Friday, September 25, 2009

Craftin' the Cake Balls

Cake Balls: hard chocolate candy coating on the outside, fluffy cake on the inside. I swear, it's really not as daunting a baking project as you may think. What helps is that the process practically requires that it be broken up over the course of several days. Plus, I am going to share some tricks and tips for rolling and dipping that make this baking project much more sane.*

Being the chocolate lover that I am, I decided to make my first cake balls into brownie bites by dipping brownie and chocolate frosting balls in semi-sweet chocolate. I know, WHOA, chocolate overload, right? Absolutely! Still, I took them to work on Friday as well as a housewarming party on Saturday where they were gobbled up. However, if you're not a chocolate fiend, the great thing about cake balls is that you can use any combination of cake mix, frosting, and chocolate shell.... Recently I've had red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting dipped in both white and milk chocolate and Funfetti dipped in white chocolate.


Here's my recipe for brownie bites:


Ingredients:
  • 1 package of brownie mix
  • eggs, vegetable oil, water to make brownie mix as directed
  • 1 can of frosting - your choice but I used chocolate. I think I may try cream cheese next time, though!
  • 24 oz (2 bags regular-sized 12 oz bags) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar
Tools*:
  • 2 large bowls (1 microwave safe)
  • 1 baking pan
  • wax paper
  • spatula
  • dipping wand (found at Michaels)
  • 3 cookie sheets
  • 2 pots as a double boiler
  • 1 ice cream scoop
  • 1 butter knife
  • 1 piping bag and tip (also found at Michaels)
  • mini cupcake cups (optional)
*I originally picked up all my supplies at Sur la Table then went to Michaels for the dipping wand where I discovered everything I'd purchased at SLT was cheaper at Michaels.



Directions:
  • Bake brownies as directed. Let cool before adding 1 can of frosting. Mix well.
  • Chill brownie + frosting in fridge until rollable (I've been know to leave it in the fridge overnight to pick up 24 hours later)
  • To make consistently shaped brownie bites, I suggest setting up a work place like the one pictured (minus the tinfoil-ed pan):

  • Place wax paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Pour powdered sugar into bowl.
  • Wash your hands!
  • Coat ice cream scoop, knife, and hands in powdered sugar
  • Scoop brownie mix and use the knife to scrape off excess
  • Pop brownie scoop into your hand, half it, then roll. This process made easier by watching Sex and the City re-reruns ;)
  • Since the next step is to dip the balls in melted chocolate, they need to chill in the fridge. (Some people suggest freezing them, but I find that they sweat once they start to defrost which makes the consistency mushy. Yuck.) Again, I usually come back to them 24 hours later as I have a full-time job and only have an hour or two to dedicate to them after work.
  • Set up your double broiler (water in the bottom pot, chocolate chips in the top).
  • Place wax paper on two cookie sheets to switch back and forth between when one is in the fridge. Hardening your chocolate in the fridge will give them a nice shine versus hardening them at room temperature which leaves them dull-looking.
  • One by one, toss the brownie balls into the melted chocolate. Use your dipping wand to scoop completely cover it before scooping it out. Shake as much excess chocolate off before placing onto the cookie sheet.



  • After all brownie bites have been dipped and the chocolate coating is hard, melt a little white chocolate in the microwave. (I tried using the double boiler and burnt the chocolate.) I found that microwaving for 30 second intervals on .2o power does the trick!
  • Pour white chocolate into piping bag and go to town! I don't bother decorating one ball at a time. I just kinda do it by rows.
  • Stick in fridge before popping into cupcake cups. Voila! You're done!
  • Store in fridge up to a week. These can also be frozen and defrosted in the fridge.



 For more tips and to view my Funfetti Cake Balls, visit here. 

*Having a partner in crime to assist with the roll, dip, n' drizzle is a huge time saver. Thanks for the intro to cake balls and helping hands around the kitchen today, ladies!









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I'm a girl constantly on the hunt for top quality, stellar customer service, and fun when it comes to shopping and eating out. The more affordable, the better. Though, you will quickly see that indulging in handbags - Hello, Louis! - and food - Hello, Foodie! - is a weakness of mine. Yes, posts will primarily pertain to the Bay Area as this is where I currently call "Home." However, I am no stranger to travel so visit often to read up on my finds and to chime in on your faves!

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