Friday, February 4, 2011

Cake Pop Challenge

Everyone's doing it: the cutesy baked goods. First cupcakes were all the rage, with specialty boutiques cropping up all over major metropolitan areas (Sprinkles of Beverly Hills), and soon came the difficult to master French macaroons in rosy pastels. Lately, cake pops have popped up on the pastry chef radar, from the delicately simple to artfully crafted masterpiece.

For my very good friend's birthday this weekend, I decided to give these teensie babies a go. The seemingly manageable recipe of cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and candy coating soon turned into a much more complex arrangement. I eagerly snatched up some Duncan Hines red velvet, yellow, and devil's food cake cake mixes, but could not find the candy coating in my neighborhood Ralph's. Instead, I opted for two possible choices: a chocolate glaze and some semi-sweet chocolate chips to melt in a double boiler. 

Baking the cake according to the instructions was all well and good, and I busted out my new stand mixer to add the frosting in. All of the recipes I'd encountered warned that the consistency would be "weird", but I wound up with a mushy, gooey mess. I chilled both the devil's food cake and and red velvet mixtures overnight, like a good little baker. This morning around 4am, I woke up with the nagging suspicion that I would oversleep my alarm before an early shift at work today. Unable to drift back to sleep, I crept down my hallway and peeked in at the concoctions. Rolling out the "dough" into 1 inch balls was simple enough, and when I crawled back into bed I felt satisfied my cake pops would come to fruition adorably and with ease.

Of course, I was wrong. Setting the balls in the fridge instead of the freezer might be the culprit, or perhaps I should have let the cake fully cool before I crumbled it and slapped on the frosting. I definitely will not use that glaze again, as I discovered after several hours that it would not set. Alas, I have no time to recreate them in time for the party tonight. I will settle for some quick and easy cupcakes, and not let my multicolored star decorations go to waste. Later (hopefully this weekend), with more time and materials under my belt, I hope to tackle the cake pops beast one more time and conquer this deceptively difficult recipe!



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