Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vancouver Canucks Cake Bite Pucks

No, these little Vancouver Canuck Cake Bite Pucks aren't Superbowl-related, but they're still sporty.
I'll be the first to confess how little I know or really care about sports. I think it stems from my rather uncompetitive nature. When I was young, at my brother's hockey games on cold weekend mornings, I spent my time playing with the other sisters or reading, rather than soaking in the game. And when his team occasionally lost, I'd just shrug and think "Well, the other team gets to win! So that's pretty nice for them".

See? I just don't get it.

But I do get dessert. And feeling some sort of loyalty to hockey is unavoidable here. This is why, sometimes, I merge the two together. In the early days of this blog, I made Canucks cookies and showcased a Canucks cake I made eons ago. I usually go with this logo because it's cuter and easier than the other ones.
If you don't know what cake bites and cake pops are by now, well, I hope the rock you live under is warm. They're these wonderful little balls of mushed up icing and cake, made into an endlessly clever array of shapes. I attempted them a few years ago in what ended up being a huge disaster. Then I found out I was allergic to candy melts (palm oil-- they put that shit in everything), and pretty much ruled them out altogether. This past Christmas my mom gave me Bakerella's Cake Pop book, and I came around a little bit. 
These cake bites are about 1.5 inches wide, and are made with homemade chocolate cake and buttercream icing, and coated in real semi-sweet chocolate. The taste shows the quality of the ingredients, and the little pucks are just like creamy truffles. The logo is only about 1 centimetre long, so the little stick was drawn, painstakingly, with a toothpick.

There's a pun in here about me really scoring with these, but I'll leave well enough alone. Feel free to pun it up in the comments.

Vancouver Canucks Cake Bite Pucks
Leanne Bakes

Here you go!

One 8x8 cake, completely cooled
2 cups buttercream icing, or can of premade frosting
1.5 cups royal icing
500 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 – 3 Pastry bags
Blue and green food colouring
#1 and #2 decorating tip (or the equivalent)
Several large metal spoons or tongs
Parchment paper
Cookie sheet
Wire cooling rack
Large slotted spoon
Cut the cake into four sections, and crumble each section by hand into a large bowl. Alternately, you can use a food processor. Make sure there are no large chunks—this will give you lumpy pucks. Once the cake is finely crumbled, dollop 1.5 cups of frosting into the middle, and using the back of a metal spoon, mix until evenly combined. You do not want too much frosting. It will make the pucks goopy.

Now it’s time to make the pucks! Roll a 2 inch ball out of the cake mixture, squash it gently with your palms, and form it into a small puck shape. Place it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, a centimetre or two apart, and repeat until the sheet is full. Place the shaped pucks into the freezer for approximately 15 – 20 minutes—enough time to become cold and solid without freezing.

While the pucks are in the freezer, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Be sure to not burn the chocolate. Place parchment paper underneath a metal cooling rack for the freshly dipped pucks. (You can also use the cookie sheet, but the edges won’t be as clean). Using a slotted spoon, gently dip each puck, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Turn them once to ensure even coverage, lift out, and gently tap the side of the spoon on the edge of the double boiler to take off excess chocolate. Place on the cooling rack for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the chocolate is set.

For the logo, separate the royal icing into 3 bowls. Thin each bowl of icing with 1-2 tsp of water. Dye one batch blue, one green, and keep the other white. Cover and set aside the blue and green for now. Using the white icing and a #2 tip (or the cut end of a ziplock bag—whatever works) carefully pipe and fill small circles on the bites.

Once the white has dried to the touch, use the #1 tip to pipe a blue square inside the white circle. Outline the stick inside the square, and then fill in the space between. Let dry.

Using the #1 tip again, pipe a thin careful circle outside the blue square. Use a toothpick to clean up any messy bits. Let them dry, and you’re done! It might not have been easy, but it’s definitely worth the results.


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