Matt and I have now been in New Zealand for a year and four months. Matt, has been working at Oktobor, for a year and four months. When he first got hired at Oktobor, they started him on a year contract. He then got the opportunity to extend this contract, as did many other people at the company. It is, however, coming to the time where people are leaving the company to go on to other jobs, or to extend their knowledge in the field of animation. A lot of people are also staying, but there are a lot of people leaving too, and these people have become very close friends with us. One friend, in particular, is one of our closest friends, and one that Matt and I see every day, and a lot of times on the weekends. She has become a very close friend, and now she is leaving to go back to Australia and take an advanced course in animation. I am very excited for her to be able to spend time at home and to be able to further her animation skills, but I am sure going to miss her.
The studio had a BBQ for her over the weekend, and as it usually tends to happen, I got volunteered to bring the sweets. I certainly don't mind, but baking for a lot of people can be hard. I figured the best way to keep everyone happy, and make sure there was enough to go around, I went with the trusty cake balls. I love falling back on these, because they go a long way, and really, they are just so amazingly good tasting! You can make practically any flavor combination, so it really isn't repetitive when you do make them.
This time, I went with vanilla cake, and made a peanut butter frosting to mix in, and dipped them in chocolate. Oh man, something about peanut butter in sweet treats, well, it just makes me flip.
I mean. Sweet. Salty. Bliss. That's all there is to it.
I was sort of late in the picture taking, so there are very few. And lets just remember that I am not the professional photographer here. I do my best, and I am certainly trying, but forgive me for these pictures.
The cake is made by mixing butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, self raising flour and...
sour cream. The recipe actually called for milk, but I was running low on it, and had an abundance of sour cream, and I read somewhere that you can substitute it. I'm telling you, if you haven't tried it, do! It actually adds an incredible flavor. I promise you wont be disappointed. Try it!
Again, sorry for the scarce photos. For the frosting, I mixed peanut butter, butter, a dash of milk and powdered/icing sugar. Then as with all cake balls, I mixed in the entire batch of the frosting I made until it was fairly wet. You have to know, it can be quite difficult knowing how much frosting to mix in. You don't want too little, because they wont hold together, but you don't want too much because it will be too wet. You want the mixture to look like a pretty moist cake, but you don't want it overflowing with frosting. You don't want to "see" frosting in the mixture, but it should feel wet when you pick it up.
I made a large cake, so I needed to have a good amount of frosting to mix in. Bakerella says if you use a box cake mix, and a store bought frosting, you should use 3/4 of the frosting for the entire box mix. Hopefully that gives you a good idea if you are having problems with that.
After the mixture of completely combined, you want to take a small handful, and scrunch it in your hands to make sure it holds together, then roll it into a ball. From here you can shape it into anything your heart desires, but I wasn't looking for anything fancy this time. It was all about the taste this time. Then they need to go into the fridge for a few hours or overnight, or in the freezer for around 30 minutes. From there, you are ready to dip. I used Nestle Chocolate Melts, the dark chocolate kind, because that is my favorite flavor, and I thought it would go well with the cake and frosting flavor. I drizzled the top of them with Wilton Light Cocoa Candy Melts, but you could also get this desired look by melting a small amount of white chocolate melts into dark chocolate melts to get a lighter color. I also used a decorating pen to get the lines, but you could also achieve this using zip lock bags, or even a fork for a messy look. Really, just make it your own.
Here is my finished product. Overall, I think they were a big hit! I ended up with 70 of them. Yes 70. There were around 30 people at the BBQ, and we didn't end up taking any home. I guess that's a good sign. Do you want the recipe? Ok.
-250g/2c + 2Tbsp butter
-1 1/4c sugar
-2 1/4c self raising flour
-3/4c sour cream
-Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Lightly grease cake pan (round 9"). Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with electric beater until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)
-Add eggs and beat until well combined
-Using a spoon, stir in sifted flour, and sour cream until combined
-Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for an hour, or until skewer comes out clean
-Cool completely before crumbling
-1c peanut butter (smooth)
-2c icing/powdered sugar
-dash of milk, or as needed
-Beat butter and peanut butter until fully combined and light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar until it is the desired texture you want. Beat in milk as needed, if too dry.
-1 1/2 bags of dark chocolate Nestle chocolate melts
-When the cake if fully cooled, crumble it until it is really fine, using a food processor, or your hands
-Mix in the entire frosting mixture using the back of a metal spoon
-Take a small handful of cake, bunch in hand and form into ball, and place on a cookie sheet lined with baking/parchment paper
-Continue with the rest of the cake, and place in freezer for 30 minutes, or the fridge for a few hours or overnight
-When the cake balls are hardened, take a few out of the fridge at a time, and dip into melted chocolate
-Cover ball completely then place back on cookie sheet to harden. Place in fridge or freezer to quicken the hardening process
-Decorate with more candy melts when first layer is hard, or with sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet
-Place in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days, until ready to use