Monthly Archives: December 2010

My Mission – Minnie Mouse Cake Pops – Birthday Gift

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Not as easy as they look!

Cute and tasty!

I made it my mission to make some Minnie mouse cake pops. However, I didn’t anticipate this to be as frustrating as it was. With the overall waiting for the cake to cook, fair enough, but there was soooo much waiting for things to cool, set or cook. I was getting rather tired of doing them.

I followed instructions from another website that sounded like they had it in the bag. I started out with 20 cake pops. After lots of hassle with them staying on the stick I went through several techniques in coating these little babies in chocolate. I knew I couldn’t just dunk and pull it out all fresh-as-you-like. Cause the weight of the chocolate would rip the cake ball apart and stay put in your nice bowl of melted chocolate.

In the end the best technique I found was to use a heat proof silicone pastry brush and slowly coat the balls supporting the ball underneath with your hand so it didn’t shift down the stick. Place on its head on grease proof paper and don’t move it until it’s set. You won’t need to refrigerate for it to set. Plus it attracts condensation if you do.

Once I had a thin layer on and it had set and could be peeled from the paper. I was able to coat allot easier due to the chocolate acting like glue and it (mostly) stayed put. Your next layer of chocolate should include placing the ears on. I used chocolate buttons. Don’t bother trimming the side off like some websites tell you. This only inhibits the attaching part, which frankly is quite important! =D Push the ears in after the second coat of chocolate, as this will soften the previous layer just enough to help with that. Otherwise they just break up! These are then to be stood up on their sticks to set, a block of Styrofoam is useful here. A useful tip I did pick up is to make use of a cocktail stick. Just to pick define areas like the ears and to move the chocolate and to remove any excess. I coated mine until I was happy with them. Or at least, not so disappointed!

You only need to make them around 1 inch diameter at first, as the chocolate layers bulk them out. I was worried I wouldn’t get them inside the cellophane bags I had that were 3.5″x5″ I bought from Ebay. I chose 4.5″ lolly sticks or the plastic variety, if they don’t come with, you will need some plastic coated wires too to seal them. On my travels around my local town of Cannock, I picked up some lovely ribbon the I thought was just right, at 20p a meter I wasn’t complaining!

I just cut the ribbon a few inches long and tied once tightly. You could, with thinner ribbon tie a bow. But at this point in the baking and making process, I was ready to give up altogether. In the end, I managed to salvage 11 decent looking Minnie silhouettes. They didn’t taste bad at all either. My 2.5yr old son was happy to eat any disaster pops. Although to be fair they were very rich, so don’t worry if you don’t make a lot. I probably wouldn’t eat more than one at a time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Overall, I’m happy I gave it a go, but I won’t be in a hurry to try this again. Maybe plain round ones with decoration on top to disguise the dodgy coating of chocolate. Let me know if you have tried this and how it worked out.

Knitted Cowl / Buttoned Scarf – How to – using super chunky wool

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Knitted Gifts Fast

Fast knits!

This super chunky knitted scarf took less than a day start to finish. Including figuring the style and making the buttons. The pattern was one I thought of that would work best for this project.

You can use any alternatives but these are what I used and would bode best for this pattern. Plus the quality of the yarn speaks volumes on this project. Ideal as a winter time gift.

Dimensions 7.5″ x 28″

What you need
1 x ball of  Sirdar Denim Ultra Wool (super chunky)
8mm Knitting Needles
3 x 15-18mm Odd but similar sized buttons with preferably 4 sewing holes.
Small piece of colour coordinating Wool Felt to cover buttons
Needle and thread

Directions
Using the 8mm knitting needles
Cast on 18 sts

(Rib pattern row)
[Row 1 -K2, P2 until last 2 stitches, K2]
[Row 2 -P2, K2 until last 2 stitches, P2]
knit Row 2 of rib pattern
knit Row 1 of rib pattern

(Body of scarf)
(right side row)Knit row
Purl row
P2, K14, P2
K2, P14, K2

Continue scarf body pattern until you reach 26″ ending on a wrong side

Knit Row 2 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 2 of rib pattern

Cast off and tie in any ends not weaved in.

How it's fastened

The buttons were made using a simple technique. With leftover yarn from the scarf. There should be more than enough if you have good tension.

Cut 3 lengths of yarn at around 8″
3 x 2″ diameter felt circles, or big enough to cover the buttons as pictured.

Tie knots in the centre to make a bobble. Split the yarn so you have 4 tails (see picture below) and thread each through the 4 eyes of the button.

Using small stitches, make a running stitch around circles of felt. Do not knot yet.

Pull slightly on the thread so that it creates a slight dome shape. Place in the prepared knotted wool and button. Pull the thread and make sure the thread covers the back of the button centrally. Tie off the thread after sewing over the felt and yarn to secure the back, as these will be pulled at when used.

Using the picture to help you with placement, use the tails of the buttons to tie onto the rib of the scarf. Making sure they line up with the natural holes created by your stitches.

The three stages of covering the buttons

Threading Technique

Finishing the button