April 3, 2010

On re-using gross bakery cakes that no one wants.

Posted in Baking, Birthdays, Bite-Sized, Holidays, No-Bake, Rescues at 2:51 pm by Dani

Note: There are a lot of words in this post. Don’t be intimidated–it’s just because you have 2 options.

I can’t take credit for most of this one. Credit belongs to the lovely blogger over at recipe rhapsody who got the idea from Bakerella. She blogged about these little cake pop concoctions and I just HAD to try it. But it’s Passover! Not to fear, ladies and gentlemen. I found a way around it.

Too lazy to click on the link? Basically, what she made were cake pops and cake balls, comprise of crumbled cake from a cake mix, and the frosting that you buy from the store. Mix them up and coat with chocolate. It looks amazing on her site!

Cake Pop

First, a little story:

Wednesday was my mom’s birthday, and it was also my sister’s baby shower. I had already made my mom an epic cake for the seder a few days earlier, so I didn’t think about doing it again on her actual birthday. Once the shower had already started, my two sisters and I decided that it was thoughtless of us not to have a cake for our mom, who after all threw a whole baby shower on hardly a week’s notice. So I was assigned the task of driving out to the nearest bakery we knew of that had kosher cakes (about 10-15 min drive). They had two options: one twice the price of the other. I was tempted to get the more expensive one because it was a flourless cake (YUM!). I resisted and instead bought the 7-layer cake (4 layers of passover sponge cake with 3 layers of frosting in between). It was one of those small 8″ rectangle cakes. Let me tell you, it didn’t taste very good.

So now, 2 days after the shower/birthday, we’re left with almost a whole cake that no one wants to eat. Which got me thinking–if the recipe for cake pops calls for cake with a heap of frosting, how is that any different from a pre-assembled cake comprised of cake and frosting? It’s not, that’s how.

Chocolate or Chocolate-Banana Cake Balls:

Please read the whole of the directions before you start. There’s two sets of instructions in there, and you don’t want to start working only to realize you have to start over.

Pre-Assembled Cake

This cake was not tasty at all.

1. Start with a pre-assembled 7-layer cake. If it’s a different cake you have, just make sure it’s got cake and frosting. It might even work if it’s cake, frosting, and something else. It might add a little special kick, so go for it anyway! Shave off whatever is around the cake. You can put it back in if you want later, so don’t throw anything out. If the cake has parts with sprinkles or toppings and parts without like mine did, just try to keep those parts separate.

Cake sans-outer frosting

It's looking kind of sad right now.

2. Put the cake into a bowl and mush it up with your hands, Thanksgiving stuffing style. Just keep mushing until it’s cohesive. I suppose this could be done in a food processor, but why make it dirty when hands are so much easier to clean? Just make sure you wash your hands with soap before you start. I found that my cake didn’t have enough frosting in it for the batter to hold together, so I added some of the sprinkle-less frosting that I removed in step 1 (not all of it–that would have been too much).

3a. When you’re done, form it into a ball. Refrigerate for about an hour. More or less.

4a. Remove from fridge. Roll into little balls, the size of which is totally up to you. I did about 1.5″ diameter for what I plan on calling “cake balls,” as opposed to “cake truffles.”

cakeballs

Take 1. Keep reading for take 2.

Steps 5+ will be the same for both methods, so see below for what to do now. But first taste it. If it doesn’t taste good, you may want to do the second method which you can read about below.

At this point I tasted it and realize that no amount of mushing could disguise the taste of the passover cake. Your cake might be different. I highly suggest you try it, and see how it tastes. If it’s good, you might want to leave it like that. If not, do this:

3b. Add 1 whole ripe banana. Keep mushing. It’s going to be softer than it was without the banana. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.┬áRemove from fridge. separate into chunks. Don’t worry about balling them. Put back in fridge for about 45 minutes, more or less depending on how much it warmed while you were working with it during this step.

take 2

Take 2. Don't worry about the shape. That's the next step.

4b. Remove from fridge, and ball (quickly!).

This is where the two methods converge:

5. Melt 12 oz chocolate in a bowl, carefully. If doing this in the microwave, stop nuking just before it’s all melted together. DO NOT OVERDO THE MICROWAVING.

6. Coat balls with melted chocolate. Sprinkle.

Careful with step 6, especially if you used the banana. I completely messed up a couple of balls until I found a good method.

Be really gentle because the banana makes the balls super soft. I used two spoons to dip the balls into the chocolate, roll them around, then extract them. Don’t stab, hit, or even gently poke the balls with the spoons. Pick them up from underneath ONLY. After you’ve extracted the ball, let it sit on the spoon for a few seconds until most of the excess chocolate has dripped off. Place the ball onto a cookie sheet lined with a sheet of wax paper (don’t forget to use wax paper. It’s very important) by inverting the ball onto the surface, and slowly taking the spoon off. Sprinkle. Don’t try to pick it up, please. Repeat with all balls, and place in fridge, as is. I hope you haven’t tried to pick up any you thought were hardened. If you did, you know that it won’t work.

Leave the coated balls in the fridge for a good 30 minutes just to be sure, by which time you can easily remove them from the paper. I wish someone had told me all that before I started…It would have saved me a big mess.

donezo

You can tell I started with the yellow, and ended with the blue. I got the hang if it by the end. The blue and green ones are when I finally figured out to use wax paper and refrigerate.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about what happened with the shower: My mom didn’t even notice I was gone, and was totally surprised that we had come up with a cake out of thin air!

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