09. 05. 2014

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You’re going to think this is totally crazy, and judging by what countless people have told me over the years: you’re right.

My favorite part about chocolate candies is the fruit flavoring on the inside. Scandal!

I remember visiting Las Vegas as a wee little robot and touring Ethel M Chocolates. I gave all of my attention to the orange chocolates, and would immediately discard the chocolate and focus on the cream center.

Come at me, human! I was young and my computer brain was still booting up. But you can relate just a little bit, right? Those cream centers are good, and you know it.

It’s time to give those cream centers a bigger starring role. Enter: buttercream.

I think I can buttercream all the things. Give me any ingredient, any flavor, and I’ll turn it into a buttercream. Do you want to go out for a fancy steak dinner but can’t afford it? Let me make you some steak and loaded baked potato buttercream.

I’m mostly joking.

Cherry Chocolates Cupcakes | The Baking Robot

The secret to a buttercream that tastes exactly like the cream centers in chocolates isn’t much of a secret; it’s using actual cream centers. I used Chocoley’s Maraschino Cherry Cream Center and it turned out divine, like eating a cherry chocolate but much, much bigger.

I’ll end this post with a confession. I made this buttercream a week before I piped it onto the cupcakes. A week! I didn’t even know buttercream could last that long. I stored it on my kitchen counter in a plastic container. And the crazy thing is that it tasted even better a week later. The flavors developed and married and great little party together. So if you think you might be pressed for time, don’t hesitate to make the buttercream ahead! Just make sure to store it in a sealed container in a dry place.

As for the cupcakes, choose your favorite recipe. I used a devil’s food cake mix, but feel free to try anything you like!

Cherry Chocolates Cupcakes | The Baking Robot

Cherry Chocolates Cupcakes
makes 12

12 chocolate cupcakes, baked and cooled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup Chocoley Maraschino Cherry Cream Center
Chocoley Drizzle & Design Chocolate in Dark Chocolate

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add salt and vanilla extract. Stir in Maraschino Cherry Cream Center until completely incorporated into the buttercream. Using this frosting heavily (like in the photos) you’ll be able to frost 12 cupcakes.

2. Following the instructions on the package, melt the Drizzle & Design Chocolate. I squeezed the chocolate directly on the top of the frosting and let the chocolate flow down to create a covered effect, but you can also create swirls or stripes for a more delicate look.

06. 05. 2014

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Cake Popsicles | TheBakingRobot.com

If you like food (hi!) – especially making food (hi friend!) – especially especially baking – (hi best friend!) – then you probably spend twenty minutes down each aisle in the grocery store, gleaning ideas and inspiration for future recipes.

That’s not how I came up with this one. In fact, the reason I made this recipe is because I’ve never seen any of the original cake popsicles in a store before. Turns out humans and robots alike always want what they can’t have.

Cake Popsicles | TheBakingRobot.com

I stumbled upon this review of Good Humor Birthday Cake Ice Cream Bars. And, like, what? This is amazing, why haven’t I ever seen it before? No matter! I’ll make my own, and tailor it to exactly my taste and preferences. Which… for the most part… would be birthday cake.

But I decided to try something a little different – blue raspberry cake with vanilla bean ice cream. And that’s the beauty of this recipe: you can use ANY flavors that you want! Chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream, carrot cake with butter pecan ice cream, yellow cake with chocolate chip ice cream, it’s endless!

Cake Popsicles | TheBakingRobot.com

The original Good Humor bars are coated with rainbow crunchies. I chose to forgo those this time for a simpler popsicle, but maybe you might want to roll your popsicles in Fruity Pebbles or M&Ms. No judgment here.

Cake Popsicles | TheBakingRobot.com

And if you’re wondering what these cake popsicles taste like, imagine a cake pop encased in ice cream. Oh yeah. We’re going there.

Make sure to check out Sucre Shop for some adorable popsicle sticks. Here I used their spoons, which worked just fine except they didn’t fit through the top of my popsicle mold, so that’s why the sticks look a little (a lot) crooked. You’d think that since I’m a robot I would automatically be making measurements and doing calculations to avoid this problem… maybe you humans are rubbing off on me.

Cake Popsicles | TheBakingRobot.com

Cake Popsicles
makes 16 popsicles

1 box (15.25 oz) cake mix, any flavor (I used Pillsbury Blue Raspberry)
4 tbsp frosting, canned or homemade (I used Pillsbury Blue Raspberry)
1-1/2 quart ice cream (I used vanilla bean)
popsicle sticks
popsicle mold

1. Bake cake mix according to box instructions. Let cool completely, then crumble into little pieces using your hands. Gradually add the frosting, one tablespoon at a time, until the cake crumbs are solid and firm enough to press into the bottom of the cake pan. You might not need the full 4 tablespoons. (It’s like making cake pops.) Freeze the mixture for about ten minutes.

