One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michele and her daughter Jenna, just left after a two day visit.
Their visit was part of Jenna's spring break from school AND it just happened to coincide with my birthday week. How lucky is that?
Jenna and Michele live on 110 beautiful acres in upstate New York. They call their home, "Windswept Farms". It is a far cry from the crowded streets of New York city.
We started our day by driving into the city. What was I thinking??? Hello, you live 4 minutes from the train station. Anyway, somehow we made it through the Lincoln Tunnel, found parking and walked to Time's Square. Every visitor to NYC has to go to Time's Square, right?
The highlight of our day was seeing the Broadway production of "Promises, Promises" starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. Chenoweth may be small but boy can she belt out a tune.
The first time I witnessed this singing dynamo was in the production of "Wicked".
If you ever get a chance to see her perform, run, don't walk to the ticket counter. Truly worth every penny. (Sean Hayes was awesome, too... but we just loved hearing Kristin sing)...
Anyway, Jenna has a legendary sweet tooth so I decided to test what all the hype is lately regarding Cake Balls - only I refuse to call them that and have renamed them Cake Bites. I have my boundaries.
The newly named Cakes Bites were a glorious hit. I can't wait to begin testing all different types of combinations. For Jenna, I stuck with her favorite flavors, chocolate on chocolate. I did, however, experiment with a few different toppings for the more adventurous in my house.
I also decided to throw kitchen snobbery to the wind and just go with cake mix and pre-made frosting (I know, and the roof DID NOT cave in)...
If you are tempted to try something a little off the wall and finally find out for yourself what all the hype is about, I urge you to try the newest home kitchen confection and internet sensation:
Cake Bites: Makes about 70 "bites"
1 package Cake Mix (I used Chocolate Fudge, but use any you like)
1 16 ounce can ready frosting (I used chocolate)
12 ounces confectioner's melting chocolate*
Make the cake according to package directions. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out into a large bowl and crumble. It will look like a big bowl of loose dirt.
Now put this concoction in your refrigerator (covered) for about an hour or until completely cooled.
When cool, begin making the "bites". Using your hands or a scoop, form the batter into 1 inch balls. Place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least one hour. You can keep them frozen for up to a month (just put them in a ziplock bag) and dip as needed. I needed to dip them all....
Melt the confectioner's chocolate in a double boiler until fully melted and smooth. Take about 5 or 6 bites out of the freezer (you want them to remain frozen, so just work with a few at a time) and dip, one at a time in the chocolate, placing it on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. I used a fondue fork and toothpick to aid in the dipping process.
Continue dipping until all bites are coated.
If you want to add another dimension to your cake bites, as you remove one from the dipping process, roll in nuts, coconut, or sprinkle with colored sugar crystals.
Pictured: Chocolate bites coated in both white and dark chocolate, some rolled in pistachios or almonds or coconut, or sprinkled with sugar. Some plain.
A Cook's Notes: *confectioner's chocolate: available at some grocery stores, and all craft and cake or candy making suppliers. Confectioner's chocolate is tempered chocolate, making it have a higher burn point and when dry, it will "crack".. giving the bites a soft, almost truffle like inside and a hard candy shell outside. I did experiment using semi-sweet chocolate chips, with some success, but the bites don't have that hard, crack outer coating, they stay somewhat soft. But still delicious!!
Some suggested flavors:
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting and white chocolate coating
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and white chocolate coating
Yellow Cake with Orange Butter Cream Frosting and white chocolate coating
White Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Milk chocolate coating
White Cake with Caramel Frosting and Milk chocolate coating
What are some flavor combinations you can come with? Want to win a free restaurant grade "scooper" from The Good Cook? Leave a comment on this post and if you are chosen from a random drawing, I will feature your recipe on my blog and send you a scooper.
Can't think of any combinations of your own? Just comment with something like, Hey, I'd like some of those cake bites....
Entries must be received before midnight, EST, Sunday, April 25th.