Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Recipe #2 - Pop balls!

My friend Indra has a wonderful vegetarian blog called nodesserts. A lot of food blogs I come across are filled with pretty pictures and beautiful styling but not so much on content. Nodesserts is mighty pretty and a great joy to read too. It's packed with anecdotes, info, tips, experiments and even includes photos of what didn't work. Plus, she's witty too. I so wish I could write like her :) 

Recently, I came across her post on Chocolate Covered Red Velvet Balls and thought I would share with you my own experience making Oreo pop balls. That's what Sweetie #1 and I call them since they aren't made of cakes.

It was two years ago when I had to make something for her school prefect charity drive. Cake pops was all the rage then and so I decided I should make some. I came across a recipe that called for only three ingredients - oreo cookies, cream cheese and white chocolate. 

It sounded like the easiest thing to make but... but... but...

Anyway, thinking I had learnt something the first time around I decided to try again today. 
It took me only 2 hours to make about twelve. Hahaha!

Here's a really nice video on how to make cake pops that I referred to two years ago but forgot to check again today. If I had, it would probably have taken me 3 min and 30 sec instead :)

Step 1: 
Easy peasy. Take out the filling and grind the cookies. 

I take out the filling because it can get too sweet but feel free to keep it in if you have a sweet tooth.

Step 2 
Mix and knead the cream cheese with the cookies and roll into balls. Refrigerate. 
Then poke a lollipop stick into each ball (Sorry no pic. Please see video) and refrigerate again.

Too much or too little cream cheese and the pop balls won't hold shape. They'll turn out either too soft or too dry and brittle.

Step 3 
Double boil the white chocolate till you get a creamy consistency and add colouring of your choice.

I made the mistake of heating the bowl before putting in the chocolate. Not good. The chocolate softened but wouldn't melt and it developed a grainy texture. I thought I could still make it work so I kept trying to melt it. It didn't work. I think it was drying up because it was too hot. In a panic I pressed ahead and added yellow colouring and then (who knows why!) blue which we all know equals to green. Not the most palatable of colours. Eep! On top of that, the chocolate was so thick it wouldn't stick onto the pop balls, so I had to use my fingers. Sheesh!

The Hulk and Shrek

Step 3 again!
I placed fresh chocolate into a clean bowl and allowed it to slowly take in the heat. Then I took it off the stove when the chocolate began to soften. This worked like a charm. The bowl was still hot so the chocolate kept melting. 

Unfortunately, I didn't wait for the chocolate to cool down and immediately started coating the pop balls. Because they are made with cream cheese, the balls began to slide off the lollipop sticks. This also happened because I forgot to dip the tip of the lollipop sticks into the chocolate before inserting it into the pop balls like in the video. I ended up having to hold them with my fingers and use a spoon to slather on the chocolate. 

The three below are the few that stayed on the lollipop sticks. I would have eventually put the pop balls in paper cups anyway because they do crumble and fall to the floor with just one bite but keeping them on the sticks makes it easier to coat.

This time I kept to a safe colour of pale pink.

That's more like it.

In a nutshell, I repeated all my mistakes from two years ago. Tut tut.

Lesson learnt - making pop balls is not like riding a bike :)

P/S: The only green food I would eat is vegetables or the local kueh seri muka and buah gula Melaka.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

“I’d be completely horrified if Taylor gave me a Valentine’s card" - Helen Mirren

That pretty much sums up The Man and I. Haha! :)

So, to all you romantics out there, have a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Read here for more of what the beautiful, sexy, brilliant actor Helen Mirren has to say on appreciating the lack of romance in the other person.

Pouch #15
Hand drawn, hand sewn and hand embroidered.

Inspired by this doodle.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Off to France!


Pouch #14 is off to France. Not me. Wish I could fly there with it but I can't fit into the envelope :) 

I made this pouch for my sweet, sweet cousin who lives in Provence, France. She's an extremely talented lady who's living the life I can only aspire to someday. Am working on it. Really :)

You can check out her blog Floating Lemons. I absolutely love her colour pencil work. The details, the colours are amazing. Here are a few - a rooster, a purple iris and green and cream tulip.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Green and yellow

Yup. Still at it. This time I used a small piece cut up from an old cotton pillow case. It absorbs better than the calico I used for the Oi! bag + Pouch #13 and applies easier than the cotton linen I used for Pouch #14. But as you can see, the paint spreads a bit.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

WIP - pouch #14

I'm still experimenting with the fabric paints. They take a lot of getting used to. For this pouch I wanted a smoother finish but I can't seem to get there. I'm either over-diluting the paint which causes it to seep into the fabric and disappear or I'm not diluting it enough which creates rough edges and a slightly cracked look. I do like the colours though. I'm actually making this pouch for my cousin who lives in France. Provence, France! Wow!

I hope she likes the finished product :)

Oi! Bag

This bag is an extension of the Oi! series. I'm still thinking if I should include the guy who cries out Oi! but I quite like it just the way it is. My only gripe is that I had put it into the washer and the colours faded just as it did Pouch #13 even though I had used the fabric markers instead of paints. Bummer. I used calico for both the bag and pouch so my guess is that the fabric does not absorb the dye well. 

More experimenting to come.

Thanks to Sweetie #1 for patiently modeling the bag for me :)

Fabric paint

The Man has been working late which leaves me very little time to do anything but I managed to squeeze in this pouch I made using Pebeo Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paint. The fabric markers I've been using have been great so far but I wanted something that has a raw feel to it.

I don't know if I would give the fabric paint five stars like in the reviews though. I was disappointed to find the colours had faded after I put the pouch in the washer. It could've been be due to my choice of fabric which was calico, or perhaps it was because I did not wait 24 hours before putting it in the washer. But I did iron it well so I thought the paint had set.

Oh well, I'll just keep trying :)