Children’s birthday parties are fun to plan, but often result in panic-stricken midnight baking sessions trying to translate your vision of the perfect cake into reality. It all looked so blinking easy on that website…
Last year I wasted a lot of time and stress trying to make 35 Death Star cake pops for Sam’s 6th birthday party, so i’d thoroughly learnt my lesson this time around. I’d had far more success with the cute little reindeer marshmallow pops I made for Parentdish, so I thought I’d make a jolly birthday version for the boys’ party bags.
And instead of attempting a birthday cake that had to look like a character from Star Wars, I opted for my classic chocolate fudge cake studded with brightly coloured chocolate M&Ms (Smarties are a bit of a washout these days). Sam was delighted and my blood pressure remained low.
It’s only taken me 7 years to figure out this whole birthday party business, and I’m chuffed to bits with how it went at the weekend. A handful of local friends, home made pizza, Gangnam Style musical statues, cake and then a hop onto the tube to the Science Museum IMAX to see a 3D film about underwater dinosaurs. A lot less stressful than a 30 strong band of kids to feed and entertain at an expensive venue. I actually enjoyed Sam’s party this year, previously i’ve not had the chance to take any of it in.
The marshmallow pops weren’t without their stresses mind you – I started out with this cool neon coloured sugar sprinkles from Dr Oetker. However I made the mistake of just coating the top half of the marshmallows and the weight of the chocolate and sprinkles forced the marshmallows down the sticks as they were setting. Not a good look.
Luckily all I needed to do was buy another packet of 65 pence marshmallows rather than knocking up a fresh batch of fiddly fangled cake pops. I’m telling you, life really is too short for cake pop production.
And this time, I went for a thin but full coating of melted chocolate, and let as much of the coating run off as possible before letting them set. Bingo.
Birthday marshmallow pops
200g cooking chocolate
18 lollipop sticks
cake pop bags
1. Break the chocolate into chunks, pop into a microwavable bowl then heat on full power for one minute. Stir and blast for a further 10-20 seconds. Stir and repeat for 10-20 seconds until fully melted.
2. Push a stick into each marshmallow, being careful not to push it all the way in, but firmly enough so that they stay put. Push them all into a block of oasis covered with foil.
3. Take each marshmallow and swirl in the melted chocolate until completely coated. Swirl above the surface to let the excess chocolate run off. If necessary gently tap the stick on the side of the bowl to get the last few drops.
4. Arrange your sprinkles on the top and then place the marshmallow pop back into the oasis. Repeat until all your pops are coated and decorated and then put the block of pops into the fridge to set.
5. Once completely set cover with cellophane bags secured with ribbon.
I’ve fallen in love with Tesco Finest cooking chocolate… melts beautifully, coats the marshmallows really well and tastes excellent. I’m not normally a fan of anything Tesco, but this product is definitely an exception.
Sprinkles wise, the bolder the colour the better. I used Dr Oetker chocolate beans – which are like mini smarties but brighter. Their neon sugar is also fun.