I’ve never really liked cake. I’m just going to put that out there. I know that’s blasphemous to the chocolate sweet tooth fiends out there, but hey, I just like meat more than the cake. Personally, I view this as a positive thing as if I added cake to the long list of unhealthy things I excessively eat, I would be the size of an eight bedroom house.
For my birthday, I’ve always had cake alternatives. Mostly, if I had a birthday cake, it was for the sake of my birthday party guests (how selfish of them). The only kind of birthday cake I’d really entertain the thought of was strawberry shortcake (because it has more strawberries and whipped cream than actual cake), or ice cream cake but only if it had those excellent little crunchies in it. I don’t actually know what they’re called, I just call them crunchies.
The greatest ‘non-cake birthday cake’ I ever received was from my friends at university. They made me a birthday chicken. Yes folks, a nice, juicy, crispy rotisserie chicken. Please see below (and note the side order of chicken wings):
This is the result of thinking ‘outside the box’ – birthday cake can come in all different forms, even that of a plump chicken.
What is the point of this useless information?
Well, the point is, I generally don’t like cake… but I have found a form of cake that I do like. This is thanks to my lovely friend Casey Cave and her amazing recipe for cake balls. Much like a cupcake, cake balls allow us to experience cake in its myriad of forms.
These are incredibly easy to make but very tedious! Advice: make these on a day you are sitting home in your pajamas and don’t plan on joining the outside world.
1 boxed cake mix (bake as directed for a 13×9 cake)
1 tub of frosting (16 oz.)
1 package of chocolate bark/ melting chocolate (UK people – I just used big bars of belgian chocolate from Sainsburys – only £1.30 a bar)
1) Bake the cake according to the directions on the back of the box (for a 13×9 cake). Allow the cake to cool.
4) Freeze the balls for several hours.
5) Once the balls are fully frozen, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a pot on the stove and dip the balls into the chocolate.
6) Lay the chocolate covered balls on the wax paper and sprinkle the balls with sprinkles, if desired.
7) Refrigerate the balls until served.
The beauty of these if you can pretty much sprinkle whatever you want onto the balls after you’ve dipped them in the chocolate. I chose to put coconut, chocolate sprinkles, dark chocolate shavings, and one crazy one with white chocolate chips which turned out to be a little too much for me to handle.
The trickiest part of this recipe for (besides waiting the billion hours it took these freeze to a satisfactory level) was dipping the balls into the melted chocolate. Tongs didn’t work very well as they made indents into the balls. The best thing to use was a spoon to lower the balls into the chocolate and out again. Hopefully next time, mine will be a little less messy and a little less flat on the bottom…
For a list of all the best cake and icing combos to use when making cake balls, visit Casey’s blog, The Confectionary Cave!