I've embarked on yet another "That Looks Easy; I Bet I Could Do That" project this week: cake pops. For those not in the know, cake pops are little balls of cake that are put on to lollipop sticks, then dipped and decorated in some sort of creative manner. The plan is to do the pops for the kids attending Isla's naming ceremony, so this week the test kitchen is in full swing as I attempt to fashion something resembling tiny cakey cuteness. On a stick.
Now look, I know cake pops are the latest fad and even Starbucks have started peddling them to the public, but I don't care much about being behind the times. I still make meatloaf. With ketchup on it. I have no culinary shame. To further induce horror amongst the foody elite, most cake pop instructions call for the cake to be made from a mix with prepackaged icing to help bind it together (the argument being that they take so long to decorate, time shouldn't be wasted making a cake and icing from scratch.) I'm no food snob (witness my love of Kraft Dinner and Denny's), but despite having grown up on the stuff, I don't like the taste of cake mixes. For testing purposes though, I am using a mix to save on time and effort. And these things do take a lot of time, even before you get to the decorating.
After baking, the cake supposedly needs to cool overnight before you crumble it with the icing. Why? No clue - I can't imagine that a cake gets progressively cooler beyond a couple of hours out of the oven, but it may have something to do with needing to use slightly staler cake to help hold its shape. After cooling, the cake needs to be blitzed into crumbs then mixed with whatever icing or binding agent you want to use to form a truffle-like substance. This then needs to go in the fridge for another day or so to firm up, and THEN you're reading for dipping n' decorating.
So today, I'm merely at the baking and cooling stage. Mostly this involves explaining to your crying, screaming children why they can't eat the cake that's sitting there, tantalising them from the cooling rack. Tomorrow, I roll.