Don't get me wrong, I was elated with my first two SRC assignments, which produced the Danish Puff and Victoria Sponge Cake. Both were outrageously delicious and I had such a good time perusing the blogs.
But this time around, the blogger herself, Gloria from The Ginger Snap Girl, truly intrigued me. Why you ask? Well we have quite a number of [odd] things in common, which I realized while reading her 'About Me' page. Let me demonstrate:
- Gloria has three cats and I have three dogs! First off, I don't know many people with three of anything. And second, we both have animals named Oliver! Crazy.
- Gloria's husband is from Chicago [hello, my all time favorite city!] while Gloria is from California [whaaaat, my all time favorite state!].
- Gloria's family LOVES food. Hmm, I vividly remember mentioning my family's passion for food in one my of posts. Oh yes, yes I did. But Gloria didn't really hone her cooking skills until college. What the...neither did I!! Sophomore year to be exact.
- Last but not least, Gloria began blogging in early 2010. Okay, let's just take a gander over at my archives. Yep, that's exactly when I started as well.
Is this weird or am I just imagining things? Pretty amusing to me and needless to say, I loved browsing through Gloria's recipes, which include both baking and cooking dishes. I have to admit, I was tempted to make some of Gloria's savory dishes for this SRC post because they just sounded so amazing. Chicken Piccata [I adore capers), Cheeseburger-stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese and Chive Bread, and Garlic Basil Shrimp with Orzo Pasta. Gah, mouth watering.
But I forced myself to stick to LSM's roots. And of course, Gloria didn't lack any sweet recipes. I debated between several items: Chocolate Chubbies, Chocolate Truffle Cookies, or Chocolate Malted Layer Cupcakes. Obviously the chocolate bug was creeping around...but I ultimately decided on the irresistible Christmas Cake Truffles. Why? Well, they're absolutely perfect for the season, duh. And I've also been dying to make cake balls for some time now but have never gotten around to it. So here was my chance. Gloria also provided a beautiful step-by-step tutorial, which was greatly comforting for my first attempt at cake ball-making!
And the results? Little mounds of rich perfection. Seriously, if you've never had a cake ball/truffle, you are missing out. Big time. These lovelies are truly truffle like, actually not what I was expecting in the least. The centers are creamy, made so by a mixture of soft red velvet cake and a coconut-marshmallow cream cheese frosting. And what's a truffle without some chocolate? Mmhmm, the centers are encased by a layer of scrumptious chocolate. Cake, special frosting, and chocolate all in one bite. What's not to love?!
Yet again, I had a fabulous time getting to know a fellow blogger. Thanks Gloria for the wonderful recipe and tutorial, I can't wait to share these with everyone! .
- Gloria's recipe called for a boxed cake mix and store-bought frosting, but she mentioned you could use a from-scratch recipe as well. I opted to use my Red Velvet Cake, the one Robbie made me for my birthday, simply because I loved it so much and knew it would be great. And it was more than great! So if you decide to use my recipe, hop on over to the post for directions on how to make the cake and frosting. It's a fun one, too, there's videos! Otherwise, reference Gloria's ingredients and directions below.
- If you decide to use my recipe, you'll also need 2 ounces of red food coloring for the cake. I put the batter into a 13x9-inch pan and baked at 350°F for 30 minutes, which is when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake came out clean (from here, pick up at Step 2 below). While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. And if you're not a coconut fan, feel free to leave that out of the frosting. Not saying I encourage you to do so [you'll regret it], but you know, just in case. I used about 2 cups of the frosting for the filling.
- For some reason, the filling started to pop out through the chocolate a little bit. It seems like there was some moisture, so some of the cake balls cracked slightly [see pictures below]. This doesn't effect their outrageous taste whatsoever, but just giving you the heads up!
- I realized that this recipe is an ABSOLUTE perfect family activity on say, oh, Christmas Eve?! Once the filling is ready, everyone can cover and decorate their own cake balls. What a fun little night!
From The Ginger Snap Girl
1 box red velvet cake mix (and ingredients on box to prepare cake)
1 container cream cheese frosting
2 (14 oz.) bags dark cocoa candy melts
Additional candy melts, sprinkles, gels, etc. for decoration
1. Mix and bake cake mix according to box instructions. Let cool.
2. Once cooled, cut cake into sections and place cake into food processor. Pulse until cake is crumbly (or, you can use your hands, fork, etc.). Place crumbs into a large bowl.
3. Add about 2/3 of the canned frosting to the cake crumbs and mix to completely combine, until you have a fudge-like consistency.
4. Using a medium-sized scoop or tablespoon, scoop dough and place cake balls onto parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet (make sure that whatever you place the cake balls on can fit into your freezer!). Take each ball and roll in hands to form a smooth ball and place back on baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer for 1 hour.
5. Once ready to decorate, place chocolate candy melts into large bowl and melt in microwave (heat at 30-second intervals until completely melted and smooth).
If you're using sprinkles, make sure to have the sprinkles ready to use. The chocolate melts very quickly, so you must decorate the cake balls immediately after covering in chocolate. I found it best to set up a short assembly line: dip in chocolate, place on parchment paper, and cover with sprinkles.
6. Place one cake ball into bowl and using two forks, roll ball in chocolate to cover completely. Using the forks, take cake ball out of bowl, letting excess chocolate drip off, and place onto parchment paper. Decorate as desired. Let cake balls set (only a minute or two).
Yield: about 60 cake balls