Sunday, November 22, 2009
Bakearella's Cupcake Pops: Julie and Shelley in the kitchen
Bakerella makes these look easy, guys. I know Julie agrees with me. Julie and I both like playing in the kitchen (she is 10x more of a chef than I am). We've talked numerous times about getting together to make something fun and themed. We began ambitiously wanting our cupcake pops to turn out fall-like (maybe even turkeys). They ended up with more of a birthday theme!
You will notice we have GREAT photographs of this adventure. THANK YOU LANCE, aka chaeffur, oops-we-forgot-the-wax-paper errand runner, taste tester and photographer extraordinaire! I am pretty sure next time this is mentioned he will find his way hunting somewhere far far away.
And we cannot leave out our supervisor from the stairs so she could get a good view:
And now, cake pops.
1. Bake a cake and let it cool. I've tried making cake balls with the cake a bit warm. You will end up with a mushy mess. I made these cakes the morning of. I really think chocolate cake tastes best with the cream cheese icing. We did a chocolate and a vanilla cake. (I cooked the vanilla to start with leaving out an egg...doubted myself and went back and did chocolate once I had 3 eggs.)
2. Crumble the cake into tiny crumbs. She mentions a food processor but we did just find with our fingers. Keep in mind if you do this with red velvet (which is SO GOOD) you will end up with red fingers if you dont use gloves!
3. Make your cream cheese icing OR grab your store bought package. We used one container and one homemade and they worked exactly the same. Homemade icing is SIMPLE. Here are the ingredients. 1/2 stick of melted butter, softened cream cheese and 1 lb of confectioners suger (or one box). I noticed the store bought has trans fat so for that reason I feel better making my own (even though I am sure it is just as terrible for you)!
4. Mix a little less than a container of cream cheese until the mixture becomes moldable. I forgot to upload this picture. :)
5. These are our very first balls we rolled. You have to get the size right for your cookie cutter. You want them to be large enough to spill over the top but if you get them TOO large they will fall off in your chocolate bark later on. We suggest them be about an inch and a half if you are making our Wilton cookie cutter found at Hobby Lobby:
6. It is important you get them in the freezer for 20 or so minutes. They are MUCH easier to mold if they are cold and not as mushy! We had several trays going at once and swapped them out. We also tried NOT covering them in alumninum foil. They just don't cool as fast. So we suggest you cover them in foil. Then keep yourself busy for a few minutes. Like playing with this. Here is the cute couple while we wait.
7. Take them out of the freezer and shape them using the flower mold. This will create the bottom of the cupcakes to where they are scalloped like. You want enough poof out of the top so when you dip the top, it is equivalent to the bottom proportionately.
7. Take your chocolate bark and put it in a double boiler or zap it in the microwave for 30 second intervals. We learned you can poach the stuff on the double boiler and it ruins the chocolate so I am not opposed to the microwave method! If you do it on the stove. Be patient. We are not. Not at this point 2 hours after we started:
8.Dip the cupcake bottom in the mixture and turn upside down.
Note: You want to stick the popsickle sticks in while wet otherwise it is IMPOSSIBLE!
9. Let sit for about 15 minutes to harden and then do the tops. Add a little bit of vegetable oil for shine and consistency. It makes it more liquid and spreads much better.
It took us awhile to develop a technique. This was our first one. Needless to say, we got better.
This is what happened to the rejects. You don't want to do this too often. These guys are RICH and you will start feeling sick. (Not that I am speaking from experience :)...)
We learned MANY lessons along the way. A few I can think of:
-Practice makes perfect. You need to do these once before you do them for a party. I don't suggest baking 2 cakes, however, for practice. That is, UNLESS you have 4 hours to devote to them on a Saturday evening/night and want around 75 cake pops. (White Plume, expect a surprise on Monday.)
-Don't wait till the week of the actually holiday to buy your holiday themed sprinkles. Thanksgiving might have been 5 days away but the stores have moved onto Christmas. It was amazing to me. These are some of our purchases we needed in order to pull this off:
-Roll your initial balls large. The bigger the better. You want enough "poof" of the top of the cupcake to make it proportionate.
-Alumninum foil really does help the balls freeze faster in the freezer so we suggest you cover them up.
-Making the tops lighter in color creates more contrast and we liked those better.
(Julie, did I forget anything?)