I shared with you a few weeks ago some of the baking goodies I got for Christmas. I thought, seeing as how it's now February, it was time to share the rest!
This is what your present stash looks like when Santa tells you he's not going to buy you much cupcake stuff this year because you have enough!! If you don't believe that this is a small amount of stash, check out the cupcake goodies of Christmas '10, and Christmas '09.
To be fair other than these cute cupcake cookie cutters, the cupcake calendar, car freshener, heart cases, socks, carriers and shopper most of the other prezzies were general baking related goodies. My fave was the Jamie Oliver jelly mould set, I have big plans for that - I am a huge jelly lover! My KitchenAid earrings also went down well! I got a rather snazzy set of Nigella Christmas mixing bowls you can see peeking through at the back, and I got a cake pop machine with lots of cake pop paraphernalia!
I've seen these machines around for a while now but I'd never been tempted to try them out. To me, cake pops are cake crumbs mixed with frosting, rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate. I didn't understand how you could 'bake' cake pops and I didn't think they would be too appealing, but after receiving my present I was interested to test them out!
I became even more excited to make my first batch of cake pops with the machine after I got my monthly email from Squire's and fell in love with their coloured cake pop sticks they sell. Up until now I had only ever been able to find white ones, and I used to be more than a little envious of all the amazing coloured sticks I see on American baking blogs. So I snapped up some red sticks knowing they would be perfect for some Valentine's pops!
Aren't they awesome! I love how vibrant they are, and they are also alot sturdier and more durable than white cake pop sticks I have bought in the past. My ferrero rocher tray was the perfect size to hold the cake pops in once they had come out of the machine (although I had to cool them on a wire rack first otherwise they were so hot they melted the plastic!)
I was slightly dubious...while baking my first batch in the cake pop machine it smelt exactly like when you make cheese toasties in a toastie machine! I wasn't sure how they were going to taste! but I'm happy to report that the chocolate cake was actually really tasty and moist, and the fact that the machine made all my cake pops so perfectly round and uniform made me a happy baker. I was pleasantly surprised!
I dipped them in some milk chocolate and then decorated away with lots of super cute Valentine's sprinkles from Just Bake. They have a great range of sprinkles, cupcake wrappers and cupcake cases.
My favourite product from their site has to be these adorable double sugar heart decorations. I have never seen anything like these before and they would look great on cupcakes too but I thought they looked especially striking on these cake pops, and they co-ordinated with the red sticks so perfectly!
I finished off my last few cake pops with some toasted coconut just because I LOVE coconut. They smelt soo good as we were photographing them, and it was pretty hard to resist taking a bite!
I think they turned out much neater and more attractive then the last times I made cake pops and oreo pops!
Here's how to make you own, in the cake pop machine:
Chocolate Cake Pops:
Recipe from Sweet Treats booklet
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100g self raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk
400g milk chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
sprinkles of your choice
Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixer/bowl until light and fluffy.
Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and add the milk. Beat until everything is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Plug the machine in. Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount of vegetable oil on the top and bottom plates of the machine to assist with the removal of the cake pops.
When the green light illuminates the machine is ready to use.
Add one slightly heaped teaspoon of mixture to each hole in the machine, filling it to just below the line of the hole.
Close the lid and time them for 4 minutes. Check them, if they feel spongy and firm they are done.
Leave them to cool for 1 minute in the machine with the lid open.
Remove them from the machine with a teaspoon, then leave them to cool on a wire rack.
Repeat until you have used up all your mixture, mine took 4 batches.
Transfer your cake balls into a ferrero rocher tray or egg box (something that will hold them stable).
Melt 200g milk chocolate with 1/2 tsp veg oil in a bowl in the microwave on low heat, for 20 second intervals until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Keep a close eye on it as it can burn easily.
(I did mine in two batches as the chocolate can become too thick if it's left out for a long time)
Dip your sticks in the chocolate and then dip them into the cake balls.
Freeze them for about 15-20 minutes, this will help the chocolate to firm up quicker once dipped.
Transfer the melted chocolate into a small container - you don't want to use a large bowl because you need a good depth to dip your cake pop. I used a tall milkshake glass which was the perfect size.
Dip your cake pop into the chocolate so it is completely submerged, pull it out twirling it around to flick off excess chocolate.
Sprinkle your favourite edible decorations on the chocolate quickly before it sets.
I poked holes in the styrofoam blocks that came in the cake pop machine box and then stood up the dipped cake pops in there so that they were upright and secure.
Leave to cool for about 2 hours until the chocolate has set completely.
Eat and enjoy!
and you may be here because I was hosting a little giveaway this week. Thanks for all your entries, I was overwhelmed by your love of cheesecake!! and I'm happy to announce the winner of the Valentine's Cheesecake competition is....
Congratulations, please contact me as soon as possible by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details - address and telephone number so that we can arrange for the English Cheesecake Company to send out your cheesecakes in time for Valentine's!
Sorry to all of those who missed out, but thanks for joining along and hope you will enjoy all the recipes featured on my blog. If you were some of the people who said you were going to have a go at the s'mores cheesecake do let me know how it turned out!