Cake balls are my enemy. I actually have nightmares about them. The consistency wigs me out. I'm always scared they will be too moist but then that leaves me at risk of them not being moist enough and falling off the stick.
Do your customers prefer the balls made with frosting or in the machine? The machine doesn't scare me like the handmade ones do.
Any advice would be a big help.
hand rolled...personal taste preference, plus I like the option of different shapes. family and friends are my only customers...I get lots of compliments on my pops, both taste and design wise.
most of the tutorials/videos I've seen use WAY TOO MUCH frosting and the crumbled cake becomes "mush" which makes for an "icky" mouth feel. unfortunately, to use the machines you must have a mush like consistency, otherwise the balls will not roll.
for a large cake (talking +10 cups batter) you really only need 1 - 3 TBS frosting to get the cake crumbs to bind together.
I use vanilla flavored american buttercream (aka decorators/no-cook/crusting buttercream) as the binder. vanilla is neutral, there's really not enough in the mix to effect the flavor of the cake, and I always have some stored in the freezer. I use a stand mixer with paddle attachment on low to add the frosting to crumbled cake (drop by the teaspoon full and mix thoroughly). when it starts to look like gravel, I grab a scoop of cake crumbs and firmly compress together between cupped hands; if it holds together, then it's moist enough. this consistency is good for making a variety of shapes (ball, egg, cube, heart, oval, cone). once the shapes are made, I put them on a sheet, cover, and chill them. when ready to dip, I allow time for them to fully come to room temperature.
a overly moist cake ball has a better chance of falling off the stick then one that's dry.
many tutorials/videos show to dip the lollipop stick in the melted candy then push it into the cake ball. I think a better method is to use a starter hole; poke a hole into the ball with a dry stick/skewer, then dip the lollipop stick in candy and push into premade hole.
I started out using the microwave to melt the candy/keep it melted. what a pain to keep the temperature constant. I quickly switched to a electric chocolate melter (Chocomaker, cause the bowl was deeper and larger then Wiltons); made things so much easier.
last tip...use Paramount Crystals to fix fluidity issues with candy/chocolate.
@virago Thank you so much. You are so generous! I'm going to make sure I remember all your tips. I'll give it another go. Have you ever used the baby cakes machine??
@virago you are extremely talented. I love how you show the inside.
thanks so much for the kind words! hope all the tips help you! I really enjoy making pops, but will admit they can be very time consuming...
I've not used baby cakes machine, but have read a lot of threads on others who have. I know many of those threads came from CC, but when I use CC's search engine with string "babycakes cake pop maker" I get nothing.
But not to be defeated by an uncooperative search engine...I cheated and searched from the outside in (giggle) and got LOTS of results. check em' out! they look like they are filled with excellent info...
fyi -- google search string looks like this "site:cakecentral.com babycakes cake pop maker"
and please forgive the link to google's LMGTFY from the above post; it was not meant to be insulting or sarcastic. I was trying to find a way to reduce the link size from this...
...to something smaller. I did not realize LMGTFY would present the results like a tutorial. my bad!
@virago Thank you. Yes something is wrong with the search feature on Cake Central. I have alerted them twice. I too looked for treads via goggle. I guess I was looking for the most current feedback on the baby cakes machine. That's why I decided to post in the forum a few days ago. Do you have any video tutorials on making the cake balls from the crumpled cake and dipping them?