Monday, October 17, 2011

Hell's Kitchen

"Recipe: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, with utensils you don't own, to make a dish the dog wouldn't eat." ~Author Unknown

You think I'd learn something after 5 years. Every year I think I've found something easier to do for the kids birthday parties, and every year it usually becomes this ridiculous fiasco that ends in incessant cursing or tears of disappointment. I guess it would be such a shame to stop the tradition this year!

Enter the world of cake pops by Bakerella. I thought this looked way easier than cupcakes. Yes, it involved cake, but the recipe calls for you to mix the cake with icing and shape into balls. Which means even if I have rising issues with the cake nobody has to know. So I showed the Monkey my discovery. She enthusiastically agreed to ladybug cake pops, but added that she wanted pink cake inside. "Strawberry cake!" (Sounds gross to me, but hey, its her birthday!) The week before I made sure I had everything I needed so I could do this over a couple days and not a last minute mad rush like usual. Unfortunately, what I wasn't aware of, is that there is next to nobody who makes white chocolate that isn't contaminated with nuts. I did find a small bag from a local chocolate supply shop, so I thought I was in business. Just add a little red candy dye and we were on our way to ladybugs!

Of course it all started going downhill the day before. Especially when this is how far I got trying to melt the white chocolate before it started burning.

I realized at 12:15am on the morning of Monkey's party that this wasn't going to go as planned. From my previous trips to the store I knew that I didn't have the option of any backup chocolate from the baking aisle of any supermarket, and the opening hours of the candy supply coincided with the very moment Monkey's party was scheduled to start. So I did what I always do. I improvised. Thank goodness for Magic Shell. I busted through the doors of my local supermarket 11 minutes after they opened at 6am and bought some White Chocolate Cupcake flavored Magic Shell ice cream topping. Stirred in a little red candy dye, and presto - red ladybug candy coating.

Little did I realize that it was the beginning of the end of my good luck streak. In my sleep-deprived haze, I forgot the temperamental properties of Magic Shell. Basically, it starts out as a liquid when warm, and hardens when it comes in contact with the cold ice cream. This wasn't a problem in the beginning, because I had frozen the cake balls so they would firm up and hold their shape. However, when you have the cake pops sitting out on the counter so you can decorate and bag them, all sorts of shenanigans start going on. Long story short, we went from cute little blue eyed ladybugs,

To carnage of canniballistic proportions.

So in the end, Kira's friends went home with ladybugs nested in cupcake wrappers.

At least I didn't hear anyone complain that the eyes that had slid off tasted any less delicious.

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