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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Beautiful Marbling Technique

I have seen many fellow cake poppers making some beautiful swirled cake pops. Some people use a toothpick to drag colors on a wet cake pop and others use a squeeze bottle to manipulate the colors and swirls. These are all very beautiful, but I had a difficult time with them so I came up with the "Dump and Dunk Method". (Yes, I just made that up. So what?)
  I needed something easier and less time consuming, so this is what works for me. 
Side note: I intentionally picked Red and Blue to really, really show off the different colors. They were not pretty pops!
Start with your colors of choice. There really is not a "primary" and "secondary" color because the colors blend over and under and shift from pop to pop. Add a small amount of color A to a larger amount of color B. Here is a small amount of blue added to red. Both were at dipping temperature and consistency before I added them. This is a very shallow 1.5 cup bowl. I'm not sure how using a larger bowl would work.

Your cake pops should have been pre-sticked and cold. We don't want them falling off the stick. Lay the pop on its side and let the stick rest on the side of the bowl. Dip the lower half one color and roll the ball into the other color. Twist/spin/twirl the stick in one direction and coat the cake ball. Gently lift out of the candy coating and let the excess drip off. Keep twisting the stick in the SAME direction. In this picture, I turned my stick from left to right. 


As I dipped and let the excess fall off, the candy coating got a bit muddled. I simply added more of the colors to the small bowl and kept on dipping. 
Finished pops. (Told ya they weren't pretty) Some were more swirled, others were a bit more striped; however, I loved the look of them. So, that's it! Dump colors into small bowl, Dunk cake pop and twist on the color.


  I made several of these for a recent fundraising event held for West Virginia State Senator, Mr. Jeff Kessler. The pops were all done using this marble technique using earthy warm tones. I made orange and white, yellow and white, orange and brown, green and brown, and turquoise and brown. 
  Once the pops were done, I took Pearl Dust and painted on the shimmer with a dry paint brush. The Pearl Dust added such a wonderful vibrant shine that the pops just glowed!  The first picture is orange and brown with Bronze luster dust; middle picture is the white with orange and yellow; final photo is the entire arrangement.
  Enjoy! It may take a few tries to get the method, but they all taste yummy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Angry Birds Tutorial

I got a lot of questions about my Angry Bird Cake Pops, so here is little How-To for everyone. With help from my 5 year old daughter, we made some Red and Blue Angry Birds.

First, gather your accessories. This will make it easier as you are dipping the pops. 

I used different eyes on each of the birds, but for this demo, I just grabbed the most abundant resource I had - sugar pearls. For the four different sets of eyes I used the following: Red - cut off ends of white Mike & Ike candies; Blue - Wilton Candy Eyes; White - Sugar Pearls; Yellow - White confetti sprinkles.


We made the red bird first. I dipped the cake pop then carefully added the red banana candy halves to the top of the pop.
The blue guy had blue shoestring licorice and the yellow and white guy had black jimmies sticking out of their head. 


While the pop is still wet, we added the sugar pearls as eyes and the cut down jumbo sprinkles for the beak.
Because the pearls are so small, use a tweezer, or do what I did, and just drop the pearl into place.
You may need to hold the beak for a few seconds while the candy drys. For the Yellow and white birds, I used yellow and orange colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds for the beaks.   


Add the MOST important detail : The Eyebrows!
I carefully used a tweezer to add the black jimmies to the bird. Refer to Angry Bird pictures on the internet for different looks.
The yellow bird has orange brows and looks angry; the white bird has black brows and looks worried; the blue bird has no brows. 


Once the birds were constructed (with help from little hands) we were ready to add the finishing touches.
I used my edible Ink markers to fill in the pupils and add the red under the blue birds eyes. He looks as if he did not get any sleep for a few days.  


To complete the Red and Yellow Bird, I had to give them their white "shirts". In the pictures they have a white underbellies, so I used my white Candy Decorating Pen to add the colored candy to their bellies. Don't let the candy get too hot and drippy. Hold the bird upside down until the candy firms up before standing him back upright. 

