Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My A-HA! moment

Have you tried to make cake balls? Let's start with the name...as my cousin, Tara, wisely pointed out, "cake balls" is a little scary sounding. They are hereby renamed, "cake truffles." Much better!
OK...I was getting a little frustrated because my cake, um, truffles weren't smooth like I'd seen on some other blogs. Mine tasted good, but they were lumpy.

These are Gingerbread Truffles (really yummy!) made with a gingerbread mix, baked and mixed with chocolate frosting. My A-HA! moment....shortening! I added a 1/2 teaspoon of Crisco to the melted candy melts and stirred until it melted into the chocolate. (I melted them in a bowl over barely simmering water.)
Voila! Smoother coating...and much easier to work with! This time, I used a toothpick to dip the cake into the chocolate. This worked great, but I was left with an uncovered area on the top. My original idea was to flip it to be on the bottom, but that didn't work. Any suggestions? You can see how I covered it up with a dollop of chocolate on top and sprinkles. :)
I'll be out-of-pocket for a while...a little traveling and moving (yay!) is keeping our December busy, so MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! Have a wonderful holiday!

36 comments:

  1. Hey Bridget -- Bakerella -- the cake truffle queen -- makes hers as cake pops so she has them on a lollipop stick and uses that to dip them. Of course -- that only works if you want pops. I had the same problem with the truffles being smooth -- thanks for the hint. And thank you for coming up with a new name -- my husband and his college roommate had much fun with that -- didn't stop them from eating all of them. Where is the big move to? Just another house or new town?

    Merry Christmas! And thanks for sharing your great ideas -- you are incredibly creative.
    Jean

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  2. I agree that they shouldn't be called cake balls. It's just not right. I call them cake truffles as well.

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  3. Oh your Sphere's of Joy (that is what this cousin likes to call them)look delish! I never thought of using gingerbread. I bet they are so wonderful. Thanks for the tip on the melting chocolate I had a disaster on my hands last time I tried it! MERRY CHRISTMAS good luck moving and vacationing :)

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  4. Did you ever see the movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase? When I call them cake balls, all I can think of are lamb fries. lmao. If you've seen the movie, well, 'nuff said. ;)

    Here is a link to mine: http://scrampinmama.blogspot.com/2008/12/chocolatey-goodness.html

    They are not smooth, but they go down the same, so I figure they're good enough. ;)

    As for dipping, I used the pampered chef double boiler, which comes with a dipper. It worked pretty well, but no matter what I did I still had spots where it didn't cover.

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  5. I thought I was busy! The cake balls, cookies and Martha's cookie boxes are all wonderful. I am going to have to get some of those boxes. I have been baking like crazy! I did 25 dozen cookies for a friend last week. More baking to do up until Christmas Eve! The rest of my week has been quite hectic. My son, Brett, was in a pretty good car accident and totaled his car. Thank goodness he was alright. We have a friend in from Atlanta to go hunting until Tuesday. So, entertaining, baking, looking for another car and praising God that my son only had a bump on the knee. I am mentally tired but cheerful. In case we don't chat, have a great Christmas!

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  6. Oh my gosh, Montee! I'm so glad he's ok.

    Merry Christmas!

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  7. There will be smooth cake balls awaiting your arrival!!! Thanks for the tip. Can you guess what combo I am making?

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  8. Hmmm....Molly, I think you are making mint chocolate chip cake balls, TRUFFLES. Do I win? I will eat them no matter WHAT kind they are!!! :)

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  9. Thank You! The last time I made these, I got so frustrated with the icing. I actually have naked cake truffles (much fancier sounding) in my refrigerator waiting to be dipped.
    Thanks Again!
    Missy/Queen Bee of crafts

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  10. Naked cake truffles! I love that, Missy! ;)

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  11. Oh but naked cake balls sounds REALLY funny! :)

    Your "truffles" look wonderful..and delicious!

    I was going to suggest the lollipop sticks to dip the truffles. Then if you don't want them to be lollipops, just pull the stick out immediately. Might work?

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  12. Ok, cake truffles does sound very chic and less well, ballsy, but their name reminds me of the SNL skit w/ the shweaty-balls, which for me, makes them that much more fun for conversation purposes.

    And for full coverage, I recommend Wilton's candy-making tools ($2 or so). They works really well!

    Love your blog!

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  13. Oh I love your truffles. I've tried to attempt to so some, but kinda hesitate. Your's look beautiful.

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  14. Thanks for the hint on making them smooth. I've been saving my cake "scraps" to make these!

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  15. LOL@cake balls. Ive never had anyone say anything about the name but of course mostly men get them as gifts as my husband works with a room full of them. Yours are so round and perfect.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

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  16. I love the new name :) Now, I think I might try one.

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  17. so cute!
    I have a question, I love your "gift" cutter as well as the scalloped cookie cutter you like to use (the square one that you used for the cookies on your blog header). Where do you get your cutters? I'd love to get some!:

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  18. Het Mandy! I've been out of town...sorry it's taken me so long.

