Who could resist these gorgeous cake pops, huddled together in a snowy Christmassy setting? Their cute faces are so appealing, they will be loved by children and adults alike.
When you want a bite-size Christmas treat, cake pops fit the bill perfectly – you’ll have as much fun making them as you will eating them. They’re also ideal for using up any leftover cake you may have from decorating projects, or, to save time, you can use bought cake.
You will need:
- 250g Madeira cake (or other cake of your choice)
- 2tbsp chocolate buttercream, or ganache
- 20g white flower paste
- 170g bring white candy melts
- 170g black candy melts
- White vegetable fat
- 5g black flower paste
- 10g yellow flower paste
- 4tsp vegetable oil
- Edible gule
- Black dusting powder
- Confectioner’s glaze
- 1 large bowl and 2 small bowls
- 2 spoons
- Cling film
- 10 cake pop sticks
- Baking sheet lined with parchment
- Non-stick work board and rolling pin
- 2.5cm plain round cutter
- Small daisy cutter
- Small sharp knife
- Polystyrene block, or florist’s foam
- 2 paintburshes
- To make the cake pop mixture, break the Madeira cake into chunks, and place in a large bowl. Rub it between your fingers to make fine crumbs. Add the buttercream, or ganache, and work it through the crumbs with your fingers, or a spoon, until the mixture comes together. It may seem dry at first, but don’t be tempted to add more buttercream, or ganache, as you don’t want the mixture to be too soft.
- Bring the cake pop mixture together into a large ball, wrap it in cling film, and chill for 2 hours.
- While the mixture is chilling, knead the white flower paste until soft and malleable. Taking a small amount, roll it between your finger and palm into 10 tiny balls for the polar bear ears. Flatten slightly into ovals, and cut one end into a point. Leave to dry.
- Divide the cake pop mixture into 10 even-size pieces. Roll five of them into ‘egg’ shapes for the penguins, and the other five into balls for the bears. Press on either side of the balls to create a snout for each bear – they need to be quite pointed snouts, otherwise the cake pops will look more like teddy bears.
- Melt the bright white Candy Melts in a small bowl in the microwave, following the packet instructions, until smooth. Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the candy melts, and push it into a polar bear cake pop. Make two small slits in the top of the head for the ears. Dip the pointed end of the ears you made in Step 3 into the candy melts, and push them into the slits. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat for the remaining polar bear cake pops.
- For the penguins, melt the black candy melts. Dip the cake pop sticks into the mixture, and push them into the egg-shaped balls. Place on the baking sheet, and freeze all of the cake pops for 15 minutes. Don’t leave them any longer, or they will be too cold, and the candy melts coating will set too quickly when you dip them.
- Knead the remaining white flower paste until soft and malleable. Roll out on your non-stick work board, which has been lightly greased with white vegetable fat, to 1mm thick. Cute out five small circles for the penguin tummies using the 2.5cm plain round cutter. Place them in the palm of your hand and press with your thumb to curve slightly. Reserve the trimmings.
- Roll 10 small balls of white flower paste for the eyes, and flatten slightly. Knead and roll out the black flower paste. Cut out two daisies with the small daisy cutter, then cut into sections for the penguin crests. Knead the yellow flower paste, and roll out thinly. Cut out five 1cm triangles for the beaks. Roll 10 small cone-shapes in yellow flower paste, and flatten at one end for the feet.
- Using the black flower paste trimmings, roll five small balls for the polar bear noses, pinching each into a triangular shape.
- Gently reheat the black candy melts in the microwave with 2tsp vegetable oil to thin it slightly. Dip the egg shaped cake pops, one at a time, turning the sticks to coat evenly. Tap each stick on the bowl to remove excess.
- While the candy melts coating is still wet, place the white sugarpaste tummies on the penguins, positioning them just below each centre. Add the penguin feet at the base of the cake pops. Push the cake pop sticks into a polystyrene block or florist’s foam, and leave to set.
- Warm the white candy melts with the remaining vegetable oil to thin slightly, and dip the polar bear cake pops until evenly coated. Tap off the excess and, while the coating is still wet, secure the small black triangular noses on the ends of the snouts, with the points facing downwards. Insert the cake pop sticks into the polystyrene, or florists foam, and leave to set.
- Attach the beaks to the penguins, along with the eyes and crests, using a little edible glue and a paintbrush.
- In a small bowl, mix black dusting powder with a few drops of confectioner’s glaze to make a paint. Paint two small dots on each polar bear for eyes, then paint a line down from the nose, finishing with a small curl to each side. Paint tiny dots on the penguin eyes, slightly to one side.