Today’s Tasty Tip is the super yummy and (believe it or not) simple Cake Ball. Sister Save-A-Lot used this recipe at her party she hosted for her friends. Now, hers didn’t look quite as round and professional as Jane’s (we had a time issue involved where the freezing portion was severely shortened), but they tasted great and provided lots of fun.
Wrap them in some cellophane with a beautiful gold bow and presto – you’ve got a beautiful gift to share with someone special in your life.
Thanks for the tip, Jane!
… and thanks for walking the road with me.
Ooh la la, what’s this? A bite into chocolate-flavored coating reveals a rich, moist, cakey interior – the perfect proportion of cake to frosting. The delectable treat is a cake ball, a recipe making the rounds among creative home bakers. You might think of it as a blend of two trends: cupcakes and itty-bitty desserts. Cake balls are made by combining crumbled baked cake with frosting, rolling the mixture into balls, and covering the balls with confectionery coating to give the bite-size desserts a glossy, crisp exterior. Variations abound; almost any cake and frosting will do. The fun is in combining flavors and colors for distinctive results.
Basic Cake Ball
1 (18.25-ounce) boxed cake mix plus ingredients called for on a box.
1 (16-ounce) can prepared frosting
Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating (both recipes follow)
Bake the cake according to package instructions. While warm, crumble the cake into a bowl with a hand mixer to a fine texture. Mix in frosting to make a paste, using 3/4 to a full can of frosting, according to taste. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.
Working in small batches, remove the balls from the freezer and dip the balls into warm, melted Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating, using toothpicks or forks to manipulate the balls. Remove the balls. Place the balls on wax paper to harden.
Makes about 30 cake balls.
Almond Bark Coating: In a double boiler, melt one (20-ounce) package vanilla- or chocolate-flavored almond bark, stirring constantly. Or, in a tall, narrow container, microwave almond bark for 45 seconds on High (100 percent power). Continue to heat in 15-second intervals, stirring between intervals, until melted; be careful not to scorch.
When almond bark is melted, stir in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. If desired, stir in oil-based coloring drop by drop until you achieve the desired color. See “Where to find supplies” for purchase information.
Confectionery Wafer Coating: Melt 48 ounces confectionery wafers in double boiler or microwave oven per instructions for Almond Bark Coating. Omit oil. If desired, stir in oil-based coloring drop by drop until you achieve the desired color.
1. Chill the cake-and-frosting mixture well (at least 2 hours) before you shape the balls. Freeze the balls at least 6 hours before dipping. Before dipping, make sure the cake balls aren’t frozen solid because after being dipped, the coating has a tendency to crack when drying. Pre-dipped cake balls can be kept frozen for weeks.
2. To form the balls, use a melon scoop for uniform size. Small balls are easier to eat.
3. Work in small batches when dipping, keeping the rest in the freezer.
4. Use toothpicks, a fork or a skewer to manipulate the balls when dipping. Perfectionists may want to buy a candy-dipping fork because it ensures even coating of each cake ball to make it look like a truffle.
5. Use oil-based candy dye to color frosting. Start with a few drops, and add a little at a time.
6. Lay the dipped balls on wax paper to harden, placing the spot where you pierced the ball down to cover the hole, or cover the hole with decoration.
7. For decoration, fill a narrow-tip plastic squeeze bottle with a contrasting color of melted coating and paint stripes over the balls, or sprinkle on rainbow jimmies, colored sparkling sugar or finely chopped nuts. (If you are using oil-based candy color to tint coating made from white- chocolate disks, decorate with sprinkles quickly as the oil candy color causes the coating to set rapidly.
8. Dipped balls will keep at room temperature for days; if you refrigerate them, the coating will sweat.
Use the Basic Cake Ball recipe with a white Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix, white frosting and rainbow-colored jimmies. Coat with melted Guittard white- chocolate disks tinted pink with AmeriColor oil candy color. Decorate exteriors with India Tree Sparkling Sugar in Ultraviolet (purple) and hot pink, as well as CK Products’ Bright Sequins (left).
TIP: After mixing the cake and frosting, gently fold in 2 tablespoons rainbow-colored jimmies (sprinkles) to maintain the pops of color, because the sprinkles in the boxed mix fade when the baked, crumbled cake is mixed with frosting.
Use the Basic Cake Ball recipe (left) with a devil’s food cake mix and cream-cheese frosting. Coat in melted Guittard white- chocolate disks tinted with AmeriColor oil candy color (using green and blue to make turquoise). Decorate with melted Guittard milk-chocolate disks. (Use a squeeze bottle.)
Strawberry with chocolate coating….
Use the Basic Cake Ball recipe with a strawberry cake mix and strawberry frosting. Coat with melted Guittard milk-chocolate disks. Decorate with melted Guittard white-chocolate disks tinted red with AmeriColor oil candy color. (Use a squeeze bottle.)
WHERE TO FIND SUPPLIES
Confectionery coating: Look for almond bark (about $3.35 for 20 ounces) near baking chocolate in major supermarkets.
Chocolate disks: Guittard makes disks in milk chocolate and white chocolate ($4 per pound at Cake Carousel or at local cake supply stores in your area) that are already tempered for coating and for use in candy molds.
Confectionery coating wafers ($3.20 to $4.50 per pound) often can be found labeled “candy melts” at crafts stores and Cake Carousel.
AmeriColor oil candy color (multicolor 4-packs of quarter-ounce bottles for $3.99 at crafts stores or $2.25 for 0.7 ounces at Cake Carousel)
Two-tine candy-dipping fork ($4.50 at Cake Carousel)
•Crafts stores: Michael’s and Joann
•Cake Carousel, 1002 N. Central Expressway, Suite 511, Richardson; 972-690-4628