2. Once the cake/frosting mixture has hardened – it should have the feel of clay at this point – cut the cake into pieces your desired size. I ended up with about 16 equal-sized rectangles. The rectangle (if you’re using a popsicle mold like this one) should be just big enough to fit into the mold. Take a popsicle stick and insert it into the cake rectangle. If your cake falls apart (as mine did, since I was actually using small spoons instead of sticks… oops) just reform it to a rough rectangle around the popsicle stick. You’ll have a chance to reshape it to the right size later.

3. Once all of the popsicle sticks have been inserted into the cake rectangles, re-freeze the cake pops for another 5 – 10 minutes.

4. While the cake pops are in the freezer, melt the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream from its container and into a microwave-safe bowl. (It’s okay to work in batches!) Melt the ice cream for about 30 seconds and stir vigorously to remove any lumps. The ice cream should still be thick but also pourable. Bad descriptor, but: kind of like melt-y soft serve.

5. Fill your popsicle mold about 1/2 full with ice cream. Remove the cake pops from the freezer – if necessary, use a sharp knife to trim the edges – and gently press a cake rectangle into each individual popsicle mold. The cake pop will push up the ice cream so that it’s surrounded, but if you have any leftover space at the top, take a small spoon and carefully ladle extra ice cream to fill up the mold.

6. Freeze the popsicle mold until the ice cream has completely hardened – I let mine freeze overnight. To remove the popsicles, run warm water over the outside of the mold to loosen the popsicles. They should pop right out! Enjoy!

02. 05. 2014

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Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Just because I’m a robot who technically can’t feel temperatures doesn’t mean this lack of summer weather isn’t getting me down. From snow in the middle of April to the low temps now that it’s May, I’m really wishing for sunshine.

(They say, “be the change you wish to see in the world,” which is why I’ve taken to painting my metal outsides bright yellow.)

Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

So I’ll have the next best thing: summer desserts. Or desserts that remind me of summer, anyway.

Chocoley has sent me a few of their products to mess around with – they didn’t directly say “please make it summer, Cybidon” but I read between the lines. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with their chocolate. It is SO easy to use and the quality is superb. I definitely recommend their chocolate, which comes with instructions on how to properly use it, and I’ll be using it from here on out.

Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Because popsicle sticks make everything more adorable – lollipops, cake pops, gearbox pops – naturally I had to turn these into cherry pops. And since I had used a cherry pitter for easy pitting, it was also easier to dip the cherries into the chocolate. However, you can also use a bobby pin to pit the cherries from the bottom, leaving the stem intact, and proceed with the recipe. Or if it doesn’t bother you, leave the pits in! Just be sure to not, you know, eat them. If you’re a robot like me, that shouldn’t be an issue. Eternal sigh.

Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

I should also note that I did use maraschino cherries at first, but they were too sweet. The tartness of fresh cherries balanced really well with the sweetness of the key lime cream center, and it all came together in a summer explosion. With bonus chocolate.

Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Cherry Limeade Chocolate Pops

fresh cherries
Chocoley Key Lime Cream Center
Chocoley Bada Bing Bada Boom Dipping & Coating Formula – Dark
cornstarch (to prevent the cream center from sticking to your hands)
small popsicle sticks (I used 2.5” sticks)
parchment paper

1. Pit the cherries. Lightly coat your hands with cornstarch and pinch off a small amount of Key Lime Cream Center. Roll the cream into a ball, and then flatten in the palm of your hand. Gently place a cherry in the center and wrap the cream around the cherry, making sure to leave one of the holes exposed. To make the cream smooth, carefully roll the cherry between your palms. Line a plate with parchment paper and place the cherries right side up. Once all of your cherries are covered, set the plate in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.

2. Melt the Chocoley dipping chocolate according to the included instructions. I microwaved the chocolate in a small bowl at 10-second intervals, stirring in between. It took less than a minute for all of the chocolate to melt.

3. Remove the key lime-covered cherries from the freezer. Dip the ends of the popsicle sticks into the chocolate, and insert it into the hole on the top of the cherries. Hold the popsicle in place for a few seconds before setting the cherry back down on the parchment paper. Once all of the cherries have popsicle sticks, place the plate back into the freezer for 3 – 5 minutes.

4. Once the chocolate adhering the popsicle sticks to the cherries have dried completely, dip the whole cherry into the melted chocolate and allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Set the dipped cherry upright on the parchment paper, again holding in place for a few seconds to steady it. The chocolate won’t take long to set up at all, but feel free to freeze the chocolate covered cherries for 3 – 5 minutes until they are completely hardened.

