Saturday, 3 May 2014

How to: Cake pops without candy melts

Hello you lovely lot, after I tweeted about making over 40 cake pops for my boyfriend's birthday party, I received quite a few tweets asking for recipes, especially since candy melts are hard to get hold of in the UK and are pretty damn annoying to use in my opinion. I did have a bag of candy melts but I ended up not using them because they were so thick and hard to work with. I have sub-situated candy melts for chocolate flavoured cake covering as it has a very runny consistency and sets quickly. You can't use ordinary chocolate for cake pops as it will need tempering etc. and it is much thicker in consistency to cake covering or cooking chocolate. The chocolate flavoured cake covering was so easy to use and dip my cake pops as the consistency was so thin and runny. I was worried that they wouldn't taste as nice as normal chocolate but I didn't notice any difference. So here's how I made my cake pops, they're quite strange in consistency as they are quite 'truffle' like in a way and are surprisingly rich (due to the frosting etc) so it's obvious why they are so small. I think next time I would probably use left over cake or buy a cake and just crumble it rather than baking one as it obviously made the process longer and it does seem quite wasteful.

This recipe makes approximately 20 cake pops
For the cake I used: 
120g unsalted butter (I used stork as I prefer it for baking but ordinary butter is fine)- leave out of fridge to soften
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs- at room temperature
180g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk- at room temperature

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/ 180 degrees C.
  • Lightly grease baking tin- size and shape of the tin doesn't really matter. However I used a medium sized tray bake. You don't want the tray to be too long as it will end up mostly crust which you will remove anyway.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until it becomes light and fluffy- this should take around 3-5 minutes by hand (this feels like a work out in itself- you have been warned!)
  • Add in the vanilla extract and mix together
  • Add in the eggs on at a time, mixing well in between. Be careful not to add them in too soon as this will make the mixture curdle. 
  • Add in half of the flour and half of the milk. Mix well. Then add the remaining milk and flour. Mix well again
  • Pour mixture into baking tin and bake for around 25-40 minutes depending on the size of your baking tin. It's best to keep checking it and check if its done by using a skewer to test it.
  • leave to cool on a wire rack.

Making the cake pop balls:

  • Once your cake has cooled, cut your cake into four sections
  • Cut off the edges
  • Take two sections and rub them together to make crumbs, repeat with other two sections
  • Take a fork and ensure all cake has dissolved into crumbs
  • Take your frosting (I found shop bought is actually better than home-made for this) and add a desert spoonful to your crumbs
  • Mix well with a fork and blend with your fingers
  • Your mixture should form into a dough- like texture- don't add too much or it will create gross soggy cake pops!
  • Add frosting a little bit at a time if you find it isn't forming together well, but one desert spoonful was fine for me- it shouldn't be crumbly, you should be able to mould it 
  • Gather all the dough into one piece, wrap in cling film and refrigerate until firm- usually about an hour

Once your dough is firm enough to hold it's shape easier, it's time to form your cake pop balls..

  • Take small pieces of dough at a time and form into a ball using your hands
  • I found wetting my hands a little bit helped the dough roll into balls easier
  • Repeat until you've used all your mixture
  • place onto a plate or in a container and place in the freezer for 15-20- we don't want to freeze them we just want them to be really firm.

Egg holders are an amazing way to store your cake pops upright whilst you're decorating and dipping! Just carefully add a hole into each section using a skewer.

Dipping and decorating:
  • Melt your Chocolate flavoured cake covering in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure you stir well and heat it up slowly to avoid burning the chocolate
  • Take a cake pop stick and a cake pop ball.. Dip the stick into the melted chocolate and insert it into the cake pop ball- only insert it less than half way as you don't want it to break
  • Repeat with all of the other cake pop balls until they're all on sticks. The chocolate sets pretty quickly so you don't have to wait longer to dip them fully
  • Dip the cake pops into the chocolate gently, do not stir them in the chocolate as it will loosen them off the sticks. You need to fully submerge the cake pops into the chocolate and gently move from side to side if needed.
  • As this chocolate is very runny, you will need to gently tap off the excess. Do this by gently tapping your hand that's holding the cake pop for a minute or so. 
  • Before the chocolate coating sets, decorate with sprinkles etc. Act quickly and do this as you go as they set pretty quickly.
And that's it! What a long blog post.. These little cute sweet treats seem really difficult as they have quite a few steps, however they are pretty easy. Using candy melts just makes things so much more difficult in my opinion! I hope you found this blog post helpful if you are interested in making cake pops. 
 As I was making these for my boyfriend's birthday, I wanted to make a holder that was pretty simple and would look nice on the table. My dad found some styrofoam so I just wrapped it up in pretty wrapping paper and punctured holes in it with a skewer- easy peasy! Have you ever made cake pops before? I'd love to see how yours turned out!

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