Naturally it didn't take me long to get over my disdain of cake pops and have the urge to make my own. Fad they ceratinly haven't been, I wanted in on this cake pop lark. But of course, there was a sticking point. I didn't have to oppurtunity. You may have noticed from my other posts that my culinary efforts are focussed around family baking and cooking which is probably the best way to describe it. I'm ever so grateful to my mum for giving me near enough free reign in the kitchen to satisfy the majority of my experiments but some things really can't be justified for the simple pleasures of afternoon tea and cake or the delights of a pudding to follow dinner. I would dearly love to have a go at a gingerbread house but it wouldn't get eaten. I've had only one attempt at making truffles and that didn't produce a very refined result because we don't really need the extra encouragement to eat extras. Cake pops? Not a chance unless I suddenly get asked to cater for a party. As fun as that would be, it isn't going to happen. If anything, it would be Mum who would be asked.
However......The theme for this months We Should Cocoa, currently being hosted by Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, is chocolates. Even though I've decided not to enter these into the challenge (my entry will be coming very soon!) I was dying to enter something because my mind flew straight to the aforementioned praline truffles which tasted great but their appearance would have set my marching orders in stone if I had presented them to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood on the Bake Off. I made them to decorate a surprise birthday cake I was making for my Mum but I hadn't got very far through assembling them when I knew I had to work on my presentation a lot and since then I have wanted to improve. I knew there wasn't an occasion coming up to justify truffles and as much as Mum would have wanted to eat a box of them with me, we both admitted the only part of our body that it would do any good was our tastebuds. The next best thing was cake pop truffles. Basically a cake pop without the stick. My excuse was that I needed to do something with the mess I made of the cherry cake that I had made for Mum and Dad to take to Wales with them. You see, I had decided to us my silicone kugelhopf pan to make the cake more decorative but for some inexplicable reason the cake stuck to it and tore in half when I tried to take it out. It wasn't even a really intricate pan for the cake to get stuck in but nope, the top half of the cake had to be scraped out. And eaten to console myself. This led me to discovering that the matter was even worse because the cake tasted wonderful, really homely and moist and thoroughly delicious. No matter though, once I got over my baking disaster I figured I could transfer that taste into a stickless cake pop and if I managed to not eat them before I got chance to, I could use them as cupcake toppers. Held together with white chocolate in place of buttercream and covered in more white chocolate instead of candy melts with a sprinkling of toasted almonds for a mock-pro finish, the taste transferred only too well and instead of the original twelve, there are now only seven/eight left. I guess I won't be making a full batch of cupcakes the next time then!
200g white chocolate
80g ish cherry almond cake crumbs
80g ish cherry almond cake crumbs
First, take half the chocolate, reserve two squares and chop the rest then melt with the butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Don't let the base of the bwl touch the water. The remaining two squares are for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Mix the cake crumbs into the melted chocolate until it looks like the base of a cheesecake mixture. Try not to eat too much. It might taste nice but suddenly you won't have enough for your truffles.
Roll small amounts of the mixture into balls with the palms of your hands and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. If you have a silicone mat that would be even better. Place the tray in the fridge for the truffles to firm up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. I made 12 truffles using 15g for each one.
Chop the remaining 100g of chocolate and melt as before but without butter this time. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat a small, dry pan over a medium heat and add the flaked almonds. Toss around every so often until the almonds have turned golden brown around the edges. If you go too far so they burm, throw them away and start again or you will end up with bitter decorations atop your truffles.
Once the melted chocolate feel barely warm to the touch, take the truffles out of the fridge and coat with the molten chocolate. I found it easiest to place two in the chocolate bowl at a time, spoon excessover the top so they are well covered then pick one up at a time using a cocktail stick. I let the chocolate drain away until it was barely dripping then used a second stick to gently push it off onto the tray again. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on a few almonds and press down a little so they are secure.
Leave the truffles to set before devouring at will or if you want to share the goodness, serve to friends and family. Remember, you can let them set in the fridge but they will lose their shine.
Any leftover chocolate can be eaten as it is to hide the evidence or spread in silicone moulds and sprinkled with anything you desire to create a sort of chocolate bark cup. Trust me they taste wonderful!