Introduction: Babies on Spikes
Okay, you may find this subject line disturbing. But trust me, it's part of an Eddie Izzard (British comedian) sketch.
I don't make the jokes, I just follow through until the joke has been taken way too far.
In all seriousness, this is a cake pop recipe.
Cake pops are serious business.
These are my first cake pops, and I wanted to show you how to make not just the disturbingly graphic babies on spikes shown in the cover image, but a candy-coating technique you may not have tried before, which can produce some really cool and cute effects- it worked best on the individual heads, to make not just oddly shaped baby-heads, but also easily formed to look like Dobby or some other fascinating and fictional creature.
The way I did this results in a somewhat thick but not jawbreaking candy coating, which cracks when you bite it to reveal soft cake within.
Step 1: Make a Cake
You know, like you do.
There are lots of cake recipes out there; choose your favorite.
I made a white cake recipe in a 9" pan. But I used wheat flour
because I was out of white flour to be healthy.
Step 2: Destroy Cake
You know, like you sometimes do by accident.
Dump it in a bowl and smoosh it up all to crumbs.
Add some water/milk/mixture thereof and some melted butter to make it more play-doh like.
I added about a cup and a half of milk. Don't do that, because your cake will come out tasting soggy. Maybe just stick to the melted butter.
Step 3: Make Babies
But wait! Go to the next (optional, but c'mon, where's your realism?) step first.
Okay, now you can mould your babies.
I tried a couple of different things: baby bodies, swaddled babies, decapitated swaddled babies, just the heads, bodies with rattles- the sky is the limit! Just remember to make your babies adorably misshapen, with improbably large heads! It is best, if you are making the whole body, to make the arms short and the body fat, then arrange them so it looks like they are dancing.
The individual heads turned out best, of mine.
Step 4: Real Babycakes
I was busy making babies when I had a sudden realization. Real babies are red on the inside!
So here goes:
Add some red. Smoosh it all around, and it will probably turn hot pink.
Add some cocoa powder. Red velvet it right up. Don't be shy with the cocoa; real blood gets pretty dark as it congeals.
Add some blue. Don't mix it in all the way; you want it streaky. These are the veins that haven't popped yet and gotten all mixed with oxygen, remember!
You could also do this more naturally with a blend of mushed up raspberries and blueberries. It might look even better, because it would keep some of the fleshy tone of the cake and have nice organic streaking and textures.
Step 5: Make Candy Coating
Make candy coating from corn syrup, sugar, and water, and any other colors and flavors you feel like adding. I used a basic taffy recipe, then added some chocolate, just for fun (thereby inventing chocolate caramel! Delicious!)
Heat it up to soft crack temperature (use a candy thermometer).
If you're making a lot, do this part in batches so that it doesn't cool down while you work.
At no point should you TOUCH the hot candy. It hurts... it hurts. It's a dumb thing to do. Just don't.
Step 6: Coat, Decorate, and Impale
- Impale a frozen ball of cake.
- Hold it over the pot and spoon candy over it, turning until it is coated.
- Twirl to disconnect any sugary strings that might be attached.
- Press in candy eyes (apparently you can buy those).
- Shape as you see fit. Use tweezers or something, and pull the warm candy into cool shapes (see the Dobby-like one).