Friday, 9 December 2011

Well, I've been a naughty little blogger...

... or not. I suspect I'm probably not allowed to call myself a blogger given that I can barely manage a post a month, and this two-month gap is rather inexcusable. Still, should have a fair few makes to share with you - my sincerest apologies for the delay! Some of these have never been seen, like the first one - some Technics decks for a DJ cake pop fan!

Because I've got so many to show you this time, I'm just going to tell you about my favourite ones. I think October was a fabulous month for me, but very hectic. I got to try my hand at the Japanese dolls (these actually went to Japan!) which I'd been chomping at the bit to try ever since the client had sent me the images. They actually look almost identical to the real thing, and I was so proud of them. The same client requested the Captain Jack pops, which I also adored making.

The knights and princesses pops for Toadstool Parties were a great challenge too. I'd made the fairy princess cake pops before, but wanted to really push the boat out for this theme so came up with medieval princess cake pop, as well as her knight in shining armour and the obligatory dragon!

My son loves the Octonauts and I knew that they'd translate well into a cake pop. Amazingly well, as it happens! Their faces are just perfect for cake poppery and you get really great results!

More animal magic in November with ginger cats and basset (bassett) hound cake pops. These came out not too shabby at all, but I have to say that cats are infinitely more challenging to make than dogs - I was tearing my hair out for a while there!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will recognise my new profile pic - the Cake Pop Princess head pop! These are quite straightforward to make - her hair is mostly just a whole marshmallow. I'd so love to do it again with dark chocolate as I absolutely adore  dark chocolate-covered marshmallows! OM NOM NOM! 

Well, I'll leave you to go through the rest of the rather ample gallery - as always, I'd love to hear your comments! 

Wishing you all the merriest of Christmasses! 

Bianca xxx

Technics Decks Cake Pops

Revised In The Night Garden cake pops - now with Makka Pakka!

Butterfly cake pops

Christmas cake pops

Cow cake pops

Revised Dr Who cake pops - who can spot the difference? :)

Hello (ween) Kitty cake pops

Humf cake pops

Moose cake pops

Sheep cake pops

Ginger cat cake pops

Wizard cake pops

Cthulthu cake pops

Revised Beer cake pops - now with premium brands!

Basset (Bassett) Hound cake pops

Heffalump cake pops

Halloween bat cake pops

Glitter ladybird (ladybug) cake pops

The world's smallest cake pop!!!

Dragons, Knights & Princesses party cake pops

Cheshire Cat cake pops

Spiderman Cake Pops

Japanese Doll cake pops - female

Japanese doll cake pops - male

The finished pair - Japanese doll cake pops

Captain Jack Pirate cake pops

ANOTHER princess cake pop!

Octonaut cake pops - Dashi, Kwasi and Captain Barnacles

Octonaut cake pops - Peso, Kwasi and Captain Barnacles

Skull and Crossbone Pirate cake pops

Personalised christmas present cake pops

Russian doll (matryoshka) cake pops
Cake Pop Princess head cake pops

Saturday, 1 October 2011

A year of cake poppery - how the Cake Pop Princess got started

Well, it's fast approaching my first anniversary of making a cake pop and I thought I'd share the story and the recipe that first got me started. You'll see my very first makes, and my transition from rank amateur to seasoned professional - hee hee!

What to know something interesting? I'd never heard of Bakerella when I first made cake pops. My very first time was making these from a program I watched and that's why I don't use frosting in any of my pops - I completely changed the recipe to suit my own needs and to create the other flavours I do. My 'Rich Chocolate' doesn't really look like this any more, but it most definitely was the basis for it. It's worth a try as it's so delicious. VERY rich though! 

So, I made some pops for my son and daughter's Christening. If we're being completely honest, they were ugly as hell and a far cry from the pops I make now, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? =D

First ever pops (before I knew how to take good cake pop photos!)

I uploaded a picture onto Facebook, and my friends suggested that I go into business. I was skeptical at first, but a friend asked if I could make them look like ponies and I said I'd try. My very first order! It was then I discovered the amazingly creative world of character cake pops and I was well and truly hooked.  

Well, the ponies didn't come out too badly, they're not perfect but I was well on my way. I couldn't possibly use the recipe below for the toddler-recipients as it's just so rich, so I had to work on a new version. When I look back at them now, I have to admit that they were a little dry and probably not that flavoursome. The kids loved them but they weren't quite ready for the masses. 

Pony Pops - trial run

Pony pops - final version!

When I first started I was using white chocolate, as that's what the original recipe had called for. Let me tell you something: white chocolate (from a supermarket) is a NIGHTMARE to work with compared to candy melts or coating wafers such as Merckens! It's really runny, it drips a lot, it takes a lot of colouring to make bright and bold colours (and when you first try to colour it you don't realise you need oil-based colours so you inevitably waste a whole bowl of chocolate using normal food colourings!). It was December when I first got to try Wilton's Candy Melts, and I knew they were the right way to go. My first time was very frustrating, as they were just SO DAMN THICK. I hadn't realised that you were supposed to thin them with vegetable oil or paramount crystals, but a google soon sorted that one out for me. 

You'll notice from the very first pony picture that their painted features aren't very good. I was using powdered colours and rejuvenator spirit, and they were watery and they smeared on the bag. For the second attempt, I mixed the powdered colour with the white chocolate and did them that way. After a few months of using very expensive Confectioners Glaze aerosol spray, I wondered if there might not be a better way. I found some leaf glaze on Ebay and asked if I could paint with it. As far as the seller and the manufacturer were aware, the answer was a resounding 'no'. I decided to experiment and bought a bottle - the best decision I've ever made. Suddenly, it was possible to paint in the entire rainbow of colours, with no smearing on the bag! 

