Sunday, February 12, 2012

BAKE POP - WASTE OF MONEY OR FABULOUS TIME-SAVER?




My daughter, Foghorn, is a sucker for an infomercial.  In the past she's tried to talk me into The Potty Patch (for the dogs, not myself), Perfect Brownie, and The "Ove" Glove, just to name a few.  If she'd been around during my childhood she'd no doubt have pestered for the Ronco Smokeless Ashtray and The Pocket Fisherman.  Her latest request was for the Bake Pop pan set.  I had never even heard of a Cake Pop until the party of a friend's son last year.  They were tasty, but I'm always suspicious of infomercials, so instead I got a book from the library.  I'm an admitted unenthusiastic cook and when I read the line about allowing an hour to roll four dozen cake balls, they lost me.  I happened upon this $20 Ronco infomercial pan at Meijer and in some kind of delusional haze purchased it.  I actually had second thoughts the minute I got home and had planned to probably return it, but I left it out and Foghorn caught sight of the box and I was doomed.

Today we purchased the required cake mix, Wilton Candy Melts, and nonstick cooking spray with flour (Wilton's Bake Easy), none of which are staples in my kitchen.  Unfortunately I hadn't read the part where you're supposed to add a box of pudding mix to the batter, so we had to leave out that step and the taste of the cake might have been improved by its addition.  Otherwise it's standard cake mix production, with the exception of adding an extra egg and using milk instead of water, cutting the amount in half.

The batter goes into the sprayed bottom of the pan.  I hoped neatness
wouldn't count.  (By the way, I used Wilton's Bake Easy
spray rather than a grocery store brand spray simply
because I was already at Michael's getting Candy Melts.
It worked really well and none of the cake stuck,
a complaint I had read about with these pans).


On goes the top, also sprayed.  The directions said
to spray the outside as a little of the batter might rise
through the holes during baking.

A little batter might go through the holes?!?

The escaped cake was easily scraped off the top and I was
left with a plate of scraps.  Seems like there should be
something I could do with those little cake bowls.


I have a lousy oven that never bakes anything evenly,
so I was unimpressed, but not surprised, by the look
of the baked cakes.
They were hardly perfect circles.  They came out more egg-shaped,
with a ridge around the middle from the overflowed cake batter,
making them look sort of  like Saturn.

The Saturn rings were easily pulled off.  The reusable sticks were
dipped in melted Candy Melts and then pushed in the bottom.
After 10 minutes in the fridge, the sticks were allegedly anchored
into the cake.

We've never done anything with Candy Melts before, so
Foghorn and I had to learn as we went along.  No points
for technique for either of us.

I don't care what my husband says, there is something decidedly
obscene about the pink ones.  I feel like I just came from a bris
(They did, however, give me a great idea if I'm ever
invited to a bachelorette party -- Penis Pop, anyone?)

We decided to try to jazz them up by decorating with a contrasting color.
Foghorn used a spoon.  I used my old standby of a plastic baggie with
the corner cut off, making a decent frosting bag.


Yeah, okay, Martha Stewart wouldn't be impressed, but for
our first efforts I didn't think we did so bad.

So, was the Bake Pop pan worth it?  Not sure.  I think the pans definitely made the process slightly easier, as it skipped the rolling and mixing of the actual cake.  The candy dipping was still time-consuming, though.  And I'm not sure about the taste of the cake.  My friend's cake inside was moist and flavorful.  Mine tasted like...well...cake.  Foghorn took a bite and said, "It needs a filling in the center."  The pudding in the mix might have helped.  I keep wondering if I could slip some white chocolate chips or something in the batter, to make up for the lack of frosting.  I'll give the pan another shot, although in fairness I should probably try my hand at a regular batch of Cake Pops to compare the difference in effort.

There was a massive amount of clean up.  I had drips of hardened Candy Melts all over my counter that had to be pried loose with the plastic scraper I use on my pizza stone.  Foghorn leaned over the drying pops and got her hair in one, leaving hardened white on the tips of her locks.  When I went to wash my hands in the bathroom I discovered hardened candy on my faucet, towel, and light switch.  I cleaned up the remainder of the melted pink candy in the frosting bag by inhaling it out of the hole.  Foghorn wrinkled her nose and said, "You look like you're sucking a wiener -- and I'm not gonna tell you if I mean a hot dog or the other kind."  Yep, unfortunately the apple don't fall far from the tree.


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3 comments:

quilt32 said...

I thought they were pretty tasty.
Mom

Kathie said...

I do like the pink ones!! ;-)

My mil bought me the "cake pop maker" from Kohl's for Christmas, because she knows how much I like to make Cake Pops, but I'm planning on taking it back, because essentially it will just be like round cake balls dipped in candy melts (while nothing wrong with that - in fact I'm sure that's pretty darn good), I really like the cake pops where you mix the frosting in with the crumbled cake. It tastes soooo good & rich. Plus, I think it's a very dangerous thing for me to have the cake pops be that easy to make. I do not need any help with that.

But, instead of taking my cake pop maker (kind of like those little donut makers they sell) back, I could save it for a birthday present for Foghorn. I bet she'd love it!

Anonymous said...

I also bought one of these pan sets...I made the cake pops and followed the recipe that was enclosed...my cake pops we a huge success at our party everyone wanted the recipe ,and yes the dipping was messy to begin with but on the second batch I left out the sticks and rolled them in nuts and some in coconut ...made cake balls instead...try again use pancake batter and cooked sausage or biscuits and cheese......I have people ask for these all the time! thanks