Thursday, 5 June 2014

Andrew James Cake Pop Maker


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

While a lot of people have already been making and selling cake pops, and some have even moved on to the new baking trend - Push Up Cake Pops (why haven't I heard more about these in the UK??), I made my first batch of Cake Pops. I've always wanted to make them, but with so many things I wanted to bake and master (I'll be back, Macarons!), cake pops wasn't really on my priority list.

Thanks to Andrew James however, who has offered me an opportunity to review something from their range after they heard that I've bought their Ice-Cream Maker (post to follow) recommended by Which?, I decided to try making Cake Pops while reviewing their Cake Pop Maker. They also sell push up cake pops cones and stand, but I wasn't sure what they were (I first heard about them after seeing the kit on Andrew James website) so decided not to go for it.


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Andrew James Cake Pop Maker comes in 2 colours - Red or Blue, and are sold as 4 different packages. I was sent the Cake Pop Maker and Display Pack Six (£29.49; lowest price pack is £20.99) which comes with a cake pop maker, manual that contains 2 recipes, three tier clear acrylic 16 hole square cake pop stand, and 25 of each cake pop bags, sticks and twist ties.

The cake pop maker looks very sleek! I love the blue but not all kitchen gadgets come in blue. It's really easy to use, as soon as you plug in the plug, the green light will come on, indicating that the maker has started to heat up. When the red light comes on it means that it's ready to bake. The handle is cool to the touch, but everywhere else on the maker is fairly hot so do be careful if you plan to get one.

The manual mentioned about letting the maker cool down for an hour before baking another batch of cake pops, but I didn't have the patience and time to wait an hour in between each dozen of cake pops. I baked 3 batches in a row and it seems fine. None of the cake pops were burned, but then I also don't know whether it affects the maker itself by keeping it on for a period of time, so don't take my word for it!


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker
Dutch Poffertjes with a good dusting of icing sugar. Tasted better with golden syrup though
Before I made the cake pops, I tried making Dutch mini pancakes - Poffertjes with it (you can try them in the UK at Christmas night markets). The size was right and looked just like my Poffertjes pan, though that one is used on the stove like a normal frying pan. I think if I've added a bit more oil they would be perfect! You can also make mini donuts with the cake pop maker. Next time I'll try Hong Kong style pancakes - Kai Taan Tzai (directly translates to mini chicken eggs). They are slightly eggy, sweet crispy on the outside and really light and fluffy inside!  


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker
Abby loved to help!
Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker
The amount I used for perfect ball shapes.
Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker
Left: First batch  Right: Second batch
Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker
Left: From the first batch and didn't have enough mixture. Right: From second batch looking round and plump
Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

The Cake Pop Maker came with 2 recipes, Victorian Sponge and chocolate sponge. I decided to use my own sponge cake recipe, as I'm more used to it. I then poured the batter into a piping bag to make it easier  and faster to add the mixture into each mould. There wasn't enough mixture in the first batch so the cake balls didn't reach to the top of the maker. The second and third batches were better and the cake balls looked really cute! Just let them cool down on a flat surface first before moving them onto a cooling rack, otherwise you'll get marked cake balls like me! (See picture below)

Each batch took 4-5 minutes to cook, and even though I didn't rest the maker in between, they all came out perfecty cooked.


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

I think I wasn't suppose to stick them on the lollisticks until I started coating them in chocolate, but I did and had some problem with them staying on the sticks. It looked good though!


Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

Cake Pops, Baking, Andrew James Cake Pop Maker

The kids wanted to take part in decorating the cake pops, which sounded like a fun time to spend together. I do recommend coating the cake balls yourself first before letting the kids decorate them though (after the chocolate has stopped dripping) as they didn't have the patience to wait for the dripping to stop. Clay didn't even bother decorating them and started licking the chocolate off the cake pop, and the 2 of them kept sneaking plain cake balls into their mouth! Abby claimed that, since the first batch wasn't so round, they should just help me eat them instead. A very plausible excuse I guess. I'll make sure that they aren't invited in the making process if it was for a party! I'm very pleased that they were really enjoying the cake balls though, they never ate so much cake at one sitting before!

I think that, although baking the cake balls with the maker was fast and productive, it was quite time consuming to get the cake pops coated in chocolate, waiting for them to stop dripping and set a bit before decorations can go on. I guess that's why people prefer using Candy Melts than real chocolate for cake pops. I think it can be fun if you make them all the same design so you don't have to wonder what to do for each, and they do look fab for parties!

On a side note, I noticed that the vanilla sponge cake balls went really well with the white chocolate, but not so much with the milk chocolate. I guess the milk or dark chocolate coating goes better with a chocolate sponge.


The original way of making cake pops is to crush left over cake into crumbs, mix them with buttercream and coat with icing, but I think that cake pops baked with a cake pop maker are lighter to eat, where as the compressed cake crumbs with buttercream made them a bit harder. So I'd definitely recommend a cake pop maker if you like to make cake pops. Decoration wise, as long as you have the patience, it can be really fun and they look impressive too! The cake pop maker is also easy to clean and easy to put away for another day.

Next time I'm going to bake lots of cake balls with the maker, but instead of making them into cake pops, I'll stick them together with buttercream and make a pyramid cake out of it. It saves me from cutting a cake and kids just need to remove a cake ball from the pyramid cake!