Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's January already. It's almost me and my daughter's birthday. Forget mine. But I really need to start to think what birthday treats that I should make for her birthday. Every year she will bring something for her friends at school. Last year I brought her cheese and caramel pop corn. I pack it in a small glasses and give it a nice wrap with paper napkin and ribbon. This year, my daughter wants me to make her cake pops for her friends. Well, actually, i do not really like cake pop. First, it's too sweet for me. Second, it's time consuming because i never use ready to use butter cream or instant cake in a box. Instant cake in a box and ready to use butter cream could be way too sweet. I do not really like the idea mixing them together unless you have a sweet tooth. So, i definitely need extra time to make my own cake and butter cream. Beside, during the process, this cake pop needs a lot of time in the refrigerator to keep it solid and firm. Third, making cake pop is tricky. If the cake-butter cream mixture is too moist or too dry, the cake will crumble and broken easily even with chocolate coating. If I'm using cake pop maker, the cake will be too dry and taste not good. Thinking about this is stressing me already. But I really want to try it. I consider it as a challenge.

I think, just a regular round cake pop is a bit too regular. I want to try another shape. Well... my husband said i should make a regular one considering I failed two times making it before. But I really want to try something new. Besides, I want to use my cute silicon mold that I bought few months ago.

It's so cute. I tried to bake a cake once using it. But i was very disappointed with the result. There was a weird silicone aftertaste on my cake. I tried to cover the aftertaste by coating my cake with chocolate dip but it didn't help much. I never used it again after that and i feel like i wasted my money on this silicone mold.

Until I got this crazy idea. I want to make cake pop but instead of making it round shape, i want to try to press the cake mixture into this silicone mold so i will get this cute mushroom and clover leaves shape cake pop. If i can do it, then I will get a cute mushroom or clover leave cake pops. To realize my idea, I need cake pop dough first.

During my "research" time on Google and Youtube, I found this great idea. New recipe of cake pop. Thanks to MyCupcakeAddiction channel on youtube. You should really check her channel. I love her great cake pop recipe. She uses mixture of melted chocolate and whipping cream instead of butter cream to make cake pop dough. I tried it and the result was awesome. My cake pop was much more firm, not oily, and can hold its shape better and longer than using butter cream. So, this is the recipe :

Ingredients : (for about 30 cake pops)
  • 750 grams chocolate cake
  • 200 grams dark chocolate, chop into small pieces
  • 130 grams whipping cream (She suggests to use with at least 40% fat, but i was only able to find with 35% fat. But the result were still great)
Tip : Check my Chocolate cake recipe. But for this cake pop, i reduce the amount of the sugar and cacao powder. I was using only 175 grams white sugar and 35 grams of cacao powder. I worried if the cake pop will be too sweet and or too bitter because the cake will be mixed with dark chocolate and still need to be dipped and coated with another chocolate melt.

Preparation :
  1. Put chopped dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Pour the whipping cream into the bowl and stir it lightly.
  3. Put it on microwave (640 watt) and microwave it for 30 seconds.
  4. Take it out from microwave, and stir the mixture. Stir and scrap until the bottom of the bowl to prevent scorching.
  5. Put it back into the microwave, microwave it for another 30 seconds, stir, and repeat this process until you get a nice and smooth chocolate mixture. Be careful not to burn your chocolate. Just keep stirring it after each 30 second. 
  6. In another big bowl, crumble the cake until you get a really fine crumbled cake. 

  7. Pour half of the chocolate mixture into the crumbled cake.
  8. Stir it with spatula carefully until all the moisture are absorbed by the cake.
  9. Pour the rest of the chocolate into the cake and stir it again until you get a lumpy cake-chocolate mixture. 
  10. If your cake pop dough is a little bit too wet, put it in a refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  11. Prepare a plate or baking sheet lined with a baking paper. 
  12. Take about 1-1 1/2 tbs dough and start rolling it into a ball shape. Repeat this process until no more dough left.
  13. Put all the ball into refrigerator for few hours or you can keep it overnight.
After you get a firm and nice ball, now it's time to make the cake pop. 
  1. Prepare a rectangle or square styrofoam block to stick your cake pop later.
  2. Melt your chocolate dip in microwave safe bowl (follow the direction on the back of the package of your chocolate.
  3. Dip the tip of the cake pop stick into the melted chocolate and carefully insert the stick into the cake ball.
  4. Put it back into the refrigerator if needed.
  5. Dip the cake pop into melted chocolate (Tip : Do NOT stir or wiggle your cake pop inside the chocolate melt. Just dip and take it out).
  6. Decorate it with sprinkle if you want.
  7. Stick it on the styrofoam block and leave it until the chocolate hardened.
  8. Store it in the refrigerator until serving time. 

That was the original cake pop recipe. But, because I wanted to use my silicone mold, i didn't make cake balls but I filled in my mold with that cake dough,press it firmly, and put it in my refrigerator for few hours before i take the cake out of the mold. The result was like what I thought. I got a very cute little mushroom and clover pressed cake.

My idea was to insert the cake pop stick into my mushroom or clover cake and dip it into chocolate like regular cake pop. Unfortunately, there was an unexpected thing happened during that process. My chocolate melt was too thick. First, I thought that i accidentally burned my chocolate. I remade it. But it's still too thick. My friend who came and helped me tried to melt the chocolate using double boiler (au bain marie) but the result was the same. She tried to add a little bit of whipping cream. It helped to make the chocolate thinner but it kept the chocolate wet and dripping. I tried to dip my cake pop into those thick chocolate dip but the result were not good especially on my clover cake pop. I couldn't see the clover shape anymore!! It feels like i was having a panic attack. I do not have more time to remake or make a new idea.

My friend had an idea. She suggests me not to dip and coat all surface of the cake with chocolate. But just dip it on one side of it and sprinkle some colored sugar on it or any kind of sprinkles that i have. I tried and it worked much better than trying to coat all the surface of the cake with chocolate.

So, this is what I did :
  1. I melted my chocolate carefully with microwave (Carefully microwave chopped chocolate for about 20 seconds, stir, and repeat it until all the chocolate are melted. Reduce the microwave time if needed)
  2. I took one of my shaped cake.
  3. Dip one side of it into the melted chocolate.

  4. Sprinkle some colored decoration on the top of it and let the chocolate dry and hardened 

I didn't use any stick on them at all because it was not easy to dip the cake into the chocolate with a stick on it. Beside, I think they are cute enough already. I will save my cake pop stick for another occasion.That's why I named it no-stick cake pop. I can't name it cake pop because it has no stick. I can't name it truffles either because it does not have round shape. So, no-stick cake pop it is. After I've done with all those no-stick cake pops, I left them overnight and put it in a small plastic bag and tied the bag with a ribbon.
My daughter loves it, her friends love it, and even my husband (who usually hates cake pop) like it.

PS : Few days after that, I found out from internet that I can make my chocolate dip thinner by adding shortener (Crisco, or in Indonesia we name it mentega putih) during the process. Add about 1-2 tbs shortener for each 200 grams candy melts or chocolate melts. But add it gradually (1 tbs at the time) until you get the thickness that you want. I will definitely try it next time on my next cake pop project. :-)

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