1st Blogiversary: Cake Pops top the Menu

It’s a bit of a cliché but I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. At the start, blogging more or less filled any spare time I had. January is usually a quiet month for cakes as everyone tightens their belts, financially and physically, so it seemed like the perfect moment to be pouring over the ins and outs of WordPress, picking themes and figuring out the widgets. There seemed to be a lot of explaining to do too, the posts were lengthy and full of my take on this, that and the other. As the year has worn on I seem to have got that out of my system and during busy and less busy times, the blogging frequency is adjusted accordingly and the speed it takes to write a post has dropped dramatically making for a fantastic equilibrium: part diary, part publicity, part community with followers and fellow bloggers becoming part of my social make up as I predicted it would. I love it.

The cake pops post is STILL the most popular, the original post is here. I should probably reblog or rehash it in some way, but Bakerella gives such a good tutorial on her You Tube clip that it barely seems worth repeating it. I make them regularly, but almost never as a commercial product. I haven’t particularly got into decorating them as kittens or snowmen, the standard pop sprinkled with Hundreds and Thousands seems to be attractive enough for school events or kids parties. I have gone off piste a couple of times though and these are the results:

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Cake Pops made to look like truffles, but this cake needed to be ALL cake so even the truffles were cake too. In fact the popless cake pop works well as a little something to have with a cup of coffee!

At Christmas time I adapted again, for child 2’s school Christmas fair, and came up with these:

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The reason the tops are pink is that you can now buy strawberry flavoured white chocolate buttons which melt beautifully. They can be used to coat the pops instead of candy melts which are a pain to work with. I think you can get orange flavour too……

The other popular posts are the unloved vegetables. I’m amazed at the reception they receive. The most popular was one about kale; of all things! It just goes to show that searching for cake ideas and what to do with left over greens are exactly what makes the internet so valuable, but anyone reading this hardly needs me to tell them that.

Poptastic Cake Pops

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,

I did exactly what she did

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.

N.B.

  • 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.

The Cutest Cakes: Classic Cakes

Lilies and Pearls

The Cutest Cakes: Cupcakes

Rosebud Vanilla Cupcake

The Cutest Cakes: Individual Iced Cakes

Miniature Fruit Cake

Details for The Cutest Cakes can be found at www.cutestcakes.co.uk or if you click the image on the side bar you will be transported there.