Friday, February 12, 2010

Cake Balls/Pops - Tips & Tricks

The tutorial by Pioneer Woman doesn't leave any gaps and is an excellent guide for making cake balls/cake pops. 
However, here are some things that I learned along the way which helped me: 

- If you use a recipe for a very moist cake, you don't need the equivalent of a can of frosting like Bakerella suggests. She uses a cake mix + 1 can of frosting. I didn't use either a mix or ready made frosting so all I needed was a couple of tablespoons of frosting per 9"x13" cake. 
Start by adding 2 tbsp of frosting at a time. Stop when it feels right: the cake should just come together in a moist (but not wet) dough-like ball. There shouldn't be any loose crumbs and it shouldn't fall apart. It should hold well together. 
- Use a melon-baller to get bite-sized cake pops. (I thought of this after I was done hand-rolling all of my not-quite-identically-sized 400 cake balls :P )
- It helps to refrigerate the cake balls overnight.Or at least a couple of hours.
- If you can't get candy melts or, quite simply, don't like the taste - use either ganache or melted chocolate for dipping. Both will work fine. Candy melts might give a smoother look, though.
- I am not as patient as Bakerella and so, even though she recommends dipping one cake ball at a time into a small bowl of melted, warm candy melts, I had to make 400 and needed to work faster. So I dipped 4-5 at a time in a large metal bowl. 
- I kept boiling up some water in a saucepan, taking it off the heat and placing my metal bowl on top of it while I worked. The steam from the hot water ensured that the chocolate wouldn't cool or thicken quickly while I worked. Therefore decreasing the number of times I had to heat it up between uses.
- Bakerella's technique of tapping the spoon against the side of the bowl is excellent - you get rid of any extra chocolate; ensuring a smoother cake ball. I started out doing it her way but then what I found easier was to use a tablespoon to take the cake ball out after dipping using my left hand, swirling it back and forth in the tablespoon (drips all the extra chocolate off) and then dropping it into a teaspoon (held in my right hand). I would then tap the teaspoon on the back of the tablespoon several times and plop the ball onto waxed paper. 
Does that sound confusing? I wish I could have taken photos to do a tutorial but seeing that both my hands were occupied, it wasn't really possible. 

I hope that helped. 
Now go ahead, give it a try and indulge yourself! 


Nammi said...

oooooooooh yumm I am in search for some goodies to make for my son's birthday.

Needful Things said...

Enjoy! :)

Amanda said...

Great job!! I think I would probably be a mess if I had to make 400. Thats A. LOT. :)


Needful Things said...

Thanks Amanda.
Honestly - I was on my feet for about 12 hours straight on Thursday.
Lesson learned: I am quite possibly not doing this again.

Stephanie said...

When working with chocolate you can put it in heat safe glass dishes such as large measuring cups and put them on a griddle. Keeps even heat the entire time your working. A dipping tool is the way to go when dipping if not using lollipop sticks.

Anonymous said...

oh thank you...400 good for you! I was going to use my own white chocolate buttercream frosting to hold the cake together. Nice to know I don't need so much of it. Great idea with the chocolate coating as well! =)


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