Now cake pops are very pretty, and pretty straight forward to make - a lot of people make them with boxed cake mixes and ready made icing - but man are they time consuming! It's more the final stage that is a bit of a pain in the butt - dipping the cake balls into your melted chocolate and decorating them. For the decoration and chocolate not to drip, you have to hold each ball upside down for a couple of minutes till the chocolate sets a tiny bit more - pain in the butt I tell ya!
Despite not tasting any of these, I have it on good authority that they were amazing so go on, give 'em a go. Especially if you have kids. I think they'll love the idea of cake on lollipop sticks. Though it might leave them on a sugar high like never before ... ummm, sorry about that in advance but I blog about food not children, you really shouldn't have listened to me ;p
For the Cake - Adapted from (From Joy of Baking)
2 1/2 cups / 250g sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons / 15g cocoa powder
1/2 cup / 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup / 240ml buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food colouring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the covering and decoration
400g white chocolate
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Whatever sprinkles you want to use
a couple of blocks of florist foam
Makes about 30 cake pops
1 - Preheat oven to 175C / 350F and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour a 12 inch round cake tin. Set aside.
2 - In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside
3 - In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
4 - Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined
5 - In a measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk with the red food colouring.
6 - With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour until all just combined
7 - In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
8 - Pour batter into your cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean
9 - Cool cake for a couple of hours or overnight
10 - For the frosting, whisk softened butter for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and icing sugar and whisk together until you have a creamy frosting (about 5 minutes). I use my electric mixer. It would take longer by hand.
For the cake pops (Note that you can ignore the first part of this recipe and buy a cake mix and some ready made frosting)
11 - Break cake into a bowl and adding about half the frosting and smush it all together with your fingers.
Keep adding frosting and smushing (isn't this such a wonderful non-word?!) until the mixture binds to itself and not to the bowl. I used all the frosting but you might not (especially if you are not using my frosting recipe).12 - Line a baking sheet with grease-proof paper
13 - Shape mixture into round balls and place on your baking sheet. I used a tablespoon of mixture per ball to get the size I wanted and also get evenly sized balls
14 - When you have finished shaping your balls, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes
15 - After 30 minutes, melt about 50g of the white chocolate in a bain marie (leaving the chocolate bowl in the hot simmering water). Take out your cake balls from the fridge and your lollipop sticks
16 - Dip the lollipop sticks in the melted chocolate and insert into the cake balls, going more than halfway through
17 - Repeat for all the cake balls and put them back into the fridge for about an hour
18 - Melt the remaining chocolate with the 2tsps of oil (Again leaving the bowl on the simmering water as the next part can take a while and you don't want your chocolate to solidify)
Taking each cake ball on stick, dip into the chocolate until covered, then swirl round gently until chocolate stops dripping
19 - I did this next part over the sink as it can be messy, hold the cake ball over the sink and gently sprinkle sprinkles (or whatever decorations you are using) in whatever pattern you want and then I recommend holding it upside down for a couple of minutes before sticking it in the florist foam (stick side down!) as when I didn't, the chocolate and sprinkles dripped a bit onto the foam slightly misshaping my cake pops.
20 - Repeat until your foam is full of decorated cake pops and put in the fridge for about half an hour for the chocolate to set
Voila! The prettiest things you would have made in a very long time!