Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cake? Truffles? Lollypops? Who knows!

Hello Hello!

I was struck by a recipe of pure genius as I was surfing on of my favorite foodie blogs, TheKitchn. I noticed an adorable picture of Bakerella's St. Patrick's Day cake balls. I decided then and there that I would set out to make them, or their simpler counterparts, the generic cake balls I managed it, without a dull moment in the whole process. These balls are lovely for a big group of people, but there are several stages so start it a couple nights before, if you have a day job or school, or do it during one whole afternoon if you can. {This post was written in the thick of it, so follow along on my meandering journey through a seemingly simple process}

It was truly a worthwhile adventure, but an adventure nonetheless. Me, in a wonderfully glorious moment of dyslexia managed to misread the recipe and set the temperature to almost 200 degrees below the needed heat... probably because I am used to recipes listing Fahrenheit first, then Celsius. Whoops!

I reset the temperature, but not soon enough, as the mixture proceed to spill over onto the cookie sheet I prudently put under... At this point I am amused, but hopeful.

As you can probably deduce, that is not a Red Velvet cake. It is, in fact, a Devil's Food Cake. Bakerella noted that Red Velvet may just be a southern thing (hopefully our Mississippi bound writer will try it when she's there!)

Hmmm... Perhaps I should have put this in a larger pan... I am so glad that this was my first attempt at a boxed cake. It's the one style of cake that nobody will know if you had some creative ways of evicting it from its pan! The consistency is great, and the cake will be reshaped afterward, so it's pretty challenging to mess it up.

I may have a freer schedule because of exams, but I am not the most patient, so the cake remains are in the refrigerator chillin' so I can crumble them and start the balls. *30 min is the perfect amount of time to cool down a piping hot cake.

Well, the crumbling is easy and fast, but set aside some time to do the rolling... and prepare to get a tad messy, if you don't have a mini ice-cream scooper (and how many people have those?). I wasn't exaggerating; these are great for large groups of people, the yield is enormous. I got quite a few because I couldn't find any pop sticks, so I'm using large toothpicks (they can't hold much), so each ball is about the size of the cheap-o tootsie pops you get on Halloween from the people who buy the value packs. I just skewered about half the balls and they are cooling in the freezer in preparation for dipping.

And it's done! I managed to dip over 40 pops before running out of chocolate, and there are still over 40 in the freezer to be dipped when I get more chocolate. For the dipping, I only have a few tips:

1) keep the pops in the freezer as you dip, that way when you dip them in the warm chocolate, you don't over heat them and have them melt off the sticks. (This also helps the chocolate solidify fastest, and lessens drips)
2) melt the chocolate a bit at a time in a mug or glass so you can submerge as much as possible. When you get to the end, spatula the remains onto a side plate and melt some more.
3) It's important to put aside the extra chocolate before you warm some more because the warm chocolate will burn as the chocolate squares melt. You can re-melt these combined remains after they solidify to get the most out of the chocolate.
4) Make sure that you cover part of the stick as well as the ball to prevent the cake falling off the sticks.
5) Try using a chopstick to stir the chocolate. I always have an excess after I order Japanese food, and they go fine through the dishwasher, so I use them to stir, to skewer, to fence... and all that jazz.

And, as with every experimental baking, this too had a graveyard:

Be forewarned: This variation has chocolate coating, chocolate devil's food cake, AND chocolate frosting (instead of cream cheese frosting). It has ALOT of chocolate. It is almost guaranteed that you will have a sugar high, and more than one pop is not advised in a short increment of time.

Chocolate Ciao!



  1. I made my first batch but I have a hard time with perfection. They taste wonderful so now I have to work on being an artist!