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Monday, April 30, 2012

Flower Basket Cake Pop

Here we go; I guess I'm getting sucked into the cake pop phenomenon! What can I say; they're way festive, relatively quick, and an excellent way to practice various cake techniques (in this case, basketweave) on a small surface (not an entire cake). The pop can be made using the Rice Krispy Treat (RKT) method, or the basic cake ball pop recipe. As you can see, I used RKTs. I only needed to make 12, so I split the standard RKT recipe in half (2 cups of mini marshmallows melted with 2-3 tablespoons of butter, a scant teaspoon of vanilla stirred in, and 3 cups of Rice Krispies mixed in once the mixture is removed from heat). Press it into a greased 11 3/4 x 7 1/2" pan, and cut it into 12 rectangles. Here's one of them…
 …which yields a ball this size. Tear the RKT into bits on a waxed paper surface, butter your hands, and roll the pieces into a ball. Really press it down tight so the ball is very dense.
 Press the ball against the waxed paper surface…
 …and form a flat side (the top).
 Melt some chocolate (like Guittard Melt n' Mold Chocolates), dip the tip of a 4" lollipop stick into it, and stick it into the bottom of the basket shape. Push it almost all the way to the other end (but not all the way through; hold your finger over the tip, and you'll feel the stick coming before it pokes through). Melt chocolate or candy and dip the pop according to the RKT pop recipe.
 This is an ideal tip for small basketweave: Magic Tip #45 (it's serrated on both sides).
 You may want to refer to my step-by-step basketweave instructions. The method for the flower basket cake pop is the same; just a lot smaller. Load a piping bag with melted chocolate or candy (or medium consistency royal icing, like I did), and pipe a line from the point where the stick meets the basket's bottom to the basket's edge.
 This should look familiar, if you've done basketweave before. The main challenge is not letting your fingers get in the way. Be sure to have a Styrofoam block handy so you can push the pop's stick into it if you need to rest your hands, reload the bag, etc. (and so you'll have someplace to set the pop to dry when you're done).
 Continue piping the basketweave all the way around…
 …until you're back where you started. Do your best to keep the vertical spokes of the basket truly vertical (mine tended to angle one way or the other; it was a constant battle).
 Switch the tip to a star tip #16, and pipe a shell border around the basket's edge.
 Load up another piping bag with green royal icing (or melted candy) and a leaf tip #68. Pipe a few leaves
 …and while they're still wet push a few flowers into them. You could use royal icing flowers you've pre-made, or a few Daisy Sprinkles. I'm definitely going to revisit this idea next Easter, and swap out the flowers for jelly beans!

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