Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sleigh bells are ringin, your Christmas desserts a-callin'!

Hi Petite Popp-ers & friends,

We're almost on to Christmas, it's just barely 3 weeks away - where did all that time go?!

Christmas carols are playing everywhere, the lights are up, and it may be rainy these days - but you could almost turn that into a nice chilly Christmas season.

Everyone is already feeling the festive-in-our-bones, and we do wanna help get your Christmas shopping on the way. We have something new, something homey, something decadent, something classic... something for every sorta taste. Almost anyways ;)

Have a look at the Petite Pops Christmas Bake List above, share it with friends and family who are looking for a little something special for Christmas this year.

Email your orders to PetitePopRocks@gmail.com as early as you can, the more time to work on your orders, the better!

And don't forget - sign up for our newsletter at petitepops.blogspot.com for updates.

Petite Pops

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Petite Pops goes to the zoo... Hop right in!

A brand new entry for our Zoo series, and today we're hoppin' right' in!

More Zoo stories:

Meet Tooth and Friends, bringing the power of pink and a grand grin to the birthday girl :)

Now this birthday girl is not your regular 'child' category, but that's the beauty of cake pops. Never too young or too old, always space in your heart for pops that make your day dance.

Taking inspiration from my baking idol Bakerella's bunnies, I set about creating my own little bunny colony.

Start by shaping the bunny heads into giant tear drop shapes. You won't get these perfectly symmetrical to the next, but just like real live pets - that's why each is distinct and special, so embrace them.

Getting your shapes right - part of the battle won.
Getting your colors right - you can almost start celebrating.

Use light/similar colored cake bases for pale colors
like pink so they don't show up underneath
Don't be scared off by the strong colors candy melts come in.
I kinda like this hot fuschia actually, it's just not very rabbit-y...
Mix and color up or down till you get the right shade
- takes patience, a good eye and lotsa luv
Ta-da just right!
I had these pretty flower marshmallows tinged in yellow, pink and blue - perfect for ears. Cut them up and each petal became a perky bunny ear.

You gotta have imagination when making cake pops. Visualise pieces and parts in unusual ways. 

Oh yes, 'think outta the box' applies to bakers too ;) Add heart sprinkles for noses, white confetti for eyes, pipe on the eyes, lashes and mouth - we're good to go.

 And when you get it right, cake pops are just the best thing to bring on a big, bright birthday smile!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baked with love

This tin was my inspiration over the weekend.

I'd picked it up a couple of months back (how do you say no to "Baked With Love"??), but hadn't had a chance to use it. The fine-engine-red top signaled to me from the avalanche of baskets and supplies I'd been steadily accumulating (I can't help it, things call out to me...), and I thought it was time.

Looking for more red?
Gotta be Elmo!
> Poppin' red cherries, even the jackpot ones

A girlfriend had reached a milestone in her life, the perfect time to bake her a little something to celebrate.

Related reading: happy things in life
Happy Dayz
My OLPT: Official Little Pops Tester
What in the world are Cake Pops?
> How to share a good pineapple tart

I decided on some lemon & poppy seed cookies, a recipe I'd been mentally pinning on my 'to try' list for a while.

Cookies can be a little quirky, like kids. Or dogs. Or just human beings in general.

They kinda surprise you when you first try them out,  keep you guessing till the time you bite in. And then - you discover: this is a crunchy cookie recipe just what I expected, or darn that one's too soft, a nightmare to decorate.

That's the fun with cookies.
Ok I have to qualify that... it's only fun when you're not up against a delivery deadline!

Back to my lemon poppy seed dough... I wanted the cookies rustic, and I had a hunch these were going to be light and crumbly, just what I was looking for...

Not the prettiest photo but I wanted to show you the
chilled dough log before they got dissected into 4cm circle patties

Fresh from the oven, yes they did indeed turn out light and crumbly!

Food twine does wonders in prettying bakies,
just handle with care cuz those cookies are fragile! 

These made someone smile today, now it's your turn
- pass the smile on, spread the happy (not a typo, I do mean 'happy'!)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

3 cherries in a row, jackpot!

"My aunt loves the jackpot, I want a jackpot-themed birthday surprise for her!"
And with that, I ventured into my first jackpot cake pops.

There's something for everyone, check out some other birthday themes:
> Coming of age: 10-years young!
> Golf for the boys
Elmo-lovin 2-year old 
> A mom who loves her dogs

I'm no gambling expert, but I do know my three cherries in a row, and when to jump and holler "JACKPOT!"

