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Dec '10

Adventures in Cake Balls

So I stumbled on a couple of blogs that got me hooked on the idea of making cake pops. I had eaten a red velvet cake pop at a special event a few months ago, and it was instant addiction.

Basically, a cake pop is cake rolled in a ball, dipped in chocolate, and mounted on a stick. Oh, yumminess. And if you don’t dig the stick aspect, you can skip that and just make cake balls.

I’ve tried three different types of cake balls/pops so far: red velvet, oreo, and brownie.

Here’s what I’ve learned about these three types:

1. Duncan Hines makes a red velvet cake mix. Super easy to make. Also super messy! Red everywhere. Wes was helping me mix and got some batter on his arm. Later John saw Wes and thought he was bleeding!

2. I’ve not perfected the red velvet cake ball yet. The recipe says bake a red velvet cake, crumble it up, and stir in one 16 oz. canister of cream cheese frosting. I did that and I thought the mixture was too moist and too sweet. I could have maybe used 8 oz. instead of 16. The owner of the candy supply shop where I bought my dipping chocolate said that they teach their clients to make cake balls differently: Instead of mixing in frosting, mix in melted dipping chocolate. She said it makes the texture more brownie-like. I may try that next time. I was hoping to love the red velvet cake balls, but I didn’t.

3. To make Oreo balls, crumble a package of Oreos in the blender (or food processor if you’re fancy like that) and mix in an 8 oz. package of cream cheese (note: NOT frosting, like with the red velvet cake balls. Just cream cheese). This makes an Oreo truffle. Try not to eat it all.

4. The brownie balls were my favorite. I just made a pan of brownies and scooped out mini balls to dip into the chocolate. Easy. I have my neighbor to thank for that brilliant idea.

For the chocolate, I started with almond bark from the grocery store, and some milk chocolate flavored candy meant for dipping and candy making that I already had in my pantry. I visited a local cake/candy supply store for two more types of dipping chocolate: mint chocolate and peanut butter. These last two were Guittard brand, and they taste really good.

A few things I learned about the chocolate aspect of making cake balls:

1. Almond bark tastes like nothing. I’m going for white dipping chocolate next time.

2. The Oreo balls taste best with mint chocolate. The brownie balls taste best with anything. They were my favorite. The red velvet cake balls, while I wanted to like them, didn’t do it for me. I guess they were best with the milk chocolate, since I didn’t like the almond bark at all.

3. Before dipping in chocolate, it helps if the balls are firm. I used a cookie scoop (which I finally bought last month and am wondering how I didn’t own one before now. It’s the Best. Thing. Ever.) to make the balls, and then I stuck them in the freezer.

4. I used a toothpick to dip the balls into the chocolate, and a spoon to help cover the ball completely. I used a second toothpick to push the ball off the first one.

Here’s some milk chocolate flavored candy I’m about to melt (in the microwave: 1 minute at 50% power, stir, then zap in 10-15 second increments, stirring until melted).

Melted peanut butter flavored dipping chocolate:

Dipping an Oreo ball:

And the final product. Although I have seen many photos of beautific cake balls, mine are not among them. I guess making them look nice is an acquired skill. But they still taste good.


2 Responses to “Adventures in Cake Balls”

  1. tara72 Says:

    oh my GOSH, can I come over?? :)

    amazing, Shannon!!!!

  2. mom Says:

    First of all, I’m not sure I can read that last sentence in the first point #3 so I’ll assume that’s not important. Second of all, I might actually try this! Thank you for the pointers! I was needing something in case I get anyone to come for a Christmas message with the missionaries. This might fill the bill. Yummy, hunny!

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