Cake Pops and Cupcakes


Baking is proving an endless source of fascination: not only bakers demonstrate a wealth of creativity, produce beautiful goods  which we crave for but the world of baking is proving as vicious as that of the Bolshoi.
Take cupcakes. They were around for ever, ignored and languishing on shop shells, when suddenly, they enjoyed a revival with a little bit of help from "Sex and the City". The whole story is reveal in this extremely well crafted article of  New York by Adam Sternbergh.
For a while, everyone thought that cupcakes will reign supreme for a long time and the myriad of contenders would never dethrone them until the beginning of this month, when the craze started to peter out.

To everyone amazement, a New York based cupcake shop and one of the major player "Crumbs Bake Shop" closed suddenly all its stores.This leaves Cake Pops with a chance to be the next cupcake.

My money is on this moist center cakey bite. After all, it decorates as well, if not better than cupcakes. It is smaller therefore should contain less calories and with a few tips, it is not very difficult to make at home. If you use cake left overs it can be very economical.
So what do you need to know before you start?
Tip 1: To bind the cake mixture, use cream cheese, it's lower in fat than most recommended addition.
Tip 2: Make sure that your pops are small enough, if you have a melon scoop use it to get all cakes equal in size.

Tip 3:  Before inserting your sticks into your chilled cake balls, dip the end of each stick into the coating. This is the major tip, the last thing you want is doing all the work only to watch the cake pop to fall off its stick.
Here is my first attempt at cake pop and as we now know, I am probably not going to win "Baker of the year" or if I do that will be the wooden spoon. But with Cake Pops, my confections were applauded and there were smiles all around on tasting

Basic Cake Pops
I use the leftovers of the coconut and strawberry cake I'd made previously

  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 40g cream cheese, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted
  •  Lollipop sticks
  •  dark chocolate - melted- though you can use coloured chocolate buttons or a whole variety of covers
  • To make the cream cheese frosting
        1.    Cream the butter and cream cheese together.
        2.    Gradually add the sugar, then continue to cream until light and fluffy.
        3.    Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.
    When this is done,
    crumble the cake and mix the cream cheese frosting in. The texture needs to be a little like clay.
    Break off a small piece of the mixture and roll into a ball with your palms, it should be 3cm in diameter.  Place each ball on a tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm.
    Melt the chocolate until smooth and dip each lollipop stick in, up to about 3cms, insert the stick in a ball straight away. This will "stick" the cakepop.
    Coat each cake pop by dipping them in the melted chocolate, shake the excess and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
    Use floral foam to stand the pops during the drying process, you could "dry" them upside down but then you would get a flat top.

    Further reads
    More on Crumbs closure here
    and from one of my favourite bakers Daffodils Cookies Pops

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