March 29, 2011 § 32 Comments
As I consider the diminished frequency of my posts (thanks to several weeks of juggling three jobs, followed by a dramatic lifestyle change into a 9-5 as of last week), I really ought to avoid consecutive posts on the same topic. However, I had a surplus of cake and frosting from my previous post, carrot cake pops. The result: a further exercise in the making of cake pops, specifically marbleizing, manifested in the likeness of planets.
In the midst of my cake pop research, I stumbled across Wilton’s decorating technique of marbleizing candy for pops. I contemplated uses for this particular technique and was inspired by something I’ve been teaching children over the past three years — to build a model of the solar system.
Simply take several colors of candy melts, swirl a tiny bit, and let the act of dipping create the full marble effect. For Saturn’s rings, I made a marbleized candy disc on parchment, carved away the center with a knife, and slipped it over the planet.
Marbleizing is a fitting process to make planets, especially the hazy clouds of Jupiter and Saturn. This is a fun kitchen project to do with kids. Your little ones can learn about the colors and surfaces of each planet as each is created. What’s best is these planetary models are not only educational, they are edible!
March 27, 2011 § 53 Comments
I have officially jumped on the bandwagon of cake pops. A bit tardy on the trend, but better late than never. For my first endeavor in cake pop creation, I thought to start with something simply and organically shaped — the carrot. Of course, carrot cake is among my favorites. Appropriately so, these carrot cake pops are both carrot in flavor and form.
I had ambitious plans to make my own carrot cake with honey walnut cream cheese frosting. However, considering I have never developed my own carrot cake recipe (yet) and although the recipes I’ve posted here have been my own making, I decided to skip that process by sticking to the tried, tested, and true method of making cake pops — cake mix and ready-made frosting, which is what I discovered online that most people use.
Cake pops are usually in the form of balls, like a lollipop, although they are evolving with more dimension. These carrots are my take on cake pops. If you haven’t seen cake pops before, head straight over to Bakerella, who, from what I gather, is the person to thank for inventing cake pops in general.
I did face one very, very silly conundrum — which side of the carrot to insert the stick. I wanted the cake pop to be held as you would hold the wider end of the carrot when being eaten (meaning the stick is at the top of the carrot). I already knew in advance I wanted paper grass in the photo. The stick being at the top of the carrot, I had the forethought of the carrots appearing to grow upside down and above ground. So with that thought, I was stuck. I chewed it over for a while. But I thought to stick with it. Oh, the little things that confound me.
You will need: carrot cake mix, cream cheese frosting, about three cups of orange candy melts, half a cup of green candy melts, and lollipop sticks. All this stuff is about $10 and yields 20 carrot cake pops.
1. Bake your cake according to package instructions. Let cool. Crumble baked cake into a bowl and mix with 2/3 of the frosting.
2. With clean hands, take about 1/6 cup of cake and form into a carrot shape. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. NOTE: In hindsight, I realized that I could’ve achieved great details by using the edge of a butter knife to create short horizontal creases, giving more realism and texture to the surface of the carrots. The more organic, the better. I will try this butter knife technique next time.
3. Melt green candy melts. Dip about 1-1/2″ of the lollipop stick. Insert 1″ into the chilled carrot cakes. The candy melt will automatically pool around the lollipop stick.
4. Melt orange candy melts in a tall, narrow container (I used a 6″ mug). I did a cup at a time. Dip the carrot cakes. Tap off excess by holding the stick with one hand and flicking the tip of the stick with fingers of the other hand. Stick into a Styrofoam block and let dry.
Enjoy making these carrot cake pops for Easter!