It’s Danskin week here in Austin, TX! On June 6, 2010, a few thousand women will show up to Decker Lake to do a sprint triathlon. That is a half mile swim, 12 mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run. Yes, all in one day! I’m a Team Leader with Trizones Training during our spring season, and we help women train for the Danskin in a 12 week program. Today we’re having a Danskin pre-race potluck party. Can you guess what I’m bringing?!
I had a bunch of yellow candy melts left over from doing the Easter chicks. I also had a whole container of pastel colored candy corn that I never used, so I took a cue from Bakerella and made some Mother’s Day Flowers. Hers came out so much nicer, though.
I’ve been having a tough time with the Wilton brand of candy melts. I use a little ceramic cup and melt the candy melts in the microwave. I just can’t seem to get it liquidy (is that even a word?!) enough that it will drip from the lollipop stick. It usually just clumps. I’m going to have to experiment with some other brands. I’ve even tried putting a little vegetable/canola oil in it, but that doesn’t seem to help much at all. Anyone out there have any suggestions?
In the middle of the flowers, I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds that I found at Trader Joe’s. The candy corn I found during the Easter holiday at Michael’s.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m having a hard time coming up with an any original ideas. The only thing that comes to mind when I think about Mother’s Day are flowers. Not sure what else I could use for a Mother’s Day themed cake pop. Got any suggestions you would like to share? Leave me a comment!
These baby chicks were so ready to come out, and they finally hatched just in time for Easter! Hope everyone has a great Easter and eats lots of chocolate!
Springtime is here and the baby chicks are getting ready to arrive just in time for Easter!
Looking for something different to make for Easter, I went with this. I don’t even have a name for it. Pre-chick? The inspriation came from a cartoon image in an online coloring book. As soon as I saw it, I just KNEW I had to try to duplicate it. These took quite some time to assemble, as it was pretty time consuming and sticky trying to make the legs. I used some peanut marshmallows, and cut them up with a knife and formed them to make legs. Using a black, edible ink marker, I drew the cracks on the egg.
I just can’t stop looking at these! Everytime I look at this picture, I just giggle and giggle and giggle with a crazy grin on my face! Stay tuned to see what the baby chicks look like after they’ve hatched!
Texas Hold’em took the world by storm a few years ago. I have a friend who loves to play poker and is pretty darn good at it, too. Her husband also plays pretty well, and they go to Vegas quite frequently. My friend hosts a women’s poker tournament every other weekend at her house. I had gotten an idea of making some poker chip cake pops and thought it’d be nice to take them to the women’s poker tournament instead of having them in my kitchen tempting me!
Initially, I wanted to use fondant as the stripes for the chips, but never having dealt with fondant before, my first attempt was a complete disaster! As the start time of the poker tournament quickly approached, I decided to just use my edible ink markers and color in the stripes instead.
The tournament players got a kick out of them and loved eating them!
Next is to find someplace local to take a fondant class. Got any tips or tricks you’d like to share with me about dealing with fondant? How about your favorite fondant book or fondant YouTube video?
I thought for a while what kind of cake balls or cake pops I would make for St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted something more than just cake balls colored green, or topped with green/white sprinkles or four leaf clovers. Everyone seemed to be doing that. While browsing the internet, looking for some inspiration, I found a cute little drawing of a leprechaun. THAT’S what I wanted to do! Trying to figure out how to pull this off, I used Bakerella’s Snowman Cake Pop creation as the basis for my Leprechauns.
I only made these 5 leprechauns as they were a real chore to make. The hats were SO heavy, it was hard to get them to “glue” to the top of the heads. Attaching the cotton candy beards to the heads was a sticky situation at best.
After about an hour, the beards pretty much disintigrated and/or fell off! I should have seen that coming, but I sure did have a good giggle about it. I wonder what else I could have used for the beards instead that would not fall apart or disappear? Do you have any suggestions? Leave me a comment if you’ve got any suggestions on how I could improve the leprechauns for next time.
Making cake balls isn’t hard. It’s just very, very time consuming and can get extremely messy. It’s worth the time and the mess though because once people start chowin’ down on these little rascals, you will automatically move up a few notches on the popularity ladder! No, really, you will!
Alrighty, lets get on with it! As with most recipes, I highly recommend reading through all the steps first so you can have an idea of what you going to be doing and plan accordingly.
1. Get yourself to your local grocery store and purchase a box of red velvet cake mix. If there isn’t red velvet cake in your area, you could substitute it with chocolate, lemon or whatever else tickles your tongue. However, if you’ve never had red velvet, you are truly missing out! (Get yourself on the interweb, do a little google searching and try to find someplace you can purchase it online. You won’t regret it!)
2. Prepare the cake mix per the instructions on the box. I had to add 3 eggs, 1 1/4 cup of water, and 1/3 cup of oil to my mix, but thats usually stuff I have on-hand in the kitchen already. (So, back in step #1, you’ll probably want to read the box to make sure you buy the additional ingredients it calls for if you don’t have it at home already.) The best part about this step is that it doesn’t matter what your cake looks like after its cooked!
3. Let the cake cool completely! At this point I’ll usually do some housework to pass the time, or catch up on my DVR. Yes, I was just teasing about the housework. Who could do housework when your home smells like cake?! In the winter months, the cake seems to cool a lot quicker. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
4. Once the cake is cooled completely and before I do anything else, I like to take a knife to the corners of the cake and cut out the corners because they are usually harder. Well, at least when I make mine, they are. I just eat the corners.
Here is where the fun begins!
5. Break off about half of the cake into a large bowl. Using your hands, crumble up the cake. Then take the rest of the cake and put it in the bowl and crumble the rest. Some people like to use a fork here, but I like to use my hands. I like my cake very crumbly, and its easier to find big chunks with my hands than a fork.
