Friday, October 28, 2011

Red velvet cake pops

I present to you red velvet cake pops, some in the (relative) shape of ghosts!

Let me say how much more respect I have for the acclaimed Bakerella and other homemade cake pop artists!  She has practically made cake pops the "it" item in the baking world this past year.  Do yourself a favor and check out her masterpieces.  They are uh-maze-ing!

Mine?  Well, maybe not the prettiest little ghosts you've ever seen.  In fact, I'd say they are quite ghastly.

It's scary how pathetic-looking they are!

I'm frightened by the sight of them!

But, do you know what an ugly cake pop tastes like?

Exactly like a gorgeous cake pop -- devilishly delicious!  And that's what matters, right?  Right!  So yummy that my normally very reserved coworkers (the same ones who question my admittedly ridiculous eating habits and love me anyway) made multiple trips over to my suite to get seconds... and thirds!

Of course, I was reserved as usual.  The only sampling that occurred was during assembly... a few times.  After all, a good quality control specialist must be diligent.

The best part about this whole cake pop experience, at least for me, was that it was a real challenge.  I'm a perfectionist, and the results were certainly far from perfect.  But that gives me something to work for.  The process was totally fun, and I already have plans to make more.  (Chocolate cake and vanilla frosting, methinks.)

I think the next time I make these I'll invite some friends over for a good ol' fashioned cake pop party.   While I'll admit I was a little frustrated making the first few pops, once I sampled a finished ghost, all of that frustration disappeared.

Because they were so utterly delicious that nothing else mattered!!!  A petite little treat of super moist red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting throughout, all wrapped up in a thin coating of sweet white chocolate.  Melt in your mouth good, people.

Still a bit apprehensive about their looks, I doled out the ghosts to coworkers and friends with a smile on my face and nervous energy in my brain.  When I realized that they were a knockout hit, I started wondering why I was so anxious.  They were homemade.  And festive.  And oh so mini!  I knew they were delicious because I had tasted them.  And adorable in that look-at-the-disproportionate-stick-figure-the-toddler-drew kind of way.  And so much fun to make.  If baking ever stops being fun, then I'm going to stop baking.

But I don't ever see that happening :)  Here's to many more cake pops in the future!  Hopefully more attractive, but I won't be too upset if they're not.  Because, kids, decorations can be ignored, but taste cannot

One Year Ago: Scallops and chorizo
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin spice cheesecake brownies

Red Velvet Cake Balls
(adapted from the incredibly talented Bakerella)
-makes 45-50 cake pops

A few notes: Per the Bakerella herself, "I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot." Great tip!  Also, if If making cake pops, dip the lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate before inserting into the molded cake shapes and chilling.  The chocolate will act as glue.  Finally, if you don't fancy red velvet, any other flavor of cake works, as well as icing.  Perhaps carrot cake and cream cheese, or a double dose of chocolate cake and icing.  Same goes for the chocolate candy melts.  Color is up to you!

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13-by-9-inch cake)
1 (16 ounce) can cream cheese frosting
1 package chocolate discs or bark (regular or white chocolate)
Wax or parchment paper

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.  With a fork, mix thoroughly with 3/4 can cream cheese frosting until evenly incorporated.  Depending on how dry the cake is, you may add more frosting, but too much will result in super soft cake pops.

Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. I used a mini ice cream scooper to ensure equal amounts but hand rolled the cake into bell shapes for ghosts.) Insert lollipop sticks, if using, and chill for several hours or up to overnight in refrigerator.  (Freezing will speed up process.)

Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.  If melted chocolate is still a bit thick, stir in a bit of vegetable oil (small amount at first) and stir to thin for easier coating.  Roll cake shapes in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm or stand in piece of styrofoam for cake pops. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)  Chocolate will set in about 5 to 10 minutes.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Enjoy!

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