Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cake Truffles

I was snooping around the depths of the internet when I came along some cake truffles for sale for nearly twenty dollars for a dozen tiny balls of cake covered in chocolate. I decided to snoop further into this topic because how they were made completely eluded me. They must be really difficult too because of how expensive all of the ones I saw were. Were the balls of cake baked in that shape? how is the cake formed in that shape and so moist? Well it turns out I was right about the labor intensive part of my theory. However my other theories regarding the shape were grossly off... Essentially, it is a baked cake mixed with frosting to become malleable and moist. The people selling these delicious snacks by the dozen are (I assume and hope) baking their own cake from scratch and then combining it with frosting also made from scratch. Suddenly the price makes sense. I found this recipe which is much less involved. It is still quite a process though. The end result, though coming from the humble beginnings of a cake mix and store-bought frosting, is fabulous. They look amazing and professional and taste even better. They are super sweet though so 1 or 2 is the limit every time. The cake inside is so moist even after all it has been through. I was surprised and they stay this good for a while because they keep in the fridge very well. Which is necessary because the recipe yielded about 60 truffles for me.

I decided to go the very traditional route and use the classic combination of red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. I am surprised at myself for falling so in love with a recipe based on a mix but I won't be embarrassed by it because the result is amazing.
Gotta love that food coloring. I know the recipe isn't convincing yet. But just make the cake mix in a 9x13 pan as the directions on the back call for. I won't condescend and tell anyone how to do this part. 
I think this is why I couldn't make this recipe from scratch. I don't know if I could bear to crumble up the cake I had just slaved over. A purely mental obstacle there. It doesn't feel like sacrilege though when there was really very little effort.
And this part I was unable to take pictures of. I decided to just get in there with my hands to mix the frosting and cake then roll into balls so I'm pretty sure my hands were dyed red for a while after this.
They turn out so pretty. I used an assortment of nuts, coconut flakes, and sprinkles to coat them. They all looked so neat in my fridge for the brief amount of time they stayed there. I got sixty truffles out of this so any person who dared enter my apartment left with quite a few of these babies. I got no complaints from anyone.

1 boxed cake mix
1 16 ounce tub of frosting
about 20 oz chocolate chips

1. Bake the cake according to the directions on the package. Remove and allow to cool completely on wire rack.

2. Crumble the entire cake into a large bowl then mix in the frosting, it is probably easiest to do this all with your hands. Messy but best. Form the cake mix into truffle-sized balls (about a Tbsp each) and then place on a foil lined cookie sheet. When done with all of the balls, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

3. When the balls are frozen. take out in smallish batches to coat with chocolate. My batches never got bigger than 18. Melt some of chocolate chips in the microwave being careful to stir occasionally to prevent the chocolate from scalding. Roll a cake ball in the chocolate and then set on a separate plate and coat with sprinkles or nuts if desired. While rolling these, be sure to keep the others frozen until dipping. I finished mine over the course of three days whenever I had time and an arsenal of chocolate. 

4. Refrigerate the finished truffles.

Etc: I used red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting coated with semi sweet chocolate but the possibilities are vast. There are so many different boxed cake mixes and frostings in the supermarkets. I sort of have a fantasy about recreating the flavors of a pineapple-upside-down cake. That's next I guess.

Also, coating these puppies is a pain in the butt. My system involved two spoons and it still wasn't terribly efficient so use whatever system works for you. 

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