Baking: First Foray into Cakepops!


Im not into trends in any part of life, or at least, I am perpetually months behind due to a combination of being somewhat slow and also because I dislike hype in a big way. The more you hype something up to me, the more disinterested I become (50 Shades Of Dismay, sorry, Grey, anyone?!).

I've enjoyed baking my whole life, when cupcakes were called Queen cakes and made in fairy cake sized cases with chocolate chips that my Mum called 'polka dots' in them. My Mum was an extremely busy woman but she regularly made time to bake with me. She and my Gran had these metal recipe card boxes with handwritten recipes, mostly sweet stuffs but a few savouries too. My Mum used to let me look through and choose a few things to bake on a pretty regular basis and I would get to 'help' (which mostly involved getting in the way, making a mess, and eating all the goodies). And so my love of baking began. I don't think I'll ever get tired of making cupcakes, and I think cupcakes will be one of the things I bake the most forever and ever. But cakepops definitely interested me.

'Proper' cake pops are made by first baking a cake, then letting it cool, then crumbling it up, mixing the crumbs with butter cream icing, forming this icing and cake mix into balls, which are then dipped into 'candy melts' and decorated. A lollypop shape, full of cakey goodness. I've never actually tried a cake pop made this way. Remember what I said about hype?

My favourite shop possibly ever is Lakeland. And the lovely Lakeland sell a cake pop machine, which my OH bought me for Christmas. These make cake pops that are pure cake. You make up a cake batter, heat up the machine (its like a toastie machine, but it makes cake!), drop spoonfuls into the moulds, close the lid and heat for a few minutes. Pop open the lid after this time, and remove little balls of yummy cake. Simples. Here's some very badly taken pictures. The lighting in my kitchen is the thing I hate most about this otherwise excellent house.


The machine in action, this was at the end of  my batter, so I didn't have enough for all the holes!


Cake pop balls cooling

The machine comes with a couple of basic recipes and the quantities are perfect. We decided to make half vanilla and half chocolate cake pops. We opted for a cooking chocolate cover (it needs to be cheap quality stuff, because it needs to have oil in it to be the right consistency and texture. Real proper chocolate need not apply! In order to turn this from a cake ball to a cake pop, you need sticks. These are available at lovely Lakeland, on ebay, and many other places. To attach the cake, you melt the chocolate or candy melt covering, dip the stick into the chocolate, then push it into the ball of cake. When this sets, it'll act as a glue. Like so:


Let this set, then get on with covering each of the balls in chocolate. Before the chocolate sets completely, you can add sprinkles, glitter stars, coconut, all sorts. Once the chocolate is set, you can pipe on some gel icing, drizzle melted white chocolate on top, the world is your oyster. You will need something to help the cake pops stand upright while they dry. As you will see in my photos, we improvised with the large holes in a grater, and some holes we punched into an empty orange juice carton and an empty tagliatelli box. What we should have done really, was used our colander. But we like to think completely outside the box. In fact, we're probably lost inside a box far away from everyone else.



Its quite a time consuming exercise, so if you don't have a great attention span, this probably isn't for you. However, what we also discovered (we might have gotten a bit bored halfway through...) is that 'naked' cake pops are really tasty little treats too! I really liked the way these tasted, just a mini bite of cake. The coconut covered ones were really nice indeed. I think these would also be fun without the sticks, served up at the end of a dinner as a sort of petit four. The recipe booklet that comes with the machine also suggests making mini doughnuts, by cooking vanilla sponge cake balls, injecting them with warmed jam and rolling them in sugar. Sounds delicious!

I'll never be the sort of girl who abandons cupcakes in favour of cake pops, but they are definitely fun and very tasty. I can see kids really enjoying the decorating part as well, because they cry out for an excess of sprinkles and it allows kids to get super creative (even kids as old as me!). My OH also bought me the book Cake Pops by Molly Bakes, which gives recipes for traditional cake pops, but regardless of the innards, there's some excellent decorating and themed ideas in the book.

My verdict? Cake Pops are really yummy. A bit of a faff (the machine takes something like 4 minutes to make each batch of cake pops, and the batter makes 30, and then theres the decorating side) but well worth it. And the cake pops keep really well for a few days, even the 'naked' ones! If you get the chance, give it a go!

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