If you want some sugar love all you need is cake pops, and maybe a bunch more biscuits, sweets and chocolate. It’s a bit late for Valentine’s Day now but I’m going to tell you about what I made for my Valentine (and half the office) anyway!
Whether you celebrated the day, ignored it or ate through it, you should definitely try these heart shaped cake pops. I made salted caramel and chocolate because yum, but you can easily replace the buttercream with a flavour of your choice.
The recipe yields 24 cake pops. I made 12 vegan dark chocolate pops and 12 white chocolate pops with food colour to create red hearts. The red pops weren’t vegan because of the white chocolate but you can easily use free from white chocolate instead.
Cake pops are also a great way to use cuttings from more intricate cakes. No need to be wasteful when you can have another delicious dessert.
You will need:
- Stand or hand held mixer
- Heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water
- Pop cake sticks
For the chocolate cake (½ recipe)
- 40g (3 tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
- 150g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 100g (1 cup) plain gluten free flour
- 20g (3 tbsp) cocoa powder
- ½ tsp xantham gum
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp water
- 150ml coconut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
For the salted caramel butter cream
- 60g (4½ tbsp) hard vegetable shortening
- 200g (2 cups) icing/confectioners’ sugar
- 35ml salted caramel sauce
- 100g (⅔ cup) Dark chocolate
- 100g (⅔ cup) White chocolate
- Red food colouring
Bake two thin layers of sponge cake or use cake cuttings if you have any left over from making another cake. I used this chocolate cake recipe and made half the quantity in the linked recipe.
Cream the butter or vegetable alternative until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar beating slowly to incorporate, then turn up to high before pausing and scraping down the sides. Repeat until all of the icing sugar is added.
The buttercream will be too firm at this point so instead of softening with milk use the salted caramel sauce, which also adds the flavour, mmmn. No judgement if you want a little spoonful of the sauce at this point. You can add more or less sauce to taste.
Crumble the cake with your fingers until there are no large lumps. If you have a food processor you can pulse the cake in there instead, for speed and a more even consistency.
In a large bowl mix 3/4 of the buttercream and all the crumbled cake together with a spoon. Feel the consistency it should stick together and be pliable, but you don’t want it too soft or it won’t hold its shape. Add the final bit of buttercream if needed.
Pat the mixture into a ball and divide in half and then half again, set aside 3 of the balls. Split the ball you have left into 6 equal smaller balls. Mould each of these in your fingers into a heart shape. I started this by making a triangle and softening the edges, then making a V at the top to get a heart shape. Place on a silicone mat or baking paper.
Repeat splitting the remaining 3 balls that you set aside into 6 and moulding into heart shapes.
Melt a small square of chocolate and dip in the tip of a pop stick. While the chocolate is still melted press the chocolate end of the stick into the base of a heart just under an inch into the cake and return to the mat or paper it was on. Repeat until all hearts have a stick.
Leave to set in the fridge for at least half an hour so that the cake feels secure on the stick and the shape is almost hard.
Roughly chop the dark chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir until melted. Turn the heat right down but leave the chocolate over the bowl so it will stay viscous as you cover the pops.
Spoon the chocolate over the pops one at a time spreading as evenly as you can. Place the pop back on the mat or paper it was on before. Repeat until 12 pops are covered in chocolate.
In a clean heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water melt the white chocolate and red food colour together and repeat step 11 with the remaining pops.
Let all the pops set in the fridge for an hour or leave out over night. To present the pops I brushed edible gold over the right side of the dark pops. And placed the red pops in a clean plant pot filled with floral foam, to create a bubble of hearts that resembled flowers.
Thanks for reading 😊