Welcome to adventures in cooking with moi. I was recently given a box of white cake mix. We’re not big cake eaters, but I have read about cake pops and thought I would give it a try.
Here’s a video so that you know how it’s supposed to be done.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I decided to make the balls red. Now, since the guys I live with are “meh” towards Valentine’s Day, I decided to also make some blue balls for Anti-Valentine’s Day. Blue balls sounds evil for the guys, but they do have a sense of humour. And one of them always squirms. I live to see him squirm when I do stuff like this.
To the fun part! I made the cake mix according to the directions on the box. I split the batter in half and added red food dye to one half and blue food dye to the other half and baked them. I started this late at night (it seemed like a good idea at the time) and put them in freezer bags so it could be completed the next day. The cake can be put in the freezer if you want to make the balls at a later time.
When it’s time to form the balls, you crumble the cake in a bowl and add 1 cup of frosting. I used buttercream frosting because I was making them and I love buttercream frosting.
My Vice: I can eat that stuff right out of the can, I don’t need cake. If I have a craving, it’s the frosting I want. I’ve had the cake mix for a while and thought I would do it last month. Our little secret, I went through a couple of cans of frosting rather than make the cake pops.
I added 1/2 cup frosting to each colour and formed them into balls. I thought the mixture would be very sweet but it was a really nice balance of cake and frosting and not too sweet.
The blue balls are actually darker than what they seem in this picture. The colour you see of the cake that is in the freezer bags are a pretty good match to the final product.
Now, this part, gentle readers, is where you learn from my missteps. I had a bag of white chocolate chips that I was using as the icing that covers the balls. At this time, I really need to point out that I haven’t done anything like this in years. What I should have done was read some instructions to reaquaint myself on how to melt chocolate. What I did was go blindly into the realm of lessons long forgotten and I went ahead and melted some of the chips in the microwave at a reduced power. They came out fine. However, after dipping a couple of the balls I realized it was still too thick. The video says to add a bit of shortening to the chocolate so that it will become thinner. I, of course, had no shortening so I added some of the buttercream icing which has some sort of fat in it. I knew it wasn’t the same as shortening but, what the hey. Fat is fat, right? Especially when the fat seems to be of a similar nature.
It didn’t work.
This is when I reaquainted myself with the instructions on different ways to thin melted chocolate. I warmed up a bit of milk and added it to the melted chocolate. Cold milk might have made the chocolate seize. Then the icing became too thin. Again, learn from me, read some instructions on how to melt chocolate. I ended up using the whole bag of chips. I finally got a decent consistency. It was a bit thicker than I would have liked, but it was ok.
Well, here’s the finished product. It came out ok considering I’ve never made it before. The white chocolate pooled at the bottom of each pop because it was thicker than it should have been and I didn’t let all of the chocolate drain off before putting them on the sheet. And I waited until I had dipped all the balls in the chocolate before adding the sprinkles. Do a few balls and then add sprinkles. The chocolate will not have cooled and more of the sprinkles will stay on the chocolate.
I may get some more white chocolate, I’m not sure yet. N0, I made up my mind. Not getting the chocolate. I will just give them out and let the guys eat blue balls for Anti-Valentine’s Day. I will probably not make these again, but that’s only due to personal taste.
The best part of making the balls? Adding the frosting to the cake and squishing it by hand to mix them together. If you have kids helping you make cake pops, that will probably be the part they will enjoy the most too.