There are times when all I can see is the shit in my life: I’m broke, I’ve gained ten pounds, I’m tired of my job, I don’t have a boyfriend, I haven’t been to Iceland, I don’t have an au pair, I can’t read Japanese, I’m going to die alone.
Et cetera. I wallow. I get mired in my own muck.
And then, thanks to the miracle of the Gregorian calendar, it’s a new year. I reflect upon the past, look to the future, and meditate upon the present and try to focus on what’s so good about it. It’s an excellent exercise. Please remind me to do it more than once per annum.
I’m reminded that the core of my life is essentially a sweet one, in spite of its sometimes shitty appearance. I may not have an au pair, but I do have remarkable friends, a loving family, good health, a roof over my head, and more than enough food to eat (see: gained ten pounds). And that job I’m tired of? It’s the best restaurant gig in town filled with people I care about, and a management staff who is miraculously supportive of my writing career, such as it is.
It may not be an ideal life. It might not be all that I want it to be. Overall, however, it ain’t bad.
To put things in vaguely Chinese terms, I know I haven’t finished with the Dragons of 4709. I’m sure I’ll be dealing with them again in the coming year. But I am so ready to slough off my dead scales and prepare my new skin for The Year of The Snake that I could just spit. Like a cobra or some other thing that looks vaguely like a snake and is prone to expectorating.
Life isn’t all good, nor should anyone expect it to be. But it isn’t all bad, either. Whatever comes your way this year, be prepared to take the shitty along with the sweet.
And vice versa.
Nothing (to me) says shitty and sweet more than a cake pop with a fecal motif. Cake pops on their own are far too sugary and cute for my taste. To offset these qualities, I simply introduced something delightfully uncomfortable to the mix. Because life needs balance. And fiber.
Makes: A Shitload of Cake Poops**
I’m not going into “How to make cake” and “How to make frosting” for these treats. You’re smart enough to figure these things out for yourself. If you are not smart enough, or are just too tired to do so, go to this place, or this place, or this place for help.
• Cake, either yellow or chocolate. Although carrot cake would be most intriguing, texturally speaking.
• Frosting: please use chocolate frosting for maximum effect.
• 2 bags (24 ounces) of white chocolate chips, morsels, or what have you.
• A bag of pop sticks
• Candy corn, sesame seeds, etc. for garnish (optional)
• A deep container, such as a champagne bucket, which adds a bit of much-needed elegance.
• A large bag of kitty litter.
1. In a large bowl, destroy the cake until it is a mass of fine crumbs. Mix in about one cup of chocolate frosting and combine with clean hands (You may use a spatula, if you’re squeamish. On second thought, if you’re squeamish, you wouldn’t be making these in the first place.) until you have a smoothish paste. Roll the paste into balls (I weigh mine to 39 grams a pop), place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet, and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until firm.
2. While your cake poops are in the freezer, melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Stir until smooth and fully melted.
3. Fill your champagne bucket with kitty litter to its very brim (If you do not have enough litter, stuff the bottom of the bucket with kitchen towels first.). I have only heard of people using styrofoam in order to stabilize their cake pops, but I do not believe in styrofoam. Kitty litter is ideal for both supporting the finished product and, naturally, for serving.
4. When your cake poops are suitably firm, pull them out of the freezer and place them near your stove where your white chocolate can get at it. Dip the tip of a pop stick about 1/2 inch into the white chocolate and insert this sticky end half way into one of your cake balls. Dip the cake ball into the white chocolate. Remove, swirl, and gently tap the stick to remove excess coating. Bakerella has an excellent video on how to prepare such things. You might want to take a look at it before proceeding.
5. Place the cake poop stick-side down in to champagne bucket full of litter. Repeat until finished.
6. When the balls have sufficiently dried, pipe little coils of chocolate frosting onto the top of each pop. Garnish with candy corn, sesame seeds, or just leave plain.
Serve to adults and children alike.
*This date may not be accurate, since no one can really agree as to what year it really is on the Chinese calendar. This is because there are multiple calendars used, so let us just agree to disagree on this particular point.)
** Caution: loads may vary.