“Oh the weather outside was frightful, but the cake pops were so delightful, and since we had hearts aglow, let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!” Our city may have been blanketed in sheets of snow like a snow globe turned upside down yesterday, but with white, red, and pink chocolate wafers melting over broilers and little bowls and cups filled with Valentine’s sprinkles, baubles, and candy, the Le Dolci studio was brimming with warmth and love as we celebrated Valentine’s and all thinks pink, sparkly, sweet, and pretty – cake pop style! I spent the blistery cold, snowy morning dipping vanilla and chocolate cake balls and hearts in melted chocolate, sprinkling them with enough sprinkles to turn them into leaning towers of cake pops, and eating melted chocolate and cake crumbs off my fingers! My heart sped up with giddy excitement as I saw pale pink edible pearls, a mix of red, pink, and white heart sprinkles, sparkly red and pink suagr sprinkles, cinnamon hearts, and conversation hearts.
I will take advantage of any and every opportunity to play with sprinkles. ANY. And that includes bundling up like a snowman and leaving the house at the crack of dawn wearing two pairs of pants, three sweaters, two scarves, two pairs of socks, boots, a knit hat, my thickest pair of mitts, a coat, and my winter sunglasses (no windburn for this girl!) in the frigid cold and blowing snow. Only I really couldn’t tell you how cold it was because I was toasty in all my layers and ended up waddling around like the Michelin man and yanking off my second pair of fuzzy socks because I couldn’t feel my toes. ANYTHING FOR SWEETS!
Just like the Christmas Cake Pops class, Lisa, our cake pop teacher extraordinaire, began the class by doing a cake pop construction demo. Crumbling some fresh vanilla cake in a mixing bowl and adding two large tablespoons of buttercream frosting to it, Lisa demonstrated how to roll the cake mixture into balls, how to properly temper and melt chocolate and chocolate wafers, and how to securely attach lollipop sticks to cake balls to minimize “cake pop overboard” situations when dunking and dipping.
This time around, we had some vanilla and chocolate cake hearts included in the mix in honour of the special occasion of love! Don’t be fooled by their sweet and loving appearance though – they are more difficult to work with than regular cake balls! All of us had heart cake pop accidents simply because the cake hearts were a bit heavier and thus more prone to cracking, slipping and falling off the lollipop stick, or turning out crooked. I did manage to do a heart cake pop just right though! This is something I’ll definitely have to tinker with and troubleshoot on my own time, but here are some of my suggestions on ways to reduce cake pop heartbreak with the heart shapes:
after dipping the tip of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate, try gently inserting the lollipop stick with the cake heart laying flat on your placemat or working surface (parallel to it) and letting it rest there for a bit as opposed to inserting the stick upwards (perpendicular to the working surface). I found that when I did it upwards (like you normally would with the regular cake balls), the angle of insertion was very awkward and the stick would sometimes go in crookedly and end up cracking the cake heart midway through. It’s worth a shot trying it this way!
Because of the slightly heavier weight of the cake hearts, they’re a little more susceptible to falling off or crumbling/cracking in the melted chocolate. The weight of the melted chocolate and the lifting/dragging motion when taking it out of the melted chocolate can sometimes cause the cake to fall off too. This may not happen to everyone (if you’re a pro, props to you!), but I’m thinking what might also work is to hold the cake pop higher up on the stick (closer to the cake itself) and to use a large spoon to gently pour the melted chocolate over the cake heart and rotating it as you pour to coat all sides and to let the excess drip off. Also worth a shot!
Inevitable cake pop overboard mishaps and all, everyone did an amazing job and the whole work table looked as though it was covered in sparkly red, pink, and white Valentine’s bling! The cake pops turned out gorgeous and using bright colours and fun decorations definitely helped! I love the creative freedom of making cake pops. Even though we were working with a 3-colour palette (red, pink, and white), there were so many ways to switch things up. I did an all pink cake pop with pale pink edible pearls and heart sprinkles, an all red cake pop with white heart sprinkles, an all white with pink drizzle, a red with white marble drizzle and heart sprinkles, a white covered halfway with sparkly red, and an all white with heart sprinkles and white drizzle to “mummify” it! The colour combinations and decoration possibilities are endless and Valentine’s is a just such a fun, happy, and bright occasion to work with. I cannot wait to see what Easter (or even St. Patty’s Day) brings!
Le Dolci is a private studio located at 75 Portland St., just east of Bathurst near King St. West. The studio hosts cupcake decorating classes and handles catering for both corporate and personal events. For more information on classes, schedules, rates, and more, visit their official website here and their Facebook page here.