Phew, two posts in one day! As promised, this post will be about cake pops and the basic things you need to know if you are attempting them for the first time. I wish I had all these tips and tricks before I started, I had to learn the hard and painful way! So sit tight and pay attention. 🙂
Cake Pop Balls
First off, cake pops are made of a ball of cake crumbs and a frosting of some sort to adhere the crumbs together. A normal cake pop is made of cake crumbs of any flavor and buttercream frosting. My cake pop recipe is different from many other recipes you will find out there as my cake pops are made of crumbs from a fudgy cake and dark chocolate ganache. Using a good quality chocolate cake mix can save you some time if you need some cake pop balls in a hurry. I have found that Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Fudge Cake box mix to be very good and moist. Ganache sets harder and is very very much more tasty than buttercream. This results in a very delicious cake pop that tastes like a very chocolatey and decadent brownie! It is perfect and very easy. What’s not to love? Chocolate cake, smooth chocolate ganache and easy to whip up!
If you have never done this before, coloring chocolate can be a bit of a nightmare. There’s an 80% chance that your chocolate will be destroyed if you ever attempt to color chocolate without prior knowledge of coloring chocolate. But I’m here to help!
Here are some useful tips:
- Never ever ever use liquid food coloring.
- Do not allow chocolate to come in contact with water. Chocolate and water are enemies and will ruin your chocolate.
- Using a microwave to melt your chocolate will be the safest option. When using a double boiler, the risk of getting water into your chocolate is very high.
- Do not overheat chocolate. If using a microwave to melt chocolate, stir in between 30-second intervals for about 1-2 minutes.
- When coloring chocolate into paler colors, a gel color or color paste is okay. Adding a small amount of vegetable shortening or Americolor Flo-coat will ensure that your chocolate doesn’t seize. However, if you choose to do it without vegetable shortening or Flo-coat, there is a slight chance your chocolate will seize!
- Using Wilton’s Candy Melts will be the best option when trying to achieve darker colors.
- Do not add too much vegetable shortening as it will make your chocolate too thin. Chocolate that is too thin won’t be able to coat your cake pop balls properly and will just slide right off.
- Thinning chocolate can be helpful, depending on the chocolate you use, when it comes to covering your cake pop balls. Chocolate that is too thick will pull your cake pop ball off it’s stick (trust me, I learned the hard way).
Decorating Your Cake Pops
What I love so much about making cake pops is the decorating part. The number of ways to decorate your cake pops are endless! Cartoon character cake pops, holiday themed cake pops, baby showers, weddings, birthdays and sooo much more. The few things that I like to always have handy are nonpareils, sprinkles, modeling chocolate, modeling chocolate, a rolling pin and some toothpicks.
If you don’t know what modeling chocolate is, it is basically chocolate that can be formed into all kinds of shapes and sizes! It does the same job that fondant does, but tastes way better! In the photo below, the ribbons and bow on the cake pop is made of modeling chocolate! It’s like eating a brownie with white chocolate chips but on a stick. 😉
P.S. I do realise that normal people do not use as many exclamation points in every sentence as I do. I am a very excited person, that’s all!
Basic Cake Pop Ball Recipe
Adapted from My Cupcake Addiction
- 325 grams chocolate cake
- 100 grams dark chocolate
- 65 grams cream
- Break the chocolate cake into chunks and blend to crumbs in a food processor. Alternatively, you can do this by hand and crumble it to crumbs but it will take forever.
- Melt dark chocolate and cream in a microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. This will take about 1 – 2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Do not overheat or your chocolate will be ruined! You can also do this over a Bain-marie on a gentle heat.
- Let the chocolate ganache cool for a few minutes.
- Combine cake crumbs with chocolate ganache in a bowl.
- Pick up a small ball of crumbs and roll into a ball. If it doesn’t want to stick together or crumbles, you may have to let the mixture cool down a bit more.
- When you’re happy with your cake balls, put them in the fridge for a 10 – 15 minutes to firm up. You can also leave it in the fridge for as long as you need till you’re ready to use them. Just take them out of the fridge 5-10 minutes prior to making cake pops.