01 November 2011

Delicious Holiday Gifts Workshop

I attended the Delicious Holiday Gifts Demo Class by Chef Joycelyn Shu at Shermay's Cooking School the past weekend, mainly because of the Cake Pop recipe. I first knew about Cake Pop from Bakerella's website and was inspired by all the cute and lovely cake pop designs. I even bought the cake pop recipe book. Tried making it previously, it seemed so darn easy but really wasn't. All I could say, it was totally a messy affair dealing with  candy melts which was the essential coating for cake pops, and I had a tough time. So, I simply had to attend this class to find out how Joycelyn does it. I was pretty sure she could offer lots of useful tips, as always.

Besides cake pop, other lovely holiday baked goodies recipes include Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies, Luxury Fruitcake Cupcakes, Eggnog Sandwich Cookies, as well as bonus sections on cake pop and cupcake decorating ideas and essential techniques, gifting, packaging and display tips, and even bonus recipes of eggnog and Pâte à Tartiner au Chocolat et Noisette (homemade Nutella).

The Eggnog Sandwich Cookies are basically buttery nutmeg-flavoured shortbread cookies sandwiched with a creamy filling of rum and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla.
We got to taste the cookie in class. The shortbread was almost melt in the mouth and good to eat even on its own. I thought the filling was a tad sweet, would probably reduce the amount of sugar if I were to attempt this. Or probably just skip the filling altogether.

The Fruitcake cupcake was a luxe version of a fruitcake, heavily ladened with dried figs, dates, apricots and hazelnuts. In fact, there were more fruits and nuts than the batter! The result was a very densed and moist cupcake. I thought it was a little too heavy on the palate, would probably omit the dried figs or cut down amount of fruits and nuts.

The cupcake would make a lovely holiday gift, with loads of decorating options. How about topping with some vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and a star moulded from candy melt.
Or pretty snowflakes made from rolled fondant, and tinted with luster dust and crunchy pearls.
I'm sure recipients of these cupcakes won't bear to eat them. Too pretty to eat!
Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies, rich chocolatey tender and cake-like cookies sandwiched with peppermint filling. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the texture of the cake nor peppermint taste...
But oh, these cupcake toppers are too cute and irresistible! I was tempted to buy them, but I have yet to decide on what to bake for my holiday gifts.

And now, for the star of the show! The cake pops! It's basically crumbled chocolate cake mixed with chocolate cream cheese frosting, rolled into balls, inserted with lollipop sticks, coated with Wilton Candy Melts and then decorated with candy melt moulded figurines or other sprinkles.

Joycelyn showed us each step meticuously, to ensure that the process would be smooth and less painful :p Well, it looked easy but needed lots of planning, and patience. One important tip was the handling of the candy melts which was the toughest part (I knew it!!!). The key was to microwave the candy melts and mixed with a little Crisco (veg shortening), to achieve the dipping consistency. Ahhhh! Now I know! Why can't Wilton invent something easier to handle?

Anyways, the cake pops that Joycelyn made were so pretty to look at. Each piece was an art.

One big rose or three small roses? These roses were made from candy melts too.

How about a Christmas Tree Cake pop?
My favourite among all. Tiffany-coloured cake pop with white snowflake and dusted with some luster dust.

I was almost sure that I'm going to make cake pops as holiday gifts to my friends... well, hmmm... ok, under serious consideration.
Each participant brought home a Fruitcake cupcake as well as a cake pop =D I really think that the cake pop makes a nice gift, just one pop per person would do, coz the cake was really really really sweet and one bite itself would send one on a sugar high already.

I only took a bite and dear son saw it and literally snatched the lolly away from me, and refused to return it. Then he savoured it slowly and happily of course. Hmmm... I'm tempted to try making this but let's see if we could reduce the amount of sugar in the cake and frosting, since the candy melt coating is sweet as it is already. Ok, this shall be my mission for the holiday gifts. Wish me luck!


  1. Hi there! May I know where Jocelyn got her moulds for those candy melt moulded figurines, roses and snowflake? THANKS IN ADVANCE (: --Agnes

  2. Hi Agnes,
    I think you can try Bake It Yourself http://b-i-y.com/ at Bukit Timah Rd, or Sun Lik http://sunliktrading.com/ at Seah Street.