September 04, 2011

Cake Pops / Cake Balls

Yet again, thanks to Ruth from the Pink Whisk, another brilliant way of baking has been revealed (to me at least!). Since finding out about cake pops I have seen them all over the web and I hear.. not that i would know.... but even a big named coffee shop is selling them. 

Have you ever made a cake that needed to be cut to shape and couldn't figure out to do with the pieces left over (apart from scoffing them down of course!) Well, here is an idea to use them up  but of course you don't need to have left overs!  Here are the Cake Pops and Cake Balls that will impress everyone!)

There are sites galore that show different ways of decorating these so do have a  look around (I have added some links for some great ideas I have come across at end of this blog)

Cake Pops
Cake Balls

What you need:
(links to recipes and ideas where to get items at end of this section)
  • A cake (preferably a day old but it doesn't have to be)
  • Buttercream icing (to go with your cake - chocolate/lemon/cherry - whatever you wish)
  • Candy Melts (come in all sorts of colours at your cake shop), melting chocolate or cake covering
  • Sauce pan & bowl
  • Edible Glitter - everyone must have glitter in their baking cupboard!
  • Decorations (stars, sprinkles, flowers, anything that suits the occasion.. the sky is the limit)
For Cake Pops
  • Lollipop sticks (from a bake shop)
  • Styrofoam (from that last delivery of stuff for your kitchen!)
For Cake Balls
  • Candy or small cake cases *if doing cake balls not pops)

Crumble up your cake into pieces  (cake recipe)

Make your buttercream (buttercream recipe)

Add the buttercream to the cake crumble and rub together until it is pasty (very gooey it will be)

Take a walnut sized amount of the mix and roll it into a ball. Repeat until  you have a lovely selection of pops!

TIP - Lightly wet your hands with cold water and shake off excess to stop the mixture sticking too much  - you may have to do this a few times throughout your rolling 

Put in fridge for about 1/2 hour to set them. In the mean time get your chocolate ready.

In a pan of simmering water, place a bowl over the top of the pan (ensure it is not touching the water). Place your chocolate candy/pieces in the dry bowl and allow them to gently melt.

Take the balls out of the fridge. 

If making cake pops, dip the end of a lollipop stick into the chocolate and stick it into a ball about half way (these are very heavy when finished so you need to ensure there is enough support). If making cake balls ignore this step!

Dip the ball into the melted chocolate to fully cover it (use a teaspoon to turn around if making just cake balls). Let the excess chocolate run off before putting aside. (Chocolate has to be melted enough at this stage or you will end up trying to use half of it to coat one ball - normal white chocolate is quite difficult to use so steer clear unless you get one that says good for baking/melting.

Decorate before chocolate sets in order to secure decorations. Add some glitter or stars or squiggles with a contrasting colour.

Cake Recipes
Chocolate Cherry  (Ruth's & Kenco's recipe)
Chocolate Truffle   6" is more than enough(Little Venice Cake Company)
Lemon Polenta  (omit the syrup bit) Niglella's recipe - I think this will work...???
Red Velvet

Buttercream Recipes
Chocolate (for Chocolate Cherry & Chocolate Truffle cakes)
Lemon (for Lemon Polenta Cake)
Cherry (for Chocolate Cherry cake)
Vanilla (for Vanilla Cake)
Cream Cheese (for Ref Velvet Cake)

Sourcing the Bits (check out Ebay for all of this as well!)
Cake Decorating Company   
Party Party  
Sainsbury's  (melting chocolate, cake covering, decorations)
Paper Cake Pop Stand
Acrylic Cake Pop Stand
Planet Bake

Cake Pop Pro Sites
Bakerella - Cake Pop Queen
Google Search - Images

Amaretto Cupcakes with Flambeed Pineapple

I came across a gem of a show one afternoon called Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard. I first heard of Eric and Patric Cox through Cox and Cookies and Cake. A master of cakes and patissier and a link with shoes - how could one not be intrigued to find out more! 

