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Cake Balls on a Roll

February 3, 2010

DMN

Cake balls a fire! For sure. One of the hottest trends in desserts has rolled back into town. That’s right; today in the Guide Daily section of the Dallas Morning News you have this fast and fancy confection bouncing right into your kitchen for the second time. Why?? Last month this story, by Valerie Jarvey got over 18,000 hits in one month. They are everywhere.

I have the fortunate assignment of food stylist; that means, they pay me to play with food. I have made hundreds of these balls. So I am passing this on to you. As Valentine’s Day approaches you can design your own dessert. Get the kids involved and before you know it you will have more fun rolling, dipping and topping a treat than you thought possible. Look out Godiva truffles you got a new elegant candy scoring points with all age groups. Yum!

Basic Cake Ball Recipe

1 (18.25-ounce) boxed cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
   
1 (16-ounce) can prepared frosting
   
  Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating (both recipes follow)

Photos by EVANS CAGLAGE/DMN; food styling by JANE JARRELL/Special Contributor;  styling by DANIELLE LEVKOVITS/Staff Designer

Photos by EVANS CAGLAGE/DMN; food styling by JANE JARRELL/Special Contributor; styling by DANIELLE LEVKOVITS/Staff Designer

Strawberry cake balls with chocolate coating

Bake the cake according to package instructions. While warm, crumble the cake into a bowl with a hand mixer to a fine texture. Mix in frosting to make a paste, using 3/4 to a full can of frosting, according to taste. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.

Using a melon baller or your hands, form the mixture into 1 ½ -inch balls. Place the balls on wax paper; freeze at least 6 hours.

Working in small batches, remove the balls from the freezer and dip the balls into warm, melted Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating, using toothpicks or forks to manipulate the balls. Remove the balls. Place the balls on wax paper to harden.

Makes about 30 cake balls.

We asked two bakers, Robin Ankeny, owner of the Cake Ball Company, and Jeri Kopecky, owner of the Cake Carousel bakery and cake supply store, for tips. Here’s their advice:

1. Chill the cake-and-frosting mixture well (at least 2 hours) before you shape the balls. Freeze the balls at least 6 hours before dipping. Before dipping, make sure the cake balls aren’t frozen solid because after being dipped, the coating has a tendency to crack when drying. Pre-dipped cake balls can be kept frozen for weeks.

2. To form the balls, use a melon scoop for uniform size. Small balls are easier to eat.

3. Work in small batches when dipping, keeping the rest in the freezer.

4. Use toothpicks, a fork or a skewer to manipulate the balls when dipping. Perfectionists may want to buy a candy-dipping fork because it ensures even coating of each cake ball to make it look like a truffle.

5. Use oil-based candy dye to color frosting. Start with a few drops, and add a little at a time.

6. Lay the dipped balls on wax paper to harden, placing the spot where you pierced the ball down to cover the hole, or cover the hole with decoration.

7. For decoration, fill a narrow-tip plastic squeeze bottle with a contrasting color of melted coating and paint stripes over the balls, or sprinkle on rainbow jimmies, colored sparkling sugar or finely chopped nuts. (If you are using oil-based candy color to tint coating made from white- chocolate disks, decorate with sprinkles quickly as the oil candy color causes the coating to set rapidly.

8. Dipped balls will keep at room temperature for days; if you refrigerate them, the coating will sweat.

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