"How do you get your cake pops so ROUND?!"
This is definitely the #1-asked-question when people see my work. A well-shaped sphere is the perfect blank canvas for the creative details you add later. Is it magic? Is it something only I can do? NO!!! It takes patience, attention to detail, and a certain amount of OCD, Type A, anal personality. Here are the key steps to follow:
1. Make sure your cake pop dough is the right consistency. I can't tell you how many problems this solves!! If it's too moist, it won't hold its shape. Too dry, and the ball cracks and is crumbly. Too lumpy, and it can't be finessed into that awesome perfect sphere you're looking for.
2. Shape the dough at room temperature. I find that if the dough is too cold when I shape it, it's more difficult to achieve that oh-so-elusive perfect sphere I'm looking for.
3. Shape the ball, then refine the shape, then refine it again. Don't spend too much time perfecting the shape before you put it on a stick... you can count on the ball deforming at least a little bit when you push it onto the stick. Once you've "glued" it onto the stick with chocolate, turn it to view from all angles and gently adjust any lumps and bumps you see. After the "glue" dries and before you dip the pop, give it one last check for funky bumps and cracks. BE CAREFUL! If you mess with it too much after the "glue" dries, you will dislodge it from the stick and end up with a headless pop when you dip it!
4. Ensure your dipping chocolate is the right consistency. Too thin and it will show every imperfection - not to mention that your target dough-to-chocolate ratio will be off. If your dipping chocolate is too thick or too cold, it may not smooth out adequately and you'll end up with surface lumps.
What other tips do you have? Questions? Be sure to post a comment and I'll do my best to answer!