Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nutella Cake Balls

AKA How to Impress Your Friends with Cake Scraps and the Bottom of the Nutella Jar

As I mentioned in a previous post, my oven sits on an incline, causing cake batter and cookie dough  to congregate near the oven door.  I try to compensate for this by rotating my cake pans about every 15 minutes or so, and the cake usually seems to even out.  However, I kind of dozed off while the third layer of my triple-layer double-chocolate cake was in the oven, and the cake came out very lopsided, which means...cake scraps!

When leveling layers of cake, I usually like to eat the pieces of cake that I scrape off.  However, there was no way I was going to finish off all the cake scraps I made this weekend - I probably had three cups worth of cake that I had set aside in a Tupperware container.  I decided that instead of eating the cake scraps (because really, why would you eat cake scraps when you could eat a 3-layer cake?), I would experiment with turning them into cake balls.

I was introduced to cake balls a few months ago by a friend and fellow baking aficionado.  It's apparently really popular in the South, and are often made by making a cake with a boxed cake mix, crumbling it up, mixing in a can of store bought frosting, rolling them into balls, and dipping them in chocolate.  I guess you could say that they're kind of like cake truffles. You can read a really fun article about cake balls here.

I decided to mix my cake scraps with some leftover buttercream frosting and the last of my Nutella.  I figured that Nutella was close enough in texture to canned frosting that it would work.  I ended up just drizzling some melted chocolate on top instead of completely coating the cake balls.  The resulting cake balls were softer than I would have liked, but were a big hit with our friends.  They really liked how the cake balls resembled chocolate truffles and melted in their mouths.  Not bad for something thrown together on the fly.

The following is more of a suggestion than an actual recipe.  I'm not going to tell you to make 3 cups of cake crumbs and 1/4 cup of buttercream frosting...but if you happen to have them around the house, you know what to do with them.

Nutella Cake Balls

2 1/2 - 3 cups chocolate cake crumbles
1/4 cup buttercream frosting
3 tablespoons Nutella
1/2 cup chocolate chips (use more if you want to completely coat the cake balls)

Mix together the buttercream frosting and the Nutella.  Combine the frosting mixture and the cake until the cake crumbs stick together and the frosting is well-incorporated.  Roll the cake mixture into tablespoon-sized balls.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring well between intervals.  Drizzle or pipe the chocolate onto the cake balls.

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