Monday, May 11, 2009

Just Like Bakerella

Except not really, because Bakerella's Cake Truffles look awesome and mine... well mine look edible anyway. I suppose it didn't help that I was lazy and didn't bother to pipe the darker chocolate. But Paul's mom, Carol, thinks they tasted fine, and that's what's important, right? Especially considering that these were part of her Mother's Day present. Don't worry, I gave her other stuff too. She's a fantastic mom-in-law, and certainly deserves a lot more goodies!

Also foisted them on the co-workers, who seemed pleased. Jeff T called them "cake dumplings," which I like better than cake truffles 'cause it's funnier and less hoity-toity.

The other useful point about these is that they are a great way to use up cake scraps and frosting, and don't require a lot of accessories like a trifle (whipped cream, maybe pudding, and usually something of the fruit persuasion). Now to experiment with yellow cake and a non-chocolate covering...

Note: Post not available until May 21 because that's when I got the photos of the truffles. Thanks, Hon! But posted later than that because I don't want to overload everyone with zillions of posts at once.

Details of the cake:
One batch Siren's Chocolate Cake, one 9" x 13" layer, about 1.6" tall. (Used half the batch to make the Dessert Crew sample portions.)
Used 4.7 oz. of Lindt 70%, instead of the 4 oz in the recipe, which worked exceedingly well.

Syruped with 1/4 cup Kahlua.

Used Magi-Cake strips (the Wilton knock-off ones) and rose nail.

Used 1 batch of Creamy Milk Chocolate Frosting from Baking Illustrated, with 3.5 oz Lindt 70% and the other 6.5 oz Nestle Semi-sweet chips. Odd, but true.

Crumbled the cake and mushed it with the frosting. Used cookie scoop to form little cake balls.

Covered cake balls in melted chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate.
Also covered other cake balls in melted chocolate and caramel chips. (Not pictured because they really did look crappy.) Drizzled with caramel, mainly so I could tell the difference between the 2 types.

Cake made about 3 weeks before serving. Syruped when cool, prior to storage. Stored on counter at room temperature. (I was experimenting. It worked, I think.)
Cake truffles assembled 3 days before serving.

Bottom line:
Syrup level on cake was good. I followed my own advice about how to judge the correct amount to syrup. I'm definitely using less now that the weather is warmer and more humid.

The cake was so moist, that I decided to keep it at room temperature (sealed in plastic wrap) until I was ready to use it. This is actually the other half of the cake I made for the Dessert Crew to sample, as noted under "Details." The corners had dried out, but the rest was still almost ok to use on its own. Mixing in the frosting made it edible. Covered in melted whatever made it much better.

So maybe I can make cakes up to 2 weeks in advance, make sure they're moist enough, and then just leave them on the counter? Wow, that would simplify things tremendously. I won't have to worry about freezer or 'fridge space, which I can devote to the buttercream and ganache. Excellent. This might just work.

Don't try and melt the Lindt 70% for long periods in the microwave. Stick to increments of 15 or 20 seconds. Burnt chocolate smells just as badly as burnt anything else.

Don't add anything to try melting caramel squares more smoothly because the caramel has a much tougher time re-solidifying, so it remains sticky. This is bad for storing, transporting, and eating.

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