Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Addressing the Cake Pop Trend Part 2

So now that I have provided the ingredients for my Cake Pops, here is the process for making them.

I made chocolate cake (from a box) and used 2/3 of a can of chocolate frosting to make chocolate pops then coated them with a white or "vanilla" candy melt coating and red drizzles.

I started out by taking the cold cake and using my hands, broke it up until it was entirely in crumbs. You could use a food processor for this part, but hands were less to clean up. Be sure that there are no large clumps of cake or the balls won't form evenly (immature laugh).

Then add half the can of icing and use a spoon to mix it all together. It will start to stick together and depending on how moist your cake is, you may want to add more. You do not, however want it to become too sticky by adding too much icing because then it will be hard to work with.

Mine was almost forming a ball and was no longer in a crumbly form.

I then used a cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tbs) to measure out even sized balls, which I then split in half to that they were not too large for the pop sticks.

After they were split in half, I then used my hands to form the balls (about the size for two bites) and placed them back in the 13x9 pan that I baked the cake in. They almost all fit back in there (about four had to be stacked on top).

I placed them back in the fridge over night because I did not have time to make them at that time, however you would still need to chill them after handling because if they get too soft they are hard to dip.

The next step was to melt the candy following the directions on the package. The most helpful tip I have learned is to be sure not to over heat the candy or chocolate. If you do it will be too thick to dip anything. The trick is to heat it on low (I used the microwave, you could use a double broiler) for 30 seconds at a time. Once they start to melt, do not keep re-heating, just stir until they are all dissolved using the residual heat from the other chips. This will keep the chocolate from seizing.

So that the sticks would stay better, I dipped the end of each stick in the candy before placing it in the ball of cake. You can see my set-up below. I set a small crock pot to warm and heated the candy melts in the pot, then after they were melted I put them in the pot so it would maintain the right consistency.

These immediately went back to the fridge. I took out two or three at a time so that they were not too soft to dip and they wouldn't fall off the stick. I almost lost one, but was able to save it before it completely broke up in the candy melt, ruining it! Also, be sure to cover all of the cake or the oil from the cake will separate and leak out of the uncovered areas (not pretty).

Each stick was then set into a piece of Styrofoam so that they were upright. After the block was filled, they went into the fridge to harden.

I then drizzled red candy melt over the top. You can also dip in sprinkles or decorate with more elaborate designs.

The last piece of advice is that as you dip the cake, bits will come off and as you get to the end of the candy melt, it will become more "pure" (that may also be because I used white melt and chocolate cake). I only made it through half of the balls before I ran out of candy melt.

The girls on my team thought they were great and wanted to know where I got them... haha!
Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Addressing the Cake Pop Trend Part 1

It finally took some convincing by my friend Claire from grad class, but I have attempted the cake pop! In the end, I was quite satisfied with the results and would definitely make them again. I am including here lots of pictures, since it is definitely a long process, as well as my notes, tips and trick to getting this recipe to work. It was not "hard" however there are things that I know now that will make it easier the second time around... don't worry, I will share!

First though, to address the cake pop phenomenon! Like any other person I started by Googling "cake pops" to gather some research.

I found some absolutely wonderful and inspirational photos, recipes, as well as tips. Listed here are some of my favorites, but the true cake pop master is Bakerella. Check out that blog for fabulous and awe-inspiring baked anything!

Here are some others that I found helpful to guide me through my cake pop journey:

The Kitchn - Great instructions for getting started! This is where I got most of my help.

Bakerella Flicker - Oh to be so talented!

Just a Bite - Strictly selling cake pops, but great images and ideas!

Babble - A site for new moms, but a great recipe for chocolate pops filled with cheese cake!

So after you have become completely intimidated by those images, let me show you mine!

I am going to include the basic recipe here and create a second posting that includes all of the steps and instructions.

To get started:

1 box of cake mix (yes, I didn't do this from scratch because this cut a serious amount of time off the process!)

1 can of frosting (I only needed about 2/3 of the can)

2 bags of candy melts (I started with one and needed a second)

50 Candy pop sticks (It definitely makes more that I realized)

Bake the cake according to the package directions and then let cool completely. I just stuck mine in the fridge for 24 hrs.

Cake/Icing Combination Suggestions

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Icing
Chocolate and Chocolate
Carrot or Spice Cake and Cream Cheese Icing
Vanilla and Chocolate
Chocolate and German Chocolate Icing
Strawberry and Cream Cheese Icing
and many more...

Stay tuned for the process...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Consumer Testing for McCormick

Super excited about a new opportunity to possibly be selected as a consumer tester for McCormick!

My friend Dana was telling me about a girl she works with that does consumer testing for the spice company and since it is fairly close to home, I thought I would sign myself up. You are only able to participate every three months, however you are compensated for your time. They can send you things to prepare, surveys or even invite you to the testing site to test stuff there! I hope I get picked to do something like that!

If that is something that you might be interested in here is the site: Consumer Testing for McCormick

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moving up in the world... and Baked French Toast

It has been a while since I have posted, but things have been busy.
1. coaching has wrapped up
2. grad school is officially finished (yay)
3. stopped raining long enough to finally do some gardening
4. its spring, more specifically May... busiest time of year for me

As the month comes to a close, I am finding that I finally have time to get in some writing. I have been cooking up a storm, however have just not gotten around to posting about it (sigh).

But before the food... I have finally joined Twitter! I don't know that I will be much better about Tweeting than posting, but my sister has convinced me that I must be involved in all versions of social media if I actually want people to read this.

Now for the food, delayed but here none-the-less: Baked French Toast

This is one that I thought up around Christmas and is kind of a combo of French Toast and Cheesecake and tastes like a cheese danish. I made it for a Royal Wedding breakfast and we ate it with our cup of tea.


16 oz Cream cheese softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat together until smooth

Rasin or Cranberry (only available at the holidays) Bread

Dipping Mix:
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups milk or half-n-half
1 tsp. cinnamon
Beat together in a shallow bowl or dish to dip from.

Grease an 8x8 pan (can double to use a 13x9 but the bread fits well in the 8x8 to do three layers)
Make a sandwich with two slices of bread and the creamcheese filling in the middle. (I guess you could also do a layer to dipped bread, then a layer of filling and another layer of dipped bread).
Dip both sides of the sandwich in the dipping mix.
Place the dipped sandwich bread in the bottom of the pan. Do this until the bottom of the pan is covered with 4 sandwiches.
Spread the rest of the filling (you should have about half left) over the sandwiches in the pan.
Dip four peices of bread on both sides in the dipping mix then place over the filling. Dump any remaining dipping mix over the top of the bread in the pan.

Bake in the oven at 350 for about a half hour.... I am not 100% on the time... it may need less, it may need more. I would just keep checking to be sure. It will be done when a knife comes out clean (there will be cheese on there, but not runny egg mix)

It is good right out of the oven, but I like it better cold the next day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Word from Carrie Bradshaw

I came across this clip on a friends Facebook wall and thought... how appropriate, I have to share!

Samantha had it right... no man who still lives at home is worth your time... no matter what he is saving his money up for.

As for Carrie's comment...I guess I am no longer allowed to shop for clothes at American Eagle. So all you little 13 year old bishes need to keep away from Forever 21 cause I plan on being 21 forever!