The science of baking

Science and baking have many similarities. You have a method or recipe to follow, requiring attention to detail and a high level of precision.  It is strange then, that despite my clumsiness and my messy, relaxed attitude to work and cooking, that I have such a love of baking and have spent 6 years of my life studying and working in science.

I think that the most important part of baking is trusting your instincts and building up the experience to know when things are just right, or what needs to be altered to correct the situation.

When I set out to make a treat for my best friend’s birthday, I went against my instincts and bought a boxed cake mix. I was feeling lazy and didn’t have a good chocolate cake recipe to hand, so I grabbed one off the shelf at the grocery store. I knew from the minute I tore open the packet that the chemical smell would not give me the desired results (unlike in the lab).

Needless to say, that batch of cake ended up in the bin, and I started again, from scratch (like I knew I should have to begin with), with a fantastic recipe for Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, from Smitten Kitchen.

From the taste of the uncooked mixture, I could tell that this recipe was a winner. I just wish I had doubled it, because it was heartbreaking to crumble up the entire cake (minus a slice or two) mix it with creamcheese frosting and roll it into balls.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I would highly recommend heading over to Bakerella and check out her amazing cake pop creations!  Her blog is so inspirational and I would just love to browse through her new cookbook: Cake Pops

As I don’t have her patience (or talent) for decorating, I decided to keep it simple with a plain chocolate coating and some little sugar hearts.

I love chocolate!

Even this was pretty difficult as I made the mistake of freezing my cake balls before I had inserted the lollipop sticks, and the heads kept falling off when they were dipped in chocolate.

decorating face…

In the end though they turned out looking pretty good, but there were enough messy ones to keep the boys happy and have a bit of a taste test!

I packaged them up and made up some little tags with Bakerella’s cakepop slogan to avoid any confusion on how they should be eaten.

The girls loved them (and thought they tasted like a cherry ripe) and they went down as the perfect treat after our lovely wine-filled dinner to celebrate a quarter century with one of our favourite girls.

Lesson learned… from now on I will trust my instincts and avoid going the lazy route – it saves more time and energy in the long run, both at work and in the kitchen.

Photos taken by: Kris

and from my camera

EDIT: Comments have now been switched off as I am sick and tired of deleting Russian spam-bot comments.  Please feel free to comment on another post if you like :)

70 thoughts on “The science of baking

  1. Jen W.

    Your chocolate coating looks so smooth and professional! I’ve been wanting to try a cake pop because it seems like they’re everywhere (and I love the idea of a little cake on a stick!), but I have yet to make them. Thanks for reminding me I should try them out soon!

  2. Ashley Weisleder

    Love this idea! My baking skills are still being tweaked and after two failed attempts at the perfect chocolate cake this week, it’s nice to see a successful venture in home bakery!

  3. stilettoteez

    I’ve tried the cakepops and although everyone raved about them. I had such a hard time keeping the balls on the sticks.. any tips? I tried dipping the stick in the chocolate first but that didn’t seem to help much either.

  4. Emm

    Oh my goodness, they looks absolutely devine!!! I am so jealous of those who got to eat them!!!!
    And I must say your decorating face is beautiful haha :) so so lovely


  5. Lulu

    I love chocolate!
    and I like your blog
    I think cooking skill is gained through a lot of experiences.
    I know many people who claimed that they were not good at cooking before, but now they are! “it’s just a matter of practice.”
    Thanks for sharing the nice blog!
    hmm can I order some chocolate like in the pic?:P

  6. Kanchana Rubino

    Love the cake pops and the pictures. :) They are sooo super adorable. Look forward to seeing more of your creations. And by the way, you are cute like your cake pops!

  7. creativepotager

    This is fantastic! My daughter has a master’s in science (physics) and she looooves to bake. She thinks cookies should be an official food group. I have often heard her say “baking is science!” So now she has a link to your blog on her FB wall:)

  8. Sheila

    Velta and I want some! Please send immediately. We want some for breakfast. Love, Mum n P.S. Grandmom wants some, too!!

  9. Ashe Clayton

    I was lucky enough to eat the CAKEPOPS and the memory will stay with me forever. Delish Jazzie! xxx

  10. Leisa

    Can’t believe I missed out on this…..Absolutely amazing blog Jazzie and the photos too. You and Kris are so talented xxx

  11. Tara Aarness

    Holy cow, this is incredible! I’ve never heard of cake pops before and was surfing for something ‘different’ to make this weekend. Thanks for the solution! Can’t wait to try this out! :)

  12. fdaray

    Baking is an old old art of making food nice and deserving for taste.

    Can you bake then cook without a mold. I don’t think so. They goes together.

  13. Rachel

    Haha how did I guess this was what you were making??…. :P

    And wow, that girl totally ripped off my dreamcatcher earrings! (I kind of stole the idea off a friend anyway… hehe).

  14. CG

    What a fantastic post! I’m really into baking myself, but I do say they look absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to give them a go!

  15. Dayna

    i love ur cake pops, i ate all the left over ones on monday morning… great hangover food.. ;) u r the most talented wonderful person i know… i love u jazzie fizzle

    1. jazziefizzle

      awww thanks love, I love you too and I’m glad you got to finish off your birthday pops. don’t know if they would help a hang over though hehe xx

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  17. mem80

    WHOA!!! You put together one heck of a post! Ive actually never seen a cake pop before!!! I love it!
    Cant wait to try this.
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. ridiculousawesome

    I like your blog a lot. You have great recipes. We at Nacho Donut are considering changing the dough to nut ratio.

  19. The Gates of Lodore

    On public television in the USA, we have a show called “America’s test kitchen”. They take an almost scientific approach to cooking – testing different techniques and recipes and then explaining which one worked best and why. Rather fascinating.

  20. katie o.

    I’m with you…Bakerella has mad skills. Skills that I will never be able to replicate. But making the cakeballs is an experience everyone should attempt once. :) These look fantastic! So glad they worked out so well.

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