Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Egg Pops & Easter Homework


School homework in our house can be tough. It is frequently a battle of wills, and with three stubborn and headstrong individuals (two of them parents), that makes for a lot of fireworks. When she sets her mind to it, my daughter produces some amazing work, but getting her to decide to do the homework in the first place is the battle that needs winning.


This week however, something inspired her......... Maybe it was the subject matter, maybe it was Mummy's blogging........ I suspect that the two conspired together to spark her........ Although she may just have fancied creating mayhem with chocolate cake!

This post comes from her homework. Without it we would never have set to work inventing, making and testing Egg Pops. Asked to design a new Easter product, she was not content with just doing the poster to advertise it as required........... no......... She had to make it (and eat it) too. And absolutely right! How can you possibly promote a product without trying it? Good girl!!!


The Egg Pop is my daughter's take on a special Easter cake pop. I will be honest, we have never actually made cake pops or even eaten them. I've always looked at them as a bit of a pretty novelty, probably without much substance. But somehow, exploring what she thought she might design over Saturday lunch, she came up with Egg Pops............... 'Egg-shaped cake pops mummy'............


She became so excited about the prospect of making them, that it was a no-brainer. Thank goodness there was a frozen chocolate sponge languishing in the freezer waiting for a purpose. Its moment had come........... broken and crumbled into a bowl, mixed with a little honey and coconut cream and carefully rolled and moulded into egg-shaped balls.

A trip to town and three bags of Candy Melts later, we were decorating for Easter. By the time we had finished, there was cake trodden into the floor, candy melt stuck to the work-surface and sprinkles scattered far and wide....... Easter carnage!!!!!


Making and moulding the cake-crumb mix was amazingly simple. Even inserting the sticks was a dream with an almost 100% 'stay' rate. But I have never used Candy Melts and found that the coating process was a little trickier than expected. I thought they would melt into a very runny liquid, but found the resulting goo was quite thick and this made it hard to cover the cake-balls by dipping. We resorted to brushing the melt onto the sponges, but then discovered that as the 'eggs' had been placed in the freezer to harden slightly before decorating, the melt then set and dried instantly making it impossible to get a smooth, even surface or to decorate without painstakingly adding an extra spot of melt to stick each button, flower or micro-egg.


It turns out the cake I found in the freezer, which was originally from this recipe, made the perfect cake pop mix -  dark, deep and very decadent. It had a good almond content which I suspect also added a further natural moistness to the cake-eggs.

Using coconut cream and honey to help stick and mould the egg-shapes from the sponge was definitely a good move (the recipes I looked at suggested using cake frosting) and cut down on the potential for over-sugariness, leaving a soft, moist, rich, chocolatey interior.


The end result may not be anywhere near perfect, but we had loads of fun making them and they taste amazing! Perhaps my perception of the pointlessness of cake pops was misplaced? These ones have an incredible depth of flavour and a creamy, soft, melty texture which was quite unexpected. They certainly added some seasonal colour and fun to the kitchen............ Wrapped in cellophane, they even look pretty presentable as little Easter gifts. I don't think my daughter's teacher was expecting that!


My daughter has now self-assigned herself officially as my 'blog assistant'.................. could be some interesting inventions to come!

I am entering these delicious homework Egg Pops into three Eastery blog events this month. They were such fun to make and are so colourful that they are perfect for an Easter share.


First up : We Should Cocoa being hosted by Rachel Cottrill on behalf of Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog. The theme for this month is of course, Easter! Well let's face it, 'We Should Cocoa' is tailored perfectly for the Season........


Next I am entering them into this month's Treat Petite challenge, the theme being 'Spring into Easter' and being hosted by Stuart at Cakeyboi. Stuart co-hosts this challenge with Kat at The Baking Explorer. I love this challenge which encourages us to come up with inspired mini-treats, but unfortunately, last month I ran out of time and missed it! I hope this month's offering makes up for my remissness.............


And finally, I am offering them to April's Biscuit Barrel challenge hosted by Laura at I'd Much rather Bake Than....This month's theme is Fun. Our Egg Pops definitely fit the bill. Loads of fun to make, fun to decorate, fun to eat, fun to look at, fun to photograph and tons of fun to share!


Easter Egg Pops (makes 16 cake pops)

Ingredients

I used :
1 x 9 inch chocolate cake from this recipe (half quantity). Use a moist rich cake for the best results.
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut cream
a squeeze of runny honey

Candy Melt of varying colours or chocolate to cover
sprinkles and sweets to decorate

a packet of Lolly sticks

Method

  1. Place a piece of baking paper onto a baking sheet.
  2. Break the cake with your fingers into small pieces in a large bowl.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream and a squirt or two of honey, stirring the mixture until it is moist.
  4. Using either a spoon or a cake pop scoop, measure out even sized balls of cake mixture and gently squeezing to bring the mixture together so that it sticks, roll in the palms of your hands to make egg shaped balls.
  5. Place each ball on the baking sheet and then place the tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes to harden slightly before coating.
  6. When firm (but not frozen), melt the candy melt or chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (stirring) or in a microwave on 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. 
  7. Using a sharp skewer, make a straight hole through the base of each egg to about half way in.
  8. Dip each lolly stick in the candy melt/chocolate before inserting into a cake egg. This will help to 'set' the stick in the cake-pop.
  9. Dip each cake egg into the candy melt/chocolate, or if too thick, brush onto the egg using a pastry brush until the egg is completely covered. Make sure the coating also covers the area where the stick enters the cake as this will also help to make it more secure.
  10. Decorate each egg-pop, working quickly as you go through the coating process, to enable the sprinkles to stick to the coating. If the coating has set, place a small blob of candy melt/chocolate on the surface to stick the decoration.
  11. Use either a cake-pop stand, florist's foam, or make holes in an upturned box to secure the sticks of the pops upright whilst they fully harden.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

6 comments:

  1. These are so cute Kate, perfect for Spring into Easter - thanks for joining in with Treat Petite x

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. They were a lot of fun to make (and eat!!)

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  2. Awww, these are lovely. I think your daughter (and you) deserve top marks forthis bit of homework. They really do look fun and y Easter like =)

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  3. SO cute! I love them :-) A* for you and your lovely assistant!

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  4. Thanks Aimee! My daughter definitely got an A* from me!!!

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