Photo by William Pearce
Well…guess who’s back?
I got overwhelmed by my own creation, this little blog. I started it being so precise, and making sure my photos were up to some imaginary standards of cuteness and yumminess, wanting to bake amazing goods while having way too many things to deal with…and I got overwhelmed. I thought that it would be better not to post, than post something that would not really be up to those imaginary standards. And I realize now that I was wrong because I really wanted to keep posting the cakes and sweets I created…just sometimes one doesn’t really have the time to stage a perfect photo shoot. And I had this awful feeling of letting people down, which I probably did anyway by altogether disappearing.
Does anyone else feel like that sometimes? And how do you deal with it?
Eyeball Cake Pops
Back a month or so ago, a close friend (we’ll call her Rar) invited me to her Halloween Party/Anniversary Party (because only cool people can say to have met their soulmate on Halloween!) and asked if I could make some gory, bloody eyeball cake pops.
Now, this is not any Halloween Party. My friend Rar takes Halloween seriously, and I had already heard how awesome her Halloweens were…I was more than ecstatic to be baking something for this great occasion! Plus, I had never experimented with fake blood…I just couldn’t wait!
I choose a Red Velvet Cake recipe from Bake Your Heart Out as I had never made one before and was a bit taken aback by the amount of food colouring the other recipes advised to use. But this recipe is awesome! And check out her blog, because that’s awesome too!
Cake Recipe (makes 30 Cake Pops)
2 ½ cups Plain (All Purpose)Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 cup Buttermilk
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Red Food Colouring
1 cup (250 gr) Unsalted Butter
2 cups Caster Sugar
1½ tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp White Vinegar
0. Preheat oven at 170°C (medium), grease two 20cm cake pans and line with baking paper.
1. In a bowl, beat the butter with a mixer at low speed until creamy and fluffy. Add the caster sugar and beat for an additional 3 or 4 minutes at low/medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between additions. In another bowl, mix the flour with salt.
2. In a small bowl, mix the red food colouring with the cocoa powder. The result will be a thick dark paste (resist the urge to add extra colouring, trust me, it’s ok if it’s really thick).
3. Add the colour+cocoa mixture to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Add the flour by alternating 1/3 of the flour to 1/3 of buttermilk, mixing just enough to make the ingredients disappear in the batter.
4. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and the baking soda (it’s fun!) until the latter has disappeared, and then quickly add it to the batter. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined, making sure there’s not leftover colouring around the edges and not lumps in the batter.
6. Let it cool down completely before proceeding with next step!
120gr Unsalted Butter
100gr Icing Sugar
2 packets (750gr) of White Chocolate Melts
Fondant in Green (or any other colour, for the eye)
Black Food Colouring for the Iris
1. Once the cakes have cooled down, crumble them with your hands, each in a separate bowl. Because I have a tiny electric oven, I found that the top crust of the cake was slightly burned and removed it. Make sure you taste your cake before crumbling it, especially if some parts are harder/more cooked than others.
2. Prepare one quantity of buttercream icing (120 gr butter, mix until fluffy, add 100gr icing sugar, mix until buttercream) and flavour with a teaspoon of chocolate essence (the taste is quite different from chocolate buttercream with cocoa powder, but it works much better with the red velvet cake than normal chocolate buttercream which would be a bit too strong!).
3. Add half the icing to one crumbled cake, and half to the other. Stir and mix with your hands until there are no buttercream lumps and the cake holds together quite well. If the resulting mixture is a bit too soft, pop it in the fridge for 20/30 minutes.
4. Create nice little balls of cake, then return to fridge.
5. Melt white chocolate melts, I melt them in a long, thick glass to make sure the cake pops don’t touch the bottom. Make sure NO WATER enters the glass/container as you melt the chocolate or it’s very likely it will ruin the melting and you’ll have to throw all the chocolate out and start again.
6. No get your cake pops out of the fridge, stab them with a fork (just like you’d stab an eye) and dip them into the white chocolate. Then put them on a tray lined with baking paper and hold them until they are stable enough for the fork not to fall.
7. Once completed the dipping process, add a fondant circle to your eyeball by brushing the back of the fondant with a tiny bit of water. Then pain the iris with your black food colouring.
Time to add the fake blood! Because I couldn’t find corn syrup (and golden syrup tastes bad), I decided to use honey as a substitute. It worked really well and tasted amazing on the cake pops!
2 tblsp of Honey
2 tsp of Red Food Colouring
1 tsp of Cocoa Powder
Have fun adding blood to your cake pops! I advise serving the cake pops on a platter with a base of fake blood, so the blood drips as people pick the cake pops up and it’s super gory!
And now, from the land of no Halloween (Australia)…