"Welcome to Psychedelicatessen, a weekly column exploring the world of cannabis cuisine, including recipes from the great chefs and ganjapreneurs who fuel our appetite for adventure."
Specializing in cannabis-infused comfort food, Hawaii Mike started his "Dinner Is Dope" series about six months ago, as part of Chef For Higher, his catering service. Menus at a typical dinner include mouthwatering munchies such as a "Higher Cider" drink infused with whiskey and habanero cannabis-infused honey, fried balls of mac n' cheese, sous vide chicken with farmer's market veggies and even seasonally appropriate egg nog ice cream! Each dish can carry a dose of 15 to 35 milligrams of THC, adding up to quite a lot after a six course meal.
"We offer a down-home experience where guests are able to relax and enjoy," Mike said. "We speak to each individual to determine their desired dose, and there's always the option to have non-medicated food."
Growing up in Hawaii with a vegan mom, Mike didn't cook meat until he was nine years old, when he roasted his first chicken. Tired of sneaking secret meats from his cousins and fed up by a diet of sprouted seeds, nuts, legumes and mochi, young Mike tackled his first cooking task with enthusiasm after his mom gave permission, with one caveat—if he was eating a chicken, he'd have to eat all of it, including the liver!
Since then, Hawaii Mike has never looked back, although he still appreciates healthy green juice and veggies, saying "It's all about balance."
If you want to eat a few of these Rum Reefer Raisin Cake Pops, take heed of Mike's message and balance it out with a nice salad!
Cake pops were surely invented as a way to salvage cakes that didn't turn out as intended by adding a few more steps to the process. You could always use this cake recipe as is, or create cupcakes, and skip making the glaze, rolling the cake balls and dipping them in chocolate. If you choose to go boldly forward, you can also complete this recipe in three stages over several days, making it easier for those strapped for time.
Perfect for special occasions, these cake pops are triple-infused with THC for lots of cannabis goodness. I was able to use lab-tested cannabis infusions to roughly calculate the dosage of each cake pop, which can be adjusted to suit your preference. I intended to make each cake pop contain about 20 to 30 milligrams of THC. Assuming that the recipe will yield 24 cake pops, that desired dose would necessitate 480 – 720 mg of THC total in the batter, which calls for 1/2 cup of cannabutter.
The cannabutter I had on hand contained 9.58 mg of THC per gram. Using this cannabutter for the entire 1/2 cup would have put 1086.37 mg THC into the batter, which is too much; so I used only 1/4 cup of cannabutter to gain 543.18 mg of THC and used 1/4 cup of regular butter to meet the recipe requirements. I skipped using cannabutter for the glaze and opted for regular butter, but if I had used another 1/2 cup of cannabutter, an additional 1086 mg of THC would have gone into the cake balls.
For the chocolate coating, the recipe calls for 1/3 cup of cannabis-infused coconut oil. The coconut oil I used contained 2.16 mg of THC per gram, for 151.2 mg of THC in the entire 1/3 cup. I also added 20 CBD-infused chocolate chips just for fun, measuring about 40 milligrams of CBD.
The total amount of THC in the batter and chocolate coating added up to 694.38 milligrams, plus 40 mg of CBD. The recipe yielded 26 cake pops, for a final dose of about 26.7 mg THC and 1.5 mg CBD per item.
If I had used the maximum amount of my cannabutter, the highest possible dose for these cake pops would have been 89 milligrams of THC per item. While dosing cannabis-infused foods at home can be tricky, it's the best way to make products tailored to individual preferences that are fresh, tasty and use high-quality ingredients. Look for lab-tested cannabis infused butter and oil at your local dispensary, and with a few simple formulas, it's easy to create the treats you want to eat!
Rum Reefer Raisin Cake Pops
1 15.4 oz box of yellow cake mix
1/2 cup cannabutter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark rum (we used Appleton)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (plus extra to coat)
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
1/2 cup cannabutter (or regular butter if you want lower dose treats)
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum
Note: The Cake Pop recipe only calls for half of the glaze. If your cake is very dry, you could use more glaze, but if you don't want to waste rum and cannabutter, you can reduce the glaze ingredients by half. Also, you can re-purpose the leftover glaze into a Hot Pot Buttered Rum (like I did) by adding more water and spices.
Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
20 oz candy melts (Mercken’s or Wilton brand)
1/3 cup cannabis-infused coconut oil
13 x 9 baking pan
Non-stick cooking spray
24 – 28 lollipop or candy sticks
Parchment or wax paper
Microwave safe bowl
Soak the raisins in rum for 24 hours. Strain and reserve both ingredients.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray bottom of baking pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease it with butter (bottom only, NOT the sides).
Beat cake mix, eggs, cannabutter, water and rum in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium 2-3 minutes, until mixture is smooth. Fold in the raisins, pecans and maraschino cherries.
Bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let it cool.
While the cake rests, make the glaze by stirring together cannabutter, water and sugar over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add the rum.
Remove the cake from its pan, and place into a large bowl. Crumble with your hands until there are no more big chunks of cake. Pour half of the glaze over the crumbs and mix with a large spoon, or better yet, your hands. The texture should be moist (if not, add some more glaze) enough to roll into 1 1/2” balls and still hold shape.
Roll the rest of the mixture, and place the balls onto parchment lined bake sheets, let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight. (You can also place in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, not frozen.)
Place the candy melts and the coconut oil into microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute on 50 percent power, remove and stir. Make sure you stir each time you take the chocolate out of the microwave even if it looks like nothing's melting. Keep microwaving at 30 second intervals on 50 percent until the wafers are melted. (Alternatively, you can use a double boiler on the stovetop to melt your chocolate.)
Dip 1/3” of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, then insert about halfway into a cake ball and repeat for every one (the candy melt acts as a glue for the stick). Then place full tray back in fridge to set.
Time to get your dip on!
Take the cake pop by the stick, hold upside down and place the ball into the coating. Lift up to remove and let the excess coating drip back by slowly rotating the cake pop. (This is a little tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.) Keep going until all balls have been coated. Place cake balls in styrofoam block to let them set, or place back onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. (Cake pops will have flat tops.)
Note: After the cake pops had set, I coated them in melted chocolate again for a "double dip," and then I rolled some of the cake pops in chopped pecans for a nutty coating.
Ready to eat once chocolate shells are set. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.