Once again, life got crazy and kept me away from Noshing [(v. blogging on NoshShots) not to be mistaken with noshing (v. eating multitudes of delicious foodstuffs)]. Since my last post, I have been hard at work compiling and stocking up on new original food photos - I literally have hundreds of new food pics to show you!
So let's not waste any time. We'll start with the very beginning of the year, when I decided to give Cake Pops another go (recall, in this post, my first attempt at making them). My best friend had just gifted me Bakerella's Cake Pops book for Christmas, so I thought it would be appropriate to use my new present to make her a present for her birthday, which happens to fall on New Year's Eve.
I browsed the book, and loved many of the adorable decorating ideas (this is primarily a decorating book, not a cookbook - expect as much). Though none of them seemed perfect for my friend, I was drawn to the fat yellow "spring chickens" - something about their spherical, roly-poly bodies and small, beady eyes made them particularly amusing. You may have also noticed that just looking at them triggers an embarrassingly strong urge to giggle and actually use the words "tee-hee" and "daww".
But anyway, rather than copying the plumpy chicks exactly, I decided to take matters into my own hands and custom design the cake pops. Drawing from the chicks' main design (fat body with small eyes, feet, beak, and wings), I chose to make flamingos instead, since they're one of my friend's favorite animals.
In order for the flamingos to be discernible as such, and not mistaken for some other bird, I decided to make a few changes: pink instead of yellow, long legs, and a neck.
It was quite a process to figure out what materials I would need to make all this happen, but in the end, this is what I used for my flamingos:
White chocolate, melted and dyed with red food coloring for the body
Cut-up gummy worms for legs and wings
Nonpareils for eyes
Candy-coated chocolate covered sunflower seeds for the beak
Cupcake pans make great supply organizers
Since my friend is very involved in hula and the Hawaiian culture, I thought it would be appropriate to adorn the flamingo couple I made (they were very wedding-cake-topper-esque) with a maile lei for the boy and a flower for the girl (on the left side, of course, to signify that she is in a relationship).
Ladies and gentlemen of the web, I'd like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Flamingo Pop!
Kinda cute, dontcha think? Please ignore what looks to be Mrs. Flamingo's under-eye circles and somewhat exasperated expression - the chocolate was being temper-amental (ha get it?) and I couldn't make her perfectly smooth. Here's a much more flattering photo of them:
For the inside of the pops, I made two different flavors of cake (butter golden and strawberry) from a mix and my own frosting from scratch, crumbled the cake, and then mixed in the frosting before shaping it into little fat flamingo shapes.
Mr. Flamingo Pop detail
I also decided to make square block pops to spell out her name, a little Westie dog head because she has a Westie, and heart-shaped pops that I rolled in red sanding sugar.
Mrs. Flamingo Pop detail
To assemble the cake pop "diorama/pop garden":
1. Put styrofoam blocks into a gift basket box
2. Cover the exposed styrofoam with green felt
3. Punch holes into the felt where pop sticks will go
4. Insert cake pops
5. Decorate with flowers (here, gerbera daisies); fake work quite well
The gift box pack I bought also came with a cellophane bag that I used to wrap up the entire thing, much like a gift basket:
Final product, ready to gift!
And that, my fellow foodies, is how cake pop round 2 went. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding in the end! Get creative, make some unusual animals (I think platypuses, wombats, and chipmunks have great pop potential), and just remember:
NOTHING is too cute to eat.