Dessert Bar

 

This is a great way to showcase your desserts. We did this one for our Open House at work, and it was a hit! The clear plastic square cups are filled with small pieces of different types of cake covered with a whipped frosting and decorative edibles. This way your guests can enjoy a few different things rather than a bigger piece of one thing. We also had cake balls placed upside down on a multi- tiered platter to add height. We opted for real plates instead of disposables to give a comfortable and homey vibe. Also, fresh flowers and lit candles were added for ambiance.

Here is the Chocolate Cake recipe:

Ingredients
  •  1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  2 eggs
  •  1 cup milk
  •  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  1 cup boiling water
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside. In small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat well with hand mixer. Slowly add boiling water and mix. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth. Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool on racks.

Recipe for the cake pops:

  • 18.25-oz (520-g) box cake mix
  • 9-by-13-in (23-by-33-cm) cake pan
  • Two baking sheets
  • Wax paper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 16-oz (455-g) container ready-made frosting
  • Large metal spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • 48 oz (1.4 kg) candy coating
  • Deep, microwave-safe plastic bowl
  • 48 lollipop sticks
  • Styrofoam block

Directions:

  1. Bake the cake as directed on the box, using the 9-by-13-in (23-by-33-cm) cake pan. Let cool completely.
  2. Once the cake has cooled, get organized and set aside plenty of time (a couple of hours) to crumble, roll, and dip 48 cake pops. Line the baking sheets with wax paper.
  3. Crumble the cooled cake into the large bowl. You should not see any big pieces of cake.
  4. Add up to three-quarters of the container of frosting to the bowl. (You will not need the remaining frosting. Save it in the refrigerator for a later use.) Mix it into the crumbled cake, using the back of the large metal spoon, until thoroughly combined. If you use the entire container, the cake balls will be too moist.
  5. The mixture should be moist enough to roll into 1 1/2-in (4-cm) balls and still hold a round shape. After rolling the cake balls by hand, place them on the prepared baking sheets and let them rest for about 20 minutes before chilling.
  6. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator, or place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You want the balls to be firm but not frozen.
  7. Place the candy coating in the deep microwave-safe bowl. These bowls make it easier to cover the cake balls completely with candy coating while holding the bowl and without burning your fingers. The coating should be about 3 in (7.5 cm) deep for easier dipping. I usually work with about 16 oz (455 g) of coating at a time.
  8. 8. Melt the candy coating, following the instructions on the package. Microwave on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval. (You can also use a double boiler.) Make sure you do not overheat the coating.
  9. Now you’re ready to dip. Take a few cake balls out of the refrigerator or freezer to work with, keeping the rest chilled. If they’re in the freezer, transfer the rest of the balls to the refrigerator at this point so they stay firm but do not freeze.
  10. One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and then insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
  11. Holding the lollipop stick with cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered, and remove it in one motion. Make sure the coating meets at the base of the lollipop stick. This helps secure the cake ball to the stick when the coating sets. The object is to completely cover the cake ball and remove it without submerging it in the coating more than once. If you do resubmerge the cake pop, the weight of the candy coating can pull on the cake ball and cause it to get stuck in the coating.
  12. The thinner the consistency of your coating, the easier it will be to coat the cake pops. (If you find that your coating is too thick, add some vegetable oil or paramount crystals to help thin it and make the coating more fluid.)
  13. When you remove the cake pop from the candy coating, some excess coating may start to drip. Hold the cake pop in one hand and use the other to gently tap the first wrist. Rotate the lollipop stick if necessary to allow the excess coating to fall off evenly, so one side doesn’t get heavier than the other. If you didn’t completely dunk the cake pop, this method of tapping and rotating generally takes care of that. The coating will slowly slide down the surface of the cake ball until it reaches the lollipop stick.
  14. If too much coating surrounds the base of the lollipop stick, you can wipe the excess off with your finger. Simply place your finger on the stick right under the cake ball and rotate the pop, allowing any excess coating to fall off and back into the bowl. When most of the excess coating has fallen off and it is no longer dripping, stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam block.
  15. Repeat with the remaining cake balls and let the pops dry completely in the Styrofoam block.

Tips:

  • Bake the cake the day before, and let it cool overnight. Then just dip and decorate the following day.
  • Use a toothpick to encourage the coating to cover any small exposed areas or to make sure it surrounds the lollipop stick.
  • Make sure the cake balls are chilled and firm when you dip them. If they are room temperature, they are likely to fall off the lollipop sticks into the melted candy coating. You can always place them back in the freezer for a few minutes to quickly firm them up again.
  • Poke holes in the Styrofoam block before you start dipping. Just use one of the lollipop sticks to make holes about 2 inches apart.
  • For fun, experiment with different colors of candy coating and drizzle pops with a second color to decorate
  • You can also make cake pops in different shapes. Just roll them into balls, place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm, and then mold into your desired shape.

 

 

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