Last time I made cake pops, I tried it with out sticks. Well this time I was determined to try them as true cake pops, sticks and all.
My mother had told me she didn’t want a cake for her birthday. (She knew I was tired from my last two BIG projects.) BUT…I started having thoughts…the vanilla cake scraps from my number 100 cake were calling to me from the freezer. I went out and bought some blueberry pies for the small get together we had for her. But I just could not help trying my hand at these babies as well.
I had my husband and sister scower our little town for cake pop sticks, but alas they were not to be found in time. So I used skewers, cutting each in half as well as getting rid of the sharp point at the ends.
I had done a search on line for blueberry cake pops to get my creative juices going. I was surprised to find almost NO pictures of cake pops decorated as blueberries. There were a few more with blueberry flavors but only one AS a blueberry. So I had to come up with my own idea on how to achieve the look I wanted.
My first step was of course to make the balls them selves. I started with my left over vanilla cake scraps, crumbling them in to small pieces. My cake was REALLY moist so I tried to be careful how much of the blueberry preserves I added to them. I added 3 large kitchen table spoons full to the cake crumbs, and using a spoon mixed them together. (Since my cake was REALLY moist and sticky I opted for the spoon instead of my hands.)
The mix ended up a bit to moist in my opinion, but I felt it was still usable, so I continued on. (Not to self: 2 large kitchen table spoons of Jam is plenty for this cake recipe.)
I used my favorite scoop to measure out even amounts of cake, and then rolled them between my hands to smooth them in to balls. Next I popped them in to the refrigerator for about 2 hours to set up. Last time I used the freezer but found the balls got a bit to chilled before I was ready for them. The condensation that formed as a result of that, on the out side of the chocolate coating lengthened the drying stage quite a bit.
While the cake balls were setting up I got everything ready for the dipping posses. I used Wilton’s candy melting wafers, instead of real chocolate this time. I had them in my cupboards already and with them I got the blue color I wanted with out having to buy candy color for coloring melted chocolate.
Once the balls were set up to my liking I dipped the skewers in to my melted candy melts and then inserted them in to the balls. The candy melts set up vary fast so I didn’t have to put them back in to the fridge at all before they were ready for dipping.
For dipping I melted the candy melts in a large 16 inch tall mug. It was the perfect size for holding a decent amount of candy melts, and being able to immerse the whole cake ball in the melts and pull it out with out having to twist it at all. It worked wonderfully for most of the cake pops. I used 2 spoonfuls of Crisco Vegetable Shortening to thin out my candy melts for easy dipping. It worked well to get a nice smooth consistency. BUT I did get REALLY small white spots showing up all over. Not a huge deal, but next time I will try a different method.
I had planed on using my colander to hold the pops as they dried…but as you can see from the picture above that didn’t work so well. I believe my cake/jam mix was just to moist for them to told up while tilted to the side. I lost 3 that way. O well! I sent my sister Joy on a search for styrofoam. This worked well, BUT we found it was better to cut a slit with a knife into the foam before inserting the cake pop stick. The stick itself tended to punch a bigger hole then what was needed to hold it firmly UP. YAY! My cake pops were saved.
Everything went really smoothly until the end. I only had one bag of candy melts, and I knew this was probably not going to be enough for ALL of the cake balls. Once my candy melts started getting low it was harder to dip them smoothly and I almost lost the last two because I had to stir them a bit to completely cover them in candy. I found that one bag of candy melts covers about 20 cake pops. (My cake pops were a generous size as well.)
For the little sprig thingy on the top of my blue berries, that is really the BOTTOM of a blue berry if you look at how they hang off of the bush, I used white modeling chocolate colored a purple/blue. I wanted the color to contrast with the main blue of the cake pop. In nature blueberries are anywhere from a dark dark blue to a beautiful purple. The bit on the bottom is usually a lot darker then the rest of the berry as well. To make these look more realistic you could pain or dust the inside of the modeling chocolate piece with a dark purple or blue, and then also touch up the sides of the berry its self with some shading. I did not have time for that this time, or have the right tools for it on hand. So my berries are a bit cartoony, but I still think they are cute.
To form that bottom/top piece I started with a simple 5 petal flower shape and simple pinched up the sides and glued the piece on to the top of the cake pop with a bit of royal icing. (Like the smallest drop) I am loving how modeling chocolate is so versatile for small jobs like this. It doesn’t dry out like fondant so I don’t have to work fast. Its easy to go back and change the shape of something if it doesn’t strike me as right on. Plus, its yummy.
That is how I made my Blueberry Cake Pops. I ended up dropping two so they cracked, and one was unable to hold its shape on the stick. (The morning after I made these I found it had slid down its skewer.) But all in all I think this try went well. Everyone who tried one said they were delicious. I will be making cake pops again for sure, and I know every time I make them they are bound to be just a bit better.
Happy Birthday Mom!