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.

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