I recently found these wonderful little treats called Cake Balls on a very creative web site called Bakerella. Once I saw these I knew I had to attempt to make them. Make them I did - for my Bible study a few weeks ago and they were a hit. My sweet Heens (aka my mom-in-law) said "Risa, this is the best thing you have ever baked! This is your crowning achievement so far!". The Bible study leader Kathie had taken some home for her family and her son ate all of them - so no one else got any! Even my hubby who doesn't like cake enjoyed them. All that to say...if you have the time...you must make these.
I decided to make the cake and frosting from scratch....since I enjoy the taste of homemade baked goods so much more than boxed.
Devil's Food Cake
Source: adapted from Martha Stewart recipe. For original recipe click here.
Butter pans and parchment paper.
Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. Helpful Hint: the recipe calls for dutch-process cocoa. If you can't find that, use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa or any other brand of dark cocoa.
Sift dry ingredients.
Melt butter and sugar.
Beat for about 4-5 minutes or until cool.
Beat eggs one at a time.
Beat in vanilla. Helpful Hint: you can substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract. I use Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. It gives cookies and cakes a gourmet look because of the vanilla bean seeds.
Add cocoa mixture.
Add flour mixture in 2 batches.
Add sour cream in the middle of the 2 batches of flour. Mix until combined.
Pour into cake pans and bake!
Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack and let cool completely.
Whisk cocoa and hot water until smooth.
Beat butter, sugar and salt until it looks like.....
this! Pale and fluffy.
Melt chocolate. Yes, this is 1 pound of chocolate bliss you are looking at!
Combine melted chocolate and cocoa mixture and add to butter and sugar mixture.
Beat until combined and you have the frosting!
The Cake Balls
For the complete Cake Ball recipe from Bakerella click here
Crumble the cake into a large bowl. Helpful Hint: on the Bakerella web site there was a tip to use a food processor to crumble the cake. This was much faster and all the crumbled pieces are the same size!
Mix crumbled cake and frosting thoroughly. You can use your hands (messy warning!) or the back of a large spoon. I just dug right in and used my hands. I felt like was in grade school again playing with play dough! Had a great time.
Roll mixture into 1.25"-1.5" size balls and lay on wax covered cookie sheet. Should make anywhere from 40-50. Put in fridge for several hours. Helpful Hint: on the Bakerella web site there was a tip to put in the freezer for 15 minutes if you don't have several hours (which most people don't. I am going for the 15 minute version!).
Melt the chocolate bark (in this case white chocolate). Be sure you don't get any water on the chocolate bark. It changes the texture and you won't be able to use it. Helpful Hint: melt 3 or 4 pieces at a time and dip as many cake balls as you can. The chocolate bark is easier to work with when it's completely melted. Once it starts to firm up it gets more difficult.
You can melt the chocolate bark a few different ways: the microwave, the oven and the stove top. I chose the stove top so I could stir and make sure it didn't burn. If you use the stove top method stir until completely melted and shiny.
Dip cake ball into melted chocolate bark and place on wax paper until firm. Helpful Hint: for me it was easier to pour the melted chocolate bark into a small bowl and dip the cake balls into it rather than leaving it in the sauce pan. The first few I made weren't the most aesthetically pleasing. After awhile I got the hang of it though.
I added some festive colored sprinkles. Helpful Hint: if you want to add any sprinkles be sure to sprinkle them on quickly after you dip them before the bark starts to firm up.