Edible Leaf Glaze to paint with

In case you're wondering what the difference between Leaf Glaze and Confectioner's Glaze is, I think the leaf glaze is a bit more watered down. You can add IsoPropyl Alcohol (rejuvenator spirit) to Confectioner's Glaze to get the same thing.

From there, it was just a question of practice makes perfect. I've made hundreds of different designs since then, some most definitely better than others! I put a lot of love into my pops and I always try to be original. Sometimes I might do my own version of someone elses creation, but I always try to credit the original artist and put my own spin onto things. I don't want to be the same as anyone else. I just want to be me. 

And in case you ever wondered what I look like - here's me at the christening last year, shortly before serving up those very first cake pops. I probably look 100 years older now, cake popping does that to a person - hahahah!


So, there you have it: my cake popping story. If you'd like to start on a cake popping journey of your own - why not start with the same recipe that got the ball rolling for me? 

Cake pops (by Simon Rimmer from 'Something for the Weekend')
Recipe taken from the BBC website. 

100g/3½oz dark chocolate
125g/4½oz fruit cake
125g/4½oz Madeira cake
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts

To decorate
300g/10½oz white chocolate
few drops food colouring
multi-coloured sugar ball sprinkles

Preparation method
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do
not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
2. Crumble the fruit cake and Madeira cake into a bowl, then stir in the
melted chocolate, desiccated coconut and hazelnuts until well
3. Roll golf ball sized pieces of the mixture into balls. Stick a lollipop
stick into each ball and set aside in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, or
until firm.
4. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of
simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
Stir in the food colouring.
5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the sugar
sprinkles onto a plate.
6. Remove the balls from the fridge, dip them into the chocolate, then
coat in the sugar sprinkles and place onto the baking tray. Set aside
in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A lovely cake poppy tale and a SQUILLION makes to share! :)

So, I have lots and lots of makes to share with you again, but first I'd like to tell you about a client of mine. A few months ago, she contacted me with regards to providing the cake pops for her son's naming ceremony. Her idea was to have cake pops to represent what she'd like him to be and accomplish in life. Such a lovely sentiment, I couldn't help but get excited at the prospect!

First and foremost, she wanted him to be happy: 

Smilie Cake pops

She also wanted him to do well at school, and find love and be loved: 

Glitter Heart cake pops

Mortar board/Graduation cake pops

She wanted him to travel, and represent his heritage (a mixture of British and Malay - hence the placing of the hearts):
Globe cake pops

She wanted him to do well at sports (particularly rugby!):
Rugby Ball cake pops

And finally, she wanted him to reach old age and find someone to settle down with (alas I didn't take a photo of the grandpa and granny pops I made, so here are just the grannies!): 

Granny Cake pops

Don't you think that's just the most adorable and inspired idea? I loved making them, especially the globes. Was a bit of a challenge to get the continents in the right place, but I think I did okay - hee hee!

I received a heart-warming thank you that brought a tear to my eye - makes my job all the more worthwhile:
"Just dropping an email to say thank you so much for the amazing pops :) They are
more breathtaking than I could ever imagine and the details are exquisite! You even
made extra which is very generous and kind of you. 

You've made my wee man's Naming Ceremony that extra bit special. My guests are in
for a special treat and they'll be in awe. Thank you again so much :)

You are truly wonderfully gifted xxx"

And now for the rest of my makes this past month. If we're honest, I've been going a little glitter-mad. I just can't stop myself, it's like an addiction! 

First up - lots of handbags:

Handbag (Purse) cake pops!

More handbags!

Glitter clutch purse cake pops

Then we have - camera pops, Coldstream Guards, fairy princesses, A Fender Sunburst Telecaster, revised footballs (now painted and more footbally!), jellybabies, some African Safari cake pops, Mermaids, a Mini Cooper Cake Pop (or as I like to call it - the Mini Coopop!) and a Glitter-tear crying eagle. Phew!

Camera cake pops
Coldstream Guard cake pops

Fairy Princess cake pops

Fender Sunburst Telecaster cake pops - guitars

Soccer Ball cake pops

Jellybaby cake pops

African Safari cake pops - lions, hippos, rhinos and animal print

Mermaid cake pops

Mini Cooper Cake Pops!

Glitter tear Eagle cake pops

Rubber duck cake pops:

Rubber Duck cake pops!

Revised ToyStory pops - now with Rex and Hamm! 
ToyStory cake pops - Alien, Rex and Hamm

Tattoo Scroll cake pops and little fishies:
Tattoo heart cake pops

Fish cake pops!

Peppa Pig pops - now the whole family is there! 
Peppa Pig cake pops!

Mickey Mouse glove and Mickey head pops! 

Mickey Mouse cake pops!

My first ever two-tier birthday cake, with cake pop topper - made for my daughter's first birthday! 

Lucie's 1st Birthday Cake!

And finally, these were made especially for a Harry Potter themed party hosted by the fantastic Toadstool Parties. First up we have house crest photo pops: 
Harry Potter house crest cake pops

Then school book,. sorting hat, owl and broomstick cake pops:
Harry Potter themed cake pops

And finally the man himself - Harry Potter Cake Pops! 
Harry Potter cake pops

Last but not least are some LEGO Batman & Robin cake pops, Mr Tumble's Spotty Bags (a UK kids show, in case you wondered!) and a revised Champagne rose cake pop:

LEGO Batman and Robin cake pops

Mr Tumble's Spotty Bag cake pops

Champagne Rose cake pop

Well, if you made it this far - WELL DONE! 
One last little treat for you - the Cake Pop Princess website is now up and running! 
You can even filter the gallery by theme to save you trawling through a hundred pics!
Until next time, cake poppers! 
Bianca xxx