frosting and cake with a metal spoon


3. It should be thoroughly combined and easy to shape into balls


4. Roll the mixture with the palm of your hands into balls measuring roughly one and a half inches in diameter
5. Place them in the freezer, wrapped in a freezer bag or cling film for 15-20 minutes to cool and firm. Don't leave any longer otherwise they may freeze
6. Meanwhile melt the candy covering as per the instructions on pack. I think I melted mine for 30 seconds on high, stirred the mixture, then melted again for a further 30 seconds
7. To dip: one at a time, dip about a quarter of an inch of the tip of the stick into the melted candy coating then insert straight into a cake ball, pushing no more than halfway through


8. Holding the lollipop stick with the cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted coating until completely covered and remove, all in one swift motion
9. If an excess coating begins to drip from the cake pop, gently tap the stick against the bowl containing the coating. It may also help to gently rotate the cake pop to even out the coating
10. Decorate the pop with the sugar hearts

Baker's notes....

  • This is a proper afternoon cake project- set aside 3 hours
  • The madeira cake recipe can be made 1-2 days in advance. Bakerella, the original Cake Pop Queen advocates using either a shop bought cake or cake mix for the first few attempts at cake pops, as she feels its an easy way to learn the basics and ensures consistent results. Check out the post here for instructions using a cake mix and shop-bought frosting
  • I melted the candy in a mug, as this was suitably deep to allow good dipping to be going on
  • I reckon you could also use melted chocolate (milk, dark, white) as well as the candy coating (which can be purchased from any good cakecraft shop or online; I used Wilton's candy melts)
  • To hold the pops while they are drying, either use a styrofoam block, or, as I did, grab an old shoebox, cover it in foil and using a sharp knife and lollipop stick as a guide, cut out a dozen little holes, which can then hold the pops in nicely while they set
  • This recipe makes approximately 30 depending on the size of the pops
  • Once you've frozen the balls, if they appear to be warming up very quickly once out of the freezer, simply pop them to keep in the fridge until needed
  • A clean, swift dipping motion ensures the balls don't fall in, or get covered in too much coating
  • Decorate each pop immediately after dipping; they dry super-fast as I discovered and the decorations won't stick to the pops
  • Use a toothpick of the back of a small spoon to encourage the coating to cover any areas of the cake pop that may have been missed during the dip
  • Try to avoid double dipping, because the chocolate weighs down the ball and this happens:
  • Oops
  • The pops keep for a good few days in an airtight container or the fridge
  • I popped them in a gift bag, tied them with some pretty ribbon and gave them as wedding presents

12 comments:

  1. Lovely!! WIll have to have a go at making these soon :)

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  2. These look lovely - very elegant.

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  3. Look amazing!! love these!

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  4. Aw, congrats on your first cake pops, they're really good! Bakerella's book is really cute isn't it? :) And I totally agree about amazon, everything is literally one click away, it's a dangerous place to spend an afternoon :p

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  5. These are stunning!

    Talk about Amazon being dangerous...try getting a kindle. One click ordering and no package to shame you!

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  6. These are really good :) the kids would love these ill have to give them a go!

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  7. I know exactly what you mean about Amazon, I'm always amazed at my credit card bill! The cake pops look wonderfulI will have to have a go at making some.

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  8. I've never heard of cake pops either! They look lovely, great idea for a present.

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  9. I'm always threatening to make these but the thought of working with chocolate always puts me off (you should see the mess I got myself into last time). Yours look great, I love the little hearts :)

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  10. Bloomin Amazon indeed! Lol.
    Love cake pops, but they're quite faffy!

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  11. Wow these look amazing. They're so cute and fun to make aren't they? I got the Bakerella book for xmas. Amazon one click.... way too easy!

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  12. These look awesome! I might give them a go! I am also going to amazon to look at bakerella books! LOL

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