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Cake Pops FAIL

By: Pfoinkle

It’s been a while since I baked a cake, but then someone on twitter (@greatwhitesnark) pointed out these Star Wars Cake Pops and I thought, “cake pops? how cool is that?”

Like I said, it’s been a while. Anyway, I started researching cake pops and if you research cake pops, you are going to end up at Bakerella’s place.

She is flipping brilliant with the cake pops AND she makes it look soooo easy.

Looks can be deceiving. *nods knowingly*

Not one to rush in unschooled, I ordered this:

The smart thing to do next would be to read the book — thoroughly. I did not. I excitedly skimmed through and looked for the list of supplies I would need.

But I didn’t exactly follow the book.

That was my first mistake. I bought this stuff:

Looking at that picture now, I see one two three four mistakes.

The first two mistakes:

  1. I bought white cake mix. White cake is almost always light and fluffy (wrong texture) and pretty sweet.
  2. I always add pudding to cake mix. It makes it more dense (that would be a good thing) and more moist (that would be a bad thing).

More on the other two mistakes, later.

First I baked the cake in a 9″ x 13″ pan as instructed.

Looks pretty good.

Now pay close attention to that picture… because that’s the VERY LAST thing that goes right in this cake pop misadventure.

The next step is to crumble the cooled cake. There should be no large bits.

See all the large bits? The cake was so moist, the more I tried to crumble it, the bigger the bits got.

*uh-oh*

The next step is to mix canned frosting with the crumbled cake.

wow. Now it’s REALLY moist. Like raw dough. Raw dough that’s not going to be baked.

This can’t possibly taste good. Well, I’ll just plow forward knowing the white cake mix was a mistake, but I can still make them look cute.

*shaking head ‘no’*

The next step is to melt some chocolate candy. I chose Wilton’s candy melts. Mistake #3. The thing is, once you melt the Wilton’s Melts, they’re still pretty thick. Other people know this (I googled it).

Other people don’t use Wilton’s cake melts for enrobing.

*sigh*

So my first cake pop looked like this:

Well, that’s just wrong. So very very wrong.

And here is where mistake #4 comes into play. One of the supply items is a styrofoam block to put the cake pops in while they dry.

*craaaaaaaaaap*

I don’t have a stryrofoam block.

Oh, bloody hell.

Since there’s not a scrap of stryofoam in my house, I come up with this solution:

I thought I was pretty clever. That’s brown rice in a tub. A couple of cups of brown rice in a tub.

*boy, that would be a mess to clean up if it dumped over, wouldn’t it?*

Back to the melts. Obviously, the melted melts just aren’t melted enough. I should melt them some more.

Did I mention that this is the first time I’ve worked with melts?

Here’s what happens when you try to melt already melted candy melts:

*wrinkled nose*

What is that burnt smell? And oh look, a candy melt *farkity fark fark* blob.

*@#!$%!* @*!&$%! (#$^&!

It’s okay. It’s. O. K.

I have more unmelted melts. I did some online research and discovered my best option was to add oil to the melts.

*this is going to taste so very very bad*

No no, it’s realllll-y o-k. I’m all about how it looks, now. So I added the oil and melted some more melts.

Looks-wise and coating-wise, this second batch of melted melts worked much better. Not perfect, but I was happily dipping little cake balls and putting them in the tub of rice (*hey, this is working great*) and then… and then…

And then all the upright little dipped cake balls shifted in the tub o’rice.

*gawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww*

Yes, ALL of them shifted. At once. And it looked like this:

*panic*

*oh dear God, they’re all stuck together*

After taking that picture, I placed the camera on the table. And, in the greatest synchronized diving cake pops scene EVER, they did this:

You can’t tell it from that picture, but there is rice everywhere.

EVERY. WHERE.

*on hands and knees, bowing*

Dear Bakerella, I am not worthy.

At all.

So I drank one of these:

And ate one of these:

And it was everything I expected.

The End.

