Now Playing – Bittersweet Symphony – the Verve
Yesterday, I bought myself a big-time present.
For graduation last year, I was blessed with one of the best possible presents. A Williams Sonoma Gift Card! Many months passed by and I kept contemplating what I wanted to put that good money towards. Obviously, a mixer was on my mind but I knew that price was high and I’d still be contributing from my own post-college-I’m-so-broke-fund. I was oh so tempted to enter Williams Sonoma and bomb that money away on multicolored pastel baking bowls, Ina Garten cookbooks, cupcake stands, etc but, I was patient, pushed my temptations away and waited. A couple paychecks later and I was ready, giftcard still fully intact and ready to be blown. It was so worth it.
“I have never seen someone take so many pictures of … anything, in my life” – Dad, after watching me on my full fledged photo shoot of my new baby. (20 photos later & I was ready to bake)
My latest cookbook purchase should be familar to some people, particularly you food bloggers out there. Bakerella, (http://www.bakerella.com/) the incredibly talented Angie Dudley, food blogger and creator of Cake Pops has finally put out her newest cookbook, Cake Pops, which is the latest obsession and endeavour I am currently tackling.
Cake Pops are so fantastic. Inside that little sucker is a mixture of crumbled cake & frosting, molded together into a ball, put into the freezer for 15 minutes, then dipped in candy coating & decorated with sprinkles. I tried my first Cake Pop at Starbucks, when they were having their anniversary, giving away free miniature desserts. I spotted the pink coating, white sprinkles, speckled Birthday Cake Pop immediately and had to have it. I took one bite & my mouth exploded with flavor & pure happiness. What I had discovered was something out of this realm. The inside of the pop was so moist, so cakey and so flavorful I wondered how that was even possible because I had expected it would be dry and bland. When I bought the cookbook, I realized the reason the inside was soft because it contained a mixture of cake & frosting – and my god, that is absolutely brilliant.
What is so great about Cake Pops is that they really are simple to make, they just require some time & patience (and what baking doesn’t?!) First, you make a 9 x 13 cake – but, good news, you don’t have to make a homemade cake – Bakerella actually recommends using store-bought cake mix and store-bought frosting. I didn’t have any store-bought frosting at home (but I did have cake), so I popped the cake in the oven and whipped up a simple vanilla frosting recipe I found online. After the cake has cooled, you crumble it with your hands (which is SO much fun) and mix in a small amount of frosting – then, you shape them into little balls and stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, you can melt the candy coating (I used some bitter dark chocolate bark we had in the pantry that is usually used for fondue) and pour it into a deep, shallow bowl good for dipping. Grab some lollipop sticks, stick them 1/2 way into the cake mold and dip those bad boys into the frosting. The coating should harden in just a few seconds, right after sprinkling the decorations on top.
The hard part was drying my Pops. We didn’t have a styrofoam block, but we did have some leftover styrofoam that came with my mixer, so I attempted to make little holes for the sticks, which, didn’t exactly work because some toppled over. But, they dried quickly & all worked out. Great news? I tasted a Pop this morning, breakfast of champions, and it was better the second day!
Even better news? I bought some red-velvet & chocolate cake mix, vanilla and chocolate frosting at the store today, so I will be experimenting more with Cake Pops in the coming days, leading for more blog posts. Which I know you’re all excited about.
PS. Apologies for not posting in quite a few weeks. I’ve slowly transitioned from host –> server at Q & training over the past few weeks has drained everything out of me. But, that hell week is over & I’m back to myself, energetic, awkward & all!