The second Valentine’s my husband and I celebrated he made me dark chocolate truffles. They weren’t the prettiest things ever, and he kept beating himself up for it, but they tasted great! This year I wanted to return the favor but remembering his frustration with the truffles I wanted something a little easier. I found this recipe for red velvent cake balls from Bakerella and new I had found a winner, sort of. J. likes red velvet cake but he doesn’t love it so I decided to adapt the recipe a bit. I used a strawberry cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and Giardelli’s 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips and it came out amazing if I do say so myself.
Per Bakerella’s instructions I made the cake mix as instructed on the box.
Lacking a 9 X 13 I used to 8 inch round ones. I figure it doesn’t matter what shape you bake it in since you are crumbling it up anyway.
Once the cake were cool I tore each one into four pieces and hollowed them out so that none of the brown outer edges ended up in the bowl. I realize this is a bit shall we say OCD but I wanted pink cake balls not pink and brown ones. Plus I got to eat the outer edges 😉
Then I combined one can of cream cheese frosting with the crumbs using my hands. And like Bakerella warned it got messy!
I found the room temperature mixture of cake and cream cheese too soft to work with so I tried sticking in the fridge (didn’t work), then in the freezer for 20 minutes (still not enough) and finally 40 minutes- just right! If I did it again I would stick it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes immediately after combining the cake and frosting and before I attempted to do anything with it.
I tried to play with shapes making balls, squares, hearts and kisses. If you want to experiment the chilled mixture is key!
By then it was getting late and I left the balls in the fridge over night and then stuck them in the freezer for an hour before coating them with chocolate.
I’ve never used chocolate bark before and I didn’t want these to end up too sweet so I used dark chocolate chips melted on the stovetop using an improvised double burner. It took one and a half 11.5 oz bags of the chips to coat all my cake balls.
I did this in two batches because you want the dough to be nice and chill so it hold its shape when rolled in the hot/warm chocolate and you want the chocolate to be bordering on hot to get nice coverage. Once the chocolate was melted I kept in the bowl on low heat on the double boiler. When I turned the heat off the chocolate would cool and give me uneven coverage. If someone was more practiced and thus faster this might not be a problem.
You also want to keep enough chocolate in the bowl too easily cover the dough. If you have too little you will also get uneven coverage. I used my fingers to roll the dough around and didn’t really have any problems. Occasionally I would use a regular spoon to add more chocolate over the cake ball once it was place back on the wax paper. And with some of them I dipped them in again after fully cooled to cover any “bald spots.”
The end result is amazing, I mean amazing!