Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gourmet cake pops

Adult-only cake pops were my latest endeavor. They were delicious and quite pretty I think! I don't imagine they would be a kid favorite, but the flavors were definitely adult approved at work where I took them for a birthday celebration.

Chocolate Nutella, caramel macchiato & coconut pecan cake pops
Here are the recipes:
Chocolate Nutella cake pops
Makes 40-50 cake pops
1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix and applicable ingredients
1 13 oz. jar of Nutella (You won't use the whole jar.)
1-2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
1-2 bags of chocolate candy melts
Wilton Turtle Crunch sprinkles (I found these at Michael's.)
Pop sticks
Styrofoam (or some stand for your cake pops)

Bake the cake in a 9x13 inch pan as instructed on the box. Cool. Crumble into a large bowl, removing any hard edges from the cake. Add about half the jar of Nutella and the peanut butter to the crumbled cake. Mix well. Add more or less Nutella or peanut butter to achieve doughy consistency. Shape the doughy cake mixture into bite size balls and place on a wax-paper-lined tray. Put the cake balls in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until firm but not frozen. 

While your cake balls are in the freezer, melt a bag of chocolate candy melts in a cereal-sized bowl. Add about a tablespoon of Crisco to thin the melted chocolate. Remove your cake balls from freezer once they are firm. Dip a pop stick into the melted chocolate about 1/2 inch, stick halfway into a cake ball, and put your almost-cake-pop back on the tray. Repeat with all your cake balls. Stick the tray back into the freezer for a couple of minutes so the chocolate and stick can set.

After a few minutes, remove your tray from the freezer. Be sure that your cake balls are not frozen as this will cause your hardened chocolate to crack after you dip it. Grab an almost-cake-pop and carefully reshape if necessary. Gently dip into your melted chocolate, making sure to cover the entire cake ball and the top of the pop stick as this helps stabilize the cake pop. Sprinkle some Turtle Crunch on your dipped cake pop, and stick into a piece of styrofoam to dry (for an easy display idea, check out my blog post "All about cake pops").Voila! Your first Chocolate Nutella cake pop! Repeat with your remaining cake balls.

Caramel Macchiato cake pops (For coffee lovers only!)
Make 40-50 cake pops
1 box of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix and applicable ingredients
Instant coffee
1 can of Duncan Hines Homestyle Caramel frosting
White candy melts
Ivory or brown gel food coloring or meltable caramel candies
Pop sticks
Frosting decorator bag and size 1 Wilton piping tip
Styrofoam stand

This cake pop is a little different. You're not going to follow the cake mix instructions exactly. Follow the mix instructions, except for the 1 1/3 cups of water and one egg, substitute 1 2/3 cups of double strong instant coffee. After you've dissolved the coffee granules into 1 2/3 cups of boiling water, you need to let the coffee cool a bit before you add it to your cake mix. You can speed the cooling process by pouring the coffee into a large open container and stirring for a few minutes. Once the coffee has cooled some (it's okay if it's still warm), add the coffee and oil to the cake mix. Mix a bit before adding the two eggs. Continue to mix and bake in a 9x13 inch pan as instructed on the box. After the cake has baked, cool, and then crumble into a large bowl. Mix in 1/2 to 2/3 of a can of caramel frosting to achieve doughy consistency. 

Follow the same instructions I gave for the Chocolate Nutella cake pops, using white candy melts instead of chocolate. Once all your cake pops have been dipped in white chocolate candy melts, you'll want to pipe a caramel colored design onto the cake pops. For my caramel piping, I mixed ivory gel food coloring and a bit of melted chocolate with white candy melts to get a caramel tinted color. Melted caramel would work too. I then used an icing bag and a size 1 Wilton piping tip to create a design atop each cake pop that looks like the caramel design I've seen on the foam of a real caramel macchiato. 

Haphazard grid design atop the caramel macchiato pops
Coconut Pecan cake pops
Makes 40-50 cake pops
1 Duncan Hines Coconut Supreme cake mix and applicable ingredients
1 can Duncan Hines Coconut Pecan frosting
White candy melts
Pop sticks
Styrofoam stand

Mix and bake the coconut cake as instructed on the box in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool. Crumble cake into a large bowl, removing any hard edges. Mix in 1/2 to 2/3 a can of coconut pecan frosting to achieve a doughy consistency. Follow the same instructions I gave for the Chocolate Nutella cake pops, using white candy melts instead of chocolate. After you dip each pop, cover in vanilla sanding sugar before the candy coating dries. I might add that if I had planned ahead better, I would have toasted some shredded coconut and used that instead of the sanding sugar. I did like the texture of the sanding sugar though. It added a nice crunch to the coconut pecan cake pop. 

And that's it! These three flavors went really well together, and I will definitely be making all three again sometime. Per my husband, I now have to limit my baking to special occasions for the sake of our finances... party pooper. But I anticipate a special occasion occurring at least once a week from now on! So check back  in about a week for a new recipe!

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