… 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) …
And The Photographer took lots of pictures of the cake balls and of me with the cake balls.
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.
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.
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!”.
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.
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.
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.
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!”