July 20, 2011

Salted Chocolate Cake Pops & Cake Ball Truffles ... Step-by-Step


One word.  Delicious.  Maybe two words.  Totally amazing!  Well, perhaps three words.  Stroke of genius.  On my friend's part, not mine, that is.

These salted chocolate cake pops (and cake ball truffles) are my absolute favorite flavor of all the flavors I've made.  And I can't take one ounce of credit for them.  See, I have a friend, Jenny, who wanted to learn how to make cake pops and cake balls.  So we planned a day to get together and make that happen.  We decided to make four different flavors - red velvet, chocolate, mocha, and margarita (I'll post about the mocha and the margarita ones sometime soon!).

So how did simple chocolate cake pops turn into absolutely-to-die-for salted chocolate cake pops, you ask?  Well, I had some fleur de sel out for sprinkling on my margarita cake ball truffles.  What's a margarita without a little salt, right?  So I wanted to get that salt element into my cake balls, too.  And here's where Jenny's stroke of genius comes in - after dipping one of her chocolate cake balls in her chocolate coating and sprinkling on a few chocolate jimmies, she reached over into the fleur de sel and sprinkled it on top too.  Genius!  Why didn't I think of that?

One little taste of the new flavor, and we were hooked.  Okay ... maybe two little tastes ... you have to be sure, right?  If you love the classic combination of salt and chocolate, then believe me, you'll love these.

Side note - Just in case you're not familiar with fleur de sel, here's a little about it before we move on to the process of making cake pops and cake ball truffles.  I actually looked it up, because I figured I should tell you a little more than just "it's fancy salt."  So, according to Wikipedia, fleur de sel is a traditional French hand-harvested sea salt.  It's typically used as a finishing salt.  Because of it's high moisture content relative to other salts, it doesn't dissolve when sprinkled on moist foods, and therefore gives food a slight crunch and a slight shimmer.  (Click here if you'd like to read more at Wikipedia.)

Onto making cake pops and cake ball truffles!

The process for making both is pretty much the same ... except cake pops are on a stick, and cake ball truffles are not.  That's all.  And once you've got the process for these down, it's easy to mix it up with trying new flavors.  As I know most of you know, I absolutely cannot take an ounce of credit for the cake pop/cake ball concept or process, either.  We owe that to the ever-fabulous Bakerella!  To learn from the queen-of-cake-pops herself, click for her original video from her appearance on the Martha Stewart show or for Bakerella's site for all-things cake pops.

Here's my version of Bakerella's process ... starring my friend Jenny's hands!

Step 1: Start by making a sheet cake.  For our salted chocolate cake pops and truffles, we started with a yellow cake.  Use any yellow cake ... your favorite go-to homemade version or a box mix.  Whatever you prefer.

Step 2:  Crumble the cake up.  Yes, get your hands in there and turn that cake into a nice crumbly mess.  Jenny and I decided this was our favorite part.  It's like a baker's Play Doh!

Step 3:  Stir your frosting into your cake crumbs ... about 1 to 1 1/2 cups frosting for a 9x13" sheet cake.


Step 4:  Roll the frosting/cake crumb mixture into balls.  Chill the balls for about an hour in the refrigerator or for about 15 minutes in the freezer.  This will make it easier to dip them in the chocolate coating, coming up next.


If you're making cake pops ...

Step 5:  Melt your chocolate coating according to the package directions, typically in the microwave.  Dip a lollipop stick into the chocolate coating ...

... and insert the chocolate-dipped end of the stick about 1/2-way into a cake ball.   

This chocolate "cement" will (hopefully!) keep your cake ball from slipping off the stick when you dip it in the chocolate coating. Despite doing this, I still always end up with a few swimmers. Oh well, an excuse to taste-test, right?!?

Step 6:  Dunk a cake ball into the chocolate coating, gently pushing it straight down and then rocking it backwards once and forwards once.  You want to do this fairly quickly or you'll end up with way too much coating.  Don't stir the cake ball around in the coating ... it'll most likely fall off if you do.