5. Keep the cherries stored in a cool, dry place.

09. 02. 2014

Cereal Fudge | TheBakingRobot.com

Wow. A new recipe from your favorite baking robot. What’s that? I’m not your favorite baking robot? I’m sorry, there’s ANOTHER baking robot somewhere out there? I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t allow that. Here’s a fudge recipe to sway your opinion in my favor.

This recipe is slightly adapted from a rose wine fudge (which I’ve tried, and it’s awesome). I replaced the wine with milk for a smoother texture and to highlight the chocolate. Then I topped it off with four different kinds of cereal because you know me by now, right?

I mean: Cap’n Crunch Treats. Cap’n Crunch Cupcakes. Lucky Charms Ice Cream. Count Chocula Donuts. Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops.

Actually, this is the third recipe in a row with cereal. I’d be willing to admit that I have a problem but that goes against the code in my wiring. It’s a glitch.

Cereal Fudge | TheBakingRobot.com

Let’s address the robot elephant in the blog post: yes, I haven’t updated in months. Yes, I said I was going to be better about updating. Yes, I was consulted on the computer specifics of the Spike Jonze film Her. Humans make excuses; robots don’t. Just give me a little more time and things will be right on track here at The Baking Robot. [In the meantime, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the blog.] 

Cereal Fudge | TheBakingRobot.com

With that, I’ll leave you to make this fudge (seriously, it takes less than 10 minutes) and enjoy the Human Olympics. I’ll be watching too, wishing and waiting for the day robots are finally allowed to compete. Until then, fudge it is.

Cereal Fudge | TheBakingRobot.com

Cereal Fudge
adapted from Cooks.com

1 lb powdered sugar*
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
11.5 oz (1 bag) chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
any cereal of your choice (I used Cheerios, Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs)

1. In a large bowl, use either the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer to cream together powdered sugar and milk. Mix thoroughly until a very thick glaze has formed.

2. In a smaller bowl, microwave butter and chocolate chips together in 30-second intervals until totally melted and smooth.

3. Replace the whisk attachment on the mixer with the paddle attachment. Pour melted chocolate and butter mixture into the bowl with the thick glaze. Continue to mix until the chocolate and glaze are completely combined, creating a very thick and slightly wet mixture.

4. In an 8.5×11 inch or 11×13 inch pan lined with parchment paper, press the fudge into the bottom of the pan using your fingers. Immediately top with cereal. Cover the pan and let sit in the refrigerator for a half-hour to an hour. The cereal will grow stale so make sure to serve immediately.

*Normally for this recipe, I weigh my powdered sugar on a scale. However, this time I eyeballed half of a 2-pound bag of powdered sugar. You can also use about 4 cups of unsifted powdered sugar here.

07. 10. 2013

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Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Apparently pudding pops were a staple in many human childhoods. Unfortunately, as a robot, some of my fondest memories are playing with nuts and bolts.

It’s really not as exciting as it sounds. (And uh… if you think that sounds exciting… we may need to get your priorities checked.)

Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Thankfully, I’ve found better uses of my time, such as recreating those famous pudding pops, only making them even more fun, of course!

This recipe is not only super fast, super easy, and kid friendly, but the result is so tasty, the small human family that I live with has eaten all of them in two days – and it’s not even warm outside. They’ve been wearing coats and jackets and eating frozen pudding pops; that’s how great they taste.

Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

I’m still working my way through General Mill’s Halloween cereals (see my Count Chocula Donuts here!) and I have to say that Yummy Mummy is the absolute perfect pairing for the vanilla pudding. It’s like eating frozen creamsicle cereal. Oh, (hu)man. It’s so good.

Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

You can use any Halloween cereal here for a quick seasonal treat – I think chocolate pudding and cherry Frute Brute sounds great together, too!

Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops from TheBakingRobot.com

Yummy Mummy Pudding Pops
makes about 17 pops
adapted slightly from Kraft

1 package (3.9 oz) vanilla Jell-O instant pudding
2 cups milk
1 package (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
3 cups Yummy Mummy cereal
small paper cups (I used Dixie)
popsicle sticks

1. In a large bowl, combine Jell-O and milk together, stirring for about two minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Fold in the thawed Cool Whip. Stir in the Yummy Mummy cereal.

2. Fill paper cups 2/3 of the way full. Insert a popsicle stick right into the middle of the cup. Freeze for about four hours.

3. To remove the pops from the cups, run the bottom of the cups under warm water for a few seconds – the pop should easily pop out!

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