Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Footballs?

Foot-cake-balls, that is.  

It was at a birthday party two years ago celebrating my friend Liz and me that I first tasted the delicious wonder that is the cake ball (thanks, Susan!).  It tastes like cake but it is also ridiculously moist and (better yet) covered in chocolate.  

I have to work at the restaurant this year during the Super Bowl, but my husband gets to go to a party so when I was at the grocery store the other day thinking about what treat to pick up for him to take, I found myself in front of the baking chocolate and it hit me: foot-cake-balls!  It might be the greatest Super Bowl treat since Doritos.  Or the cutest, at least.  

There's still time if you want to try the recipe for your own party:

First, bake a cake according to the box directions (and try to keep an eye on your dog to avoid  a mishap like the one witnessed by the bottom left portion of this cake).
Next, I cut the cake into squares because I thought it would make it easier to put in the mixing bowl (which you will do while the cake is still a bit warm).
Since I knew I was going to use milk chocolate for the shell, I narrowed my cake choices down to chocolate fudge and yellow cake, ultimately going with chocolate chocolate because, well, mmmmm.
I left the edge of the cake because it gets a little crusty in the oven and crusties in cake balls are not delicious kinds of surprises (and I had to have something to taste-test).
Mix the cake with one container of frosting.  In hindsight I would have used less than a whole container but more than half, to preserve more of the cake flavor while still making optimal moisture.
I used chocolate fudge to go with my theme of chocolate and chocolate.  I used the hand-me-down mixer I got for Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law and it worked like a dream!  Grown up hand-me-downs are so much better than when I was a kid and all I got was old snow suits, bikes with banana seats and training bras.  
Cake + frosting + Kitchen Aid =  this delicious play-dough type mixture, which you can form into balls of all shapes and sizes, as seen below:
Once the balls are formed, put them in the freezer for a couple hours or over night
When you're ready, melt your baking chocolate or almond bark, or whatever you like to use, according to the package directions.  I melted mine in a mixing bowl over a saucepan with shallow boiling water because it keeps its melted state as long as you need.  
Use a toothpick to dip your frozen cake balls into the melted chocolate (this is why it is important for them to be frozen, otherwise they will fall right off the toothpick and be very difficult to manipulate).
I found it helpful just to leave the cake ball on the toothpick until the chocolate hardened and go back to refill the hole it left later.  
For the laces you'll want white icing.
You can buy little decorating icing packs at the store but I'm too cheap for that so I just made some with stuff I had at home: 1 egg white, 1 1/3 c. powdered sugar and less than a teaspoon of vanilla extract (admittedly, I didn't measure it).  Just mix the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and pour it into a small zip-lock bag and cut off a little piece of the corner for decorating.  

If the icing is too thin, just keep adding powdered sugar until you think it will be easy to control (I learned that nifty trick during the gingerbread making competition at my husband's parent's house at Christmas time, where they refer to icing only as "glue," or "paint.")

And now we have foot-cake-balls!

Crunchy chocolate shell with moist chocolate fudge on the inside.  So delicious! (Absolutely not nutritious but, hey, it's a party).

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