Cakes, those I'm even worse at. I used to live near a friend who is wonderful at cake art. She and I would create masterpieces. Beautiful towers of fondant and buttercream. Then, she moved away and suddenly, those towers didn't look so nice. I've pretty much retired my tips and bags, shhh, don't tell on me.
Now, when I make cupcakes, I end up with a nice, moist cake, something yummy shoved inside, and delishiousness slopped on top. And they're gobbled up.
I don't know how these pastry shops do it. Make those beautiful smoothly swirled icing hats. Someone want to tell me how?
In the meantime, I make cake pops. They're just as much work, maybe more. But, they're such tiny bites of sweet mush, no one can resist.
This week, I made pumpkin cake pops. They were supposed to be Jack-O-Lanterns, but I can't seem to figure out how to make those really expensive edible markers work on the chocolate. I get frustrated and throw them out. Yep, there went $8 in the garbage last night. Ugh.
Do you remember how to make cake balls? I'll tell you again, maybe with a few more good tips than the last time.
1. Bake a boxed cake mix in a 9x13" pan. I used a Spice cake this time. Let it cool.
2. Take it from the pan. Break off any hard edges, and crumble the rest into a large bowl.
3. Add some canned frosting. About 1/3 cup worth. I like to use cream cheese flavored frosting. Some recipes say to use more frosting. I've found that if I do, or if I use homemade frosting, the balls are too soft and fall off the sticks.
4. Shape the mix into balls. I make them small enough to fit into my cupped hands easily. Smash the mix a lot until it's not crumbly any more, then form it into a ball. Or whatever shape you're going to make.
5. Refrigerate said balls overnight.
6. Melt some candy disks. I use the microwave. You can use the microwave, too. Or a double boiler. My double boiler's in the attic.
7. Dip your sticks into the chocolate, then insert them half-way into a ball. Let it set up for about an hour, preferably in the fridge.
8. Melt more candy disks. You want this portion to be a bit thinner than the previous. You can achieve this by adding some shortening to the disks. I usually add about 1-2 teaspoons per bag of melts. If you add too much, your chocolate won't harden. Trust me, I am speaking from experience.
9. Take a few of the balls on sticks out of the fridge. 3-4 at a time. Dip your cake ball into the chocolate. Lift it up and tap it gently on the side of the bowl to shake off excess. Turn it a little as you go so you evenly distribute the chocolate. Be careful, if you haven't inserted your stick far enough, or if your chocolate is too thick, this could happen...
Yep, the ball falls off the stick. Then, you've got trouble. Yummy trouble!
So, back to the right way, dip, tap.
10. Insert the stick into a chunk of styrofoam until the candy is dry. Then, once it's dry, you can decorate it or just wrap it up. I like to wrap mine in nice cello bags.
I used spice flavored cake, orange candy melts and green tic tacs for these. If you can figure out how to make those pens work, let me know?
(I also tried a squeeze bottle of black icing. That was a really gross disaster.)
I sold these at my daughter's soccer game as a donation to the program. I've had requests for more before the season's over. I've got a red velvet plan in the works...
I linked this recipe to
Sweets for a Saturday by Sweet as Sugar
Sugar Bananas Sweets This Week
A Well Seasoned Life Sweet Indulgences Sunday