Easter is tomorrow, and hubby and I are busy bees at our house. I've been prepping, baking and spring cleaning, shopping for basket filler and decor, making some hand made decorations. PHEW! I am glad I took some "time off" for "spring break".
Who am I kidding? If I am not doing something, I am pretty bored.
As I was menu planning I wanted to make sure I had a chocolate something for the dessert table. I had the idea to use a box Cake (a little bit of sacrilege but hey, I have a lot to do) and use one of the two rounds for some 'cake pops'. The other round I frosted and gave it to my family for a special dessert that night. You could also use all of it depending on how many pops you need, or you can freeze the other round for cake pops later in the year.
It was midway in shaping the 'carrots' that I decided to also make some blue robin egg ones too. If I have time tomorrow, I am going to bake up some thin strips of sugared Phyllo and make an edible nest to present the robin eggs in. If I do, I'll add a how-to on this post.
The box cake we swear by is Betty Crocker, and when I use sore bought frosting, I only use enough to make the crumbles come together, because it is SUPER SWEET. If you have time to make your own cake, this recipe is the bomb. When I make cake pops with this cake recipe, they taste like something from a high end bakery. Guests go nuts.
If you are using store bought frosting and candy melts, these can sit out for a few days, covered or wrapped in plastic. If they are each wrapped really well, you can refrigerate them too.
Here's my how to:
You will need:
Baked chocolate cake, cooled (I use Betty Crocker, and used one 8" cake round for the amount above)
1/4 cup or so of store bought cream cheese vanilla frosting
Orange candy melts
Blue candy melts
A toothpick and small & large food grade brush for decorating
brown food coloring gel
Green leaf shaped fruit snacks, or cut up frill ends of some green fruit roll ups.
(We picked through a box of Sunkist fruit snacks to find the leaves.)
Crumble the cake in a large bowl with a fork. Use your fingers to break down large chunks. I do this by hand so the cake pops end up lighter and less dense. Some people use the food processor and I think that's over kill. Why bother making cake at all, then? I want these to still feel like a cake/brownie texture.
Once you have an even crumble, add the frosting. I start with 1/4 cup and mash it in with a fork. Use only as much as you need to have pieces press together in a shape, so test it with your fingers. Usually this is all I need, but you may need more. Too much and I think things get too sweet.
Line a sheet with parchment, and roll the cake mixture into a carrot shape about a couple inches long, tapered at the end and fat at the other. Line them up on the paper. Also, shape some egg shapes for your robin eggs.
Freeze the cake pops for about an hour. Then move to them to the fridge to defrost just a touch while you are making your candy melts. If your pops are frozen they will expand and crack after they have been decorated. SO you want them chilled but not completely frozen.
Heat the candy melts according to package directions. I use canola oil while melting to make the mixture smooth and easy to coat the pops. Line another baking sheet with parchment to place your coated pops to set.
Working in batches, take out your pops from the fridge a few at a time, keeping the rest in there chilled.
The robin eggs went first, by simply dipping them into the hot blue candy with the spoon, rotating them with another spoon, lifting and shaking off excess and placing them on the sheet. With a large brush smooth out and cover areas with some extra melted candy melt. Once set, clean up any areas again with the brush, Let set. Then using a toothpick dipped in the brown gel, speckle the eggs. You can do a second round using the smaller brush for larger specks. Let set.
Melt the orange melts according to package directions, and do the same with the carrots. However I set them on their flat ends standing up so the candy would drip down the sides with gravity. Clean up sides with the brush, let set. Then take each end once the pops are set, and dollop some warm candy melt on the end, and set a fruit snack leaf (or some cut up fruit roll strips) at the end. Hold until starting to set. Continue with all the rest.
Wrap in plastic until ready to serve.