I wanted to make cake pops. If you don't know what I'm talking about here's the breakdown: Cake pops are candy or chocolate coated balls (or shapes - hearts, footballs, etc) of cake on a stick. Creative, fun, tasty. If you'd like to do further research on the subject you can learn more here.
Now, my problem with cake pops is that the ones I had tasted were way too sweet and when I looked into making them I found out why. First you bake a cake. Then you crumble it up and mix it with icing or jam so that the cake holds the desired shape. I was determined to find a way to omit the "icing glue" so that I could cut down on sugar in my pops.
Then we were invited to a birthday party and what was served? Cake pops! My friend, Kristi, was apparently thinking along the same lines as me because she did exactly what I wanted to; she figured out how to omit the "icing glue" with a little help from gluten-free genius Elana over at elanaspantry.com.
So, for my daughter's sixth birthday she had cake pops! Cake pops that weren't too sweet and also happened to be gluten-free.
Here's what I did.
I baked a batch of Elana's Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes as a cake with a couple of modifications. (original recipe here)
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 2 squares unsweetened bakers chocolate (chopped) and semi-sweet chocolate chips to make 1 ½ cups total chocolate
- ½ cup almonds
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- Place chocolate and almonds in a food processor.
- Grind until the consistency of coarse sand.
- Pulse in eggs, grapeseed oil and agave.
- Then pulse in vanilla and salt.
- Pour batter into a parchment lined 8x8 cake pan and bake at 350° for 20 t0 30 minutes (I can't remember exactly how long it took - just test it with a toothpick to see if it's done. It should be a nice dark colour but watch that the edges don't burn! haha).
- Cool completely.
Making the cake pops:
(original recipe and directions here. I chose not to use the suggested cake because I didn't have almond flour, fyi)
You will need:
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or bitter-sweet bakers chocolate (or whatever)
- lollipop sticks (I got mine at the Bulk Barn)
- sprinkles, candies (optional)
- Once cooled, crumble cake into a big bowl, making sure there are no large pieces.
- Form into 1½ inch(ish) balls and transfer to a parchment lined plate.
- Place plate of cake balls in freezer for 1-2 hours until very solid.
When cake balls are frozen well:
- Melt the 1½ cups chocolate in a small pot on the stove.
- Remove one ball at a time from freezer.
- Dip about ½ inch of the tip of a lollipop stick into melted chocolate.
- Insert the lollipop stick straight into the bottom of the ball, pushing about ⅓ of an inch deep.
- Holding stick with the ball attached, dip entirely into melted chocolate until covered.
- Make sure chocolate coating meets at base of lollipop stick; this helps secure the ball to the stick.
- Tap and twirl any excess chocolate coating off the cake pop so it is evenly coated.
- Apply sprinkles (if desired, which I didn't).
- Place stick of cake pop into styrofoam block in the fridge.
- Complete with remaining balls and allow to set completely.
Once my cake pops were set I wanted to add some white chocolate embellishments so I melted some white chocolate chips and proceeded to pipe it onto the cake pops to make them look like "chocolate roses". Unfortunately, the white chocolate chips I purchased were horrible and didn't melt well so I only managed to do a few (poorly!) before giving up. (I'll get good quality or bakers white chocolate next time!)
All in all, it was a success! My daughter was so excited about her cake pop "flowers" and, with my husband's help, decorated the styrofoam cake pop holder with grass and a nice scene of bunnies and a fawn.
And finally, the proverbial cherry on top was the fact that my friend Sarah (who has to be on a celiac diet) kept asking me, "Are you SURE these are gluten free? Cause they don't taste like it.".
She had two :)