I decided we also needed to have the 7s in a row, some money bags and poker chips to set things right. It's just not a proper jackpot-do without these.

After letting the rum cake balls chill for a bit, I set to work bringing lady luck to the table.

The money bags were the most challenging.

I molded them to look like big fat teardrops, in hopes they would look like sacks. Hmm, not quite right. No bag of money is that symmetrical.

I pinched the sides a little, indented some parts.

There, better.

Next were the sack tops - molded individually, laid to dry out and stiffen, before getting fixed to the grey-coated cake pops.

1cm wide fondant circles marked with $$ signs left no doubt these were money bags; dusted with lustre pearl for the extra moolah-shine, and added.

Something was still missing.... Rope!

Rolled-out strings of pale beige fondant went round the top of the sacks.
Finally done.

Yay! One design down.... just oh, 3 more different types to go.
Yes, a little ambitions, I'm realising now.

Ah well, if I could get the toughest one out, the rest aian't gonna stop me.

Fondant add-ons waiting to join the party

Teeny cherries (half the size of a 5-cent coin!),
big on luck - 3 in a row, JACKPOT! 

Keep these poker chips in your pocket
for an extra bit of luck when you hit the casino!


The next time you're feeling in need of a lil' luck, head over for a Petite Pops boost, it could well make you a millionaire!

Monday, August 13, 2012

10 years young - the cake (Part 2)

The kids had their share of fun at the pool, now it was time for Gabby's family to get some!

Gabby wasn't tired of my chocolate yet, so here's the plan: top her 10 years with even more chocolate - a big ol' fudgy chocolate cake! 

If I could make her a chocolate hot tub to swim in, I would. She loves chocolate ... you might have figured that out by now.
> Another themed birthday cake: Hole in one, anybody?

Ok, so when her mom ordered the cake for 10 pax,  she mentioned Gabby would love some extras to eat over the next few days. I might... just possibly... have taken the 'extras' just a little overboard... 

You can't tell from this innocuous photo, but this is actually a 4+kg cake!

A few days before assembling the cake, I started on the centerpiece - the lime green ribbon that made this a 'present cake'. 

The loops were individually cut and shaped into giant teardrops, dried and hardened, and the center strip mint green applied.

The loops have to be fairly thick, about 1/8 inch, to hold their shape

Side view: Debossed texture added to each loop for richer look 

Then I started layering the loops and building the ribbon, usually 2-3 tiers, capped with a final loop towards the center. The weight of the loops all bear down on the bottom tier, so you have to work gingerly and lightly so the loops don't start cracking. 

Make sure you give plenty of time for all this because it's gonna to take a while for the drying to kick in, and give you a sturdy, pretty ribbon. 
> Rose Bakes has a good tutorial on how to make a fondant bow

Now we're ready - time to build us some cake!

Smother the cake in fudgy chocolate, it's a big cake so don't be cheap on the chocolate, we don't want any part tasting dry and leathery.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble... how all yummy fudges start

Keeping elements from the poolside cupcakes,
the 'gift tag' for cake was shaped like a sun

Shades of cloudy blue, also from the pool cupcakes

Top off with the bow - viola, done! 

Gabby's mum:" Gabby loves the cake. And oh, by the way - your cake could feed a small village!"

Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10 years young - that's a whole decade! (Part 1)

Happy decade, Gabby!

10 years is a big deal. It's a whole decade, you gotta give it respect. 

Respect spelled OTT-c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e.

That was the reigning flavor in Gab's 10-year birthday celebrations. She loves chocolate, and the oozy gooey goodness is really the only fitting flavor to mark a decade.

We start off in the kitchen, mixing up a batch of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips. 

My pink mixing spoon somehow managed to sneak into shot...

You won't see these choc chips after they're baked in, but they're well worth adding - they make the cupcakes extra rich and chocolately.

Before hitting the oven: See how ooey, gooey they are?

Oh, there was a pool theme too, since it was a poolside party. 
I wanted something fun and cheery for the kids, since these cupcakes were going to be the take-home bags.


I started forming little sunbursts, stacking the yellow centers atop each lick of poppin' orange. 

I love the buck-toothed ones best!

Then the little faces went on. Eyes and mouths do wonders in upping the cute factor. 
Not all though... I've done some failed ones that looked more like maniacs and malformed witches, I shall spare you the horrors. 

Next: swim rings.

These look deceptively simple, but man oh man, did I see stars cutting each color ring out.

It's hard to tell the scale from here - let me assure you - cutting and picking up many half cm pieces does something to your fingers, and your mind. By the time I fixed all the pieces on, I felt confident I could perform surgery on ants.

