I will admit, shamefully, that these cupcake pops made me cry. Why am I admitting this? Because this is reality, people. Not everything is picture perfect. I would be cheating myself if I skipped this post because I didn't like the way my cupcake pops turned out.
What I was going for, was this: Bakerella's Cupcake Pop
For the cake, I wanted to use a recipe I found from my new favorite bakebook (you know, like an un-cookbook) called BakeWise. It's like my baking bible. I'm OBSESSED. So, I made the deep, dark chocolate cake. I didn't even change anything and that's how much I truly love this book. It came out perfecto.
The cake then gets put in a food processor, as per Bakerella's instructions. After all the care and precision I put into making the cake, this felt a bit sad. But I knew it was for a good cause, so I pulsed away.
I made my own frosting and even though Bakerella says to put in about 2 cups, I only 3/4 cup because my cake without the frosting was already like dough-ish. So I think this is where things started to get shaky for me, personally. I started to get that worry feeling like: Oh no, what if this is wrong? Is this wrong? This doesn't LOOK like the picture... but I can't really tell... Why is mine so much more greasy looking? Bakerella's hands don't look like they are covered in butter from rolling the dough...I dunno... I'll just keep going.
For the melted chocolate on the bottom, I actually used a really good, cheap dark chocolate (Pound Plus bar from Trader Joe's). For the melted chocolate on the top, I tried two different things: Ghirardelli Vanilla Dream and Ghirardelli's White Chocolate Chips. I added my own coloring to get a nice "Martha Blue". I did not use the chocolate bark or chocolate melts. I also don't have a microwave or a fondue pot, so I tempered the chocolate over the stove... very carefully as not to SEIZE the chocolate again.
Long story short, things were messy and it was late and I was just feeling like I botched these. When I tried to dip the cupcakes into the melted chocolate and they were so dense and heavy that they would stick to the bottom of the pan and when I tried to pull them up, they started loosing their cute little cupcake shape. Then the popsicle sticks were going all the way through the cupcake, which felt like a sword through my heart. I made about a dozen (still have a bunch more cake and frosting mixture left that I haven't yet shaped or dipped) and brought some them into work (which made them fall apart even more on the trip to work AND chocolated-up the white popsicle sticks).
But as they say in Spamalot, you must "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". Which is easy to say in hindsight. Not easy to say when you're falling apart faster than your Cupcake Pops in temperamental tempered chocolate.
The Bright Side: These actually tasted better than they looked. I brought some into work and people really liked them. They were very rich and dense, but it was just the right amount that they could get away with it. They actually reminded me of one of the hostess chocolate treats that I can't put my finger on....Yodels or Ding Dongs or something that I haven't had since I was 10.
So, yes, these cupcake pops may have brought me down with them for a bit there, but I've learned a good lesson from all of this. Sometimes it's best to just keep calm and have a cupcake.