I baked a big ol' chocolate cake on Friday (post to follow) but had to cut quite a bit of cake off to get the top flat. So, when I was trying to work out what to give my sons' Godmothers for Mother's Day, I instantly thought of cake pops! If you haven't seen these adorable creations which were first created by the wonderful Bakerella (have I mentioned how much I love her?), you have to check them out right now! They are cuter than cute. Basically, they are balls of cake and frosting, coated in chocolate, on sticks. Except way better. Instead of putting them on sticks, though, I decided to use a heart shapes silicon candy mould that I've had in the cupboard for years to make (wait for it...) cake truffles!
(Ok, so a google search shows hundreds of 'cake truffles' but a girl can dream, can't she? I totally came up with the idea myself, I just wasn't the only one.)
Back to the cake truffles... I had some leftover ganache and, not wanting to make icing when there was perfectly good chocolate in the fridge, I decided to throw it in and hope for the best - and it worked brilliantly! Oh so chocolately. Oh so good.
I've made basic cake balls once before. They take a little getting used to but, once you've worked out the technique that suits you, they emerge quite rapidly. The cake truffles, however, took a little bit longer because the process was a bit more involved. And I have a troubleshooting issue that I hope someone will be able to solve for me (can you spot it?). More on that later.
Cake truffle innards
I made a few truffles to work out the best method for me. Now, someone with candy making experience will probably be able to explain a much better method than the one I'm about to list (and please do share!), but this was the best an amateur cook could come up with.
First, you need to get your mix ready. Basically, crumble your cake and then add enough ganache to make the mixture mouldable (you should be able to roll the mixture into firm balls which don't fall apart, but aren't overly moist either). For more detailed instructions look here.
Look at that chocolatey goodness.
Next, melt your chocolate. Here comes the finicky part. You need to coat the inside of your candy moulds, but you need to make sure it is a) thick enough that it won't crack when you pop them out of the mould, b) is fairly even and, c) isn't higher than the sides of the mould (otherwise they won't sit flat when finished). Once you've done one or two it gets much easier (and faster).
Once they are set, push your cake mixture into the space left, making sure it is packed in well so there are no gaps. You also need to make sure that the cake mixture is lower than the edge of the mould because you will be putting chocolate on top (to form the bottom of the truffle).
Reheat the chocolate and pour it into the gaps left in the moulds. You need to work quickly to smooth the chocolate and remove all the excess to ensure smooth edges. I used a metal spatula. If the chocolate sets before you are finished, don't worry. Just use the edge of the spatula to scraps the excess away (it just takes a bit longer).
Once the chocolate is set, pop them out. You can either leave them as is or drizzle a contrasting chocolate over the top (I just poured melted white chocolate into a snap-lock bag, snipped off a corner and used it like a piping bag.
Now, did you spot the problem? Yep, that's right, MILK BLOOM! I have NO idea how it got there. My prototypes were fine, but all the rest have it. The only thing I can think of is that I put the mould in the freezer when waiting for the chocolate to set. Could that be it? If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
Oh, and I made some cake balls as well. As you do.
I shared the spares with the family when they came around for dinner, and even my dad (who is usually non-commitant) was raving about them. Score!
Dodgy piping: check!
Hope all the mums out there had a fabulous Mother's Day yesterday! You guys rock.