Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Normally I'm against box cakes. I prefer to pour over the recipe books, pick out the best one, hunt for the best ingredients, carefully measure everything and marvel as all the separate pieces are transformed into something fragrant and beautiful. But this time I decided to just have some fun. I've been ogling Bakerella's ingenious Cake Pops for a long time now, promising myself that one day I'll give them a try. Last Friday was that day, since that's what I decided to bring to my friend's baby shower. I rushed over to a friends house having filled a large box with all the supplies and got right to work. It took less than 5 minutes to whip up a batch of Duncan Hines chocolate cake batter, pop it in the oven, set the timer and settle on the couch to catch up with my friend. Once the cake was done and cool, it was actually somewhat therapeutic to sit with a bowl on my lap and reduce what my friend lamented was a perfectly good cake into crumbs. You can go here for the full instructions, but here are a few things I learned while making these:
1. Don't add the whole can of frosting to the crumbs. Add 3/4ths and see if it's enough first or your mixture will be too soft.
2. Don't make the balls too big. Walnut size or a bit smaller is perfect.
3. Make sure you have the right size cookie cutter all set and ready to go...otherwise you'll end up shaping them by hand and they'll look more like mushrooms then cupcakes.
4. Use candy coating if you want them to look like Bakerella's. I'm against it on principle, so I used semi-sweet chocolate for the bottoms and colored white chocolate for the tops, but they were both too thick to make a nice smooth thin coating, so my pops don't look like hers. For my first try, I decided I was okay with that.
5. If you get tired of dipping before all the balls are coated...you can just wrap them up and pop them in the freezer...they make great snacks for later :D
They were a hit at the shower and I hope you do try making them, especially if you have kids around. You can let them decorate these however they want and since it's straight out of a box, you'll get to the fun decorating part pretty quickly. Next time, I'm going to try the Hello Kitty ones. Aren't they adorable?