|Product placement shot.|
As displayed above, next came mixing in the frosting. I have to say I have always wanted to just stick my hand into a jar of frosting. No I am not sure why, I just have. Again, strangely satisfying. I didn't use all of the frosting, as I was told repeatedly I would not have to. In fact I had about a quarter of the jar left afterwards. I was good and resisted the urge to eat it with a spoon. No that is a lie, I didn't have the urge to eat it. I am not a frosting sort of girl. Now if it had been cool whip that would have been an entirely different story.
Here is where I think I made my biggest mistake in making the cake pops. I decided I was going to make Christmas tree cake pops as my first attempt. Most people would choose something simple, like a generic ball with sprinkles maybe. Nooooo. Not me. No I had to do something complicated. Let me tell you what making forty little cones took an hour. Balls would have been so much simpler and quicker. Not nearly as impressive, but still.
After I got the cones formed I then had to stick them in the fridge to cool and harden. I read lots of suggestions to put them in the freezer which would be a great idea if I had that sort of freezer. I unfortunately have a side by side fridge/freezer, which means my freezer is very narrow. Besides it is also very full. So I was stuck waiting a few hours while everything set up.
Once they were nice and solid I got to put the sticks in. I melted a little of the chocolate and dipped each stick into it before inserting it most of the way into my cake cones. This was pretty much the easiest step of the entire process. Well actually crumbling the cake was the easiest part, but this was a close second. Pretty soon all of the sticks had been put in place. Then it was back into the fridge with the pops so that the chocolate could cool off.
At this point I went and played some Final Fantasy X. Who am I kidding, I had been playing since I stuck the cones in the fridge the first go around. I needed something to take up all that time. Once the sticks had set it was time to dip the pops into the chocolate. This turned out to be the most difficult part. The chocolate is supposed to be microwaveable. The first bit I had melted for the stick application had gone through the microwave brilliantly. The same can't be said for the rest. I tried to melt more in the microwave and it seized almost immediately.
I got to spend the next ten minutes trying to locate both pieces of my double boiler and melting the chocolate on the stove. This also proved to be an issue when I wanted to dip the cones in the chocolate. You are supposed to just dunk the entire thing straight into the melted chocolate. Sadly my double boiler is so wide that the melted chocolate was not deep enough to dunk more than half of the cake in at once. In the end I had to tilt the pot to the side and sort of roll the cake in it.
I do not, I repeat, do not suggest rolling your cake pops when coating them in chocolate. I dislodged at least two of my sticks doing this. I had to sort of sideways dunk them to get them covered. This didn't even always work. I have to find a better method of applying the chocolate in the future.
After I managed to get the chocolate on I had to shake off the excess. Everyone suggested holding the cake pop over the hot chocolate and gently tapping the hand that is holding the stick. It shakes off the excess without dislodging the stick from the pop. This method worked beautifully if not incredibly slowly.
I want to point out that at this point I had been working on the pops for quite a while. I was really frustrated with the chocolate, so I might not have shaken off as much of it as I should have. Still I was getting a nice even coating, and really that was all that mattered. I shoved the sticks into a chunk of styrofoam so that the chocolate could dry. I did end up running out of chocolate with 11 cake pops to go. I will have to get more chocolate tomorrow.
I was very pleased that they actually looked like little trees. Of course without decorations they could have been anything really. I was certain though that with a little decoration they would be perfect. I had to fight my urge to just stop at this point or to rush through things. This project was certainly a test of my patience.
The stars were a great addition, though a real pain in the rear. I had to take a drop of melted chocolate and then quickly shove the star into it because such a small drop of chocolate dries quickly. The stars were teenie tiny and I have big hands for a girl. Needless to say the process was very trying, but very rewarding. How cute are those?
Now the sight I got the idea from had suggested making the decorations out of little round sprinkles. The process of attaching said sprinkles was the same as the stars. Lets go back to how much of a pain the stars were for me. Imagine dozens of tiny dots on each one of the pops. Yea, not happening. So instead I took some cake decorating gel and just made dots. This still took forever but it was so much simpler. I think the finished look is wonderful really.
|The kid threatening to eat it before the shot.|
|The kid being a good model.|
|"No you may not eat it until after I take the picture."|
|The husbeast behaved just long enough to get the shot.|
|The poor cake pop never stood a chance.|
We will see what comes of it. I rate this project high on the success scale. Ridiculously cute, incredibly tasty, and not terribly difficult. A win on all fronts.