(Trying this again as photos didn’t post the first time…)
Since I received quite a few questions on FB and twitter on how I created some of my shark party goodies, I figured I would write up a few tips for anyone who is curious. (You can see the original post with pictures of the finished projects here.)
Anatomy of a shark cake pop…
(Photo courtesy of Mandy)
The shark fin cake pops I made were pretty basic cake pops. I made a strawberry cake and mixed it with cream cheese frosting and rolled into balls. I wanted it to look like the dorsal fin was actually coming out of the water so I applied the “grey” first and then the blue second so the blue would overlap the grey. The biggest problem I had with this was that I attempted to make a grey color by mixing the candy melts with black food coloring which was recommended on the package. The black, no matter how much color I added, just turned purple. I tried this a couple times and could only create many shades of purple. The other problem was that when I added the food coloring to the candy melts and stirred, the melts hardened up pretty fast and didn’t leave a smooth texture for dipping. I pretty much had to “paint” the grey/purple color on as it was just too thick. I had read up on tips for mixing colors with candy melts online and read that you should use gel coloring and not liquid which was exactly what I used. Not sure what went wrong on this. Definitely will need more practice. As for the dorsal fin on these cake pops, I made them out of broken Vanilla Wafer cookies.
These were pretty easy as far as ingredients and such go, just powder sugar donuts and fruit roll-ups! But putting them together was a bit trickier than I thought they would be. Fruit roll-ups are sticky! How do kids even eat these? How did I ever eat these?? What I did with these was unrolled the fruit roll-up as best as I could, but left the plastic backing on. Then cut into equal strips. You don’t want to take the backing off until you are ready as once you set these strips down, they will stick to anything! When you are ready, hold the donut in one hand and using both hands, peal a strip of backing off and wrap around your donut. Continue with all strips, but do not set your donut down! If you set that donut down, it will stick to the table or the plate or whatever. Hold onto your donut until you are ready to put it on the final tray. Maybe this just happens with this brand of roll-ups? No idea. But not only is this a sticky project, but with all that sugar, its a bit messy too.
“Chum” shooters or Jello “chum” shots…
I actually received the most questions on my Jello shots. They were a lot of fun and super easy to make. I used vodka, frozen strawberry slices and Jello. Simple. I’m sure you could use other types of berries or even fresh fruit with these, but I knew I would get the texture and look I wanted using frozen strawberry slices. They ended up working perfectly for “chum”. The only thing I would change is trying to find frozen strawberry slices that aren’t pre-sweetened with sugar or using sugar-free Jello in the future as these turned out quite sweet. I strained them first to get rid of the extra juice, but probably could have even rinsed them. You could also change the alcohol you use to get a different flavor. I’ve heard peach schnapps goes well with strawberry Jello for shots.
Jello came to the rescue again when making these. If you Google “Jello pretzel salad” or “Jello pretzel dessert” you will find a popular recipe which was the basis for this. I’ve tried making this recipe before, but wasn’t too fond of the middle layer of cream cheese and cool whip. It’s too mushy for my taste and I wanted something a bit more solid. So what I did was mix up a no-bake cheesecake and layered that on top of the pretzel bottom. (I set the graham cracker bits that came with it aside and ended up using those on my cupcakes and for the “sand” that was in the pails holding the cake pops.) Then instead of making up strawberry Jello like the recipe calls for, I used blue Jello. I let this set up in the fridge for awhile so that when I put it on top of the cheesecake layer, it was starting to get a little solid and when I spread it out, it sort of looked like waves. Then I just added some small gummy sharks.
Nothing really special about these, but I found them at the grocery store and thought they rocked. ;-)
(Stay tuned for my final Shark Week party post with the last of my photos…)