February 19, 2010

Cake Balls, Who Knew?

Well somehow I missed it but it seems that Cake Balls are the new No-Knead-Bread. Sweeping the blogosphere like a snowstorm. Will's mom sent us some for Valentines Day and although I'm pretty sure she mentioned them to me at some point in the last few months, I somehow did not register how freaking yummy they are. No really. Make these. You will love me. And hate me because you'll eat them all.

Yesterday was Briton's Half-Birthday and just to mix things up I decided to make cake balls instead of my usual half cake. Ok, I'll be honest. I just really wanted to make cake balls because we had eaten all our Valentines Day ones and I wanted more. But I was amazed to find how popular they are when I looked them up online. Most, actually all, that I saw called for a box cake mix and canned frosting. I didn't have what I needed to make homemade frosting but I have a hard time passing up a chance to make a cake from scratch. So many recipes, so few excuses to cook them... I based the cake recipe on one from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat but switched out the powdered and melted chocolate and Evaporated milk for Sweetened Condensed milk in the hopes of getting a carmely type of flavor. I literally mixed it up in two minutes and put it in the oven on a delay cook while Evelyn and I dashed to the school for a Chinese New Year Lunch that I had totally forgotten about. But it came out yummy and not too sugary which is good because the frosting makes it plenty sweet. Trust me, find an excuse and make these, even with a boxed mix (Red Velvet is the most popular choice I noticed). Also, I made the whole cake recipe but froze one of the cakes, so frosting and chocolate wise I only used half. Mmmm, more for later...

On top of the cake you'll need 1 tub of frosting and 12 ounces of baking chocolate

For the Cake

1 3/4 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick melted butter (yikes! I know!)
3/4 of a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (that's what I had, I think a whole can would be even yummier though)
2 beaten eggs
1 T vanilla

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a double boiler melt butter then off the heat add in the SC milk, vanilla and then eggs, mixing thoroughly. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just combined. Pour into 2 lightly greased 8 inch round pans and drizzle the top with any leftover SC milk left in the can. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool completely before crumbling it into a large bowl. It occurred to me that this would be a great way to use up stale or leftover cake. Especially if it was already frosted. Just add a but more as you crumble and your set. But with a new cake, once it's crumbled, add the tub of frosting (any flavor would be good, I used cream cheese) and mix until you have a sticky, almost paste-like substance. Roll into 1 1/2 inch diameter balls and set on a plate in the fridge to chill for a few minutes.

In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When it's ready, drop one ball at a time into the chocolate and roll it around until it is covered. Lift out with a fork, letting the excess chocolate drip off, and set on parchment or freezer paper. Allow the chocolate to harden and then drizzle any chocolate left across the tops (I had to add some milk to it to stretch it a little, actually, I stupidly added cold milk which caused the chocolate to seize so then I had to add some hot water to fix that, and then I had enough to drizzle. So add a little warm milk if you want it thinner.)