Hittin’ the big time …


… riding the coat tails of Cake Balls!

A couple months ago, I e-mailed The Reporter who does a cooking  column I always read in the Wednesday morning newspaper.  I told her I had developed some light recipes that I thought her readers might like and gave her examples like Chicken Little, the To-Die(t) for Chocolate/Raspberry Cake and Divine Peanut Butter Cookies .  She e-mailed me back and said she was interested and wanted to set up a date for an interview.  But it ended up I had to put her off because our lives got really busy right then, and soon after that she published an interview with another reader who gave light recipes.  So then, when she contacted me again to set up the interview, I told her I might have a better idea for something her readers might not have heard of before — cake balls (and made sure she understood that they were NOT  diet!).

She was interested and after asking me some questions about cake balls, she set up the interview for this past Monday.  Great!   This will be fun!  (I thought several months ago.)  But, by the end of last week I had developed some very predictable second-guessing about the interview, especially after she called and asked if it would also be okay if she brought a videotographer to do a two-minute video of me actually making some cake balls.  They would post the video on the newspaper’s website.  Take already anxiety-spiced upcoming  interview, add one heaping measure of video anxiety, mix well!

So I spent the weekend making cake balls, for several reasons.  First of all, I hadn’t made any in probably six months, so I needed to refresh my memory about what all they required.  And I would think with each step, “How would I do this on the video?”.   And, secondly, I wanted to make a variety of them so that they would be interesting.  My greatest fear was that The Reporter would appear to be thinking, “I came all the way over here for just these!” 

So, Monday The Reporter and The Photographer came for a visit (the Videotographer had to reschedule for Tuesday) …

100_5345c   And The Photographer took lots of pictures of the cake balls and of me with the cake balls.

100_5346sx   I can’t believe I didn’t think to take a good picture of The Reporter.  But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I’m new enough at photography that I still forget to use my camera when I get excited!   This not-very-good picture is the only one I got of her and even it was inadvertent because I was really trying to get a better picture of The Photographer’s very impressive camera.  Unfortunately, the picture isn’t good of anybody, including the camera!

I did have fun this weekend experimenting with cake balls to try to make some I thought were “worthy” of appearing in the newspaper.  Here are the ones I made.

100_5344  I only made two of these spiders (white cake with black coating) because Hubby pointed out that the pipe cleaners were probably leaving black fuzz in and on the cake balls, so they wouldn’t be too appealing to eat.  And, frankly, I didn’t think eating black coating would be very appetizing to anyone anyway.  But I did think they were fun to look at.

100_5332a   Hubby was amazed that I thought it was fun to even have fake bugs in my food!  Truthfully, these are probably the first spiders in my life that I have thought were cute.  I guess it’s that mom thing, “I created you, so of course I think you’re cute!”.

100_5363c   I wanted to experiment to see if I could make something that looked like a pumpkin, and I was pleased with how these turned out.  They are spice cake.  I melted orange coating in two containers and added a few chocolate pieces to one container to make that one a little darker orange.  Then I experimented using either or both of those on the cake balls and dragging a tool through the coating while it was still wet to make the ridges.  I was pleasantly surprised that I ended up with some balls that I could actually recognize as pumpkins.  And the spice cake was very tasty in them. 

100_5288s   The chocolate balls are fudge cake covered in chocolate coating  (what’s not to like when you have chocolate covered in … chocolate?!), and I just sprinkled them while they were still damp with sprinkles that are Fall colors.

100_5348c   100_5353v   These were a personal favorite with all of us — The Reporter, The Photographer, Hubby, me, and even The Videotographer who came the next day.  They. are . rum balls!  I remembered that somebody on one of the blogs I’d read about cake balls had said they made ones out of rum cake, so I decided to try them. 

I made half of the recipe of a rum cake and baked it in a 9×9 baking pan.  The walnuts that the recipe called for in the bottom of the bundt pan, I just put in the bottom of the square pan, and then mixed them into the already-baked cake when I was chopping it up.  Once the balls were made, I dipped them in white coating and then in some additional chopped walnuts.  They were absolutely delicious, and it’s no accident that that is said in the past tense.

One thing I found out when making all these cake balls is that if you put too much frosting in with the cake crumbs, you get not only a mixture that is very messy to handle, but it reallllly doesn’t want to hold its shape as a ball!  So, when I did put too much frosting in the white cake, after I used a couple of those balls for the spiders, I decided to use the rest of them in the little cupcake format, because the “cup” that is made when you pour the coating into the mold to make the bottom of the cupcake would sort of help the balls hold their shape.  I did these with Christmas in mind.  I fell in love with these little candy cane sprinkles when I saw them last year, so it’s fun to finally get to use them.

100_5358c   100_5357c

And, finally, for the balls I used in the video, I made raspberry cake (white cake mix with raspberry flavoring added).  They were very good too.  And, of course, I couldn’t think of raspberry with any other coating but chocolate, so that batch ended up with a brown and white theme.


It  was all fun, but now I have, instead of “buyer’s remorse”, “talker’s remorse”! 

The Reporter was here for two and a half hours on Monday and The Videotographer was here for two hours yesterday.  Believe me when I tell you that I can say alot of words in four and a half hours.  And what are the chances that some of them may be ones that I will say “Yikes!” about when I see them in print or hear them on the little video?  I’d say the chances of that are 100%!

This reminds me of the time my old friend Earnestine agreed to be the “wedding coordinator” for a young couple who were being married in her church.  Apparently everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  So when she came in to work on Monday after the wedding, she told me, “If I EVER AGAIN say I am going to be someone’s wedding coordinator, you just be sure to say to me, ‘Sit down, FOOL!”

