There were two very sweet-looking ladies behind the table he had stopped in front of. One spoke up, "Oh, it's OK. He's just tasting a sample of our cake balls." As he finished his mouthful, he went in for seconds. The other "sweet" lady took the plate from the table and told him that his Mommy would have to buy some cake balls for him if he wanted more. You can imagine the carnage that came after I found that one dozen quarter-size cake balls would set me back FOUR DOLLARS! I just don't have that kind of money, not even for a splurge. We left with me hauling two very heavy bags of produce on one shoulder and a kicking and screaming 30 lb. kid under one arm. (I did hear someone mention how mean it was of those ladies to do that to me and Little Guy. Yeah!)
Well, he's been talking about those things ever since that day. Often, upon waking up in the morning, presumably from a dream, demanding I give him the cake balls that he knows I have hidden somewhere in the kitchen. When I tell him (repeatedly) that there are none, we end up in the middle of a first-thing-in-the-morning, before mommy has her coffee, full-on tantrum. So I decided that since hubby's birthday was on Monday and we needed to make a cake anyway, I'd so a single layer for him and we'd use the other layer to try our hand at making these cake thingies.
I checked out a few posts from other bloggers to see how the whole process worked. I basically found the following: 1) They're super-easy to make. 2) You basically crumble the cake, mix with frosting, roll into balls, then dip them into melted baking chips. EASY!!! I figured there must be a catch. I asked on my Facebook page for tips from those who
've already done these things and Lisa, Baking Momma of Two, was the only one to speak up. She directed me to a post she had written when she decided to make (really cute) Spring Chick Cake Pops. The basic directions on her post were the same as I wrote above. But she also described some of the problems she encountered and how she got around it (or would now that she knows better.) Things like the dipped cake balls looking pretty ugly (a second coat fixes this!) You don't want to buy the "super moist" cake mix (this tip had me over-bake the cake a little to get rid of the extra moisture.) She mentioned how messy making the cake into crumbs was, so I was able to elicit the help of Little Guy (payment came in the form of not complaining when he to big bites out of the cake!) Oh - here's a good one that I'd probably have tried if she hadn't done so first: Don't attempt to use plastic candy molds to make shaped cake. Don't try to get too fancy with the decorating - it's harder than you think. Apparently, you need to work fast to get all of the decorations on before the melted baking chips harden. (Lisa made her own mini baking chips in the colors she needed! I'd have probably left the chicks beak-less!) And, finally, it take a LOT of time to make these things. That is one that I just didn't believe enough - I put the finishing touches on mine at 10:20pm - three hours after I started dipping them into melted chocolate. This does not account for the time spent making the cake, making crumbs & icing, and rolling it into balls.
So, here's my journey in pictures. I really love how they turned out. These won't be made on a regular basis (cupcakes are SO MUCH EASIER!), but they're great for special occasions. Oh, and the $4 price tag was nuts - even with the time I put in on these, there's no way that each one is worth $0.33 each!
|Naked Balls (!)|
|Helping Clean the Icing Bowl|
|UGLY! I began to despair at this moment. It was my first layer.|
|Looking better after the butterscotch layer went on!|
|Yes! The dark chocolate covered up all of the mistakes!|
|We used leftover melted chips to decorate Hubby's cake. (Like my last-minute candle fix?!)|
|Little Guy knows that, now that we've sung "Happy Birthday", he can sample some cake balls!!!|