  And that's it! Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!  Ok - maybe not so easy with the fine detailed work, but if my 5 year old can make them, so can you!
  Want to know about the darn pig? He was just a jumbo sized cupcake covered in green frosting and topped with two mini marshmallows colored green for ears; a large marshmallow also colored green and cut in half for the nose; mini marshmallow eyes cut in half; and a tootsie roll flattened and shaped for the the mustache and eyebrows. As I said... Easy!
  Have fun making your own Angry Birds!

Monday, April 18, 2011

PayPal up and running!

Woo Hoo! The Pint Sized Baker is moving right along... I have officially opened a business bank account and therefore, I am now accepting Credit Card payments through PayPal! It's a great system. I don't need to pay for a merchant account and have a Credit Card reader to accept transactions. Besides, who in their right minds will give someone that information these days. With PayPal it's easy and fast! I've had a few customers use it and it has worked out great so far!
  Some other great news I have is that my Facebook fan page has over 100 followers! I was so super excited to see the numbers go up and up! It really makes me feel good that so many people from all over the world like the creations that I have been working on. So, Thank You to all of my new fans. Without your support, I'm not sure where I might be.
  I have also been experimenting with some new cake pop flavors. My new favorite is Banana with Chocolate Chips! OMG!!! So yummy good! It's like eating banana bread dough that is smothered in chocolate. I even got my daughter (the one that doesn't like cake) to eat it. It's the only flavor cake pop she will eat. :) I'm so sneaky!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Everyone is asking about the Flowers!

So, last week I made Sugared Flowers for a client's dinner party. She requested Spring flowers without looking like they were for kids. I thought about pipping drop flowers and letting them dry, but then I thought about REAL flowers. So much more grown up and sophisticated. I did my homework and researched edible flowers and crystallizing them. Seemed very easy.... So... I gave it a try.... Here are the instructions.
Step 1. 
Pick Edible Flowers. I googled it, but here is a good link.
Go to an organic nursery or pick from your yard. Remember, you are eating the flower, so we don't want pesticides sprayed on the flowers. Some sprays stay on for a few days, others a few weeks. 

Step 2.
Wash, dry, and coat the flowers. Pick your flowers in the morning and don't let them sit too long. 
Beat 1 egg white just until little bubbles form. Barely frothy.
Using a small paint brush, paint the flower, front and back, with the egg white. 
Do NOT dunk the flower - trust me.

Step 3.
Lightly sprinkle superfine sugar on the flower. I used another paint brush and tapped the brush to sprinkle the sugar. I also "painted" the sugar on, however, the sugar coating can become too thick and then you get egg on the brush bristles. You may not be able to see the sugar when it's wet, but you will see it when the egg dries.
Do NOT dunk the flower into the sugar - again, trust me.

Step 4.
Place the sugared flowers on a drying rack and allow to set up. The flowers will be wet and sticky for several hours. You want to flip them over every few hours so they don't dry to the rack. I let my dry for 3 days. I keep it cold in my house, so if it's hot and humid, it'll take a long time for these to dry.

   So there ya have it. It is time consuming and tedious, but the results were stunning. Once they are dry they are tissue paper thin and very, very delicate! Handle with extreme care. I have not tried it, but I guess you can preserve these in a Tupperware container with a desiccant packet.  
  When I tasted one, it really just tasted like sugared rice paper. 
  I am looking forward to my garden in bloom so I can sugar rose petals and geraniums and tulip petals and nasturtiums, oh, my list can go on and on... 
Thanks for the great feedback! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Busy, busy! It's a Good Thing!

 I have been busy with various orders and requests, so the blog has been ignored. Sorry. 
I have been experimenting with a few new flavors and designs and I am happy to announce Strawberry as a new Cake Pop flavor. Like the Lemon and Cherry, it's sweet without being overpowering. The Milk Chocolate flavor is still the most requested. You can never go wrong with Chocolate! NEVER! 
  I made some Cake "Berries" that I found on Dollhouse Bake Shoppe. The finished product looked great! I was so happy with the way they turned out! I'm waiting to find out how the client liked them. 
  I also experimented with crystallizing edible flowers. I got some violas, an egg white, and some superfine sugar and went to work. I let them dry for over 3 days and then added them to the tops of Lemon Cake Pops for a truly "Spring-y" design. The flowers can also be added to cakes and cupcakes for a bit more sophisticated and delicate look. I plan on making some rose petals when they are blooming in my garden.
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