With all the craziness of family, work & a new puppy to contend with over Christmas I didn’t get a chance to do much baking. Even when I was able to bake, making a blog post seemed to be beyond my capabilities…that is why I am posting Christmas themed truffles in the middle of January! Also, apologies for the dark photos, these were made at my parents house over Christmas so my usual system for documenting was not possible!
I’ve made these several times and find they not only are a great way to use up cake left over from carving cakes but they also allow people to test my cakes in one small bite.
Instructions after the jump…
You will need:
– One (or more) cakes of your choice. I use a dense chocolate devils food cake. A light cake like sponge wouldn’t work as well so if you want something other than chocolate maybe a vanilla pound cake would work well.
– Frosting of your choice. If I’m using cake carving leftovers I just use whichever filling I am using for the cake but a few tablespoons of icing sugar mixed with a little hot water is enough to bind the cake crumbs.
– Variety of toppings (optional) I used plain chocolate (the higher cocoa content, the better) white choc with vanilla and terrys choc orange, Mixed nuts, sprinkles, mini snowflakes & mini dragees. Choose any combination you prefer, it’s fun to experiment with different chocolates or flavourings or if you’re a chocolate purist you can keep them all plain.
– Long skewers or cocktail sticks if that is all you have to hand.
– A fork
– Baking paper
– Baking tray
– A way to melt your chocolate. As I have burnt chocolate in the microwave too many times to count I simply use a large baking bowl filled with boiling water and a jug with a handle long enough to sit over the rim of the bowl. This way the chocolate melts slowly and I can top up the hot water to keep the chocolate at the right consistency to dip the cake truffles.
1 – Crumble the cake(s) by hand into a large mixing bowl. You want them to be a breadcrumb consistency with no large lumps, if it is a dense cake you should be able to mould the crumbs together in a lump before you even add the frosting.
2 – Mix a little frosting/ icing into the crumbs and mix well. I do this using a tablespoon, you don’t want to add too much or the truffles won’t hold their shape. When you feel that you can mould a ball shape that won’t break apart stop mixing. I use my hands for adding frosting so that I can test how well it will hold together.
3 – Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using your hands mould small balls of the cake mixture approx 1 inch in diameter and place on the baking tray leaving a small gap between each truffle. At this point you can wrap the tray with clingfilm and freeze for a minimum of half an hour. Sometimes when making these I will freeze them for a few weeks until I have time to finish them.
4 – While the balls are in the freezer melt your chocolate and arrange your toppings for easy rolling.
5 – Using a long skewer inserted into a ball, dip it into the melted chocolate ensuring it covers the whole ball, let the excess drip off and using your fork lift the truffle off the skewer and onto a sheet of baking paper hole side down. If you are rolling it in a topping just place the ball onto the topping and roll as quickly as possible to coat the chocolate, then place on the baking paper.
6 – These will harden at room temperature but you can put them in the fridge to set up a little quicker. Sometimes the chocolate can sweat a little so I just like to keep them in a cool area until they are being served.
7 – I used metallic mini cupcake wrappers and a wonderful Christmas Tree tray that my mum-in-law gave me to display these at our family Boxing Day Party. There are a multitude of ways you could theme these with the toppings or ways of presenting them.
Have fun experimenting.