Warning: these swim rings will NOT save you in a storm,
unless your waist is the size of a polo sweet

Sun and Swim Rings meet cupcakes!

Bagged, tagged and ready to go!
It made my day when the birthday girl told her mom," Look at the details, even the length of ribbons are matching!"

More on Gabby's birthday cake next week, stay tuned!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tanjoubi Omedetou, a Rilakkuma birthday

I have my friend Z to thank, for introducing me to the world of Rilakkuma.

She’s mad about all things Jap + cute, and Rilakkuma ranks high up there in her top 10. Naturally, my first exposure to the little bear was through Z, she just about went nuts when we went to Japan – Rila heaven.

When the request came for Rilakkuma cake pops for a little 6-year-old's birthday, I knew exactly what she wanted, and I already had visions of how they would look.

Thank God for Z and her fanatical loves.

Rilakkuma (left) means' bear in relaxed mood',
perfect for this cheeky lil lazy bear!

> More on other well-loved characters: There's never too much red around with Elmo, Curious George (or rather his look-alike!)

As always, work started with the add-ons to the pops beforehand, what I call ‘fun & frills’ – the most fun parts about pops, but also the most painstaking.

Hmmm, colours...

Rilakkuma is a malty brown, so I started mixing up tawny fondant for his ears, and added tiny yellow insides, each ear barely half a cm small.

Make your 'fun & frill' parts beforehand so they
get to dry enough to stand on their own on the pops 

No bear should ever have to be alone, so I brought his pal Korilakkuma along.

This cheeky fellow - his name means 'small Rilakkuma' - is a creamy pale yellow, and I gave him tiny pink insides for ears.

I drew on teeny mouths with an edible black marker (I find these markers work well only with fondant, they're pretty much hopeless on any other material!). 

All set, let the dipping begin.

The 'fun & frill' parts are holding up well, yay!

Wait, something’s missing…. 
It’s a birthday, so we had to have some party hats! I shaped cone hats out of fondant, added confetti dots, and set the hats on a few lucky bears. 

Ready to party

Wait wait... something's still missing.
It aian't no party without Kiiroitori! For the uninitiated, this yellow duck-bird completes the Rila trio, and I just had to throw in a special Kiiroitori surprise for the birthday girl.

My fave - Kiiroirtori

Tanjoubi omedetou or 'happy birthday to you', my little Rilakkuma fan.

Friday, June 8, 2012

There's never too much red around... with Elmo

There's a little pressure when you're doing characters that are as well-loved as... say Elmo.

Which is exactly I found myself doing.

You wanna make sure you do justice to such characters, because their fans - 8 or 80 years old - WILL let you know when you're doing a crappy job.

Gotta tread carefully....

For 2 year-old Zander's birthday party, the request was for Elmo cake pops to share with his little friends.

Yay, this was going to be such fun!
More on birthday pops: Hole-in-One, Monkeys, Ponies, Doggies

First, and most importantly - his eyes. The trademark Elmo eyes are white and round, they had to be just the right size in proportion to the rest of his head. That's probably one of the trickest parts of making any cake pops - getting the sizes of all the parts right. or they'll just look like looney bins.

L: Orange/red little candy bullets for nose, you can substitute them with orange tic tacs
R: Perfect mini white Jawbreakers for eyes from Candilicious

This was just the occasion to break open my new jet black fondant pack, to create his mouth. I preferred not making these too much in advance, didn't want them too stiff and dried out so they would fit better into his fur.

Cut with 1.5cm round circle cutter, and cut them further
into 2 halves - there, you now had 2 Elmo mouths.

Special effects out of the way - on to Elmo himself.

After dipping each strawberry cake ball into red Wilton candy melt (apparently available only at Bake-It Yourself), create his trademark fur-running-amok with a toothpick, raking and lifting through the coating immediately after.

By the 10th Elmo, you begin to get a slight cramp from gripping the toothpick in continuous raking motions.

And by the 20th - you're asking yourself "what on earth am I doing??"

When you reach that point, this is what you have to do: Put toothpick down, unlock fingers, look at army of Elmos you've created.

High on hats!

It'll be worth it. You'd smile. Guaranteed.

The process was tedious, but it made the design forgiving at the same time - the ruffled fur helped conceal coating imperfections.

To add a special touch (this was an order from a very good friend!), I created a special 'Zander' name plate for the birthday boy, made out of fondant. It was a little laborious, but just like all the other little cake pop effects - added a zing to the Elmo army, and was all worth it.