Monday, March 1, 2010

Cake Balls

I recently read about this trendy little gem of a dessert. They're balls of cake mixed with frosting and dipped in a melted chocolate. It's like having a tiny little truffle made of cake. How can this not be good? And why has it taken so long for me to find out about this?!? Wouldn't they be ideal to serve at a brunch or a party? They're the perfect solution when someone would like to have a little sweet bite, but would prefer not to have a big honkin' piece of cake. These would also be the perfect thing to make if you have eager little ones at home who might like to help in the kitchen.
Have fun!

1 baked cake
1 batch of frosting
dipping chocolate

Now, before we start, here are a few thoughts:
You can use a scratch cake recipe, or a boxed cake mix. Just follow the recipe or the directions on the box to bake the cake.
The same goes for the frosting. You can use a scratch recipe or just buy a tin of ready made frosting. If you don't feel like baking at all, you could even just buy a fully frosted cake and then throw the whole thing into a mixing bowl. Of course, you know that I prefer to make everything from scratch. Like I always say, it's better when you make it!
Since this is pretty much a Southern thing, I turned to my favorite Southern cook, Paula Deen, to see her Cake Ball making technique. She advises chilling the cake mixture and then freezing the balls before dipping. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Here are her directions:

Prepare the cake according to the recipe or the directions on the box. When cake is finished baking allow to cool for 30 minutes. Crumble the cake into a large bowl using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add the frosting and mix until well combined. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Line a baking tray with wax paper. Use a melon baller as a scooper to form balls with the cake mixture. Place on wax paper. Once you have used all of the cake mixture, place the baking tray in the freezer for 1 hour. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl of the microwave, stirring every 5-10 seconds until smooth. At this point you can add a bit of food coloring if you are using white chocolate.
Remove the balls from the freezer. Using one toothpick, pick up the balls one at a time and dip in the chocolate. Use a second toothpick to slide the ball off the first toothpick onto the wax paper lined baking tray.

NOTE: We found that an old Easter egg dipper works as well. If the balls fall off the toothpick into the chocolate, they are not firm enough to work with and you'll need to place them back in the freezer for additional time.

Once you have covered all the balls in chocolate coating place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. At this point you can drizzle other chocolate on the balls for decoration.

How simple and fun is that? Of course the cake/frosting/chocolate combinations are endless, so mix and match them as much as you want. I think carrot cake and cream cheese frosting dipped in white chocolate would be delish. A red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting dipped in milk chocolate would be heavenly. Of course, for the chocoholics of the world, you can do a dark chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting dipped in semisweet or dark chocolate. You could even mix in some chopped nuts and/or shredded coconut. That's sounds perfectly sinful to me! Feel free to browse through all of my posted CAKE and FROSTING recipes and choose your own combinations!

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