A domestic disaster This Mother's Day I wondered how could I really surprise my wonderful mum?... Why with stunning, home-baked, home-decorated cake pops of course! I was pretty sure she wouldn't have seen cake pops before and thought if I decorated them like an alternative bunch of flowers they would really have the wow factor. In my head sometimes I am some kind of domestic goddess but sadly the reality can be quite different. It was kind of like the time I decided I could make my own icing flowers for my wedding cake... it was harder than it looked! But for the brave among you here's what I did: First I made a simple lemon sponge cake by mixing eggs, self raising flour, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, cream cheese and baking powder together. My little one helped with this bit and we had fun pouring and stirring.
With high hopes into the oven we go!
My cake came out looking not too shabby, it hadn't risen as much as I'd hoped (we'll blame that on the hand mixing), but I thought that shouldn't be a problem for turning into pops. I cut the crispy edges off and Squiggle and I enjoyed them with a cup of tea and I have to say the taste was great. It was a perfectly respectable cake to give to a mummy. Next I made some butter icing, mixing margarine, icing sugar, cream cheese and a splash of lemon. Also pretty tasty! Then I started on the downhill cake pop slope (I think I may be a cake traditionalist at heart). Once the cake was nicely cooled and done nothing to deserve it's fate, I blended it into oblivion. I was so sad to watch my cake go after all our hard work making it! I have a hand blender which was perhaps not the best tool for this job as it compacted the mixture together. I then mixed in some of the butter cream icing to form a dough like texture which I then used to roll the ball shapes. I found the taste of the cake and the butter cream combined quite sweet but the oddest thing was the texture. What was not so long ago a delicious cake, now looked like it have never been cooked in the first place.
And that's kind of what it tasted like too.
Please come out tasting better...
The cakes and I both needed to cool off so I popped them into the fridge for a couple of hours. We went to the woods for some outdoor type fun!
I think she's drawing a cake pop...
Once we were home again it was time to decorate! First up I melted some Silver Spoon 'Cakecraft Orange Chocolate Flavoured Buttons' over some warm water. Then I took one of my pop sticks (I had a couple of options to try – lollipop sticks and coloured straws) and I dipped the end of it in some of the left over butter icing. This then went into one of the cake balls which was straight out of the fridge so it was nice and cool.
Next I dipped the cake in the melted chocolate orange mixture and rotated the pop over the bowl so it wouldn't drip whilst it set. This went well and I figured even if I told my mum not too eat them they would still look good! Then, as had been suggested to me I stood the cake pop upright in a polystyrene block which I had found in some old packaging.
This is where I discovered you can't really stick sticks through polystyrene that easily and I needed to pre make the holes whilst trying not to spoil the cake pop I had just lovingly iced. It this quite fiddly but I got a few done. While they were still a little sticky I sprinkled them with some Dr Oetker 'Citrus Flavoured Strands' and then placed a very pretty Dr Oetker 'Wafer Daisy' on each.
Then, disaster! Whilst happily trying to ice my next batch the finished cake pops started falling over and sliding down their sticks. No matter what I tried they kept falling apart, I had lost my patience with cake pops by this point.
Quick, take the photo before they go again!
The sticks went in the bin and I placed the iced ones on a tray to cool in the fridge instead.
So now they were not cake pops, they were cake balls and cake balls are not an acceptable Mother's Day gift are they?
It was so disappointing as it had taken a fair amount of time but I did show them to mum in the end and she even politely tried one. I love you mum!
Me: I just don't think I get cake pops.
Husband: I tried half of one of your cake pops. The clue is in the fact I tried half.
Toddler: Mmmm mmmm mmmm. (She'll eat anything).
Grandad: They are actually quite nice! (He'll eat anything).
Mum: Well they're very lemony. (Diplomatic).
What I've learnt about cake pops and myself
1. I would start by baking cupcakes as your base I think they might be lest moist for making cake crumbs.
2. Use a proper food processor to make the cake crumbs.
3. Make holes in your polystyrene block before you start.
4. I shouldn't bite of more than I can chew.
5. Next time I'm making cupcakes.
I'm entering this post for the chance to become an Innovator for Morphy Richards under the 'domestic disasters' category. Wish me luck, it would be such a fantastic opportunity!
I'd love to hear from anyone else who's had a go at making cake pops. Did I do it all wrong? Does anyone else out there actually like them other than my Dad?