around here, things are a special kind of crazy!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Patriotic CakePops

Heydew came over today and we made cakepops!

One layered and 1/4 of a marbled one
 After scouring foodgawker we came across this fantastic idea and decided to take it the from scratch patriotic route with red, white and blue. We also found a 4th of July cake which ended up being our cake recipe. And is absolutely worth making again, even frostingless! Instead of the swiss meringue suggested, we decided to make our own buttercream frosting. Our baking extravaganza actually started with a shopping trip as I was low on sugar and Heydew was afraid I wasn't going to have enough shortening for the frosting.   

The dragon is the most essential of the ingredients
The cake batter was amazingly delicious, and very easy to put together, especially using the kitchen aid. I ended up using a whole tube of blue and another of pink to color the batter. I used pink because I bought my dyes on clearance just after Easter, but it turned out great!

Not quite evenly distributed, but close enough!  
Heydew sprayed and floured the pans while I tinted the batter. Since we split the batter into thirds we only baked them for 15 minutes instead of the 40 the recipe called for. We then scraped off the browned bottoms and cut off the crust so we could have the smoothest texture possible.

The white one was still baking since my oven only has one rack

We then crumbled each cake into it's own bowl by hand. Only when we were completely done did I realize that we could have pulsed them in the food processor. Oh well! Heydew then taught me how to make my own buttercream frosting, which was fantastic! We then mixed the frosting a bit at a time into the cakes until the mixture resembled playdough and tossed them into the fridge for about 15 minutes and cleaned up the counters. Of course I failed to take pictures of any of those steps. After the balls were done chilling, we brought them out to start rolling them. At first, we were layering them, but that was taking too long and getting boring (neither of us is terribly patient). I started marbling mine, grabbing a bit of all three colors and mashing them together a bit before rolling them into balls. I did have to be careful though, there's a bit of purple in a few of mine. I also made one with a blue center and red and white beach ball looking stripes on the outside. Heydew made a few that looked like flags before getting balled up. After making the balls and setting them on my silpat, it was time to insert the sticks. We melted just a bit of the white chocolate melts and dipped the end-to-be-inserted of candy sticks before sticking them into the balls. This, in theory, was supposed to hold the ball on better but that didn't happen so much. After sticking all the pops we put them back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. We took this opportunity to clear the counter again and dip some strawberries.

My favorite dessert ever
When the balls were done chilling, it was time to dip! Turns out Heydew is a better dipper than me. And that tall mugs work better than big bowls for dipping. 

On silpat, undipped and FAIL balls. In foam, dipped balls. In mug, red chocolate.
We also found out that three bags of melting chocolates will cover 12 strawberries and 42 cake pops, so what should have been all white pops with red and blue decorations turned into white with splattered red and blue, solid red and solid blue. 

The flower foam stuff was a brilliant idea on Heydew's part
So, we learned a lot, and many people got to try some awesome new sugar high. The rest of the pretty pops are going into work with Pug tomorrow. And I still have the cracked and unstuck-stick ones for the next few days, tho I may be sweet-toothed out for a bit after these guys!

Marbled ball with stick removed

Layered ball on stick
Heydew's Buttercream Frosting 
1c shortening*
4c sifted confectioner's sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp butter extract*
2 Tbl milk

* if you don't have butter extract you can use 1/2 c shortening and 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1)At medium speed start beating shortening (or mixture).
2)Slowly sift in confectioner's sugar, scraping sides as necessary.
3)When sugar is fully incorporated, add extracts and milk, one at a time.
4)Beat on medium-high until fluffy.
5)Lick whisk or beaters and use frosting as you see fit.

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