Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mum's Birthday Cake

It was my Mum's birthday.
She deserved a low-sugar cake, with sugar-free frosting.

I made a cake with the same recipe I used for the cake pops.

Three layers of butter cake, with white chocolate chips folded into the dough.
Thought I'd show off a little bit of my cake-decorating-skill progress.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cake Pops

A week ago, I was in New Jersey sitting in a table with cake pops. Cake pops.

I hear these have been around for a while, and just like the red velvet treats, these are becoming more commercialized too-- especially after Starbucks recently introduced them.

For those of you who still have no idea what these are, they are little, candy-covered cakes molded into shapes & stuck on a stick. One of my favorite cake pop baker-artists:
She has simply mastered the art of decorating these things. Her Sesame Street character cake pops were my favorite!

While I am still in the proces of learning how to use my art to decorate my treats (see bottom), I thought I'd learn how to create simple versions of these cake pops. My boyfriend, Aaron, and I decided to do so yesterday afternoon.

Just an FYI, most cake pops require using a box of cake mix. I decided to actually bake my cake from scratch. If you decide to follow my instructions but want to use the cake mix, skip the part where I talk about baking the cake-- move onto the preparation of the pops.

Oh, and one more thing, I've made these so that the sugar content is less...


Ingredients for the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup of sugar (since I want to share these, I opted out the SPLENDA substitution, for now)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk

Ingredients for the pops:
- a bag of dark cocoa candy melts
- 1 can of whipped frosting (whipped frosting has less fat content)
- a bag of lollipop sticks

Butter cake. I turned the oven on at 350 degrees F and prepared all my mixing bowls. In a large bowl, Aaron mixed together the butter, sugar, eggs, & vanilla essence. In a mid-sized bowl, I sifted together all my dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, & salt. As he was beating the wet ingredients together, I would throw in the dry mixture in, alternating it with the milk. Once smooth, I spooned it into my cake baking tin, placed it in the oven, & left it there for 35 minutes.

The cake turned out a bit more crumby than I had expected. I was hoping for a moist cake. Anyway, this was my very first time baking a cake, so I wasn't too disappointed. I look forward to improving baking cake from scratch.

Cake pops. Once the cake has cooled, Aaron & I crumbled the cake with a fork & eventually used our hands. On the stove, I started melting the candy melts. (If you have forgotten how to melt chocolate, read through my Low-Sugar, Low-Calorie Brownie entry). We mixed the can of whipped frosting into the cake; this is the reason why I barely used sugar for my cake. I have tried cake pops that are way too sweet for me, a sweet person. Hehe. :] I don't like them too sweet.

We took spoonfuls of cake, rounded them into balls, then arranged them on a cookie sheet. While Aaron was finishing up, I was clearing out my freezer to make room for the pops.  I took a lollipop stick, dipped it into the chocolate, then pierced one through each cake round.

Nice & neat, isn't it?

I still don't know why the lollipop stick needs to be dipped in the candy melt. My theory is that it holds the stick to the cake round. Once done, this cookie sheet went into the freezer and stayed there for 15 minutes.

Afterwards, I dipped each frozen ball into the melted dark cocoa & voila! a cake pop was born!

Many more were born thereafter...

As far as treat decorating goes, I was planning on placing smiley faces on the pops. I decided that I'll do that next time. Basics first, right?

My past cake (brownie) deco: