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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review: "Cake Pops" by Bakerella

"Cake Pops" by Bakerella aka Angie Dudley
I've been a cake ball fan for just a bit over a year now.  My sister brought a box of them down to the coast during a visit, and I have been hooked ever since.  They were, I found out, quite an expensive treat from a specialty bakery!  I thought...hmmm... maybe I can do this?  Last Thanksgiving I made my cake ball debut and boy was it challenging for a first timer!  They are a decadent treat, though, and I kept at it until I wasn't embarrassed to share the goodies with my family at our Thanksgiving feast. (The teen ate the gross failures - and he hoped I would mess up more!)

I found Bakerella's web site shortly after my sister's visit and have enjoyed surfing through it on a regular basis.  I like her down-to-earth style of baking and writing.  It made me feel like I, too, could make all of the yummies she has on her web site.  I found her Facebook page and follow her there as well.

Not too long ago, I read that she had released a new book and I was THRILLED... ordered it immediately.  Now that I've read it from cover to cover, I wanted to write a brief review of this book.  It's about cake pops... which are, of course, cake balls on a stick!

Things I love:
  • The photos are full color and fabulous.
  • It is hard back with wire bound pages - which allows the book to lay flat on the kitchen counter.  Yes!  Why aren't all cookbooks this way?
  • The pages are sturdy - I'm not worried I'm going to tear them.
  • Each recipe is self-contained.  That might seem repetitious to some, re-stating the process of making the cake ball to prepare the pops...but, frankly, for me it is perfect.  I'm not having to flip back and forth.
  • She clearly explains the techniques, provides tricks and tips, details supply resources, and decorating do's and don'ts.
There aren't really any things I don't love about this book!  :-)  I do hope it is "just" the first and she will create another with even more examples and detailed instructions for her beautiful confections!

If you want to make some stunning holiday treats - start practicing now.  It's not quite as easy as it looks.  I did find, though, that once I got going, I got better and better (you can see the first set are pretty messy and they got slightly better looking as I progressed).  I finally found out, in her book, how to make them round and smooth, as well as how to get the messy edges off.  I can't wait to try again now that I have a good reference book right in front of me!  I'm hoping to graduate to cake pops instead of cake balls!

My first batch - messy but delicious - Spice Cake Calls

They got tidier the more I made

The kid's favorites - they didn't care if they weren't neat - Oreo cookie balls
My family LOVED the taste of these (although, they are really rich - you don't need as many as I made).  I'm going to start practicing for my Christmas Cake Pops very soon - I think I'm going to make the Trees and the Santa Hats this year.  I haven't made any since last year...I need to start now so I can ramp up my skills in time for Christmas!

If you love unusual dessert offerings, which are sure to wow your holiday guests, get this book right now!  You'll need to practice!!!  You can order this book online from Paragraphs on Padre Blvd.  Shop local - it keeps our little island a happy place!!!

Turkey Cake Pops by Bakerella
Cheery Christmas Trees from "Cake Pops" by Bakerella

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