Last year we came across the most marvellous Christmas pudding cake pops on Maison Cupcake, and decided to have a go at making our own. I think fruit cake and Christmas pudding are desserts you either love or hate, and I’m most definitely in the “ugh, I hate weird bits of dried druit” camp, so I decided to make a chocolatey version. My cake pops are of course not nearly as pretty as Maison Cupcake’s, not least because the children helped make mine…BUT they taste like chocolate cheesecake dipped in dark chocolate, and they look superb on the Christmas dinner table and that can’t possibly be a bad thing.
Without further ado, here they are…
Step 1 – Prepare
Clean your children and every surface. Remind your children that nose picking is not allowed at any point during the process.
Check that you have everything you need. If not, this is the time to send hubby out to Hobby Craft to buy some kit. Do not, I repeat, do not go there yourself or you might accidentally spend £500 on tiny cute little crafty things or decide to live there.
Step 2 – Bake
Bake a chocolate cake. I was not blessed with any domestic skills, so I bought some chocolate sponge cake mix from Sainsburys. It doesn’t count as cheating if you are going to then spend loads of time pimping it up into something spectacular.
Step 3 – Crumb
Once the cake has cooled, break it into lumps and pop it in a food processor. Blend into crumbs.
Step 4 – Stick
Add full fat Philadelphia cream cheese to the food processor a bit at a time and blend until it’s all mixed in nicely. Depending on how moist and how large your cake is, you will need somewhere between half and one tub of cream cheese.
To test whether you’ve added enough, pick up a handful and squeeze it into a ball. If it’s still crumbly then just add a bit more cream cheese.
Step 5 – Roll
Make the mixture into little balls about the size of walnuts and lay them on a baking tray. If they look like the ones in the picture, then they are just barely sticky enough. You can either leave them like this and hope for the best, or add another quarter tub of Philly til they look smooth and nearly glossy.
They look like meatballs, but be warned, they taste disgusting with bolognese sauce.
Step 6 – Cool
Pop them into the freezer for about 15 mins. You don’t really need to do this if you can’t find room in the freezer, but it helps the chocolate harden really quickly later and you will end up with less mess.
Step 7 – Melt
Melt some dark chocolate. You probably have your own secret method, but I break up some Sainsburys baking chocolate into chunks and leave them in a glass bowl balanced over a pan of boiling water. You can add a tablespoon of butter to make the melted chocolate a bit more slippery so that it coats your cake balls better in the next step.
Step 8 – Lollipopize
Take the cake balls out of the freezer and twist a lollipop stick about a third of the way into each one. The small plastic ones from Hobby Craft work best.
Step 9 – Dip
Dip into the melted chocolate. You can use a spoon to help coat them or to clear away excess melted chocolate.
Step 10 – Harden
Place in a cake pop decorating stand (store bought or fashioned from flower arranging blocks) to let the chocolate set. If you’re decorating with sprinkles of any sort, shake them on now before the chocolate hardens.
Cake pop decorating stand are about £5 at Hobby Craft and in my opinion worth every penny.
Step 11 – Decorate
Decorate! I bought a small multi-pack of ready-to-roll icing in lots of different colours and stuck my shapes on with the help of a little water and a pastry brush.
Step 12 – Eat
You can just sit there in your kitchen and eat them right away, or store them in the fridge until you’re ready to surprise your dinner guests.
The kit from Hobby Craft actually comes with tiny little cellophane bags and gold twist ties, so I wrapped each one and sold them for £1.50 each to raise money for our local children’s hospice, Noah’s Ark.
If you aren’t eating them right away, make sure you store them in the fridge, and try to eat them up within the week. If you want to freeze them, remember to defrost in the fridge so the chocolate doesn’t go all weird and sweaty when the pops thaw.
What do you think? Will you be trying them out this year? Or do you have any Christmas treat recipes you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!