Friday, December 21, 2012

Holly Jolly Chocolate Cake Balls

I considered starting this post with some kind of Christmas/baking pun, most likely some sort of song lyrics with the words "cake balls" or "baking" inserted into a relatively sensical place. I didn't, so you can thank me later (the title doesn't count, so hold your tongue). But anyway, as you all know, it's a scientifical fact that Christmas is for baking, and I am not one to break the laws of nature, so I baked. This particular incident involved cake balls for a friend who works with my sister. She wanted to give some as Christmas presents, and let me design them as I pleased, as long as they remained relatively Christmas-y. (I just did a quick check, and I used the word Christmas 4 times in 5 sentences. So far, so good).

I had done some Christmas-esque cake balls for my work holiday party, and they were super cute (at least I thought so), so I used those as inspiration for these. At first I was going to do some chocolate, some white, and mostly gold decorations, but I couldn't resist red and green. And besides, as the cake was chocolate, it would have shown through on the white ones. Not cool.

I used the tried and true chocolate cake recipe from here, and cream cheese frosting (obviously). To make them, you can find my cake pop tutorial in the same place. The only difference between these and the cake pops is that these are not on a stick (hence balls and not pops), and I like to nestle them into little candy cups (which you can buy at craft stores). Dipping them is simple. I just dip the very bottom in the candy melts, place it on a fork, hold it over the bowl of melts, and pour the melts over the top with a spoon. Just pour it on there, as you will get rid of the excess once it's covered. After pouring a generous amount over the cake ball, gently tap the handle of the fork against the edge of the bowl. If you don't do this in a straight up and down motion, the cake ball might take a dive into the bowl, and then you'll have to fish it out and you might get crumbs in your melts. Neither of which is a huge issue, really. So have at it. Anyway, then you just gently slide the cake ball off the fork tines onto some parchment paper and add whatever decorations float your boat. You do want to add sprinkles and such while the melts/chocolate are still wet, otherwise they won't stick. Depending on how fast you dip/cover, you will want to stop and add decorations for every 1-4 cake balls that you dip.

My beautiful friend Ally came over to bake with me today, and I have to tell you all that she is a great baker, and I believe I will be bringing her on full time to help me with my cakes. Or at least to come over and eat cream cheese frosting. Here we are after we finished her cake balls that she took home for her family. She is super creative, and welcome in my kitchen any time.

And here's what I ended up with:

Dark chocolate and oh-so-precious gold stars.

Red with green sixlets and glitter. Glitter! And green with red sixlets and glitter. Because I like symmetry.

Red and green with white pearly-thingies and white sprinkles. 

Yummy. Festive, if I do say so myself. And I am totes gonna go buy those stars in literally every color they come in.

Merry baking to all, and to all a good night! 
(I am so sorry. Genuinely sorry. But I had to. Can't control myself with the Christmas-music-lyric thing. I tried my best.)