Friday, July 16, 2010

Cake Balls from Cake Scraps

Servings depend on your leftovers


No, I didn’t make these for myself, but that didn’t stop me from eating loads of them along the way. No, a moment of celebration is due, not just for my friend Kristen, who is expecting a little boy a few weeks after me, and at whose baby shower these will (hopefully) be devoured, but also because with this project I have FINALLY finished using up all the wedding cake leftovers. These babies are a combination of the cake tops from the wedding cake layers and the chocolate frosting leftover from the vegan cupcakes. I think maybe Paula Dean (oh no, HER again!) first came up with the ideas for cake balls, but the person who has taken them to extraordinary heights is no doubt Bakerella; just click on ‘cake pops’ on her home page and prepare to be flabbergasted by her patience, longsuffering, and genius for miniature treats on a stick.

Chris and our brother-in-law were milling around the kitchen while I was in the initial stages of making these—“hmm, yum, what’s that?” "Those are cake balls." There was some not very stifled laughter, and the only thing that could have ensued with two dudes hearing “cake balls” did: lots of jokes about chocolate salty balls. If you missed out on this particular pop culture gem, now’s your chance to hear it. Discretion is advised; it is South Park after all.

Ok, enough tomfoolery; back to the cake balls. If you glance at Bakerella’s or Paula Dean’s recipe, you’ll see that they recommend a boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting, but to me the only reason to make these is when you have leftovers like I did, in which case you have to guess a little on the proportions. I just mushed in all together in a bowl and, in retrospect, should have added the frosting little by little, as they ended up being wet enough to make them difficult to work with. Bref, here’s how to precede when you don’t have exact measurements:

Pulse cake scraps in your food processor until they become cake crumbs. Combine them in a bowl with your leftover frosting:


Here’s mine all mixed up—pretty heavy on the frosting.


Roll the mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet with waxed paper; freeze. I used my tiny scooper, then went back after they’d been in the freezer for 20 minutes and rounded them out by hand, cause the stuff was just too sticky to mess with at room temperature. But if you look at the pics on Bakerella’s site, you’ll see that hers are much more cakey and workable. It’s a question of taste, I imagine, because having to freeze them wasn’t a big deal, and now they’re SUPER moist, like rum balls, mmmm!


The next step is to dip/roll the frozen balls in melted chocolate—I used dark here, but you could of course use milk or while, or even poured fondant; whatever rings your bell. I melted about a package and a half of dark chocolate chips over a bain marie with 2 tablespoons of shortening (this thins the chocolate a little and makes it easier to coat the balls). Fish ‘em out with a fork, wipe the tines on the edge of the bowl a few times, and place them back on the waxed paper to harden.


The last step is to decorate them, if you wish. In my mind I pictured little squiggles made with melted white chocolate, but once I got into my cupboard I realized that I’d used all my white chocolate in a fudge recipe awhile ago. Oh well. So I made a quick milk/powdered sugar frosting, tinted it blue (for baby boy, of course), put it in a zip lock, cut the tip, and piped a few inept little designs on the balls.

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