The cake makeover.
In economic terms, cake has become a commodity. It makes its usual appearance at birthday parties and other celebrations. Everyone ho-hums, sings a little chant and takes a slice rectangular slice of cake that has been slapped onto a paper plate. Some may even leave push the frosting aside – the blasphemy! Cake doesn’t evoke excitement (unless you like your sweets like me. I get excited when I see cake and also make sure I get anything other than boring vanilla or chocolate cake…yes, you want me to buy a cake for you–I digress).
There’s nothing wrong with the fundamentals of cake, it just is kind of boring. In comes the power of branding and advertising. Brilliant food geniuses have changed the name of cake, the size, the construction, and then dipped it in chocolate to bring you the new trend: cake truffles. Bite size bits of perfection where the frosting is already combined in the cake and then coated in another layer of deliciousness (cocoa powder, more frosting, chocolate, crushed almonds, anything you can think of).
While these little bits of sunshine will evoke the ‘ooo’s and ‘ahh’s of admirers, they do take more time to make. If you’ve got time or simply have a box of cake mix lying around, get creative and make some cake truffles!
Tips for cake truffle happiness:
- Any combination of cake base and frosting will work! Now if you pair something that naturally doesn’t taste good with something, that’s on you. The recipe I used is for a mascarpone frosting
- Taste the frosting before adding it to the cake crumbs. You don’t want it overly sweet since you’ll be coating it with another layer of sweet goodness later on. I prefer to make mine just “barely” sweet.
- Add the frosting 1/2 cup at a time – just enough to roll the cake mixture into a ball without it falling apart or getting too sticky.
1 box cake mix or make your favorite cake ‘base’ recipe (I used white cake mix)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Truffle outer shell options
Melted chocolate for dipping
For the cake: Prepare the cake according to instructions. When cake has cooled, mash cake with fork until fine crumbs form.
For the frosting: with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated.
Assemble cake truffles: Add 1 cup of frosting to the cake crumbs. Mix well until the frosting is fully incorporated into the cake. If the cake mixture is able to be rolled into a ball and tastes like a good balance of cake and frosting, roll the remaining cake mixture into bite-size balls. If not, keep adding 1/2 cup of frosting and repeat until desired taste is reached.
Depending on what you prefer, have fun rolling your cake truffles in melted chocolate, cocoa powder, leftover frosting and then rolled again in flaked coconuts or almonds. The possibilities are endless.