The Absolute *farking* end.

lol

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Simple Cake Fillings

By: Pix

On the occasions that I don’t feel like baking my own cakes, I always visit a local bakery that I love. One thing that has always impressed me about this place is their huge variety of cake fillings. Fillings make cakes seem fancier, more expensive, and just all around yummier. I realized that I could fancy up my box cake mixes by simply adding some ready-made common fillings from the grocery store. Add some homemade buttercream icing, and you have a gourmet cake that others will think you slaved over.

Think creatively when it comes to cake fillings, and you’ll realize that there are options all over the grocery store. The best place to look is the jam aisle.

Strawberry Cake Filling

Strawberry Jam as Cake Filling

Raspberry and strawberry jams are great (and fancy) cake fillings that are easy as can be to use. More great options are pie fillings. For lemon cakes, I always use ready-made lemon pie filling, and it’s absolutely delicious.

Lemon Pie Filling as Cake Filling

A simple way to create a chocolate filling (or carmel, butterscotch, or strawberry) is to use an ice cream topping like hot fudge or hot caramel.
Chocolate Cake Filling

Hot Fudge as Chocolate Cake Filling

Add some pecan bits to hot caramel, and you have an absolutely amazing filling.

The only thing to remember when adding fillings is to be careful when you spread them between cake layers. Be sure that you don’t spread too closely to the cake edge, or your filling will spill out into your buttercream and cause icing issues. Stack your layers carefully, frost the outsides of your cake, and you have a simple and impressive filled cake.

dice4

Stack Second Layer over Filling and then Frost.

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Stacking Tiered Cakes

By: Pix

This simple tutorial provides a quick and easy way to lend stability to tall, stacked cakes using cardboard and dowel rods.

I realized how necessary it is to provide structure and support for stacked cakes when I made my little girl’s first birthday cake. It was elaborate and tall, and as I stacked layer upon layer, the whole thing started to sink into itself! I had to take the entire cake apart, cut up some cardboard, cut some pens in half (necessity being the mother of invention and all that), and start stacking the layers with some added support. So that others don’t have to learn the hard way like I did, I decided to provide some basic tips for tiered cake construction.

  1. The first step is to grab some dowel rods (or Plastic Dowel Rods for Tiered Cakes) and set them aside .
  2. For cake stacking, use dowel rods and cardboard.

    For cake stacking, use dowel rods and cardboard.

  3. Next you’ll need cardboard.  You can recycle boxes that you have around the house, or you can use actual Cake Board for this. Set your cardboard aside for later.
  4. Frost the first layer and allow the icing to form a crust.

    Frost the first layer and allow the icing to form a crust.

  5. Now ice the bottom layer of your cake and allow some time for the frosting to harden. If you don’t give it enough time, all of your frosting will stick to the cardboard support layer when the time comes to remove it.

  6. You’ll want to choose pressure points when deciding where to place your dowel rods;  I would suggest all four corners for a square or rectangular cake, or several outer points for circular cakes.  Also place at least one or two dowel rods in the center area of your cake.  To measure the dowel rods, simply place the dowel rod in the cake and mark the proper height with a pencil.  Be sure to place the dowel rod in the same spot that it will go later in case your cake is an uneven height.  Cut the dowel rod with a steak knife (perfect for plastic rods), or a small Hand-held saw.  This can take some serious elbow grease, so be prepared. Then place your dowel rods in your cake.
  7. Insert dowel rods in weight pressure points.

    Insert dowel rods in weight pressure points.


    Place cardboard or cakeboard on top of the bottom layer.

    Place cardboard or cakeboard on top of the bottom layer.

  8. Now cut your cardboard to size.  You’ll want it smaller than the actual size of the cake (you don’t want cardboard peeking out from the side of your lovely creation!), but you’ll want to be sure to cover all of the dowel rods.  If the next layer is going to be smaller than the bottom layer, shape your cardboard to the size of the smaller layer.
  9. Stack your second layer, and repeat the process if necessary.
Place the next layer and repeat the process if necessary.

Place the next layer and repeat the process if necessary.

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