I think that one of the reasons I like to work with sweets and desserts is that there seems to be almost an infinite amount of room for ‘cuteness’. Kind of how it’s a little difficult for me to make a pork roast with sweet potato mash look adorable, but making cupcakes that result in much cooing and fawning by recipients is second nature.
Things like fondant, sprinkles, ribbons, edible glitter, and frosting have as much place in a savoury set out as a fish does on the moon.
Mind you, I actually have a preference for savoury over sweet – make me choose between a bitchin’ chicken & vegetable curry or a chocolate mud cake and I’ll go for the curry 9 times out of 10, but when it comes to cooking, I delight in creations that would make a diabetic faint (or swoon?)
When one of the departments at work had a bake sale a few weeks ago, one of my friends from that department told me that she was making chocolate crackles with chocolate instead of copha and I just about collapsed.
Chocolate crackles were one of those bake sale treats from my childhood that were never passed up, but the only thing I hated about them was the horrid pool of solidified copha that always sat at the bottom of the cupcake liner after dripping off the actual rice puffs. However, to replace the copha with chocolate? GENIUS! I absolutely love when there is a simple solution to a problem, and this was indeed simple and elegant.
However, I’m never one to leave well enough alone, so as I was sitting at my desk and nibbling on my crackle piece by piece, I was suddenly struck by an idea. CHOCOLATE CRACKLE ON A STICK.
Move over, cake pop bitches, because my chocolate crack pops are now in town!
This is a chocolate crackle taken to a whole new level. Shaped into a lollipop, then covered with a thin layer of dulce de leche before then being coated with chocolate and dipped in sprinkles, it falls into the camp of “all food is better on a stick” camp (not one I always agree with, but it works here!) and makes for some absolutely adorable little sweets which can be individually wrapped and given away.
These are not healthy.
They’re not good for you.
They will result in a seriously crazy sugar rush then a plummeting crash.
They should definitely be avoided if you’re a sensible person.
But for everyone else? Go nuts
Chocolate Crack(le) Pops
4 cups cocoa pops (or any other chocolate-flavoured rice puffs)
100g unsalted butter
200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup dulce de leche or peanut butter
100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
Wooden skewers (lollipop sticks won’t be enough as these suckers are big and heavy)
dessicated coconut or rainbow sprinkles, to decorate
1. Melt together the butter, 200g milk chocolate, 100g dark chocolate and golden syrup in a large, heavy-bottomed pan till smooth, then quickly pour into a large bowl and mix in the cocoa pops till everything is well coated.
2. Press the mixture firmly into a lined baking dish with your hands (make sure to compact it as much as possible) then leave for 30 minutes to set. Once it has sufficiently set, cut it into rounds with a scone or cookie cutter. Once they have been cut, you can cover the top of each round with a layer of dulce de leche, peanut butter or any other spread that you like
3. Place the rounds onto a separate piece of non-stick baking paper and watch your family demolish the leftovers every time they walk by Take the opportunity to again firm up the rounds with your hand, carefully compressing them a bit more.
4. Dip the skewers into liquid glucose, then stick them inside each round. Now melt together 100g milk chocolate and 100g dark chocolate and dip each ‘lollipop’ in and allow the excess chocolate to drip off.
5. Once most of the excess chocolate has dripped off, dip the ‘lollipop’ in rainbow sprinkles or dessicated chocolate (or anything else you like!), then stick them into something like a styrofoam box and allow them to dry and set completely.
I can see these being perfect little treats to give out at parties or as part of a gift box, as once they’re individually wrapped in some cellophane and tied with a little ribbon, they become perfect for distribution!
They will also keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container stored in a cool, dark place so perfect if you want to prepare them before the rush leading up to a birthday or dinner party