After 6 weeks and 7 recipes, we have reached the end of the Lavazza Coffee Set Match series!
A competition involving 12 food bloggers was organised by the Italian coffee brand to promote their sponsorship of the Wimbledon Cup, for which they have also released a limited edition A Modo Mio machine and espresso cup.
This post is my last bid to win the competition and probably the last coffee-based recipe I will post on Mondomulia for a while.
Don't get me wrong, I am not over my coffee addiction yet! I love coffee and I think it is the perfect ingredient to both sweet and savoury recipes. But I need a break from all this cooking! When I accepted to take part in the Coffee Set Match competition, I never thought it would be so challenging and time-consuming! As I went through to the quarter finals, then semi-finals and now the final, I immersed myself in this race, pouring all my thoughts and energies into it, to the point it wasn't fun anymore.
So I stopped worrying, took a step back and looked at what I had already achieved: surpassing 1000 views in a day with my Speculoos Tiramisù, inventing a successful recipe with the Toffee Coffee Cupcakes, baking choux pastry in my grandma's tiny grill, designing the Wimbledon tennis court on a cake, beating 10 bloggers to reach the final and most of all improving my food styling & photography along the way! I started Mondomulia as a way to practice my skills and become a better food photographer; the Lavazza competition has helped me towards this goal and, no matter the outcome, I have already achieved great results!
So, let me end the Coffee Set Match competition now...with a POP!
Have you ever eaten a cake pop? Have you ever made one? Cake pops were tipped to be the next big thing after the cupcake craze, but that doesn't seem to have happened. Cake Pops aren't taking over the world! Sad. :(
I love cake pops: they are fun, colourful, sweet and small. You don't need to indulge in a whole slice of cake, these pops are the perfect bite size. So, I am grateful to Lavazza for giving a reason to spend a [sunny warm summer] day locked up in my kitchen!
Yes, a whole day, that's how long it took to make these beauties!
When searching for cake pop recipes (on food blogs and cookbooks), I was outraged to see how many of them listed cake mix as the main ingredient. If you are (supposedly) a baker, how can you suggest using a cake mix?! But after spending 10 hours making cake pops (14 hours if you count two trips to bakeware shops searching for lollipop sticks, candy melts and foam blocks), well...now I get it, cake mixes will save you a lot of time! ;)
Ignoring the cake mix suggestions, I baked my own cake: a Coffee & Pistachio cake with Espresso Frosting. Then I coated the pops with white chocolate, tinted in the official colours of Wimbledon (emerald-green, royal purple and bright yellow like tennis balls) with matching sprinkles.
* 600g cake * 200g buttercream frosting * 400g chocolate or candy melts * sprinkles
For the preparation of the cake pops, you will also need 25 lollipop sticks and a foam block (such as used in flower arrangements).
Prepare the coffee cake and espresso frosting using the recipe listed here. Crumble the cake in small pieces using your fingers, then mix the crumbles with the frosting until you have a dough like mixture.
Place mixture into fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes (the longer, the better). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
When the dough is firm, scoop out small portions (about 30g) and roll into a ball, then place this on the baking sheet. Repeat until all mixture has gone, then start working on the chocolate. Keep the balls in the fridge, so they stay firm.
Place candy melts into a microwavable bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes until they are fully melted (you can of course melt the chocolate on the hot stove). If you are using white chocolate melts, you can add food colouring, as I did in green, purple and yellow.
Dip one lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and then push it in a cold cake ball. Then dip the cake pop in the chocolate and gently tap it on the side of the bowl to let the extra chocolate drip off.
Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the pops with any decoration you like (sprinkles, nuts, chocolate shavings, candy, etc.). Then set in the foam block to dry (cake pop up). Or you can set them on a plate (cake pop down).
You also have the chance to win one of the fantastic Lavazza Wimbledon prizes: look out for promotional cups on take away Lavazza coffees in London, or enter online at Lavazza Coffee Set Match. Prizes include six pairs of tickets to Wimbledon, 90 Lavazza A Modo Mio Favola Wimbledon Limited Edition coffee machines and 500 sets of four exclusive espresso cups created especially for the tournament.