Monday, May 14, 2012

Blue Velvet Cake Pops

So I was all set a few days ago to post about Bread Pudding. Mmmmm, bread pudding, one of my absolute favorite desserts. I had never really made it so I tried a recipe from the internet and while it was pretty good, it wasn't perfect. And I wanted it perfect. So, we'll save bread pudding for another day, as soon as I get it perfect. Be patient, it's coming.

But, I bet you've been wondering what I was going to do with that leftover Blue Velvet Cake. Did you guess? Was Bakerella enough of a hint? Were you thinking Cake Pops? Well, if you were, you were right. Cake Pops. Blue Velvet Cake Pops to be exact. 
Wait. . .
I need to back up a bit. . . 
When I first heard of cake pops and cake balls they sounded kind of gross. I didn't think I'd ever make them. Then I discovered Bakerella and I really enjoyed her site. She's seriously the Queen of Cake Pops. Different cake ball and cake pops kept popping up on her blog. But I still wasn't ready to give 'em a try. Then my daughter caught wind of them and begged me to make them with her. So, I gave in and we made them to bring to a party. They were a hit. Everyone loved them. So, I was converted. Yes, they are sweet. But, they are supposed to be. It's cake and icing. So if you're skeptical, like I was, just give in a give 'em a try.

The players: Blue Velvet Cake (recipe here), cream cheese frosting (I used "canned" but you could also use homemade.), white dipping chocolate (My first choice is the Guittard A'peels but you could use Wilton Candy Melts, don't use white chocolate chips.) and sprinkles. You'll also need some lollipop sticks. I like the 6 inch size.

Start by crumbling up the cake. Since this cake had a lot of color in it, I decided to use some gloves to prevent dying my hands blue. Excuse my creepy looking gloved hand!

Keep crumbling until you have a bowl full of fine cake crumbs.

Add some of the frosting. Add just a spoonful at a time until you get the consistency you want. You can always add more frosting but if you add too much you're "dough" will be too moist and won't hold together.

Stir it around well, incorporating the frosting, until you have a dough like mixture. It should be the texture of a stiff Play Dough.

Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough. I find a cookie scoop works best.

Roll the scoops of dough into nice, tight round balls. Again, I used gloved hands to avoid dying my hands blue. Park these in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You may be tempted to freeze them but be careful! I'll show you why in just a bit.

When you're ready to dip the pops first get all your equipment (melted chocolate, sprinkles, lollipop sticks and a styrofoam block) laid out and ready. Once you start dipping you'll need to work quickly. Having it all laid out ahead makes the process much easier.

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, dip one end of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate.

Push the dipped end of the stick into the dough ball. There is usually a flat spot on the ball where it sat on the pan. I like to have this at the bottom where the stick goes in. You'll find out now if your dough is too moist. If you used too much icing in the mix, the ball will be too soft and will fall off the stick.

Once the stick is secured dip the pop into the melted chocolate and give it a spin to coat the entire pop.

Carefully lift the pop out of the chocolate and gently tap the stick on the rim. Rotate and tap until the excess chocolate has dripped off and the pop is evenly coated. Then quickly add your sprinkles.

Poke the stick into the styrofoam block to let it dry. You can dip in assembly line fashion by first affixing the pops to the sticks and then dipping and sprinkling them.

Caution: If you freeze the pops and then try to dip them, while still frozen, the chocolate coating will crack as it sets up and as the dough ball defrosts. That's the mistake I made with those few at the front of the photo. If you choose to make the balls in advance and want to freeze them, that works great. Just bring them out of the freezer at least 1/2 hour or more before you start dipping.

And there you have it. Blue Velvet Cake Pops. You can use just about any kind of cake and frosting combination you like. My daughter and I made some previously using a devils food cake mix and chocolate frosting. The combinations are endless. Seriously who needs to pay a buck fifty each for these at Starbucks when they are so so so easy to make at home!

For more cake pop and cake ball ideas visit Bakerella's Blog.

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