Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cake of the Week: Cakeballs

Cakeballs [keyk bawls]
- noun, pl.
1. Extreme nuggets of cakey awesomeness.

Yup that’s right. Cakeballs are fun to say and even funner to eat! They’re elegantly simple: Take cake, mix it with frosting, and dip it in chocolate.
And oh man they are good!
I’ve been oogling cakeballs since I discovered the wonderful world of baking blogs about a year and a half ago – I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to actually try them out.

My first cakeball adventure (yes, there have been 2!) took place in Tahoe with Sister2. As we lay on the beach in the late afternoon, conversation turned to the all-too-common questions: What are we having for dinner? And more importantly, what are we having for dessert? Sister2 wanted something rich and chocolatey and extreme. Double Chocolate Cakeballs? Yes!

I texted 6x6 to alert her to the awesomeness about to occur in my California kitchen. She responded, offering a “gazillion dollars” for me to bring some cakeballs back with me.
Hmm, not likely. Instead I promised to make her some when I returned to DC. The opportunity arose as we planned our second LOTR party (there are 3 movies, two down and 1 to go!). For The Two Towers we went with an Elves and Ents theme. LLC cooked a dinner of falafel, pita, hummus, baba ganoush, couscous, and salad (Middle Earth = Middle East? Sure, why not!). And butter tarts. Oh Lord the butter tarts! (I’ll blog about those later.)

Of course I offered to provide a dessert: Red Velvet Cakeballs! Cakeballs do kind of remind me of truffles, which can probably be found in the Ent forest (it’s a stretch, but work with me here).
This is abnormal for me, but I really prefer the red velvet to the double chocolate (blasphemy!). But the possibilities are endless – any cake/frosting/chocolate combination would work.
Without any further ado, here’s the recipe from Bakerella:
Red Velvet Cake Balls

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)

1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)

1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)

wax paper
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)

4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)

5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)
I also only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot.

My additional Eat Run Read suggestions:
  • A whole box of cake mix makes A TON of cakeballs. I divided the batter into two pans and made one cake and one into cakeballs. Even a half-pan made 35 balls! Therefore, I also only used ½ can of frosting.
  • When Sister2 and I made them, we melted the chocolate in the microwave but it burnt! Ick! So the second time around I did it in a double boiler. I also added about 2 tablespoons heavy cream as the chocolate melted because it got weirdly thick (this could be a quality-of-chocolate problem).
  • As you’re rolling the cake into balls, keep some flour around and dust your hands occasionally. No matter what you will end up sticky, but the flour will help a bit.
I emailed my roommates to notify them of the impending party and my edible plans, and got this response:
From: red-velvet-loving-roommate
To: Mollie
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 2:25 PM

And then I brought the leftovers to work, because though I love them, I do not need manymany cakeballs looking at me every time I open my fridge.

A directly quoted Gchat exchange:
me:  want a cake ball?
 Sent at 3:07 PM on Thursday
Stefanie:  do not tempt me
 Sent at 3:11 PM on Thursday

And a direct quote from my boss:
“Yummmm oh my god WOW! I will pay you not to give me any more of those!”
So I think people liked them! J