Saturday, October 29, 2011

Scary Cake Pops

I was invited to a Halloween Party & I wanted to take something 'scary'.  I found some pretty interesting cake pops through pinterest but I had to combine quite a few methods to make my cake pops work & taste like I wanted them to. 

1 cake box mix
Jar of cake icing
Candy Melts
Sucker Sticks
Sugar Gum Paste
Candy Eyes
Gel Food Coloring
Flower Foam board & half ball
Wax Paper

Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.  Once the cake is cooled, break off pieces of cake and crumble between your hands into a large bowl.  Add 1/2 of the jar of cake icing & mix well.  Cover bowl & refridgerate cake/icing mix for about 20 minutes.  Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Using a small spoon, scoop out the amount of cake/icing to wish to have your balls sized to & place on wax paper. Using a sucker stick, poke a hole the top of each of the balls.  In a small bowl, melt a small amount of candy melts; enough to dip a sucker stick into and place into the holes on the tops of each of the balls.  It doesn't really matter the amount because you can use that same candy melt later when you dip the cake pops.  Freeze the cakeballs for atleast 2 hours. 

For the Pumpkins, I used spice cake mix & cream cheese icing.  I used a whole jar of icing and I found that the cake balls were too sweet & too gooey for me.  Rolling the cake into the balls was messy.  For the Monsters, I used Chocolate cake mix & Chocolate Buttercream icing.  I used 1/2 of the icing and the cake balls came out tasting like brownies, which I like a lot more. Rolling the cake into balls was a lot cleaner.

For my pumpkins & monsters, I used sugar gum paste to make the pumpkin leaves & swirls & the mouths of the monsters.  This can be done days before or the day of.  I used a gel food coloring to tint my sugar gum paste to the color I wanted.  I bent wire to make my 'leaf' cutter. Rolled out the sugar gum paste flat and started cutting.  I used the round part on the end of a fork to make my leaf print.  I rolled out sugar gum paste into a long spaghetti like strand, cut it into small sections & swirled it to look like vine. I left my designed sugar gum paste out on wax paper to dry. (I suppose you could use the sugar gum paste while it is still moist, but I didn't want to risk having my colors run or blending with the candy melts or bending the sugar gum paste while I was trying to place them on/in the candy melt.  Leftover sugar gum paste can be stored in the freezer for years.

Once your cake pops are frozen, melt candy melts according to the package directions.  (I found a deep bowl worked best, for when I was getting low on my candy melt, I was able to tilt the bowl to where I had a corner to pool the candy melt.)  I added crisco(amount depends on the amount of candy melt you use) to thin the candy melt out & microwaved the candy melt on defrost for 30 seconds, stiring in between each 30 sec. interval. Since I noticed the candy melt was still too thick (it didn't pour off my stiring spoon as easy as I wanted it to) I added a little more crisco.  If you try to dip your cake pop into the candy melt and the cake falls off the sucker stick, then your candy melt is still too thick.  I kept a pair of chopsticks handy incase one fell off into the candy melt & I needed to 'rescue' it. If the candy melt was working fine for a bit & suddenly stops working as well, you probably need to microwave the candy melt again.

I tried to use gel food coloring to try to change the candy melt & I do not reccomend it. When I added it, my candy melt 'froze' up and it was no longer any good.  Change the colors of the candy melt by adding & mixing difference colors of candy melt.

Make a plan before you start. Once you dip your cake pops into the candy melt, depending on how you want the outcome to be; place cake pop directly onto a wax papered cookie sheet or stick the sucker stick into the flower foam to hold.

My pumpkins, I left on a cookie sheet; my monsters, I stuck into the foam.  If you are using decorative sugar gum paste and/or candy eyes - it is best if you stick to the gum paste before the candy melt 'cools'. But if you do it too soon, the leaves/vines/eyes/mouths will slide right off your pop.  I had help when making mine.  I dipped the cake pops & my partner placed the leaves/vines/eyes/mouths.  The cooling happens within 10-20 seconds.  Leftover candy melt can be saved. I poured my leftover candy melt into freezer ziploc baggies to save.

I wanted to have a cool & scary display for my hard worked cake pops.  I went to a local craft/quilt store & the lady happened to have an old apple basket in the back she sold to me for $2.  I purchased some material to cover my half ball & board of flower foam.  My selection of material prints was small, so I used a black rag I purchased to cover the material to make it look better.

I placed the green half ball where I wanted it on the white foam board after I cut it to size.  Covered it with my material and placed it in the basket to where it was wedged/hoving in the basket. I draped my black rag over the ball, foam & basket to give it a spidery look. I used a utility knife to make a slit through the material covering the half ball in the spots where I was going to place my cake pops.  I cut a piece of wax paper to the size of space I was placing the pumpkins in so that the cake pops wouldn't pick up any fuz from the black rag material. 

The Halloween Party Hostess was really pleased with it & took a picture for me.  

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