Monday, April 11, 2011

Making Balls of Cake......progression series for Mindi

It is always sweet to me when friends and family say things like, "Wow what you are making is AMAZING!" or "You are so good at things that are crafty". While I am Amazing (good to build my ego) and I am good at things that are Crafty.......those talents are NOT without practice. I do have to practice things and often times there are some miserable FAILURE moments. The reason some of you don't seem to think I have the ability to fail at crafty things is because.......well I don't put those things on display! I tell my friends during coffee mornings or marathon phone conversations and we giggle out bottoms off (geez I wish I could literally giggle my bottom off! I would have it made! I would open Giggle Gym's all over the world. I would be able to buy all the cake making supplies not matter how expensive.........oooh to have have one of those giant fondant rollers.......course those things seem counter productive - a Giggle Gym to keep in shape so I can buy things to make decadent cakes.......hmmm...counter productive, but hey it is my dream sequence leave me alone sense maker voice in my head......wake up Patti - wake up!!). Okay...back to here and now. Anyway, recently one of my FAVORITE sister-in-laws sent me a note asking if I would like help her with her sisters baby shower. Sports theme. She is thinking cookies in shapes of sports balls - football, baseball, soccer, thought was cut round cookies out and ice them - that is CAKE! I am totally in!! Then I read on and noticed she was also thinking of doing some cake balls in the same type thought was Cake Balls are my downfall....but I am always up for a personal challenge. Add in that the other day I was reading something on my new favorite place to see cake information.......Sweet Wise.......and she mentioned that when you top a cake you can keep that cake and make it into cake balls or cake pops. I throw away a lot of cakes because there really is no such thing as a Giggle Gym and my bottom can't take any more cake scraps. So with the cake topping and trimming I do I can really practice cake balls for Mindi.
But first I thought I would share my beginning......because Cake Balls/Pops are NOT easy. No matter how simple the video you watch makes it seem - NOT EASY!! Last October I watched a video on them and thought - "Dang I can do that".....and I tried. See these gems? They are Pumpkins. WHAT? You don't think they look like pumpkins???
Look is a close do you see it? Still NO? Well that is because they are an EPIC FAIL. I was going to throw them out. Sure I was just kinda messing around - I mean I don't even have the right pieces for the cake pops - my sticks are straws and let me tell you - a straw can not hold the weight of a cake they became upside down cake pops.......sad, but true. Also - apparently you don't just melt chocolate to dip them in. I mean you do, but certain chocolates don't melt that well if you don't add oil - they didn't mention that on the video. Also you can OVER melt chocolate and then it becomes a hard mess. Didn't know that either. PLUS - you can't just use regular coloring - this was A LOT of orange coloring, but still I only got a pretty pastel color. Ugh. I became so frustrated (disgusted) with them that I quit trying. Got ready to toss them out and was stopped by the kids and Dave.
We were headed to a local horse arena to watch our wonderful niece, Megan, compete in a Hunter's Pleasure riding competition. They asked me to bag them up and take them as a snack. Since it was family I figured it was safe because family will only make fun of you - they will still love you and promote your hobbies. Off we went to watch Megan win an award for her wonderful riding. And to sit in the was a gorgeous day!! And to eat up all the cake balls.
Which leads me to another issue about my cake balls.......apparently they were a little large. If you look at this photo you see that they are basically as big as my 5 year old sons head! But I was assured they were DELISH and by the end of the event they were all gone. So my thought was......maybe someday when I feel like banging my head against a wall I will try these again......and I filed that away never to probably see the light of day. Welcome to the Light of Day.......Mindi asked if I could do cake balls/pops. I had just read Sweet Wise's post about the cake toppings.....and I felt like a challenge. So why not try to make some cake ball/pops out of a few of my cake scraps? Who can it Andersen was pretty much BEGGING to do it. So we did it together.

The ones pictured here are the remaining cake balls that we did not get covered in chocolate. They were not covered only because if you don't make the balls as huge as your 5 year olds son and cover half of them due to frustration.......well you have a lot of them and you don't have enough chocolate. So we experimented half with chocolate and half with some royal icing.

Note: Royal Icing never sets up on a very moist cake ball. So while it was super tasty, it was a sticky mess on your fingers. Win Win for my son Ben who loves to eat things and then try to remember later what he has eaten by wiping his sticky fingers on his shirt. Bonus right?
The goal was experimenting with the covering part of the cake balls - making them look kind of like bon bons or something. This was the end result ..........

Cute.........nice............definately a step in the right direction.........and we will keep improving right?

Plus we added a few sprinkles.....made them cuteish.

This weekend - Football shaped cake pops. Yes, I bought the correct sticks to make them and I will attempt it .......... we will see what happens.

ALL of these cake balls were Chocolate Cake and Vanilla Buttercream icing........with a shell of White Chocolate - or - Royal Icing.


1 comment:

Household Executive said...

so sweet of you! wish i was there to make them with you! the one time i tried making cake balls they turned out like your pumpkins. i don't understand how bakerella does it. must be some trick. your second batch turned out great! and the footballs look amazing! i am still trying to figure out a way we can ship them. you can order cake pops and cookies on etsy so there has got to be a trick to that too.