Valentine’s Day and Cake Pops
What sounds better than rich red velvet cake dipped into chocolate? Um… not much that I can think of! This is what we made for treats for Goose’s class this year. She was a little worried because last year we made fruit leather cut into hearts and some of the kids in her class didn’t want to taste it, but once they did, they loved it. I don’t think she will have an issue convincing anyone to try these chocolate confections!
Twig and I sampled them last night and agreed they were delicious, and then I gave one to each girl with breakfast this morning and Goose was so delighted with them, she wanted to keep them ALL for herself! Hopefully they will actually end up being given to friends and she won’t have gorged herself on 36 cake pops on the bus to school this morning!!!
First, I doubled the recipe for the red velvet cake I used for Lil Pea’s birthday cupcakes (recipe at end of post.) I baked the double batch of batter in a single layer springform pan and until about 5 minutes UNDER done. Then, using my hands, I mushed and crumbled the cake (still a bit sticky and moist in the middle) and rolled them into balls. Mine made about 50 balls. Bake the balls for the five or six remaining minutes until they look like they are starting to dry just a little on the outside.
Then I carefully put a lollipop stick (also found in the craft store) into each ball and put them back on the cookie sheet to freeze. (I was out of parchment and forgot to grease the pan while baking and freezing- definitely do one or the other because they WILL stick!)
Working directly from the freezer, taking out about 5 pops at a time, spoon melted chocolate over cake (or dip) until covered. Chocolate will harden fairly quickly (about 45 seconds) so if you are rolling pops in nuts or colored sugar, etc., you will have to work quickly. I found that the colored sugar melted and absorbed oils from the chocolate if I rolled them when the chocolate was still very glossy, but if I waited too long, it would not stick at all. Plan for the first few to be “trials” as you figure out just when to dip into decorations.
As soon as they are no longer dripping, stick the pops into a piece of floral foam. Each piece of foam held 15 pops if I arranged them very carefully. 3 pieces of foam come in a pack at the craft store. Be very careful when you are sticking the pops in, that you balance them for weight as they go in- start with the middle, then ends, etc., so it doesn’t topple. If it does fall, the little foamy dust gets on the pops
As soon as they are hardened, place each pop in a food-safe wrapper (found in the candy making aisle of a craft store) and tie with ribbon, twist-tie, string, etc. And admire your work for a quick minute before the vultures descent to eat it all!!
Red Velvet Cake (one layer, or enough for 50 pops):
* 3 c. GF flour blend (recipe below)
* 2 packets Knox Gelatin
* 4 Tbs. cocoa powder
* 1 Tbs. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 8 Tbs butter or coconut oil
* 1/2 c honey or palm sugar
* 4 eggs
* 2 medium roasted beets (or one very large) peeled and cut into cubes (and pureed after roasting)
* 1/2 c. milk or non-dairy milk sub
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix together dry ingredients and then cut in butter until crumbly. Add wet ingredients and pureed beats until batter is smooth. Pour into greased and floured 9″ cake pan (I used a springform) and bake for approx 30 minutes until very nearly done. Roll into balls and bake on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet for another 5-6 minutes until balls are just starting to look dry on the outsides.
Poke in sucker sticks and freeze for about 40 minutes before dipping in melted chocolate.
2 c white rice flour
1 c each: potato starch, millet, and sorghum flour
1/2 c teff flour
Measure out 3 cups of this mixture for your cake. If you want to soak your grains, soak in the 1/2 c milk and salt from the recipe overnight before preparing the cake, adding about 1 tbs more milk to the wet ingredients immediately before baking.
I did not measure the chocolate at all. I dumped a few squares of baker’s unsweetened chocolate, a little more cocoa butter and some maple syrup and a pinch of salt into the top of a double-boiler and hoped for the best. I ended up not having enough to coat the pops, so Twig graciously went to the supermarket and picked up some acceptable chocolate bars to melt as well for the last batch. Any chocolate that stays hard at room temperature will work here.
I did add sprinkles for mine- they are India Tree brand. It is large crystals of actual sugar, but they use natural dyes. We so rarely use these that they have lasted me almost 3 years now, and even after making the pops, I still have 2/3 of the bottle or more left, so it’s a good investment if you are avoiding artificial colors, etc. because they still look very “mainstream” as far as bakery items go.