What am I doing wrong? Cake pops are my arch nemesis. I have watched a million tutorials. They have helped. I have mostly figured out how to make them round instead of lumpy (before covering), stop them from cracking (mostly), etc.
I thought it getting my melts too hot, so I bought thr Wilton melt pot...apparently a waste of money. I added paramount crystals. Gah.
My pops are lumpy and sad. Sometimes there's a weird texture that looks like they are curdled. Gross!
I don't make a lot of cake pops because they're a pain! Your pops look like the coating is too thick and you did not get rid of enough of the excess. I went to my friend's house to learn and getting them smooth really does take some practice. She could get them glassy smooth and I couldn't. So I think it has everything to do with viscosity and technique. My friend would dip, spin and tap her wrist while simulataneously slowly spinning the pop to get the excess off. These are hers:
Cake pops can be a pain! Took me awhile to figure out how to get the right consistency, which seems to be your problem. Make sure to tap the excess off by rotating the cake pop and tapping it at the same time. Also, I've never used paramount crystals, but Crisco really helps thinning out my candy melts. I also use the ceramic candy melting cups by Wilton: http://www.wilton.com/ceramic-candy-melting-cups/1904-1067.html
Thank you for your responses! It seems that I have to add a pretty good amount of crystals or Crisco to get the consistency thin enough, is that right?
Last night I think my kitchen was just too darn hot too, as I started tapping, they started sliding off the stick, which is generally not an issue.
Those pops are adorable!
did you thin with paramount crystals and crisco in the same batch? your pic and description (lumpy, curdled) looks/sounds like a crisco problem. you also mentioned balls sliding off the sticks. if enough crisco is put into melted candy, it will prevent the candy from ever setting up firm; it will set soft and loose its ability to 'snap'). use paramount crystals only to thin and fix fluidity issues. be sure to stir melted candy slowly, and really well, until cystals are completely melted and incorporated.
not sure how well the Wilton melt pot works...I bought one, took it home, examined it, tried the flimsy controls, and promptly returned it. decided instead to go with a Chocomaker melt pot, for its increased capacity, bowl depth, and sturdier build. it's still a home-based, low capacity model, but has perfomed well. http://shop.chocomaker.com/products/candy-melter -- also available through amazon, hobby-lobby, and walmart special order. fyi...Wilton now sells "EZ Dip", which is just incredibly overpriced paramount crystals.
in my area, Wilton candy melts are widely available, and are the only wafer that I've tried. but even properly thinned with paramount crystals, they just don't seem to perform well. I started using almond bark a while back http://www.walmart.com/ip/Plymouth-Pantry-Almond-Bark-Vanilla-Baking-Bar-24-oz/10313775, http://www.walmart.com/ip/Plymouth-Pantry-Almond-Bark-Chocolate-Baking-Bar-24-oz/10313776, and coloring it myself with Wilton candy colors. I chop the almond bark up with a heavy knife, melt shards in the Chocomaker pot, and toss in some paramount crystals if necessary...yes, chopping the candy block is a pain, but perfomance results are worth the effort. the drawback to using almond bark and Wilton candy colors is the limited achievable color shades...pastels are easy enough to make with the vanilla almond bark, and varying shades of browns using chocolate almond bark...but deep colors, like true red, green, blue, and black are not achievable. I have yet to special order better oil-based colors to see if I can make the whole color wheel using just almond bark.
I tried to include pics with my last post, but the system errored...here are links to pops using colored almond bark, or almond bark/Wilton wafer mixed.
I have begun to use Merkens melts they are amazingly much better than any I have found. Yes they are a little more expensive but...you want to put out a good product that your customer will come back for. I personally don't mind paying a little more for something that is better. Also the reason you tap your wrist while turning the cake pop helps the pop to not fall off. I have a question to ask now. How long can you keep cake pops in the refrigerator before covering with chocolate? I have found myself in a situation where I need to have them made a week before I can cover them with chocolate I guess as long as they are properly covered it will be ok. What do you all think?
OMGoodness, virago, those are AMAZING!!!
Sorry for the post and run, this week has been insane.
I don't use Crisco and paramount crystals at the same time, sorry, I should have been more clear. I have noticed using anything other than Wilton does produce better results.
Your cake pops are amazing you put a lot of time on those
Virago, your cake pops look amazing! How do you get them so round and what is the consistency of your cake pop dough?
thank you @babycakes77 for the cake pop kudos!
I like a cake pop to be on the drier side. I use barely any binder when mixing the crumbled cake, just enough to make the crumb stick together when I cup and compact it in my hands. I use a stand mixer with paddle attachment, adding ABC by half-teaspoons and running mixer on low-med speed, until crumb/dough starts to look like 'gravel'. I avoid any cake that starts out being overly moist or a cake that will continue to produce moisture (like carrot, banana, apple) because they turn into a 'playdough' consistency when they are rolled into pops, and that makes for an 'icky' mouth feel (imho). On the same note, I am grossed out by many of the cake pop tutorials that add a lot of frosting to make the dough (again, playdough consistency). I do spend a lot of time hand rolling and lighty tapping the dough with fingertips to ensure smoothness. My cake pop endeavours are low volume, special occasion, silly heart, labors of love...I would never be able to produce them in mass, or make a profit from them.
here are some consistency pics...notice that the crumb looks a little dry in places
I have had many cake pop disasters. However, this recipe never fails me. I have made it several times. The only change I made is I use a 50/50 mix of Wilton candy wafer melts and baking chocolate (like Nestle morsels...the ones you put in choc chip cookies) for the coating (not the almond bark recipe on the link below).
Here are mine:
I would freeze them rather than keep them in the refrigerator (just like I would with cake) before decorating. Even if just for a few days.
@virago Thank you for replying. Your cake pop dough consistency and mine are very similar. I guess I'm just not spending enough time smoothing and forming my cake balls. My goal is to get mine to look as round as yours.
Thank you Annelies671 I was done by the time I got this I left in the fridge and they did great