I started doing the school holidays thing of letting the girls have some unstructured play time (aka amusing themselves while I work). My aim is to wrangle my unread emails & attend to anything time critical, then spend some time with them. They love to bake. Well, they love to start baking then leave me to it and return in time to eat the results.
So in a moment of Aldi clearance madness, I bought a cake pop kit. I have no room in my kitchen for single-use appliances so I was never going to buy a cake pop machine (the ones that look like toasted sandwich makers). But Aldi had this cute little box with the silicone moulds and a recipe book & sticks. A bargain, guaranteed to give us some quality time together.
Did you know there are actually two ways of making cake pops? I’d done the old fashioned ‘crumble a cooked cake, mix with icing then roll into balls’ method before it was fashionable to impale them on a stick. But the recipe book insisted that not only would I need to cook the cake from scratch and let it cool completely, I’d then be in for more chilling once the balls had been rolled, before the decorating could begin. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Besides, that defeated the purpose of my fancy moulds.
Method two consists of whipping up some cake batter and baking it directly in the moulds. This also takes a bit of time as they have to sit in the moulds for 30 mins after cooking before you remove them, and I had enough mixture for two lots of baking time. But Miss 8 did most of the measuring & had a lesson on my new mixture (until the raw egg part), and we ended up with very promising looking naked cake pops!
The next thing they don’t tell you is that freshly baked uncrumbled cake pops have a tendency to twist around on their little plastic sticks when you try to coat them in chocolate. They also don’t tell you that the suggestion to rest them in a cup is doomed by physics to fail (well, with my 20 different styles of cups & glasses anyway). Thanks goodness for a recently arrived packaging box & a husband who is handy with a pencil. Sorry, you won’t find my cake pop holder at Aldi.
I have no idea what I was doing with the melted chocolate either, but I learnt pretty quickly that some toppings will be too heavy and will slide off the sides. This may have been because by now I was sick of the whole thing and was in a bit of a rush. The silicone moulds give the pops a ‘Saturn’s rings’ ridge, which no amount of chocolate was ever going to cover. But there was no way I was going to attempt fondant. I cannot figure out how people get a fondant sheet moulded so seamlessly around a perfectly spherical object (ignoring the ridge).
In saying all this, we did end up with some fun looking chocolate cake covered balls on sticks and the girls had, well, a ball. The best part was eating them on a picnic rug in the back garden with hubby joining us, and Miss 4 pouring lemonade from a plastic tea set.
And then there were the dishes to do.
With the kitchen already in a mess (I’m not a tidy cook), I whipped up a batch of chocolate muffins & a gorgeous apricot brownie at the same time (first attempt at that recipe and it’s a keeper).
Just don’t ask what was for dinner as I flew out the door to go volunteering for the night, not glancing back at the state of the kitchen. Needless to say I now have a lifetime ban from baking on a Tuesday.