Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cake Balls: Quasi-Vindicated!

While I prefer to call them cake "truffles" instead of "balls" because it sounds fancier, I would be lying if I said Andrea and I did not make several [hundred] semi-inappropriate ball-related jokes while making them. I'm sorry. It's how we roll. (See what I did there?)

In my last post on cake pops, you may recall me advising you to not make them, and saying I probably wouldn't do it again unless I really loved you. Well, that's the tricky part. NephewQ turned three last weekend, and his party was at Chucky Cheese, so I made these because A. I really love him, and B. they are bite-sized and travel-friendly. Plus, you have to admit that they're cute. So I gave cake balls another chance.

This is where the quasi-vindication comes in. I made some changes this time around, and it made the process go more smoothly, and the overall result better-tasting than last time too. Plus, it never hurts to have Andrea in your kitchen, alternating between baking and reading aloud from one of the worst children's novels ever written. (Don't read it.)

Andrea, in the midst of ever-so-helpfully coating the cake balls.
Here are the changes I implemented:
1. Use canned frosting. I know, I know, but it really is faster and therefore easier.
2. Crumble the cake in the food processor. Anyone that tells you to do it by hand wants your brain to explode. The super tiny cake pieces melded better with the frosting, making the texture more like a truffle and less like someone partially chewed your cake for you.
3. Do not put them on gorram sticks! If you want to make cake pops, this step is unavoidable. But if you're calling them truffles, no on expects the stick, or the Spanish inquisition.
4. Do not thin out the candy melts with oil. The snap of completely re-solidified white chocolate was a nice texture contrast, in my opinion. I also didn't color the melts this time, but that was for aesthetic reasons. Here, "aesthetic" meaning, multicolored sprinkles.
5. Throttle back the perfectionism. This might just be me personally, but since they didn't have to look like something else, I was only concerned with the coating not cracking, and getting some sprinkles to stick. Maybe not as impressive as robots, but hey, people still liked them.

Me and the finished cake balls, packed up and ready to party.