Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lots of work, lots of payoff... and oh yeah, happy belated Memorial Day!

Eric and I had a heck of a weekend.  On Saturday we went to a wine and blues festival with a friend.  On Sunday we spent the afternoon with Eric's brother and nephew, mostly shopping, mostly for Eric's brother... with a quick stop at AC Moore for me.

Sigh.  Always a dangerous store, that AC Moore.  A stencil, a dozen skeins of yarn, several packets of beads, some vegetable seed packets, and one Bakerella Cake Pops book later, we checked out.  And then I got obsessed with the idea of cake pops.  They're the hot thing, and I've been seeing them everywhere.  They're so cute!  And they looked so easy.  Ha.

So at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Eric and I were at the supermarket so I could buy cake stuff.  We came home, and I baked a white cake in a 9x13" pan.


And then, per Bakerella's instructions, I let it cool overnight.

Meanwhile, I'd gotten these rainbow star sprinkles to decorate the pops.  The supermarket was completely out of anything in blue besides this; they were overrun with red and green.  In case we want to make Christmas cakes ahead, maybe?  Well, my nutty husband and I sat and split up all the stars so I could use the blue and white ones on my pops.  Yes, we're insane.



On Monday, Memorial Day, Eric and I went to lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in way too long.  From there, we went to Home Depot for a bunch of 2x6" 8' wood and some 2x4" stakes... and then came home, and Eric built this, after clearing away all the weeds from the area.


While he was doing that, I was making my very first ever cake pops.  Deceptive, terribly deceptive.  They looked so simple.  So cute and easy.  Those suckers are seriously labor intensive!  And that's not even including doing crazy sprinkle-separating.

First, you crumble the cake into fine crumbs.


Then you mix in icing (I used vanilla), 'til it's all mixed through, roll it into balls (I made mine bigger than the recommended 1.5" diameter, and was kind of glad I did... fewer to fight with.  So far it was still pretty easy, though I'm not a fan of playing mudpies, really.


And then they need to fridge. While they were fridging, I melted some dark chocolate I had.


Good stuff.  And you know, I have a double boiler.  But I thought rather than digging it out, I'd do it the "easy" way and melt the chocolate by microwaving it.  Only I forgot I've never been really good at microwave-melting chocolate, and much prefer a double boiler.  Well, the first bowl of chocolate turned useless when I overheated it and it just kept getting stiffer instead of more liquid.  So... second bowl.  More chocolate.  This time it worked better, though it was still finicky to work with and I really should've just dug out the double boiler.  Next time.

I learned some other things too.  It's really not easy to keep those balls on the lollipop sticks while swishing them through the chocolate.  It's also not easy to cover them in "one swipe," as recommended by Bakerella, and so it's not easy to get a nice thin, even coat of chocolate.  I also learned that drawing icing is not as easy as it looks.  As Eric put it, when I try something brand new like this, my artistic flair sometimes exceeds my skill level.


Practice should fix that, right?  Right?

Meanwhile, this time around, I ended up pretty much with melted chocolate everywhere.  I ate so much chocolate, I made myself nauseous.

Anyway, I did a whole bunch of 'em, Memorial Day themed, and then set up 6 in tiny flower pots to wrap as a gift.


And I wrapped 'em up.  I wanted to bring them over to our neighbors who shoveled the snow off our walk several times this winter.  It was really the least I could do.


OK, that really looked cute.

Of course, Eric and I had to taste test a couple, just to make sure.  Wow!  I'd never had a cake pop before, and they taste like, as Eric put it, chocolate-covered cupcakes.  Yum!

Before I could bring them over, though, Eric had finished that garden box... and then, Eric being Eric, he was on a roll.  He needed soil.  Lots of soil.  Over half a ton of soil.  Thirty 40-lb bags of soil.  And a bag of rocks.

We came back, gave the neighbors their gift, and made them happy.  Then headed into our own yard, to fill the box with soil... or almost fill it with soil, since it could still use a few more bags.


It's really going to be nice.  The rocks are going to be along the front, to make a border where the dirt hits the driveway.  And he's forming a brick walkway around the left and back of the box for us to use in gardening.

Then all it'll need will be the plants!

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14 comments:

Shannon said...

So now that you know HOW labour intensive cake pops are... do you intend to do it again?? I did it once... and that was enough for me! LOL

Larissa said...

Oh, definitely! They're delicious!

And the whole thing started, really, because at our Mardi Gras in June party, I intend to do a topsy turvy cake... which means I'll have leftover cake! What better way to put it to use than add some cake pops too? I've already got green sprinkles on order, and I'll be picking up yellow & purple candy melts.

But I'm a glutton for punishment. :D

lilmamad said...

Those cake pops look great! :)

Jordan McCollum said...

This>when I try something brand new like this, my artistic flair sometimes exceeds my skill level. That so applies to me and my sisters!

Hope the pops were at least as tasty as you deserve after all that!

Shannon said...

Actually, I didn't think mine tasted good enough for the effort - I did a choc cake with choc icing, and coated in white and milk choc. They were okay but blah, not worth 7 hours of hard labour (I ended up with 88 of them!!!)
Yours look way more substantial!

Larissa said...

Yeah, I ended up with a lot fewer than the 48 the recipe said. I can't remember how many, but it was more like 20. They're HUGE.

Even Eric really likes them, and he hasn't got a sweet tooth. Sorry you weren't so crazy about them after all that work.

Anne-Marie said...

I think your first attempt was great! It's definitely a little trickier than Bakerella makes it look, huh?! You pulled it off though. I love the Memorial Day theme, it was so sweet of you to share with your neighbors =)

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees said...

YUMMY! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
~Alisa
sweetpeasandbb.blogspot.com

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees said...

YUMMY! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
~Alisa
sweetpeasandbb.blogspot.com

Emily said...

those look amazing! Your first attempt is pretty great Come on over tomorrow and link to my Tasty Tuesday party! http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/

Ashley said...

yay for your first attempt, and they look awesome!!
love it

http://jaysonandashley.blogspot.com/

MomLaur83 said...

Nicely done! I'll have to try it out!

Chef in Training said...

they turned out great! cake pops can be hard and time consuming and yours look wonderful! I found your blog through a link party and i LOVE it! I love making new blog friends! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
-Nikki
http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

Kimberly from "bugaboo" said...

Your cake pops look soooo good! Much better than MY first attempt. Thanks for linking!

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