Well as life would have it two of these women are getting/ have gotten married this year [just a month apart] which means we get to see each other three times in 2013! I was so honored when Nancy asked me to make the favors for her special day. She requested cake pops and her and her finance selected the flavors: chocolate peanut butter, tres leche and tiramisu.
Now this was just my second time making cake pops and after churning out over 200 I have a few tips I thought might be helpful to others trying out this popular treat.
I know you can use store box mixes and frosting but that just isn't my preference, especially for my dear friend. I opted to make my own cakes and frosting, this did add some time to the process but I think it also added to the quality too!
The recipes I used can be found here:
Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Vanilla Cake with Tres Leche [To adapt this recipe I kept the milk mixture to the side to use as my 'frosting']
Tiramisu Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
First I baked the cake in a 9x13 pan and let them cool to room temperature. Meanwhile I made the frosting [or tres leche milk mixture].
Then I crumbled the cake into a large bowl. Note: Most recipes I found called for one cup of frosting but sometimes this made for cake balls that were too wet and other times they were too dry. I started with a half cup and added more as needed. You want the cake to hold its shape.
I then portioned and rolled the cake mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and placed them on a parchment lined sheet pan and placed in the fridge.
Meanwhile I melted the chocolate bark using the double boiler method [you can do this in a microwave but we do not have one]. Once melted I removed the cake balls from the fridge. I dipped the sticks in the chocolate [about a half inch] and then inserted them into each cake ball. Note: to prevent splitting only insert the stick a quarter of the way into the cake ball. Then place the cake pops back on the parchment lined baking sheet and place it into the freezer for approximately 20 minutes.
I then worked in batches of a dozen [keeping the rest in the freezer] dipping the cake pops into the melted chocolate and spinning them slightly to remove the excess. I stood them up in Styrofoam and topped with sprinkles and let dry. Note: As they are partially frozen the chocolate will dry fast so I topped with sprinkles immediately after coating each in chocolate. For those that were drizzled with colored candy melts I waited until the base coat was completely dry before decorating.
Once they were all dry, approximately 20 minutes later, I individually wrapped them in cello bags and boxed them up for shipping. [When shipping I start and end with a layer of shredded paper and place cake pops or cookies in a single layer top with shredded paper and keep going until the box is full. Make sure the paper shreds are packed to support the treats.]
The process was time consuming and I lost several cake balls along the way but once I found a method that worked it was smooth sailing. I hope my experience can help you if you decide to try your hand at this tasty and fun treat.
Can't wait to celebrate at the wedding this weekend!