Harvey Nichols recently sent me a Pop Bakery kit for reviewing. The kit includes a 64 page book written by Clare O’Connell, giving step by step instructions on creating beautiful looking cake pops. If you haven’t heard of Clare, she runs a successful cake pop business, Pop Bakery, out of her home in West Hampstead. Her clients include St Martins Lane hotel, The Sanderson and Harvey Nichols.
The kit comes in a beautifully packaged box and includes the book, two moulds to make starfish pops and duck shaped pops, lollipop sticks, ribbons and cellophane wraps. There are 25 designs to choose from including wedding cake pops, toadstool pops and monster pops.
I have never made cake pops before and was excited to get started. I was a bit apprehensive at first, as the book lists additional equipment needed to create the intricate designs, such as edible glitter, candy melts, polystyrene, paintbrushes etc. I didn’t want to run around the shops looking for the extra items and decided to stick to a basic cake pop recipe. Clare does provide a list of online suppliers in the US and UK though, which is rather helpful. She is very good at guiding you through the process, with detailed instructions on making the cake mix, shaping the cake pops and decorating them.
In her book, Clare provides a basic recipe for chocolate cake. Feeling festive, I decided to add some chilli flakes and freshly ground cardamom powder to the cake batter. Once fully cooled, I put the cake into a food processor and whizzed it around until I got fine crumbs.
Feeling a little lazy, I didn’t bother making the cream cheese frosting, instead I reached for a tub of Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge buttercream that was sitting in my cupboard. I followed Clare’s instructions to mix the cake crumbs with the buttercream and began moulding the cake pops. The recipe makes a little over 20 cake pops, perfect for my husband and I. We couldn’t resist eating some of the mixture before it even reached the moulds.
Using my hands, I rolled the cake pop mixture into little balls. Clare gives good tips on how to do this to ensure each cake pop is the same size. I also used the starfish and duck moulds but found some difficulty with the starfish mould. It was a bit fiddly to get the cake pop out and I had to press the edges back together. I wasn’t too concerned though, as I knew the candy melts would cover any imperfections.
Another stumbling block was buying the candy melts. I couldn’t find any in my local supermarket nor department store; and Lakeland told me they didn’t stock them. However the lovely sales assistant at Lakeland did give me half a bag that was leftover from a recent Christmas display – result!
At this stage of the post, you should see a picture of the finished beautifully decorated cake pop. Unfortunately, I ended up burning the little candy melt I had. However, that hasn’t deterred me from this kit. The undecorated pops taste delicious and I have had a lot of fun baking and learning new techniques. Next time I will bake some with my niece and post the results here.
At £12.99 the Pop Bakery kit makes a fun and inexpensive Christmas present, secret Santa gift or stocking filler. You can buy the Pop Bakery kit at Harvey Nichols. Check out some of other fab gifts in their Christmas range.
Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. I was not compensated for this review.