Welcome to As the Brownie Turns: the 2nd time’s the charm edition.
Remember yesterday we brought you the chocolate and almond butter version of Mom’s Brownies cut into cute, but fussy little Valentine shapes?
Remember how much trouble (with a capital T) it is to get fudgy brownies to cut properly and not crack? And remember all those leftover pieces? The edges, the extra pieces and the no-good broken shapes?
Turns out there is a perfect solution.
Cake Pops. I kid not.
Never in my little corner of the world did I expect to ever say those two words in one sentence. I bake neither precious nor adorable things. I may bring you over-the-top baked stuff, but nothing coming out of my kitchen would ever be accused of being precious and adorable. I cannot pipe well. Heck, filling a piping bag makes me sweat. I don’t do itty bitty decorating, and I certainly have some gaps in the rolling things evenly department. I’d flunk out of pastry school by the 2nd week.
But I hate to waste anything and those brownies pieces sitting in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator were taunting me. So I did what anyone might do. I tossed them into a big old bowl and smashed them to crumbs. I made a little ganache and whipped it up into frosting to redeem myself ever so slightly. Alternatively you can use a can of your favorite flavor frosting.
With extra clean hands and big bottles of Kahlua and Godiva Liqueurs (optional) I mixed the whole heap together until they were not terribly sticky and I could roll them into little round balls. Some of the stuff I rolled out flat-ish (remember: I’m challenged when it comes to even thickness rolling) and cut out heart shapes.
They went into the deep freeze to firm up. Once numb and cold (the cake) I popped sticks up their you-know-what and dipped each one into a vat of what else, but dark chocolate. There were some nonpareil and sprinkles involved.
And the most amusing part was getting a look at how I tried to pop the sticks into the grate of a cooling rack set over a pan which should have held them up, but instead slid off the pan every time I added a new Cake Pop. I’m guessing investing in a cake pop styrofoam holder would not have been a bad thing.
I am certain a ten-year-old could do this better than I did. It doesn’t hurt that they tasted pretty good and the 2nd day they were even better. It is a slightly messy task, but a good use for leftover cake or brownies (or wrecks).
Lemons. Lemonade. Cake wreck. Cake Pops.
You could always buy flowers on a stick. But you can’t eat them.
|Mom’s Brownies Valentine Cake Pops||
- 1 batch each Mom’s Brownies (almond and chocolate) see post for link.
- 1 cup of ganache whipped (1/2 cup heavy cream plus 10 oz. dark chocolate, chopped) or about 1 cup of canned frosting (chocolate is preferable).
- Optional: slugs of Godiva and Kahlua (2 tablespoons each)
- 1 pound of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 10 cake pop sticks (think Wilton)
- Sprinkles: optional
- In a very large bowl smash the brownies into the finest crumbs you can – they are fudgy so it will not be easy, but try to not leave large chunks. Break them up the best you can.
- Heat the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add 10 oz. of chopped (or chips) to the cream and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Stir thoroughly. Cool at room temperature for about an hour or so until it starts to thicken. Whip 1 cup on high until it looks like a nice fluffy frosting. Alternatively, you can use canned frosting. Pick a nice chocolate flavor (make sure it is GF) and start with one cup.
- Add the frosting to the brownie bits and stir – you might have to use clean hands to get it mixed in really well. Add more frosting as needed just to get it to a stage where you can roll them into balls. Add the liqueurs if using and mix in well.
- Roll into 1.5 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can take a good portion and roll it right on the baking sheet (with parchment). Be sure to cover the top with plastic wrap before rolling. Roll about 1 inch thick. Cut out as many shapes as you wish and place them on the other prepared baking sheet lined with parchment. Once finished place the baking sheet in the freezer to chill for at least two hours. Overnight is even better. Cover with plastic wrap if freezing for more than a couple of hours.
- Remove from the freezer and leave them on the counter while you melt the dipping chocolate.
- In a double boiler melt most of the chocolate – hold out about 25%. Stir once in a while. While it is melting and if the shapes/balls are slightly thawed, place the sticks in them gently making sure you don’t crack the shapes. The mixture should be pliable enough to push back into shape once the stick is inserted.
- Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and add in the other chocolate a little at a time while stirring – to temper. That will drop the temperature of the chocolate and temper the batch. Keep the double boiler handy because you may need to heat up the mixture as you are dipping, but just ever so slightly.
- Tempered chocolate will keep at room temperature. If your chocolate covering seems tacky and doesn’t harden – no worries. Just store the Cake Pops in the refrigerator.