Saturday, 16 March 2013

Shamrock Cake Pops; My First Foray.

Look how 'bloggy' this post is....suitable holiday theme: check, specialist equipment: check, inedible looking colour: check, cakes on a stick: check.

Nono, it's fiiiiine, you don't need to tell me that if this were a rEAl bloggy blog post it would have been published days ago to give people a chance to prepare the recipe for St Patrick's day, and that my cake pops would be actual shamrock shaped and that the Candy Melts would be smooth and glossy and mirror like. I know this...but thanks any way.

This was only my first foray into the world of Cake Pop-Dom and I'll tell you, it's not exactly where I'd like to live forever. It just feels so wrong to bake a cake and mush it up and squodge it back together again. But I'll also tell you, that if you make a delicious cake, and them squodge it around with some delicious icing and then cover it with some vanilla and (while wholly unnatural looking) rather yummy tasting green stuff and put it on a stick...well my oh my you might just have a masterpiece.

Again, please don't judge my uneven coating and craggy endes and more 'spade' than was just my first go. But the taste test? Well they pass that with flying colours. With Love and Cake.

Chocolate Guinness Cake Shamrock Cake Pops.
referencing Cake Pop Recipes and Nigella

A few notes:
  • So this is, in essence, half of a Chocolate Guinness Cake, cooked as cupcakes, crumbled and squodged back together with some icing and dunked in Candy Melts. You could, of course, use any cake crumbs and icing you fancy...but I will write out the recipe, as I made it, in full for easyness.
  • If you want these to be a super neat shamrock shape, which mine are not, you could use a shamrock cookie cutter to help you mould the cake pops...I just went free hand though because the only cutters I could find were too big.
  • There are lots of steps to this...make the cake, cool the cake, squish the cake, chill the make sure you leave plenty of time between when you start and when you want them finished.
Makes 15-20 pops depending on how big you make them
You will need

1 x 12 hole muffin pan, lined with cupcake cases
baking sheet lined with greaseproof
lollipop sticks, like these
something to stand to pops in, e.g jars of sand, or a block of oasis

For the cake
125ml Guinness or dark stout
125g butter, cubed
35g cocoa
200g caster sugar
60ml sour cream
1 egg
135g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing
150g cream cheese
75g icing sugar
60ml double cream

For the green coating 
1 x 340g bag green Candy Melts

  • So first we make the cake. 
  • Preheat your oven to 180°c.
  • Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, with the butter and heat gently until the butter has melted.
  • Whisk the cocoa and sugar into the pan and remove from the heat.
  • In a bowl, beat together the sour cream and egg and stir into the pan of Guinness.
  • Finally whisk in the flour and bicarbonate of soda until well combined.
  • Pour the dark mixture into your prepared cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes, until risen and springy.
  • Remove the cases from the tin and leave the cakes to cool completely.
  • To make the icing, whip the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Sieve in the icing sugar and beat to combine.
  • Add the cream and beat until smooth and spreadable.
  • Now it's time to cake pop. Remove the cakes from their cases and put them in a big mixing bowl. Get your hands in there and squish and scrunch them all up so they end up being the texture of breadcrumbs. 
  • Now stir in the icing...starting with about 100g and adding more if you need. Mix it all up, either with your hands or the back of a metal spoon so eventually you get a paste/dough that starts to stick together.
  • To make the shamrocks, pick off walnut sized pieces or the dough, roll it up in the palms of your hands to a dense ball, and then roughly shape it into a clover shape by squishing out the 3 parts of the leaf and a little stalk.
  • Lay these shaped cakes onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and chill, either for a few hours or overnight in the fridge or for 30 minutes or so in the freezer.
  • When the shamrocks are chilled and firm, go over the shapes to make make them a bit more refined; you might find using a table knife helpful to push bits down and shape the leaf useful.
  • Now for the green part. Melt the Candy Melts either in a bain Marie or in the microwave. 
  • Dunk a lollipop stick in the Candy Melts, and push halfway into the shamrock from the bottom.
  • Repeat so all the shamrocks are on sticks and chill again for a few minutes to allow the Candy Melts to set and attach the sticks.
  • Final part now, if you need to soften the Candy Melts a bit more, give them another blast in the microwave and dunk each cake pop in to give them a good coating.
  • I found I needed to smooth the Candy Melts over the cake a bit with a spatula to get a shiny finish.
  • Stand the cake pops up any way that is easiest for you, I used jars of sand and allow to dry. Close your eyes and forgive any lumps and bumps.....mmmmmm.

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