Pain in the ass method for making cake pops

If you read blogs often you’ve probably seen dozens of cake pop tutorials already. Most of them I would imagine have useful tips and make it look super easy. Not this one. Although they looked pretty presentable by the end and my sister loved them they were not as easy as I expected. This was most probably due to my high expectation of ease, and a little to do with my wilton candy melts not playing nicely.

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So here goes, my step by step guide on how to make cake pops more hard work than they need to be:

1) Acquire lovely cake pop goodies for christmas. Think ‘oh, wilton candy melts, I can’t wait to see how easy these are to use’

2) Wait for appropriate time to make cake pops, my sisters birthday happened to be coming up, how convenient.

3) Get into the kitchen, look at recipe on silicone mold. Recipe is for 40 cake pops, mold only holds 20. Half recipe and hope it works.

4) Take cake pop mold out of oven, become impatient and take a sneaky peak inside. Be super giddy that you have perfect baby spheres of cake ready to be smothered in smooth candy melts.

5) Melt down white candy melts. ‘Oh, this is thicker than I expected but it should be fine.’ Dip sticks in, then stabs baby cakes. So far so good.

6) Sticks first cake pop in candy melts, start swirling around, pull stick out…uh-oh where’s the cake? Try again with another pop, nope, no use. Stick swizzles out every time.

7) Resort to ‘pouring’ candy melts over cake, finally, most of them are covered. Fail to find an easy way to keep them upright. Oh bum.

8) Sprinkle with lots of sprinkles to cover up mess.

9) Finally run out of naughty white candy melts, switch to dark chocolate candy melts. Thank god, these melts work so much better, shame I only have three cake pops left. They even worked when twizzled around.


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10) Fiddle for a long time cutting cellophane bags and tying them with bakers twine to make pretty little pops.
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In the end I do think they looked quite cute, and seeing my sisters face when she saw them made it worth while. However I don’t know what it was about those white melts but they were not being cooprative. I wish I’d have started with the dark chocolate melts instead, they were much more how I imagined.

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Great Cake Decorating by Erin Gardner

I love cake decorating, so as soon as I saw this book I immediately requested to review it. Luckily for me my request got accepted!

The book is Great Cake Decorating by Erin Gardner. It will be out to buy in early Febuary (UK), but until then you can pre-order your copy on amazon.

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The author, Erin Gardner, is an established pastry chef, cake decorator and winner of food network show Sweet Genius.

There were some things about this book I loved, then there were a few things I didn’t.

The book is set out into chapters, the first chapter being the cake basics; baking, shaping, filling, crumb coating, stacking, and icing. It explains that a beautiful cake is nothing if it doesn’t taste good. Gardner discusses which tools she uses and why, which is something I found really useful. Often when an author lists tools to use they do just that, but in this book there is a full explanation of why this particular tool is better than other brands or types.

splitting and filling a cake

This book is thorough from the first page to the very last, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced bakers/decorators, who might even find themselves learning a few useful tips. I certainly read some tips I’ve never seen before.

The second chapter ‘I’ts All in the Details’ describes everything you need to know from adding colour, to flower making.

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This is followed by the section of the book that gets to the point. The cake designs, at last! There are some designs I loved, some designed I hated. Often the designs I didn’t like I could still take inspiration, or techniques.

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Now we get to the features of the book I loved:

  •  ‘Make it or fake it’ This feature was full of top time saving tips. These tips might be useful for someone who wants to make things quickly but still impress. I imagine this feature would be great for someone that loves the look of cake but is not actually a cake fan, for example some ‘make it or fake it’ suggest substituting cake for rice crispy treats
  • ‘Variations’ This is a great little idea box on how to change the cake up for different occasions or seasons
  • ‘Smaller shindigs’ My favourite feature by far. Tips for how to scale the cake down to a mini cake or cupcakes. This is something I’ve never seen before and I fell in love with the idea instantly.

Overall I loved this book. I thought it would be a great book to buy if you’re ready to get serious about cake decorating. It would also work well for a beginner who wants to be able to put their hand to a book that contains all the information on everything you’d possibly want to know. This book really does cover everything, from baking to transporting cakes. I would even go as far to say it is the ultimate cake decorating bible.

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Sweet Things – Book Review

The first book I will be reviewing, and indeed my first ever blog post, will be Sweet Things by Annie Rigg.

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It was one of the many lovely gifts I received for Christmas and at first glance I fell in love. The cover is everything I look for in a book, good quality, covered in sweets and even shiny.

Annie Rigg is an accomplished food writer and stylist, and it certainly shows throughout the book. From the first page to the very last there are beautiful pictures that certainly sparked my imagination.

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There is a friendly overtone to the whole book, a focus on gift giving and relaxed writing style. I feel she really gets to the point of sweet making. It’s not only for the scrumminess but the joy of making and particularly making for others. As a round up to the gift giving theme there is a useful page at the back of the book with her own tips and advice on presentation and gift packaging.

Another thing I admired about the book is the variety of techniques and recipes included. From the simple piped chocolate hearts to the complex pastilles, the traditional vanilla fudge to the unusual goat’s milk and vanilla bean caramels

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Goats milk and vanilla bean caramels

I am particularly fond of how she has tried to use everyday equipment and ingredients, although she suggest buying the best quality available of course. You can tell with each recipe description how passianate the author is about quality ingredients. Her knowledge of every ingredient used in this book is vast.

I have read this book from front to back and cannot find fault. If I was to be really picky I might say quality is over mentioned but I doubt if I was looking in the book for a recipe or two I would even notice.

Overall a fantastic book with easy to achieve, along with some more challenging but fun, recipes that I cannot wait to try (though this will have to wait until I have eaten my weight in excess Christmas goodies)

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p.s. this review was written purely because I love the book, I am not gaining anything from the review and the links are not affiliate.