Marvel Week: Punk Storm Cake Pops
When I was a wee Marvel fan, Chris Claremont transformed a certain gentle African goddess into the most bad ass superhero of the 80’s. One issue she was wearing a peekaboo swimsuit, a cape, and the world’s least probable headband. The next, she’d shaved her flowing locks into a full punk mohawk and found liberation in leather. I fell in love.
Now that Punk Storm (also known as The Best Storm) is back in the comics, I am compelled to honor Ororo Munroe’s kick ass look with an edible tribute. I present to you:
Punk Storm Cake Pops
1 Box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 Cup Chocolate Icing (from a generic store tub)
2 Cups Meltable Dipping Chocolate
½ cup Marshmallows
White or Blue Icing Pen
Red Icing Pen
1 tbsp Sriracha (optional)
If you’ve never made cake pops before, I promise you they’re disgustingly easy.
Start by baking a store bought boxed chocolate fudge cake mix according to the package directions. If you want your Storm cake pops to taste like delicious lightning, add 1 tbsp of Sriracha to the mix.
Once the cake cools, dig your fingers in there and rip it to shreds. Now bind those shreds up by adding ½ cup of chocolate icing. Really knead it in there.
Most cake pop recipes have a 1:1 cake mix to icing tub ratio, but we want these to be extra dense. If the cake mix itself is too soft, the lollipop stick will slide right through it. Like Storm herself, these tribute cake pops have some substance.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d try to wad up an entire slice of white bread until it was the size of a D20? No? Your elementary school cafeteria must’ve been worlds more interesting than mine. You can still try this trick as an adult. I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve got the knack of smushing carbs together, pack the cake into the densest golfballs you can manage. If it’s lighter than one of Nibbler’s turds, keep packing. It may look like a vast amount of cake, but when you’re done, it should end up condensed into roughly 8-10 balls.
For good measure, put the cake balls in the fridge for at least an hour to finish hardening up. Go read some classic X-Men comics while you wait.
When you come back, it’s time to melt the dipping chocolate. In the spirit of proving you can make these things cheaply and easily with regular stuff from your grocery store, I decided to forgo the fancy molding chocolate in favor of a generic cup of chocolate melts. You’ll find them on the baking aisle, usually near the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Grocery store brands come in a microwave safe cup and soften up with less than a minute of radioactive attention.
Once more, follow the package directions to melt the chocolate. When it’s soft enough, poke a lollipop stick into your first cake pop and dip it right into the chocolate. Let any excess dribble off, then put it upright in a stand. (Don’t worry. I’ll tell you how to make a cheap stand after the recipe.)
Once you’ve dipped all the cake pops, let them sit and cool for 5-10 minutes. Butter up your hands and ever so carefully rub away all those rough edges. You’re not only polishing away what would look like a horrible skin condition, you’re also once more reinforcing the strength of the cake pop so it won’t accidentally slide down the lollipop stick. Once they’re smoothed out, put them back in the fridge for at least an hour to harden up.
Whether you come back in an hour or the next day, now it’s time for the fun part.
You’ll need four regular sized marshmallows for each cake pop. Cut each marshmallow in half.
Grab a cup of water and moisten your finger. Dab a scant hint of water on the sticky, cut side of the marshmallow to make it even sticker. Now line four of them up as the base of the mohawk.
Add three more on top of them, overlapping the seams of the first layer.
Create the crest of the mohawk with the last wedge of marshmallow.
In the comics, Storm is sometimes portrayed with blue eyes and sometimes with solid white eyes. I opted to use a blue icing pen. In honor of that 80’s Nagel inspired look all the comic artists used to adore, I made a little dot then dragged it up and sideways for some properly pointy eyes.
Finish her off with a dab of red for the lips.
This recipe only makes eight Storm cake pops, so if you’re feeding a crowd, you might want to double or triple it.
DON’T REPEAT MY FAILURES
This recipe went through more experimentation than usual. I made two critical errors with my first batch. I share them with you so you won’t end up with a kitchen covered in delicious tragedy.
First, I cleverly thought I’d use coffee stirrers instead of lollipop sticks, mostly because my regular grocery doesn’t carry fancy things like sticks. I was wrong. So very wrong. The stirrers went right through the cake balls, no matter how long I let them harden up in the fridge. Whoops.
Second, I also thought I’d use marshmallow fluff to give her a big, spiky mohawk with a really hair-like texture. In the purity of my imagination, this should still work. In reality, no matter how high I got the marshmallow fluff to stand up on first application, and no matter how fast I got it into the fridge, within an hour the fluff melted into a delicious blobby paste which bore no resemblance to a mohawk. The cut marshmallows, on the other hand, set up a treat. I left a batch out at room temperature (currently in the low 80’s where I live) and the cut marshmallows were still in place the next day.
MAKE YOUR OWN EASY CAKE POP STAND
Don’t waste money on some fancy, one-use display stand when you already have all the cheap but effective supplies you need at home.
1 Shallow Cardboard Box (no more than 2 inches deep)
1 Thick Bamboo Skewer
Honestly, you could just poke holes in any shallow cardboard box and call it a day. If you don’t want your cakepops to wobble, reinforce the box with some aluminum foil. This gives you multiple layers of horizontal support while also covering up that Amazon.com logo.
If your box has a lid, open it up and wrap two layers of foil around the whole darn thing. Close the lid and wrap two more layers of foil around it, sealing it shut. I just folded the foil down like I was wrapping a present.
Now use the thick bamboo skewer to punch some symmetrical holes in the top of your cardboard box. Don’t use a knife. If you do, you’ll almost certainly cut too much. I speak from experience.
If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even decorate the box with yellow and black construction paper to make a big iconic X.
Need more Marvel-ous recipes?
Come back every day this week for a new one or check out our virtual library of existing edible comic book illustrations.
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