Monday, August 11, 2014

The Art of...CAKE BALLS!

Cake Balls may be my ultimate dessert of all time.  There are so many variations of them, the concept is pure GENIUS!  I've been constructing these babies for over 7 years and still going strong. Although I had a sabbatical from making them, I'm BACK!

With that being said, I am going to talk a bit about the steps taken to make "perfect" cake balls.  

Let's start with the CAKE! There are many options here.  If you are lazy in which is my case often, go for the cake mix in a box. That means all you need is: cake mix, eggs, oil/butter, water, etc.  However, if you are super amazing and want to make  your own cake then go ahead and make your favorite 1 or 2 layer cake recipe!

(Ingredients for the gluten free cake)

(Gluten free homemade yellow cake)

1.  Prepare cake of choice as described on the back of the box or by your recipe.  After this has baked, cool completely. Once cooled, crumble into small pieces in a large mixing's not going to be pretty...

Next, is the FROSTING!! My favorite guilty pleasure.  Again, you have many options here.  You can buy store bought, gross, I mean do what you want. Or make your own!!!!!!! It's really easy, I promise.  

(Famous vanilla buttercream frosting perfection)

2.  Pour frosting into the large bowl with the crumbled cake pieces.  Stir all together until every crumb is coated with the delicious, sweet frosting.

(Crumbled cake with mix together!)

3.  Place cake "dough" in the refrigerator and chill overnight or at least 1-2 hours.  I highly recommend overnight as it will be easier to handle when forming the balls.

4.  Once completely chilled, scoop into tablespoon sized balls using a cookie scoop.  Roll with your hands to form a uniformed sized ball and place on a waxed covered flat tray.

5.  Once all are formed into lovely little balls, chill again for around 30 minutes-1 hour. Just to ensure they will keep their form when the chocolate dippage occurs.

(Tablespoon sized cake balls)

Lastly, we have the CHOCOLATE COATING!  This is also very exciting. Again, you have your own decision to make here as well.  You can use pure chocolate chips with a little melted oil, or almond bark.  What is almond bark you say? It's the large chunk of "chocolate" that melts easy and looks pretty on your cake balls.  However, I love pure semi-sweet chocolate chips because it's just better that way.

6.  Take about 6 or so cake balls out of the refrigerator at a time to coat with chocolate.  Using a toothpick, pierce the cake ball so that it is easy to maneuver through the chocolate bath.  

7.  Swirl the cake ball around in the chocolate and using a spoon in the other hand, coat the entire ball.  Once it's mostly coated, place on the waxed coated sheet, remove toothpick carefully and cover hole with chocolate.

(So some of mine aren't the prettiest, but who cares they are delish!)

8.  Once the first round of cake balls are covered, place back into the refrigerator to chill/harden.  Continue this process until all are covered! Enjoy and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Alright, so I've gone through the process but you still want to know what varieties you can make...

Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Frosting+ Semi- Sweet Chocolate Coating= DEATH BY CHOCOLATE

Yellow Cake or Funfetti + Buttercream Frosting + Semi- Sweet Chocolate

Chocolate Cake + Buttercream Frosting + White Chocolate Chips Coating or Semi-Sweet

Peanut Butter Cake + Chocolate Frosting + Semi-Sweet or White Chocolate Coating

Red Velvet Cake + Cream Cheese or Buttercream Frosting + Semi-Sweet Chocolate Coating

Carrot Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting + White Chocolate Coating

Strawberry or Cherry Cake + Buttercream Frosting + Semi-Sweet Chocolate Coating

You can also make these gluten free, which I did the other day for my CrossFit box.  

You can go with a store bought Gluten Free cake mix, which are actually decent depending on the brand. Or make your own cake. Also, you can make your own frosting.  I used Britney Angell's Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.  It is amazing!  For the chocolate coating I used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips with a tablespoon of melted coconut oil.  They were fabulous!