I’m a foodie. I love the art of presentation, the taste and smell.
But the story behind a divine dessert is what grabs my heart. Case in point, in prepping for today’s blog about my Gluten-Free Cointreau Cake Pops, curiosity prompted me to research the providers of the star components: Cointreau and Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Classic Cake Mix.
Cointreau seems to have been destined for divine desserts from the start. In 1875 Edouard Cointreau not only invented the lovely blend and balance of sweet and tart orange liqueur, he also created the elegant bottle (which bares his signature.) His artistry and craft were not an accident. He hailed from a family of master confectioners.
Other Cointreau fun facts: Both Pierrot and James Bond have been poster boys for the liqueur.
Pierrot - as theatre buffs may recognize - is the character so often performed in pantomime and was popular in Paris’ Commedia dell’Arte theatre performances. Pierrot pined for Columbine who often broke his heart by running to Harlequin. The posters featuring the forlorn clown appeared at the turn of the century.
Pierrot (Click here for the Photo Credit)
By the 1960s instead of the heartbroken – Mr. Heartbreaker – super-spy 007 James Bond was touting Cointreau.
Around the same time as suave Bond was selling the French liqueur, the grandparents of Pamela, the current queen of gluten-free cake mixes, were selling wheat-free baked goods in San Francisco. However, the cookies and cakes sold in the grandparents’ bakery were not quite as delicious as the recipes Pamela developed as an adult. To quote Pamela, as a school child, “No one wanted to trade food with me.”
However, it motivated her to create the fabulous products she sells today. I suspect the rejections on the playground for Pamela have turned into gratitude for her booming gluten-free baking business.
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Cointreau with Espresso Buttercream Cake Pops
Here’s What You’ll Need for the Cake Pops:
1 package Pamela’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Classic Cake Mix
(or Betty Crocker of Duncan Hines White Cake if you want a more economical and traditional cake)
3 to 4 Eggs
6-inch Cookie Sticks
Styrofoam Flower Bases (You can get these at a crafts store like Michaels)
The Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Cointreau Cake Pops
Substituting Cointreau for water, follow the instructions on the cake mix package.
Pour into cake pop molds (I purchased the Nordic Ware tins from Sur La Table.)
And if using Nordic Ware, make sure your oven temp reads 325 degrees. Bake for about 18 minutes - the same time as suggested for cupcakes.
I’ve made cake pops by first crumbling up a sheet cake and then molding cake pop circles with frosting. However, a cake pop maker saves you the step. And extra calories.
After your cake pops have cooled, pop them into the freezer. After 30 minutes have passed, carefully insert the cookies sticks into the cake circles. Whilst your cake pops are firming up in the freezer…
Remember to pre-stab your Styrofoam board so you'll have a place for your cake pops.
Here’s What You’ll Need for the Espresso Buttercream:
1 cup Non-Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening
(or Crisco if want to save a few dollars)
4 cups sifted Powdered Sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of Meringue Powder
5 ½ tablespoons of (cooled) Espresso
1 teaspoon of Coffee Extract
Mix your shortening, espresso and extract until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the sugar and meringue powder. Keep beating until completely mixed.
Before you start frosting, however, stab holes in your Styrofoam base so you’ll have somewhere to stick the cake pops, which do need to stay vertical. And back into the freezer. (I’m still learning to master the rhythms of this dance.) As the saying goes, “Timing is everything.” And adages stick around because they’re true, right?
Gluten-Free Cointreau Cake Pops with Espresso Buttercream and Pink Pearls.
And the “funnest” part of all – besides the tasting – are the pretty decorations.
Wishing you a week of rich rewards for your curiosities.
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
Other Ninja Baker Recipes Available at the Following Sites:
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