Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nutella Cake Balls's been quite awhile. But I'm back with something that isn't really new, but I tweaked a bit and has been incredibly successful so far. I'm talking about cake balls.

You may have seen them before at places like Starbucks as 'cake pops'. Tasty little balls of chocolate covered fudgey cake goodness. They can be made in almost any conceivable cake/frosting combination. I was going to try to make them with yellow cake and chocolate frosting, but then, as sometimes happens, I had a thought. What if, instead of chocolate frosting, I used Nutella?

Well what happens is you get little bits of ingest-able awesome.

Here's how it goes down.

You will need:
1 box of standard yellow cake mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme, but you can use whatever)
1 jar of nutella (I think its about 14oz, or thereabouts)
2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (dark chocolate would likely also work)
colorful sugar sprinkley things (optional...what, I like sparklies).

To start, make the box of cake mix according to directions.

After your cakes are completely cooled, rip them up into teeny pieces-it can be very cathartic! (I sort of stole a chunk of cake to eat while I worked both times, reasoning that a standard container of frosting is bigger than a jar of Nutella, and therefore it had to be compensated for. By removing part of the cake and eating it, obviously.)

 Once your cake is ripped up into teeny cake bits, its time to add the Nutella! (yay!) I had to split mine into two bowls because I wouldn't have had room to smoosh everything together at the start. But the main idea is you scoop out your Nutella, and plop it into the bowl. I mixed everything by hand, which while messy, works just fine. If you have something like a Kitchen Aid mixer,  you can use that, but your hands won't end up smelling deliciously of Nutella after (your loss).

 Once everything is smooshed together, stick your bowl(s) into the fridge to chill for a few minutes. I washed my dishes while I waited. You want to let it chill enough that it can be worked with. When its ready, take out and have a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, or use a silicone sheet (its what I used, and it rocks). Your goal at this point is to make little balls out of the mixture you've got. I used a melon-baller to get uniform sizes, but you can also just use a teaspoon and roll it with your hands.When you've got a tray full, stick those back in the fridge to chill. We want to keep our cake balls nice and together until we can dip them.

 While your cake balls are chilling, you can start melting your chocolate. I used a double boiler, which made things much easier, but you can do something similar with a bowl set in a hot water bath. You just need to be REALLY careful not to let any of the moisture into the chocolate, or you will end up with a hot mess- literally (head to to find out the science of why!).

Once your chocolate is melted and happy, bring your cake balls back out. The first time I made these, I tried controlling them with a spoon and a toothpick, and let me tell you, that was no fun. If you can, get what I bought for the second try, a set of  these things. They make it so much easier to work with the cake balls->

The idea is that you plop a ball in, roll it around until its covered in melted chocolate, then scoop it back up again, getting the excess chocolate off, then dropping it back onto the cookie sheet. Once all the balls on the sheet have been dipped, you have the option while the chocolate is still soft to add things. I sprinkled on blue sugar crystals, but you could likely use whatever sort of cake decoration strikes your fancy. Then pop them back in the fridge to set for a final time.

I gave mine overnight to set, but usually a few hours is sufficient. And when you're done, you have a delicious, decadent dessert that will look incredibly fancy, but was actually really easy to make! Enjoy!