When I saw the first episode CUPCAKES, as always, I had to give it a go. Amaretto being an amazingly wonderful tipple, how could it not be amazing in cakes and little cakes at that! These have a wonderful taste, smell, texture - they are just absolutely divine! 
Since this recipe I have also made his Lemon Meringue cupcakes (with and without lemoncello) and Tiramisu cupcakes (my other half's favourite!)

For the cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
280g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract
175g plain flour
30g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
120ml milk
50ml amaretto

  • For the flambéed pineapple
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml amaretto
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the Cream Topping
400ml double cream
  • more amaretto!

For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Mix in the both the vanilla and almond extracts.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the milk. Mix until combined then repeat with another third of flour and the remaining milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling each three-quarters full - this will allow them to rise perfectly and not be domed shaped. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean

Transfer the tins to wire racks and immediately poke holes all over tops of cupcakes with a skewer or toothpick. Pour a teaspoon of amaretto over the top of each cupcake then allow to cool completely before removing from the tins (be careful with this - too much will be tasty but leave the cupcake very soggy including the cases - although I doubt you will have any complaints at all!!).  

For the flambéed pineapple  
Peel and core the pineapple and cut into chunks. Heat the sugar in a large pan over a medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Add the pineapple and toss to coat.

Carefully pour the amaretto into the pan and immediately tilt to ignite the alcohol. (If using an electric stove, use a long match to ignite the alcohol.) BE CAREFUL if you have a small area above your hob - you may have to pull the pan off the burner when flames take over - BE CAREFUL not to pull off quickly with the liquid in the pan at extreme temperatures!

When the flames subside and the caramel melts, if there is an excessive amount of liquid strain a little away, then carefully stir in the cream, orange juice and vanilla seeds. Reduce the heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until thickened. 

Allow to cool completely before spooning the liquid from the pineapple mixture over the cupcakes.

For the Whipped Cream
Whip the cream to soft peaks and add a little amaretto (careful that you do not ruin the texture of the cream - so add slowly and mix well)

Spread the over the top of each cooled cupcake. (you don't need to pipe pretty patterns on these ones like I did - as the pineapple will just hide all of your work - but if you do..... make little nests to allow the pineapple to sit in!)

Finish by spooning a generous spoon of flambéed pineapple over the top to decorate and a little dusting of icing sugar.

Tips from Eric
Cupcakes should be made in foil cases as paper cases allow the cakes to dry out quicker

Baking Mad
thank you for Eric's Recipe
Other Eric Cupcakes:
Lemon Meringue

Chewy Gooey Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

I absolutely love these cookies - but I can't remember where the recipe is from - Canada most likely due to the measurements ..... As the name suggests they are indeed gooey and chewy and definitely worth a place in everyones recipe book!

You can mix up a batch and freeze half of the dough to pull out when you need a cookie fix but not the mess!
This recipe makes about 65 reasonable sized cookies.

1.25cups  (280g)    caster sugar
1.25cups  (250g)    light brown sugar
1.25cups  (280g)    unsalted butter
2tsp                        vanilla
3  large sized         free range eggs
4cups      (500g)     plain flour
1/8tsp     (Pinch)    salt
2tsp                       baking soda (Bicarbonate of soda)
12oz       (340g)    chocolate chips (mix them up - I use Silver Spoon white, milk & dark chips) but you can use anything you want (chocolate cut up into pieces, chocolate bars, whatever takes your fancy)

Preheat oven to 350deg F; 180deg C (Conv) 160deg C (Fan) Gas Mark 4

Cream butter until nice and fluffy and then add both sugars until softened
Add vanilla and eggs and beat well
Stir in dry ingredients and mix well
Add chocolate chips

Chill mix in fridge for 1 hour (makes them fluffy) you don't need to do this step though if you don't have time (don't worry).

Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out a walnut sized amount and roll into a ball.
place about 1" apart on lined baking tray (as they spread out a bit)

Bake for 9-11min or until golden brown (turn halfway through baking to ensure nice even colour)


To Freeze - roll mixture into a sausage and tightly wrap with cling film so as not to allow any ice crystals to form on the dough. Will keep in fridge 2-3months. When ready to use remove from freezer, preheat oven, when dough just soft enough, use a knife to cut 2cm wide pieces off the sausage and roll into balls (adjust size to suit size of cookies).