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09 February 2014

Dark Chocolate-Strawberry Cake Balls




Keeping with my promise, I wanted to recap my birthday week. The first day that the hubby and I landed, we went to a birthday-sushi dinner! Of course, I would get sushi! Sushi in California is just a whole other level compared to sushi from Texas. So whenever I go, I like to get my fill. We actually had to have dinner the night before my actual birthday, because the hubby had a conference to attend -- which began on my birthday. I forgave him, only because he took me to Cali with him :) I had such a fun dinner. My family always puts a BIG smile on my face. My niece especially. She is old enough now to understand selfies and photobombing -- so there was a request made that we do one of each. I even did a selfie with my parents, because they are cute like that!




For the past couple years, for my birthday, instead of a cake, I have requested a pizookie platter. I love BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Pizookie! And I always get it half double chocolate and half chocolate chip cookie. And like a good family, they each take a picture with me in front of my "cake." I thought I would spare you from the corniness since I probably already overloaded on you with dinner. Although it was a pizookie platter, it was eaten up that evening-- just like a true dessert family would do. I really had such an awesome night filled with lots of laughs and love for my family-birthday dinner. It just reminded me, even more, how much I miss them!



So, it is now Day 2 of my countdown to love....Valentine's Day! I wanted to make desserts that just exuded Valentine's. You know what is everywhere around Valentine's day? Chocolate covered strawberries! I love chocolate covered strawberries. That pseudo feeling of being healthy because your eating strawberries with that little kid inside of you smiling because you know its a dessert...I mean its COVERED in chocolate! Well, I wanted to make cake balls. Because, if I can toot my own horn....TOOT....I think I make amazing cake balls. I think they look good and taste good. Which says a lot because I have seen some "professional bakeries" that make cake balls which have chocolate pooled at the bottom ::yuck::. So, I decided to make a twist on the chocolate covered strawberry by doing a cake ball version. The hubby described it has a dark chocolate cake ball with a subtle hint of strawberry!








DARK CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CAKE BALLS 
A For the Love of Dessert Original Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Preheat oven to 350F degrees

FOR CAKE
1 box of dark chocolate cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
3 eggs
1 c. of water
1/3 c. of vegetable oil

16 oz. container of Pillsbury strawberry frosting
8 oz. of candymelts or chocolate bark
1-2 tsp. vegetable oil
Valentine's Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

Making the Cake balls (pops):
Make cake according to package instructions. Let cake cool completely (I usually cool over night). Once cooled, cut the edges off the cake (as well as top and bottom layers of the cake--the crusty part). In a large bowl using a food processor or your hands, crumble the cake into fine bits (I use my hands). Add slightly less than 1/2 of the strawberry frosting. Mix well. If too dry add a tablespoon of frosting at a time. You do not want it too moist because the cake ball will fall apart.  

Roll into 1 1/2 inch round balls. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Dipping the cake balls (pops):
In the meantime, melt either chocolate bark or candy melt according to package directions. This is my secret, once the chocolate is melted I stir in the vegetable oil. This makes the chocolate have a smoother and shinier coating :)

Now, I am going to tell you how I get perfectly dipped cake balls but if you have your own method that works-- you are more than welcome to do it that way -- this is just whats worked best for me.  

Once chocolate has melted, take the cake balls and while holding the top half, dip the bottom half into the chocolate, then dip a cake pop stick into the chocolate (about 1/2 inch) and push into the center of the cake ball until about, no more, than half way through. Let cool. This will make it much easier to dip the rest of the cake ball. Otherwise I have found that the cake balls get stuck in the  chocolate or falls off the stick.

Once cooled, dip the top of the cake balls and a little part of the bottom, that was already coated into the chocolate. Shake off excess chocolate. Garnish with sprinkles (while chocolate is still wet). Allow to cool by sticking into flower foam. Once dried, holding the cake ball with one hand, gently twist the cake pop stick with your other hand and pull out. If you would like cake pops- leave on stick. 

Also see: No Bake Cake Batter Truffles for "My Little Cupcake" method. 

Enjoy,
Chika

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