It was a passing comment that got me to thinking. My boss recently mentioned she regularly takes treats to show her appreciation to the people who care for her aging relative. She inspired me to consider what I could do for those who watch after my mother.
Then it hit me. Cake pops!
They are already portioned, individually wrapped, don’t need refrigeration, and stay fresh for days. Perfect for a break room snack …or office parties, showers, visiting grandkids, bribes, etc.
I’m no fancy cake decorator. Perhaps you’ve noticed. But with a few sprinkles and some small zippered plastic bags with a snipped off corner, you can dress these cake pops up just enough to make them special and show somebody you care.
It is not my intent, nor am I qualified to give you a detailed cake pop tutorial. Visit Bakerella or google them. Rather, I have recipes to share. Most people make these pops with cake crumbs from a mix and a can of frosting to “glue” the crumbs together. I prefer to make my favorite chocolate cake and use chocolate ganache instead of frosting as the “glue”. It makes for a completely decadent treat that is not so sugary sweet.
- 1.5 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (I like Ghiradelli)
- ¾ cup hot, brewed coffee
- 1-1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ teaspoon baking powder (or a generous ¼ teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup yogurt thinned with milk to consistency of buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Chop semi-sweet chocolate and place in small bowl. Add coffee and allow to sit while chocolate melts stirring occasionally until smooth.
- Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In large mixing bowl, mix eggs until lemon-colored and thick. Add oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, and melted coffee/chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
- Add dry ingredients. Mix just until all ingredients are combined well. (This will create a flour blizzard. I like to cover my mixer with a tea towel in the beginning.)
- Pour into a greased and floured (or lined with greased wax paper) 11 x 7 inch rectangular pan (or similar 10-cup pan). Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
- Chop chocolate and place into a small heatproof bowl.
- Heat cream in microwave just until it starts to boil. (Usually less than a minute. Watch it.)
- Pour over chocolate and let sit until chocolate is melted or about 1 minute.
- Using a spatula or whisk, begin stirring chocolate slowly, making small circles in the center, then moving toward the outside and making bigger circles until chocolate and cream are combined and smooth.
- Divide butter into 4 pieces and add each piece to chocolate one at a time, stirring gently until butter melts. The less you stir, the shinier and richer it will look.
How I assemble cake pops that usually result in only a few tasty rejects:
- Bake cake. Allow to cool. Crumble into a large bowl.
- Make ganache and immediately pour into bowl of cake crumbs and mix lightly with hands (another use for exam gloves in the kitchen). Chill.
- Use ice cream or cookie dough dipper to portion into balls. Roll with hands or on wax paper until smooth. Chill.
- Dip cake pop stick into melted chocolate coating (Kroger’s chocolate coating is good enough for me) and then into a cake ball. Chill.
- Place melted chocolate coating into a narrow jar or cup. Carefully dip each chilled cake ball into chocolate and tap on side (several times) to let excess coating drip back into melted chocolate.
- Place cake pop into styrofoam square (I used styrofoam left in big TV box) to dry. It won’t take long. If you want to decorate with sprinkles, do it quickly before chocolate gets hard.
- If you want to decorate with chocolate, put a small amount of melted chocolate coating (white or chocolate) into a plastic pint or snack-size bag. Seal. Snip a tiny hole off of one corner and allow chocolate to drip over cake pop in pattern of your desire.
Wishing all of my readers, friends, and family a blessed and happy Easter. Love ya! Paula