Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The case of the curious Christmas cake pops
I can't even use Armenian Christmas as an excuse (it falls on January 6) but I think this post on cake pops still merits a read for those of you, seasoned or newbie, who are considering making these.
While I have always dismissed suggestions cake pops were the new cupcakes, I also followed this trend from a distance. I concede I thought they were a charming novelty.
I skulked around on Bakerella's blog but I wasn't sure I'd have the patience to make some of her more complicated creations, nor did I want to. But then I started seeing some simpler designs that I thought I'd be able to recreate.
And when I volunteered to make desserts for my Christmas Eve dinner, like I always do, I thought it might be a good time to try my hand at cake pops. I'd be home the day before, and I like making treats that are individual-sized for large parties.
Well, it's a good thing I tried making these the day before because they were an #epic #fail. If you ask my family, they may disagree, as they begged me to leave the discarded, destroyed remains in a plate to nibble on, proclaiming that these were delicious.
And sure, they were. Cake-mix balls mixed with store-bought frosting, dipped in candy melts and topped with sprinkles. Sugary-sugar, and sweet sweet sugar. Brain surgery? No, not really.
Still, I didn't get the hang of it right off the bat.
The first cake pop I made was too heavy, so it completely fell off the lollipop stick as it was drying.
The second? Same thing.
I quickly realized I'd made a couple of big mistakes. First, I didn't think I'd have enough candy melts, so I mixed my supply with some white chocolate chips. Big, bad mistake. I should have stuck to just the candy melts because the chocolate chips made the mixture too heavy, making the ball too heavy, in turn making it impossible for it to stay on the stick.
I had no problems when I melted the red candy coating in the next batch.
The second big mistake was following a cake pops recipe that was not Bakerella's (the undisputed cake pop expert). You can see a basic recipe from her posted at CTV.ca.
Her recipe suggests, after chilling the cake balls, to dip the sticks in the melted candy coating and then push it into the ball.
Instead, I made the balls, stuck in the sticks, and then chilled them.
The result was cracked-open balls, uneven candy coating. In short, a hot mess.
Once I got the hang of it after some fevered googling, I ended up with about 15 in total.
Not enough to take to the party, so I whipped up some cookie-dough truffles instead. I need to stop experimenting for Christmas Eve because I always end up stressing myself out. Remind me I said this some time in December, ok?
Grade: Three stars out of five. After all it's a cake mix-frosting concoction. The appearance is no one's fault but my own, but I feel like they ended up looking like more of an elementary school project than one created by someone as serious about pastries and desserts like me.
Would I make this again? Maybe. Juuuuust maybe. But not for a while