Foodie wannabe

The Chocolate Experiment

The other day I found this tasty look, simple, easy recipe for “Cake Balls” that I decided I couldn’t possibly mess up. I like to cook and am pretty adequate at it, but not so hot at the complicated stuff. Still, I figured this would be simple enough. There were only three ingredients and it was mostly cake-based, which I’ve made a million times before. If you haven’t guessed yet, I had an … interesting time making them!

 

Here’s some pictures.

The Pros Cake Balls
More Pro Cake Balls
My "cake balls"

 

Let’s take a look at where I went wrong, shall we?

The recipe calls for one package of chocolate cake mix, one carton of chocolate frosting, and a bar of confectioners suger or chocolate of some sort. So, at the store, that’s all I bought. And of course I didn’t read any further until I got home.

 

Step 1a: Make cake according to directions on package.

Directions on package: Mix eggs, oil, milk with package contents to make batter.

Check fridge: No eggs and not enough milk. Return to store to get said items. Return home and start again.

Make and cook cake according to package directions. Ok, done. 30 minutes later I have a cake out of the oven. *Whew*

 

Step 1b: When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.

I waited about 20 minutes until I could pick up the cake pan without burning my hands. Crumbled cake into bowl, stirred in frosting. No problem. Now I have this yummy, gooey-looking mess of cake and frosting. I wanted to eat the whole darn bowl!

Now, so far so good. Not too much has gone drastically wrong. It’s Steps 2 and 3 that really threw me for a loop. In Step 2, you’re supposed to melt the chocolate. In Step 3, make balls, dip and place on wax paper to set. Now, I’m pretty familiar with the temperature in our kitchen, and things tend to cool off fast in there. So I decided to flip Steps 2 and 3, and do the last part of Step 3 last. Confused yet?

 

Step 3a: Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture.

This was easy. However, the directions never specify that you should wait a bit until the mixture has cooled off even more. So, I’m messing with still-warm mixture, trying to make it form into balls without overheating my fingers. Thus, my balls were lumpy mounds. What you’re supposed to do is let the mixture cool to room temperature. This makes it much more malleable and easily shapes into balls.

But anyways. My mounds are on wax paper setting.

 

Step 2: Melt chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Ok, this part was hell. I tried to melt a bar of white chocolate in the microwave first. As you can see in my picture, there’s no white chocolate anywhere. So obviously, this didn’t work. I melted it slowly, like you’re supposed to. But microwaves just suck the juice out of everything so I was left with this crystalized mass of chocolate that would move, but sure wouldn’t let anything dip into it, much less out of it. So I tossed it.

Then I tried the melting-0n-stove method with a bar of semi-sweet. This worked better. However, I also added butter to keep the liquid consistency there. I really don’t know how you’re supposed to get liquid chocolate out of just a bar of chocolate. It doesn’t work for me. I have to add something to keep it smooth and liquid. Go figure.

 

Step 3b: Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.

So, remember, my chocolate mounds are still warm, because I didn’t realize yet that they were supposed to be cool before you do this step. Dipping warm chocolate mixture into warm chocolate liquid and attempting to keep it all together and coat it thoroughly — simply not possible!!! I ended up dipping one side, placing it on the wax paper again, and brushing over the top with the rest of the chocolate mix.

 

Recipe prep time: 40 minutes. Recipe cook time: 30 minutes. Ready in: 1 hour 10 minutes.

Sarah’s prep time: 1 hour. Sarah’s cook time: 30 minutes. Sarah’s make-it-work time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Ready in: 3 hours.

And tada! My Chocolate Experiment is done! Yummy, gooey, and kind of weird-looking. 🙂

Want to try the Cake Balls recipe yourself? You can find it here.

 

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