Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Foray into the World of Cake Pops...

Don't you think the Cake Pop is something that seems a bit Willy Wonka inspired ?  The thought of eating cake... on a stick!   OK - I'll be honest here I am approaching the much lauded Cake Pop with as much trepidation as the Whoopie Pie (and remember how much I loved those...NOT).

I have only been prompted to finally make them as I received a baking pan set designed for Cake Pops for Mothers Day.  In addition, I had asked my Son to try one of these recently at a cafe to see what he thought.  I didn't have one as it wasn't gluten free.  Imagine what a difficult request that was for him to fulfil.  One of the very few times I didn't need to ask him three times to do something...hahaha.  Well he LOVED it and has been begging me to make them ever since.

I have whipped a really basic chocolate cake recipe together and thrown these little gems into the oven.  Now theres a couple of different ways to bake these little babies.  You can bake them in moulds as I am doing today or you can make your cake then crumble t up once baked and cooled mix with some buttercream frosting then hand roll them into balls.  Either way we ultimately arrive at a ball shaped piece of cake.  The latter method however will result in a sweeter Pop as you're getting a mouthful of cake and frosting altogether then coated in chocolate.

My Pops will be cake only coated in chocolate so a little lighter.  I am also making mine Gluten Free.  See - anything can be made GF - no need to miss out on anything.  Thank goodness I have made them chocolate so I shan't be tempted to polish them all off.

Basic Chocolate Cake recipe
1 Cup Self Raising GF Flour
1 tsp GF Baking Powder
1 Cup Caster or White Sugar
2 Eggs
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp or 60g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/3 Cup Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celsius and lightly grease and line your cake tin or spray your CakePop molds.
  2. In a large bowl place all ingredients together making sure butter is slightly softened.
  3. Using an electric mixer use it to combine all ingredients together until well mixed.
  4. Pour into your cake tin or into your CakePop molds.
  5. Bake for approx 30 minutes - check for done'ness by inserting a wooden skewer.  If it comes out clean you're good to go.

I used this recipe to make the cake pops pictured.  VERDICT :  Can't lie - they look really pretty.  Impressive even for what they are.  Fiddly ?  Without a doubt.  Able to make money from them ?  Weeeeeeelllll....possibly depends on how they want them decorated.  They are deceptively time consuming - I think I made Spongebob in the same amount of time it took me to make 15 cake pops so go figure.   They are however nice to be able to offer something a little bit different and I think u could have real fun with them for parties or christmas etc.

If you give them a go - good on you.


GF Chocolate Mud Cake

The most commonly requested cake I get asked for is Chocolate Mud Cake.  This suits me fine as I really don't like chocolate very much and so am able to easily work with it without feeling the need to 'taste' all the time...hahaha

Its also a great cake that suits being frozen and thawed or even just sitting for a few days.  The dense texture of the cake improves with time making it 'muddier'.  This is a cake that is actually best NOT eaten on the day you bake it but at the earliest the next day.  If you eat it on the day of baking it will be lighter and crumblier.

I use a variation on the Planet Cake recipe and of course its Gluten Free.  This recipe makes a BIG cake so is suitable for a sheet cake tin or two average cake tins if you want to layer this cake.  If you just want to make a dozen cupcakes half the recipe will do the job brilliantly.

220g Unsalted Butter
220g GF Dark Cooking Chocolate broken into squares
1 teaspoon of Instant Coffee Granules (this can be left out but a little adds extra depth of flavour)
125g GF Self Raising Flour
125g GF Plain Flour
50g Cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
480g Caster Sugar (ordinary sugar works fine too)
4 Eggs
7 teaspoons Vegetable oil (I use Macadmia Oil)
160 ml Water
100ml milk

  1. Set your oven to approx 160C.  You may need to reduce the heat a little more than that - just watch it.
  2. Grease and line your baking tin and set aside.
  3. In a microwave proof bowl or saucepan combine cubed butter, chocolate squares, coffee and water and gently warm through until melted.  If in Micro on 60% power for about 2-3 minutes keep watching it.
  4. In another bigger bowl combine your dry ingredients Flours, Cocoa and Bicarbonate of Soda (I never sift my GF flours as I find it makes no difference, however sift your cocoa powder as this often has little lumps in it.)
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in your milk, oil and eggs and stir until eggs are sufficiently broken up, then add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.  You only need a good spatula or wooden spoon for this not a mixer.
  6. Pour the mixture into your tin / tins or cupcake wrappers and bake for approx 1 hour.  Test with a wooden skewer.  This cake goes from a sticky skewer to baked quite quickly so after an hour for a large cake or half an hour for cupcakes stay close and check on it.
  7. Do not remove cake from tin straight away or it will crumble.  Its needs to cool in the tin before removal or it will fall apart - same with the cupcakes.
  8. This cake will freeze really well for up to two months - just defrost thoroughly at room temp over night then decorate.

Feel free to play about with this cake and the recipe.  I have successfully added additional chocolate chips or chunks to the cake batter to create little blobs of chocolate gooeyness in the finished product - you could add whatever you want just at the final stir through before putting in the cake tin.   Perhaps a little peanut butter swirl or some little blobs in there might be unreal....

Enjoy !