So, depending on how the article and the video turn out, the next time I say I’m going to do something like this, one of you may need to say to me “Sit down, FOOL!”

19 Responses to Hittin’ the big time …

  1. Hilary says:

    Oh my goodness, Sandra! You are one talented and creative lady. Those look incredible! I see a home-business about to happen..

    What a great experience. I’m not at all surprised.. just awed by your creativity. And to do a video?.. you’ve got (cake) balls! 😉 Any chance we’ll get to read and/or see that video?

  2. cathy says:

    Wow!Those are beautiful. How creative! Looks like you can make cake balls for whatever occasion occurs! I’d never heard of them…
    So, just wondering – who ate all the cake balls?

  3. Sandra says:

    They were really fun, Hilary. But they are a wee bit labaor intensive, so I don’t think I could charge enough to make it worth my while to do them regularly!

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to link to the article, but the video guy told me I will be able to give a link to the video (which will be 2 minutes long, so don’t blink!). If the article isn’t too embarrassing, I’ll try to link to it too. 🙂

    Cathy — Why do you ask who ate them? Did someone from Weight Watchers prompt you to ask that? I don’t see any reason for us to go into that amount of detail here! (burp) 🙂

  4. Candy says:

    I LOVE the pumpkins…just too cute! The rest look really good, but the pumpkins take the cake so to speak:)

  5. Linda says:

    I agree with Candy. Those pumpkin ones were amazing! All of them were beautiful. You really ARE creative.

  6. Sandra says:

    Candy — The pumpkins really taste good too!

    Linda — Thank you. I was pleased with how they turned out. Now, let’s hope they look okay in the newspaper!

  7. C. Beth says:

    Oh my goodness, I loved the ones you posted a few months ago, but these are FANTASTIC! The pumpkins are too cute for words, and the rest are awesome too. I think the spiders are great. I wonder if you could make them by using black licorice pieces as legs–if you layed them out on the waxed paper and then put the freshly-dipped cake balls on top of the licorice, so that it dried into the coating…if that makes sense??

  8. Sandra says:

    Beth — The pumpkins seem to be the hit of the group! I’m glad you liked them. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

    Re. the spiders, I guess you might be able to use licorice, but I think you’d have to run a wire through the center of each rope to make the legs hold their shape, don’t you think? I don’t buy many pipe cleaners, so maybe there are ones that aren’t so fluffy? But, I bought a package of the ones I used, so I’ll probably make a couple for display purposes only each year about this time until they run out! 🙂

  9. Chrissy Witt says:

    Those are amazing and cool looking, they look soooo yummy! You are going to post the article or at least a link to it, right??? Good job, thanks for sharing and please please please share the article!

  10. Sandra says:

    Chrissy — Thanks for being interested in reading the article! 🙂 I’ll try to provide a link to it, but, you KNOW, I’m kind of “lame” when it comes to this computer stuff. But I will try.

  11. Margo says:

    Looks like it is popular to like the pumpkin balls best, and I’m no exception. I think they are darling!
    You are braver than I am, I would freeze up in front of an interviewer – and the camera – and the video camera….
    What will you do if you make the Super Duper Big Time and soon the Food Network is calling to do a show on you and your cake balls?

  12. Sandra says:

    Margo — The food network might call if I had INVENTED the cake balls, but that distinction belongs to someone else. 🙂

    We just had some friends over and they loved the pumpkins too. I guess, if this were a contest among them, the pumpkins would be the champs!

  13. C. Beth says:

    Regarding the licorice–I was thinking the legs would need to just be flat. You’re right, they wouldn’t hold any shape without a wire. They really are adorable with pipe cleaners, and I would definitely be willing to pick off any fuzzies to eat them. 🙂

  14. Sandra says:

    Beth — Oh, I see what you were thinking — a flattened spider, like the ones in the Garfield cartoon after they’ve been swatted! If I would flatten the ball a little too, before I dipped it, those could be really funny! 🙂

  15. Tiffany says:

    I just saw your article in the paper (loved it!) and I’m thankful I did. I love finding “local” blogs to follow. A blog that posts food is definitely a plus in my mind, too 😉

    I made cake balls earlier this year, I believe, and I also LOVE that the possibilities are endless! I remember writing a couple combo suggestions down and going from there 🙂 Mine didn’t turn out perfectly though, because I didn’t have candy coating, and the chocolate I used kept getting soft. They were delicious though! I can’t remember what kinds of everything I used (I’m sure it’s on my blog.. somewhere) but they tasted like little brownie bites. YUM!

    I’m thinking about giving cake balls another try for a Halloween party my husband and I are attending at the beginning of next month (A Halloween party AFTER Halloween?! haha), and making them into cake ball pops by inserting a stick.. and then covering then with white fondant to make a ghost! It sounds like fun, but we’ll see how well it turns out, I guess 😉

  16. Tiffany says:

    Oh, and if you’ve never been there before, definitely check out bakerella.com! That’s one of my favorite baked-goodies blogs 🙂

  17. Sandra says:

    Tiffany — How nice to “meet” another local blogger! Yes, I have visited Bakerella. She and Pioneer Woman are the ones who got me started on cake balls.

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  18. lynn says:

    These are absolutely GORGEOUS, Sandra! Sorry I missed seeing this post back when you first put it up. You have cake decorating talent, girl!

  19. Sandra says:

    Thanks, Lynn. I just did some for Valentine’s Day. They have become my “go to” dessert for holidays. Fun, but labor intensive!

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