Another great use of the left over cake pieces is in making cake pops. (Or you can make a cake just for this). This first set of photos are from the Decorette Shop where Lenette works, and made these Cake Pops. You can see that cake pops don’t stop with the little round balls on the ends of a stick. Indeed, they can take on all sorts of shapes and decoration. Between Lenette and Marilyn, they got me started; I think I should probably take Lenette’s class on making cake pops because it is obvious that she is quite skilled at it.
My first take on making cake pops is that it is just as hard as making dipped chocolates; first there is the making of the filling, then the melting of the candy melts, and finally bringing it all together. It is a little like dipping chocolates, but easier since the stick provides a good handle.
I am going to be a little vague about quantities in the ingredient list; in my case, I was using the left over cake from making home-made Ding Dongs, and left over chocolate ganache. Lenette says that she uses left over cake from when she levels a cake to flatten it; she just puts the pieces in the freezer and when she has enough and time, goes into Cake Pop mode. Even without taking the class, she gave me plenty of hints on how to proceed; I didn’t use all that she said because I wanted to get the basics down and learn how the candy melts worked. On the non-ball shaped cake pops, Lenette said that you shape the cake before dipping it in the candy melts; I had assumed that you shaped the warm candy melts.
I measured some of the ingredients today, and this is what I know. I used a single 8 inch round cake layer-(1/2 a cake mix box). I crumbled it in the food processor, and then added the ganache. The ganache required 6 ounces of chocolate and 1.5 ounces of heavy cream. (I made it backwards by heating the cream in the microwave, and then adding the chocolate to it; normally you pour the hot cream over the chocolate). In the end, I made 3.5 dozen cake pops. I used my #60 scoop to form the dough balls, and it took 16 ounces of melted chocolate to glue the sticks into the balls, and to cover the balls.
- Baked cake- either left over pieces or one made just for this
- Ganache- that will set up stiff (e.g., ganache recipe below
- Candy melts- I used 16 oz, for 36 pops
- Sprinkles (optional)
- Crumble the cake in a food processor, in batches if necessary, and empty into a mixing bowl
- Mix into the cake crumbs the ganache; use enough to make the crumbs stick together in a dough ball
- Scoop and form into one inch balls; place on a sheet pan temporarily.
- Melt the candy melts; do not over heat- treat like chocolate.
- For each cake pop, dip the end of a stick in the candy melt and then insert into the cake pop until you feel the end coming through.
- Coat the cake pops one by one by dipping into the candy melt and rotating to coat completely.
- After coating the cake pops, decorate with sprinkles and other attached items before the candy melt hardens, and stand the cake pop upright in a styrofoam block or top of a box
Do NOT refrigerate the cake pop dough; that will cause the chocolate in it to shrink. Then, when you dip the cake pop and the candy hardens, it will crack as the dough expands back to room temperature.
Taking a hint from the Cake Pops I saw at the Decorette shop, I got out the “food marking” pens I used on the marshmallows of the Storm Troopers, and drew faces on many of my Cake Pops.
The ganache that holds the cake pop dough together has to be a very thick ganache. The normal 1 to 1 ganache is not going to work well.
- 3 oz. Heavy Cream
- 12 oz. Candy melts or Chocolate Chips (Semi Sweet and Dark Chocolate seem best)
- Put the melts or chips in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream to a boil- but don’t let it boil
- Pour the cream into the bowl with the chocolate, et al. Let sit a minute to start melting the melts/chips.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth and the melts/chips are all melted.