Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to Make Cake Truffles Without Using Frosting (How To Impress People Without Actually Being Impressive III)

If you're anything like me, you've had a Starbucks addiction since there was one digit in your age (yes, I know I'm showing my age :P). Maybe it started with their hot chocolate, or those chocolate-covered graham crackers next to the register, and soon it was frappuccinos and Coldplay CDs when you were young and full of angst, then one day you had a paper due the next day and you sucked down that black coffee for hours until they closed. Then one day, even further down the line, you realized you're a grown up and you're sitting by their fire place drinking a half-caff mega galactic whatever-ma-bob mochaccino with your New York Times, and one of their muffins and you think "Oh Dear God. I have to kick this habit."

So you stay away. You start brewing coffee at home, and soon you're looking at prices of espresso machines at 2 A.M. and Googling "How do I make a blueberry streusel muffin like Starbucks?" because it's been like two whole weeks since you've had one, but you're so close to overcoming your addiction. And then one day, word gets to you. They have cake truffles. On a stick.

How can you compete? What does that even mean? How can cake be a truffle?

Let me tell you, you can stop googling "Cake Pop + Starbucks", because I've beat the competition. With three ingredients and almost no time at all, you can make cake pops better than those guys, and impress everyone you know.

Most cake truffle recipes call for frosting, which to me, sounds too sugary, too distracting, and doesn't let the cake reach peak moisture for optimum enjoyment. By using flavored creamer, not only can you add diversity to your truffles, but you can turn around and have matching-flavored coffee (or a latte, if you bought that espresso machine at 2 A.M.). A lot of truffles are also covered in just plain melted chocolate, but I used ganache instead because, well, it's tastier. If you're feeling adventurous, you could always cover your layer of ganache with a layer of chocolate...who could say no to that?

If you made my Oreo Cheesecake, then you already have some of the stuff you need, if you didn't, here's the whole recipe.

What you'll need:

I already have ganache made, but if you don't, it's very easy!

-A cake (I used a Dark Chocolate Box mix)
-Ganache (Heavy Whipping cream + Chocolate Chips)
-Flavored creamer

How to make it:

1. Break your cake up into chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Using a fork, break it up into crumbs. This will take awhile, so I would recommend putting on an episode of your favorite sitcom to make things a little more interesting as you do so.

3. I did not measure out my creamer, I put it in slowly, and moistened all crumbs with a fork. I put in enough that it's almost like wet dough (If I were to guess, I'd say close to 1/4th of a cup for one 9" round cake). It should be moist enough to stick together, but not puddle-y. Add slowly, and stop when it seems right. For me, I thought 'this is just a tad too wet!', and they were perfect.

4. If you're looking for perfect proportions, ou can use a melon-baller, but I just used my hands to roll the gooey crumbs into balls.

5. Freeze for 60 - 90 minutes.

6. When your truffles are in the freezer, make some ganache. To do this, use a 1:3 ratio of Heavy Whipping Cream:Chocolate (I used 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can make more or less). Heat the heavy whipping cream in a sauce pan until it's simmering, then slowly add the chocolate chips. Stir in with a fork or whisk until a thick, frosting-like substance is formed. This is ganache. Know it. Love it. It is your friend. If you already have leftover ganache, microwave for about a minute.

7. With the help of a spoon, roll your truffles in the ganache.

8. Decorate if desired (rainbows for me, of course!)

9. Keep refrigerated until serving. They will get a little melty, so be sure to keep them cold.

The insides will be moist and gooey, and the outside will provide a wonderful thick chocolate shell. I used french vanilla and dark chocolate and they turned out wonderfully! Some other good combinations would be amaretto cream with chocolate cake, or hazelnut with chocolate, caramel with white cake, or you could get adventurous! I use a lot of flavored creamers, and I can tell you that they have white chocolate macadamia nut, butter pecan, chai, toffee...so many to choose from, and combine with different kinds of cake!

Experiment, and impress people with this simple recipe, and tell Starbucks to fuck off once and for all.

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