Well, of course, the beauty in blogging is that I can in fact digress if I wish from the job in hand and comment on the day in general. I would like to say that it has been snowing here for the last 5 hours at least and there is still not a single flake which has settled on the ground. Quite frankly it is very disappointing!
So instead, to cheer myself up, I shall talk Cake Pops. Essentially they are a ball of cake crumbs and buttercream mix attached to a lollipop stick and coated in either chocolate or a hard sugar-coating. I had a go recently and mine looked like this:
As is usual with these things, I believe they were originally developed in the US by the very clever Bakerella who has written books about how to decorate them to look like the heads of cats, miniature cupcakes and Minnie Mouse’s silhouette. All very lovely and seemingly very fiddly.
To make the ones above proceed as follows: ideally the day before make a plain or chocolate madeira cake, I made a 3 egg madeira with 150g each of sugar, butter or margarine, and self-raising flour. Cream together the butter and sugar, slowly add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, add a drop of vanilla extract and then fold in the flour. This amount of mixture will fill an 6″ square tin (or 7″ round) which should be greased and lined. Bake at 160°C/145-150°C fan for about 45 mins – 1 hour. Alternatively use a standard sponge cake box mix to produce a similar quantity. Allow to cool then wrap in greaseproof and store in an airtight tin until needed.
Alternatively Sainsburys sell Madeira Cake so I reckon 2 of their standard rectangular blocks of Madeira would give an equivalent amount.
For the cake pops you will need lollipop sticks (available online at Amazon, or from Lakeland Limited), half a tub of Betty Crocker Buttercream style Icing and about 250g or so of Plain Chocolate. Then proceed as follows, from the lovely Yoyomax12 on You Tube, it is far easier to watch what to do than have it described,
A couple of pointers; the exact amount of cake and buttercream is not critical so leftover cake is a very good idea, but do reduce the cake to crumbs not just lumps. Add a conservative amount of buttercream and then a little more if required to achieve a playdough consistency. This is a dough which is adhering to itself not the bowl and can be moulded. Practice balling it before deciding whether you have added enough buttercream. If you still have chunks of cake in the dough it will cause the balls to crack which will then cause problems down the line. Dark chocolate coats much better than milk.
I have to say it was all very exciting, and used up the endless tubs of sprinkles, dragees, sugarpaste hearts, stars, hundreds and thousands and I could have got stuck into the kids sweets collection too, Everything appears to stick. I ended up with 18 pops.
- I don’t believe chocolate cake is necessary if you use chocolate butterceam as the finished dough as you can see gives all the appearance and taste of chocolate,
- I think they might be nice with red velvet cake mixture and plain buttercream (I’m going to trial this although I think in order to retain the red cake colour a little colouring in the buttercream might be needed) coated with a really lovely dark chocolate, as a Valentine’s Day idea.
- They do fall off the stick very easily, so eat them over something suitable.
- You can use something called candy melts to coat instead.
I had a comment on my Facebook page that apparently they are big in Australia as well as the US but they are still taking off here in the UK. From what I have observed we don’t seem so bothered about new ideas, cupcakes have been popular, definitely, but not so much with the Whoopie pies maybe. Perhaps it’s as Bill Bryson wrote in Notes from a Small Island ‘ we don’t mind what you do to our main course but don’t mess with our puddings’ or words to that effect. Maybe we feel the same way about cake.
I’m quite into chocolate however so I enjoyed the one I tried and found the size perfect.