(All the good photos by Paul Dadowski)
Cake balls dipped in chocolate, sprinkles and Pop Rocks (Recipe at bottom)
If you’re familiar with the electro-pop duo Matt & Kim, this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. This inseparable Brooklyn-based couple — Matt Johnson (keyboards and vocals) and Kim Schifino (drums) — is an explosion of smiley faces, rainbows and energy. These cake balls also explode (hello, Pop Rocks!), they’re guaranteed to cause smiley faces, they have rainbow colors, and they will give you energy — maybe even too much. This was my first time making cake balls (or eating them, for that matter), and they were as much fun to make as they were to eat. I highly recommend taking on this project with someone who has never eaten Pop Rocks before, like my friend Jill, because it will be a hoot. Also, how can you not giggle every time you say cake balls? CAKE BALLS!
Matt & Kim on MySpace
Cake balls. I should note that these are not vegan, but they can be if you make a vegan cake and frosting. Apparently Duncan Hines’s boxed yellow cake is naturally vegan?
• 1 batch of cake (boxed mix is fine; I used this recipe and added about 1 tbsp of sprinkles to the batter make it look like Funfetti; however, I recommend adding more because the colors were hard to see once it was mixed with the frosting)
• Buttercream frosting (you can use about half a tub of the premade stuff; I made a simple buttercream with 1 stick of butter, about 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1/2 tbsp vanilla and about 1/4 c milk. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer, add milk gradually to thin out as you’d like)
• 1 1/2 bags chocolate chips
• 5-6 packets of Pop Rocks
• Bake the cake and let cool completely. I made mine the night before and kept it in the fridge; I think starting out with cold cake will make the process a lot easier.
• Break a few pieces of cake into a large bowl and smash a little bit with a fork. Add some of the frosting and beat together with an electric mixer. Alternate between adding cake and frosting until the cake is gone. You’ll definitely have to un-clog the beaters very often because it’s such a thick mixture. You also might want/need to use your hands a little bit. I’m not sure about this, but I have a feeling if your cake is NOT cold, it might be helpful to refrigerate this mixture for a little while before forming the balls.
• Use a spoon or a batter scoop to form balls of the cake/frosting mixture that are about 1-inch in diameter. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for about an hour.
• Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. I used about 1/2 a bag at a time so I didn’t have to worry about the chocolate drying up, and I heated each batch for about 30-40 seconds at a time, mixing after each round; DO NOT burn the chocolate chips!
• Dip the cake balls into the chocolate. I did not find a graceful way to do this because the chocolate was extremely thick. I think what was most successful was just dropping it in the chocolate and picking up with a spoon. I should also note that I kept most of the balls in the freezer until right before I dipped them in chocolate.
• Set on another parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or plates, etc.) and sprinkle Pop Rocks and sprinkles on top. You can also dip/roll the whole thing in Pop Rocks or sprinkles, though they might not look quite as pretty (debatable)! Either way, this will probably be a mess 🙂
• Place the cake balls back in the freezer until the chocolate hardens.