So... we made cake pops for Lauren's birthday. Which may or may not have been more than a month ago- yeah I know I'm behind. But hey. School. Life. You know how it goes.
Anyway, back to the cake poppery. The process (more than the product) was kind of great to say the least. Although it was totes last minute and a little chaotic like most of my baking projects during school, I was so stoked to finally get the chance to make these quasi-celeb desserts (made famous by Bakerella --but did you know that Starbucks is making them now? Crazy!); and I have to say they didn't turn out too badly. But yes, there are some things I would def do differently the next time around, which I will go into in a bit, but they looked good and were, well.. edible. So I guess you take what you can get.
It was kind of a ridiculous ordeal, gathering all the materials needed for this project. We made six different stops: Safeway, the Met, Artco, Sonic, the SUB, and the wooonnnderful Treasures n' Thrift Family Store. Kay, so yeah we did get a little bit sidetracked, but in the grand scheme of things these detours were necessary. J, always on the cutting edge of fashion, got a supes cute quilted shoulder bag and I got a movie on VHS called Woman On Top. Yeah I know, the name is a real winner. It's going to be one of those movies that's so good because it's so bad. Or maybe it’ll just be bad. I’m feeling optimistic though, cause the main character is a chef so it’ll have some redeeming value, yeah?
So first of all, it took us forever to realize that "chocolate bark" is just straight up chocolate, as in bars or chocolate chips. Lame sauce! Chocolate bark at the Met, like most things at that store, is hella expensive so we just went with chocolate chips. BUT, if you’re going to go with white chocolate for dipping, don't buy cheap-o white chocolate chips. They don't melt evenly, even over a double-boiler and they never reach a thin enough consistency to dip the cake balls in. I'll have to do some more research on melting white chocolate later because the ones we dipped in the white chocolate that didn't completely fail were actually pretty tasty.
The last thing I'd change is that I would either make the red velvet cake from scratch or use a better quality red velvet cake mix. The one I used was way cheap and you could definitely taste all the weird fillers that went into the mix. Point of the matter is--and I know this probably seems obvious--is that if the cake doesn't taste good on its own, it's prrrobably not going to taste good as a cake pop. heh.
Or maybe the broader point I should be making is that it's definitely possible to take the whole "frugal student baker" thing too far. In this case, cheap ingredients resulted in cheap tasting food, no matter how good the recipe was or how well I followed it.
But in the unlikely case that I haven't completely turned you off the idea of making cake pops by now, I've posted the recipe so that maybe you can try it yourself and learn from my mistakes, and maybe a few of your own too.
Red Velvet Cake Balls from Bakerella, [plus some of my own prep pics! (I finally remembered to take some :D)]
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
long lollipop sticks if you're making cake pops
Start with straight up red velvet cake.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting.
(It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
Uh..tchyeah ya think?
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet.
Put cakey sticks in!!
4. Then chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (dip in chocolate and then tap off extra.)