6. After you crumble up all the cake, and kept yourself from having a few crumbles, now its time to add the frosting! Open up your can of cream cheese frosting and dump the entire can into the cake crumbles. Here you can see I use the reduced sugar version. You can’t taste any difference at all, so if I can help keep the sugar down just a little, I will. (Using the entire can makes the cake balls VERY rich. You can add 3/4ths of the can and it still tastes good.)
7. This part you will get really messy. With both hands, combine the frosting with the cake until it is mixed together very well. You could start with a fork if you’d like, but I always end up with my hands because its easier to feel around to make sure everything is mixed together well. You’ll have one big mushy glob of cake when its all done.
8. Now its time to roll the cake into balls. I use a small 1″ ice cream scooper for this part. Scoop out some of the cake with your scooper, then roll it into a nice round ball in the palms of your hand. (I couldn’t get a picture of this since my hands were way too messy to handle the camera. I’ll need to figure out a way.) Your hands will get really messy here and turn super red with the red velvet cake. With a 1″ scooper, I can usually get anywhere from 40-50 balls per batch. You’ll want to wash your hands after rolling about 6-8 balls, because then the balls will start sticking to your hands and not come out smooth.
9. Make sure you don’t roll the balls too tight, you want to just roll it enough so it gets the shape of a ball.
10. Place the rolled balls onto a flat surface lined with wax paper. I just use a cookie sheet for this.
11. Stick the balls into the fridge for a couple of hours, or if you are super impatient, like me, stick them in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so, just don’t let them get frozen. If you put them in the freezer for 10 minutes, place them in the fridge afterwards so they can stay cool.
12. Melt some dipping chocolate, bark, candy melts or whatever you’d like to use. I’ve had a lot of success with bark coating or confectioners chocolate. You can usually find the bark coating at your local grocery store. I get the confectioner’s chocolate in bulk at a local bake shop supply store. I have not been successful with the candy melts. Here is a quick video I posted to the Cake Ball Addiction Facebook Page of what my chocolate looks like before dipping:
13. Take a few balls out of the fridge at a time (leaving the rest in the fridge to keep cool). Dip the balls in chocolate, then place on another flat surface lined with wax paper. The chocolate should harden within a minute or so. There are many ways to do this, but I like the spoon method for cake balls. Dip a spoon in the chocolate, put the ball on the spoon, and use another spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the ball. Tap the spoon lightly on the side of the bowl to get rid of all the excess chocolate and let the ball slide off the spoon onto the wax paper. Tapping the spoon on the side of the bowl will help make the chocolate smooth on the ball. Some people like to drop the ball into the chocolate, drizzle the chocolate on top of it, life it out with a fork and let it slide off the fork onto the wax paper. I find I get more pieces of cake in the chocolate this way and it gets messy.
14. You now have a cake ball! EAT and ENJOY!!
Since Valentine’s Day is this week, I thought I’d try my hand at some Valentine’s Day themed cake pops. I found some red, white and pink candy corn that would work well to duplicate Bakerella’s Flower Cake Pops. I bought a few boxes of conversational hearts to use for decoration as well. (I didn’t really need a few boxes, but I knew I needed extra to munch on or else I’d eat them all.)
One of the things I’ve been working on and trying to figure out how how to get the chocolate as smooth as I can on the cake pop. This is probably one of the most time consuming steps since I have to lightly tap the lollipop stick to get rid of all the excess chocolate while twirling it to keep everything smooth. Once they hardened up, I dipped a toothpick in the melted chocolate and “painted” a little bit on the back of a conversational heart and “glued” it to the cake pop. You have to hold it onto the pop for a few seconds so the “glue” can harden up or else the candy will just slide down the pop. I can’t believe the conversational hearts now say stuff like “TWEET ME”! Really?
The flower cake pops came out pretty good, considering it was my first time attempting something so involved. Just as the cake pops with the conversational hearts, I had to use chocolate to “glue” on each piece of candy corn one at a time, and hold it in place for a few seconds to make sure it didn’t fall off. Making this half-dozen of Valentine’s Day Flower Cake Pops took about an hour and a half, which includes the dipping and glueing. I didn’t eat any of the flower pops, but I did munch on some of the candy corn, and I can only imagine that these cake pops would definitely send someone into suger overload. I gave them away to friends and was informed later they were pretty tasty!
Cake balls?! What on earth is a cake ball, you ask?
Well, if you haven’t heard of them before, they are made of cake, mixed with frosting, rolled up into balls, and then dipped in chocolate! The one and only, Bakerella, has made these little balls of joy very popular. She was even on The Martha Stewart Show showin’ Martha a thing or two!
When I first came across the Bakerella website last month, I must have spent hours going through everything and I was immediately hooked. I knew I had just make them. And I haven’t stopped since! I’ve been making a batch at least every weekend. I’m mostly addicted to the actual process of making them, and not necessarily eating them. Each ball is so rich, its really hard to eat more than one, or else I’d get sick. And I LOVE cake!
My first batch of cake balls were horrible! They were so bad, I didn’t even think about taking a picture of them. I gave them all away to my coworkers to eat.
Here is the red velvet cake all crumbled up just waiting for the frosting to be mixed in. Once the frosting is mixed in, then you roll them into balls and stick them in the freezer to chill out for a couple of hours before they are dipped in chocolately goodness!
As you can see, the cake balls are just chillin’ out here.
Yummy red velvet cake balls dipped in chocolate, white chocolate, and red candy melts. In the background, you can see the cake pops I made. Stick them on lollipop sticks, then dip in chocolate and voila! The heart ones I shaped in a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Some of the others have sprinkles on them, too.