Two magical words of goodness: Cake Balls
Go ahead. Say it out loud. You know you want to: Cake Balls. Cake Balls. Cake Balls. The only thing more fun than actually saying "cake balls" is eating them.
One of my best friends introduced me to this magical concept on my birthday when she made cake balls for me. I inhaled them because they were just that yummy. Then on the 4th she had us over and she made over-sized cake balls and put them on ice cream cones and iced them to look like ice cream. They were scrum-diddly-umptious.
The Hater's birthday is on Tuesday. He had the option of a birthday cake or birthday cake balls for the celebration. He chose the latter and so began my quest to make cake balls.
I began with an extensive interview with the dessert goddess. She explained in detail and then directed me to this website, one she had found when reading about it. This lady makes completely over-the-top cake balls. In fact, if there could be a cake ball goddess it would probably be this lady.
The first thing you do is decide what kind of cake and icing you want. The Hater and I stood in front of the box mixes and imagined combinations, but he decided on Devil's Food cake and milk chocolate icing. We also bought a package of vanilla almond bark for the candy coating of goodness.
Step one: Make cake per box directions. Let cool completely. (Easy enough, right?) Baby loves to help make cake. She also likes to lick the beaters after the cake is in the oven.
Step two: After completely cool, crumble cake into large bowl. Think in terms of super fine crumbs.
Step three: A dollop at a time, mix an entire container of icing into the crumb mixture. Mix until completely mushy.
Step four: Roll into balls and place on parchment paper. I used a mellon baller and also sprayed a little bit of cooking spray on my hands to keep the chocolate mush from sticking. I did not include Baby on this step, although she would have loved getting chocolate everywhere. It made about 70 balls, which I fit onto one cookie sheet.
Step five: Chill in fridge overnight.
Step six: If you don't have a double boiler, improvise. Melt almond bark. This takes forever, so keep your cake balls in the fridge until the almond bark is smooth as silk.
Step seven: Coat cake balls in almond bark. This step is trickier than it sounds. I had difficulty getting the almond bark to stick evenly without the cake ball crumbling. It worked best when I dropped the ball and just used a spoon to roll it around to cover it.
Step eight: If you're going to add sprinkles or anything that you want to stick to the almond bark, do so while it's still wet.
We also bought a package of squirt icing that Baby had a complete ball squeezing onto the cake balls. And we had to have a candle for his birthday!
Would I do them again? Yes and no. The double chocolate combo is just about too rich for me, which is a bold statement because usually I'm the one who has no problem eating what everybody else says is too rich. (It was me pushing for the dark chocolate cake mix at the store...)
Let me go back and say some more about the ice cream cone cake balls that my friend made. She made large cake balls (steps 1-5) with yellow cake and buttercream frosting (a divine combination, btw), and then mashed them into waffle cones to look like a scoop of ice cream. Then instead of using almond bark she used more icing to ice it on top to look like vanilla ice cream, then put sprinkles on top. It was super cute. And now that I've made them I like the idea of skipping the almond bark step of annoyance.
On the webpage I mentioned earlier - I saw in one place that the lady made cake balls and then put them into mini cupcake liners, iced and decorated --- also skipping the almond bark step.
The final verdict: The Hater thinks they're great, which means they were a success because they are, after all, for his birthday.