Friday, 28 June 2013

Food from Fiction: Chronicles of Narnia Cake Pops

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops
Back row: Hogglestock the hedgehog, Jewel the Unicorn, Mr Beaver, Reepicheep the Mouse
Front row: Aslan, Mr Tumnus, Mrs Beaver

When I saw a competition called "Are you a Narnia cooking star?" on Chez Maximka, I knew I wanted to enter. I love the Chronicles of Narnia, and this was a competition offering the chance to appear in the Official Narnia Cookbook ebook. I've previously made Turkish Delight, inspired by the sweets the evil queen gives to Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I knew this time I had to go one better. The competition suggested that I could be inspired by the food, events or even characters in the CS Lewis books. I'd recently taken a class to learn how to make cake pops and decided that what I wanted to do was make cake pops representing several of the talking animals in the Chronicles of Narnia.

To make cake pops, you need to start with cake crumbs. You can either bake a plain sponge cake, let it go cold then crumble it up, or do what I did and purchase a ready made cake.

Crumble the cake into a bowl

Mix with vanilla buttercream - either make your own or Betty Crocker's ready made buttercream works really well here. You need about an 80/20 ratio of cake to buttercream.

Really knead it in with your hands until you get a pliable dough.

Roll into evenly sized balls, then put in the freezer for 20 minutes to allow them to firm up.

To dip the cake pops, Candy Melts are best as they come in every colour imaginable (I like the Wilton brand). They are easier to get hold of than they used to be, but I only came across the competition with a few days before the deadline and didn't think I would have time to order any online, and couldn't get to any of the bigger stores that stock them. If you're in the same position, or you don't want to spend the money on candy melts, you can use chocolate. I was lucky because the only colours I needed for my cake pops were white and brown.

You need to dip the cake pops completely so the best way to melt your chocolate or candy melts is in a deep narrow bowl - a mug is ideal. Here is a mug full of white chocolate:

When it melted, it only filled about half the mug, but this was still enough.

Take the cake pops out of the freezer, and dip the end of a cake pop stick (or lolly stick) into the melted chocolate, then insert into the cake pop until it goes about two thirds of the way in. Dunk the cake pop in one smooth action in the melted chocolate, then hold at a 45 degree angle and rotate, tapping gently, to allow the excess to run off.

To let the cake pops dry you need to stand them up - you can buy proper stands or you can also use a block of polystyrene or a cake dummy with holes in it.

I added a little sunflower gel food colouring to the white chocolate after I had dipped two cake pops, as I wanted one that was more orange in colour.

I then melted some chocolate candy melts and added a few drops of oil to make it a pouring consistency.

I dipped the rest of the candy melts in the chocolate. The one on the right was an experiment where I drizzled chocolate over the sunflower coloured base, but I didn't use this one in the end.

I shaped one cake pop so it was slightly more oval as this was going to be a horse's head.

Or rather, a unicorn's head... this is Jewel the Unicorn from The Last Battle. I made a horn from white sugarpaste and also made ears, eyes, nostrils and a mouth from white and black sugarpaste. I stuck them on either while the coating of the cake pop was still wet, or used a little melted chocolate on the end of a cocktail stick.

unicorn cake pop

 Next I decided to make Mr and Mrs Beaver, who take the Pevensie children to Aslan in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I had a packet of mini chocolate biscuit sprinkles and used two larger ones for the ears and a smaller one for the nose. I made the teeth and eyes from sugarpaste.

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops

I did the same for Mrs Beaver, but gave her a couple of ribbons in her hair.

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops

 Next I made Aslan. I'm not hugely happy with the way this one turned out but at least it does look like a lion. I used the cake pop I had dipped in sunflower coloured white chocolate and made tiny sausage shapes from yellow sugarpaste which I stuck all around his head to make the mane. I piped the whiskers and eyes with a small tube of Dr. Oetker writing icing.

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops

Hogglestock is a talking hedgehog who features in Prince Caspian. I was debating whether to pipe spikes onto the body then decided to use the same chocolate biscuit sprinkles I had used for the beavers' noses. While this cake pop was still wet, I plunged it straight into the bag of sprinkles.

I then gave him ears, eyes and a nose from sugarpaste. I'm not sure how much this one looks like a hedgehog...

This one I am a lot more pleased with. Say hello to Mr Tumnus the faun! I admit to using the character from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe film played by James McAvoy as my inspiration here.

Chronicles of Narnia cake pops

Do you see the resemblance? OK maybe not that much....

I made the nose and eyes from sugarpaste, and used a cocktail stick dipped in the melted chocolate candy melt to draw on the hair and beard. The ears are leftover crumbs of cake, as the topping of the cake I used was the right sort of brown colour.

 Finally I made Reepicheep the Mouse, from Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I found this one quite hard as the mouse didn't have that many obvious features. I used an upside down mini candy heart for the nose, which I think worked quite well, which I mounted on a circle of sugarpaste. I used the piping tube again for the whiskers. Reepicheep has two pink feathers in his hair; I didn't know how to go about this so I broke a strawberry button (like a chocolate button) in half and stuck these on his head.

Here are my Chronicles of Narnia cake pops all together.

To enter the competition, upload what you have made to this Facebook page before 1st July. Wish me luck!

Cake pops are perfect for a picnic as they are easy to eat and great fun for kids, so I am sending these to Four Seasons Food, the new blogging challenge hosted by Anneli of Delicieux and Louisa of Chez Foti, as their theme this month is picnic food.


  1. Haha, brilliant. They did make me smile.

    I didn't have much luck with cake pops, they kept falling of the sticks. Any tips?

    1. I'd tried to make them a couple of times before and failed miserably, then I did a class at the Make Lounge in north London and seem to have got the hang of it! If you didn't see the post I did about that class, there are a lot of useful tips in it - what I think made the difference to mine was putting the cake pops in the freezer for 20 minutes before I put them on the sticks.

  2. How did I miss this post before? Love your cake pops, they are darn cute! And I bet they are fun to make too.
    Thank you for the mention! :)


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