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Welcome to my Sweets Blog!

Welcome to my Sweets Blog!
I've been looking for a way to share my sweet creations with everyone, and I think I have found it--here is my sweets blog! As I experiment with delicious desserts & sweet treats, I will post pictures, recipes, and how-to tips & tricks. Hope you enjoy reading about my sweets as much I enjoy eating them!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Cake Balls

This variation on Bakerella's cake balls recipe was born from ingredients that were meant for a really cool Super Bowl dessert, that I didn't end up making. My plan was to make a chocolate cake and top it with vanilla icing, tinted green, and shredded coconut, also tinted green to make a football field. Then I was going to make marshmallow pops, dipped in melted candy wafers, in two different colors, to represent the players on opposing teams, and stick them in the field. It would have been an awesome birthday cake for my friend whose birthday we were celebrating on the same day as the Super Bowl. I didn't end up making the cake, mostly because I spent a ton of time on the birthday girl's cookie request, segmented Tom Brady cookies {which I haven't gotten a chance to blog yet, but you can see them on my Facebook page here}.  I really want to make this next year because I know it would come out super cute and delish.

So I had chocolate cake mix, vanilla icing, shredded coconut, and a huge craving for a chocolate dessert. 

And the Chocolate Coconut Cake Balls came to life.




I started by baking a chocolate cake from a cake mix. You can use a homemade cake too.


Once it cooled completely, I broke the cake into large chunks into the mixer bowl and used the paddle attachment to crumble it into smaller pieces. Then I added the vanilla frosting and shredded coconut and mixed well.


Then I rolled the mixture into small balls. I used a mini-muffin tin and a mini-cupcake platter to keep the balls from rolling around. 




My freezer was full so I refrigerated them for a few hours. The coating process works a lot better when the cake balls are as cold as possible. 




I used Mercken's chocolate candy wafers to coat the cake balls this time. Sometimes I use semi-sweet chocolate chips, which work well too. I like to melt the chocolate in a coffee mug, rather than in a shallow bowl, so I can dip the cake ball all the way into the chocolate. See below for more tips on melting the chocolate and coating the cake balls. 




As each ball is dipped in the melted chocolate, I place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and top it with some more shredded coconut. 




It only takes a few minutes for the chocolate to set, and you can place them back in the fridge to speed this up. The little pieces of chocolate that drip onto the parchment paper can be broken off easily once it is hardened. 




They fit perfectly in mini-cupcake liners for an adorable presentation! 



The Recipe

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients specified on cake mix box)
1 can vanilla icing 
7 oz bag shredded coconut (set aside about a tablespoon to sprinkle on the melted chocolate at the end)
about 1 lb chocolate candy wafers

1. Prepare cake mix in 9x13" pan as directed on cake mix box.
2. Let cool completely. 
3. Break into large chunks into a bowl. 
4. Crumble into small pieces (either using your hands or the paddle attachment on the stand mixer).
5. Add the icing and shredded coconut and mix well (again, either use your hands, a wooden spoon, or the mixer).
6. Form the mixture into balls about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
7. Cover & freeze for about 30 minutes or refrigerate for a few hours.
8. Melt the chocolate candy wafers in a small microwave-safe bowl or mug, starting in 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Once the chocolate starts to melt and looks shiny, decrease to 10 second intervals to be sure the chocolate doesn't overheat.
9. Dip the pop into the melted candy, so the whole thing is coated. (You can use a variety of utensils, such as by placing the pop on the end of a fork or spoon for dipping and using another spoon to help coat the ball. I have a candy dipper that came with a double boiler set, and I use it the same way, with another spoon.)  
10. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper. 
11. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle a little coconut on top. 
12. Store in refrigerator in tightly sealed container.


Some helpful tips...
  • I use a cookie dough scoop to help form the cake balls, and to make sure they are all the same size. You can also use a melon-baller, or just eye-ball it, and use your hands. Either way, once you scoop out the ball, you have to use your hands to roll it into a neat, tight ball so it all stays together during the coating process. 
  • After the cake balls are formed, I like to use a mini-muffin tin to rest the cake balls in each compartment to place in the fridge or freezer. You can easily just put them on a baking sheet, but then they tend to roll all over the place, so the muffin tin is easier!
  • During the melting process, don't let any water or steam get into the chocolate. It will 'seize up' and become unusable. 
  • Avoid overheating the chocolate. Heat in the microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl or mug, starting with 30 second intervals, stirring between each. Once the chocolate starts to melt and look shiny, decrease to 10 second intervals to be sure it doesn't overheat.
  • If you notice the chocolate start to thicken as you are coating the cake balls, you can reheat the chocolate for 10 seconds at a time to get back to your desired consistency. You can also add 1/4 tsp of shortening at this stage to help thin it out. 
  • When coating the cake balls, work in small batches, taking only 5-10 balls out of the fridge or freezer to coat. This way, they will stay cold when you dip them into the hot melted chocolate. If the cake balls are too close to room temperature, they will not hold their shape when they make contact with the melted chocolate. Also, cake crumbs may end up in the chocolate, which will make it look grainy.
  • Chocolate tends to absorb other flavors and odors from the refrigerator, so be sure to cover them when placing in the fridge throughout the process & store the finished product in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or freezer. 

I'm starting to really think that cake balls are my favorite dessert. I know, it's a bold statement, but I'm starting to think it's true. Try them for yourself and you decide! 

2 comments:

  1. I love chocolate and coconut! These look fabulous!

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  2. Very YUMMY! These look amazing. We loved having you join us at "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope you'll be back next week! -The Sisters

    ReplyDelete

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