By Diane Ako
It is a natural fit for a cake decorator wanna-be to eventually discover cake pops. My friend Joy, who went with me to cake classes, gave me a recipe book by Bakerella on how to make this trendy treat.
Naturally, Olivia was all over this. I was, too. The book made the cake lollipops look so good, I was interested in trying my hand at it.
Basically, you take a cake, crumble it up, roll it with frosting, and dip it in chocolate. It's not too hard to do. You could make all these fancy shapes, but I admit, I lose patience for the detail work.
Olivia was very excited to help me- er, correction. Olivia let me help her make the cake. I was just there to read directions and pick up heavy stuff, like the Kitchen Aid mixer.
After it was baked and cooled, she really enjoyed the crumbling process. "I'm good at destroying things. I'll do that," she said. Right she is.
She smashed the cake up into little bits and then took great pleasure in mooshing the buttercream frosting around with her little fingers. If you do this with your child, expect to be reminded every three minutes that they want to lick the beater/bowl/spoon/spatula.
By the time it came to rolling the balls, she lost interest and told me to finish up. So I rolled a sheet of balls and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. You can put sticks to make it like a lollipop, or you can leave it alone and serve it as a ball. We did the latter.
Finally, I had some semi-sweet chocolate chips lying around and some extremely hot chili-chocolate that came from a speciality store in Portland. I cannot eat it. Nobody I know can eat it, even people who said they were accustomed to "very hot" spice. (I don't know true chili-heads.) I decided to use it up by mixing tiny amounts in with regular chocolate, so the chocolate in my cake balls was ultimately a tiny bit hot, but perfect for all the adults who tried it.
I let Olivia dip the balls into the melted chocolate, which was great fun for her. While the chocolate hardened in the refrigerator, Olivia enjoyed licking the spoon and bowl. She complained initially of the chili heat, but said she could tolerate it enough to finish cleaning the bowl of chocolate residue. When it was all clean, she downed two glasses of cold water in quick succession. That is what I call a trooper.
It was decent fun to make and tasty to eat, but I'm not sure I'm going to make this too often. It's a great way to use up cake scraps from actual cake projects, but I personally am not interested in baking a cake just for this, only to rip it all apart.
Do you make cake pops?