    The scalloped cutter is a Wilton cutter that they don't make any more. :( The presnt cutter, I think, I from http://www.thelittlefoxfactory.com/

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  19. Bridget, these look terrific and so did your other ones. I'd hate to hear what you think of mine if you weren't happy with yours! Thanks for tip on adding the shortening!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas & Happy 2009!
    ~ingrid

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  20. Bridget, thank you! I'll keep my eye out for a scalloped one.:)
    We baked some adorable flower quiches yesterday if you want to check them out!
    www.gourmetmomonthego.blogspot.com

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  21. I found a set of 4 scalloped square cutters for $12 at www.sugarcraft.com! They range from 1-1/8" to 3-1/4". Hooray!

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  22. Happy New Year!
    BTW, I'm going to try those cake balls for Valentines Day using homemade red and pink velvet cake, I'll let you know how they work out, we'll probably make some test balls in the meantime.
    balls......hehehe

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  23. Laura...I'm sure yours will be adorable! And, yes, I think you need some test balls! ;)

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  24. I use a spoon to dip mine and then lightly tap the spoon against the pot Im dipping them in. The tap leaves them smooth. Then I just slide them off the spoon with a toothpick on to parchment to set up.

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  25. i use a fork and set them on the fork, then dip them and let the excess drip off. then i use a toothpick (towards the bottom) to push them off the fork onto the wax paper to set. that way, any blemish is on the bottom, not the top of the truffle and you can patch it up easily with a little extra chocolate

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  26. What's wrong with a little dollop of chocolate on top?! I love them just as they are. What a fun idea!

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  27. When I made these with a group of church ladies, we also changed the name to cake truffles. And we also had trouble with smooth coverage. Although they tasted great.

    Next time I'll add shortening and try the tap method.

    Love your blog. Wish today was shopping day so I could get some baking supplies and try one of your recipes.

    My favorite cookie so far is the one you made for your dad's birthday.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  28. Did you ever figure out how to get full coverage on your balls (LOL)? I call mine Cake Ball Truffles, and I dip them all once about 3/4 of the way in with a fork, then I have to dip the tops in again to cover the naked spot. It leaves a noticeable line all the way around :\
    I am a new blog reader, I can't wait to see all of your goodies! You can find me at The Sweet Life: http://saraatthesweetlife.blogspot.com/

    ~Sara

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  29. Hey there-
    I found that if you use the canning wax it does not make your chocolate so oily tasting.. Use a zester or microplane grater to to just a little to add to the chips while they are heating up!! Works every time !! Hope this helps!

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  30. Love to try this recipe.Looks deliciously good.

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  31. Hi Bridget!
    Love your blog...thanks for making it easier for all of us to have professional quality baked goods! I know this is an older post, but I wanted to comment after doing some batches of cake truffles for a baby shower this weekend...
    : )
    (and many thanks for your "a-ha"...works like a charm!)

    I have been experimenting with a couple of ways to get it *just* right, and my family is very thankful for the test batches. I tried the toothpick and found it difficult to get the bottom side down as well. And then, I had this idea that I wanted to *not* put them on wax paper because no matter how long I let them drip, I always had too big of a pool that dried around them. SO I put them on my non stick cooling rack over a baking sheet...which, would have been BRILLIANT, but having coated the entire thing, it ripped off the bottoms of the truffles when I moved them after they set.

    SO, I did the following and had much success in coming up with a beautiful, somewhat flawless, truffle for the treat bags:

    Use a toothpick to stick the bottom, dip in the candy/chocolate (like you do a buckeye), roll it to coat just up to where it will sit, take it out, twirl a little to let the excess drip, then turn it right side up (almost) and put a fork under the truffle, sliding the pick out, and THEN place the truffle on the cooling rack by putting the fork down, roll the tines down toward to baking sheet, and then slide the fork away from the truffle. *phew* from there, I put my sprinkles or sugar on before it set, and worked on just 3 at a time...once it was set enough, but not completely rock solid, I gently picked it up off the cooling rack and moved it to a different section, so whatever candy that dripped didn't adhere too much to the rack, thus ripping off the bottom once again. This does mean that the entire thing is not coated, but I figured if I was ripping off the bottom anyway, it was just a nicer way to have it exposed. I placed them in tiny muffin liners to put in the treat bags, and not having the excess around it made for a nicer looking truffle.

    Doing it this way means that it can take a little more time by working in small batches (and also going back and forth to the fridge for the other truffles...I found that if they were out too long before dipping, they didn't stay on the toothpick very well and I had to fish them out), but I ended up with a professional looking product that I am SO excited to give away!

    Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble and share what worked for me!

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  32. I have the Cake Pops book and was investigating. For her cake balls, she says to put the ball in the chocolate, use a spoon to pour extra chocolate over the top so it's fully covered, then lift out the cake ball with the spoon. Holding the spoon over the bowl, tap the handle of the spoon on the edge of the bowl so the extra falls off back into the bowl. It also helps to smooth out the surface. Let the cake ball slide right off the spoon onto the waxed paper sheet. If you notice too much extra chocolate pooling around, use a toothpick to draw a line around the base of the cake ball before the coating sets. Then, once it is set, you can break away any unwanted coating.
    Hope that helps!

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  33. Hi There,
    I was reading about your "cake truffles", "cake balls", etc. I call mine bon-bons and I use a dipping tool that you can order online. It makes a pretty swirl on the top of each bon-bon. There is no hole from the toothpick or balancing act from the fork. It is well worth purchasing. Good Luck!

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  34. You could also try CandiQuik Candy coating ;) melts 100x better, smooth, no crisco needed. Promise.

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