Baking Day Challenge. Cake Pops Take Two.

At work last week, we had our usual Baking Day fundraiser, but this time round one of the girls upped the ante and made it a competition.

This meant I had to put my thinking cap on and come up with something super impressive so that I could claim the Baking Day Challenge Winner title.

When the cookbook I ordered for inspiration did not arrive in time, I decided that if I had a chance at winning it was going to be with cake pops.

You might remember a few weeks ago, I did a rush job on cake pops to see whether they’d work with an altered recipe, failed cupcakes, limited supplies and not a lot of time.  The outcome was hideous but absolutely delicious balls of cakey-caramely-chocolatey goodness.

This time I was determined to make something just as delicious but a lot more attractive.

Unfortunately, cake pops are rather time consuming and I only had a few hours spread out over several days so I had to get creative and do it a bit at a time. If you decide to make these for yourself, you can compress the process into one day but if you’re strapped for time like I was, a bit each day works just as well!

Day 1:

Cake.

I made vanilla cake using my favourite vanilla cupcakes recipe. Instead of going to the effort of cooking the mixture in cupcake tins (since I was going to crush it all up anyway), I cooked it in a cake tin which I sprayed with canola oil and lined with baking paper.

You can make a cake using any recipe you like.  If you want my recipe, it’s the same one I used to make my Snow Cakes.

Once the cake was done, I popped it in a Tupperware container and set it aside for Day 2.

Day 2:

Cake Balls.

To make the cake into cake balls, I firstly lined a baking tray with paper.  (This is just for storage – the cake obviously does not need to be baked again.)

Then I took a large bowl and crumpled up my cake into crumbs.

I added a few tablespoons of jarred butterscotch sauce, which I’d warmed in the microwave to thin it out. You can use homemade sauce like I did last time, but good quality shop-bought butterscotch sauce works just as well. I used Maxwell’s Treats butterscotch sauce which I bought from the lovely Treat Factory on a recent trip to Berry (one of my favourite places in NSW).

As I said last time, this part of the process relies heavily on touch. The mixture needs to come together, but without being too wet.

The next step is to roll the mixture into balls. Make sure your balls aren’t too large or you’ll have problems with them sliding down the sticks because they are too heavy.  I learnt this the hard way. There were, unfortunately, a few casualties.

Once I’d finished rolling all the dough, I placed the tray into the fridge and left them there overnight.  They don’t need overnight to set. You could leave them in the fridge for an hour or so, or in the freezer for fifteen minutes and they’ll still work.

Day 3:

Decorating.

This time, I came prepared. I bought florist’s foam to keep the balls in while the chocolate dried, sprinkles and sanding sugar to decorate and proper lollipop sticks.  I found all of these supplies at Spotlight.

To cover the cake pops, I melted chocolate over the stove in a DIY bain marie – a metal bowl and a saucepan with water in it.  Be sure not to let the water touch the bowl. Stir constantly to encourage the chocolate to melt smoothly.

Once the chocolate was melted, I dipped the lollipop sticks into the melted chocolate and then pushed them through the cake balls. The logic behind this is that it’s like glue, I guess, and you’re using it to make sure the cake pops stay on the sticks.

Then I dipped each cake ball in the melted chocolate, swirling it around with the help of a spoon to coat each ball in a layer of chocolate.  I decorated with the various sprinkles while the chocolate was still wet and stuck the sticks into my florist foam to set.

The result, if I do say so myself, was pretty awesome.

Did I mention I won the Baking Challenge?

Yeah I did =D

Would I make again? Considering they taste so delicious, look amazing and are so well received, yes. But, not in a hurry.