Step 7:  Pull the cake ball out of the coating and let the excess drip off back into the bowl.  You can very, very gently tap your wrist to help with this process, if you'd like.


Step 8:  Immediately, while the coating is still "wet," sprinkle your cake pop with the decoration of your choice ... in our case, chocolate jimmies (or sprinkles ... whichever term you prefer!) and fleur de sel.

Step 9:  Place your cake pop into a styrofoam block, in which you've already punched some holes, to set up.



Step 10:  Eat and enjoy!!


If you'd rather make cake ball truffles, they'll look like this:

I'll be honest - I'd much rather make cake ball truffles than cake pops.  To me, truffles are sooooooo much less tedious.  Still a bit tedious, mind you, but much less so than the pops.  The stick is fun ... but it makes the dipping process more difficult and more time-consuming.  Just my opinion.

For cake ball truffles, follow the same process as above for cake pops through step 4.  Then ...

Step 5: (There are many ways to do this ... this is how I do it ... but experiment and find your own groove!)  Drop a cake ball into the chocolate coating.  Quickly, but gently, roll it around in the chocolate with a fork until it's coated.  Slide the fork under the coated cake ball and remove it from the coating, dragging the bottom of the fork along the rim of the bowl a little bit to remove some of the excess coating.

Step 6: Slide the coated cake ball off the fork onto waxed paper.


Step 7:  Before the coating sets, decorate with the sprinkling of your choice.


Step 8:  Give one (or two ... ) a bite!

And that's how you make cake pops and cake ball truffles!  When I'm in the mood to make these, I make a bunch and store them in the freezer.  Then I can take them out whenever and for whatever I like!


Salted Chocolate Cake Pops & Cake Ball Truffles
Source:  Concept & process adapted from Bakerella, flavor idea from my friend Jenny

Ingredients
1 baked 9x13" yellow cake
1 to 1 1/2 c. chocolate frosting, canned or make your own
1 (1 lb.) package dark chocolate candy melts
About 2 T. shortening
Chocolate sprinkles
Fleur de sel or course sea salt
Lollipop sticks (needed for pops, but not for truffles)


Directions
FOR CAKE BALL CENTERS:  
1.  Crumble cake into a large bowl, working it into small crumbs.  Add frosting and mix until well combined.  

2.  Shape into approximately 1" balls, using about 1 T. dough per ball; set aside on wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or place in freezer for about 15 minutes.

TO DIP FOR CAKE POPS:  
3.  In a small deep bowl, melt candy melts and shortening together in the microwave per candy melt package directions (typically in 30 second intervals, stirring in between). 

4.  Dip a lollipop stick into the chocolate and insert it about half-way into a cake ball; let stand for a few seconds for the chocolate to harden. 

5.  Hold onto the lollipop stick and dunk the cake ball into the chocolate coating, gently pushing it straight down and then rocking it backwards once and forwards once. You want to do this fairly quickly or you'll end up with way too much coating. Don't stir the cake ball around in the coating.

6.  Pull the cake ball out of the coating and let the excess drip off back into the bowl, very gently tapping your wrist to help shake off excess chocolate.  Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles and a bit of salt.  Place in a styrofoam block to dry.

 

TO DIP FOR TRUFFLES: 
7.  In a small deep bowl, melt candy melts and shortening together in the microwave per candy melt package directions (typically in 30 second intervals, stirring in between). Use a fork to dip each cookie dough ball in the candy coating, letting excess coating drip off back into the bowl. Place on wax paper.  Sprinkle with a few chocolate sprinkles and a bit of salt.  Let stand for chocolate coating to set up.

Enjoy!


This post is linked with Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Sweet As Sugar Cookies, Sweet Indulgences Sunday hosted by A Well-Seasoned Life, Tasty Tuesday hosted by For the Love of Blogs, Handmade Tuesdays hosted by Ladybug Blessings, Weekend Wrap Up Party hosted by Tatertots and Jello, Wow Me Wednesday hosted by Ginger Snaps, Sweet Treats Thursday hosted by Something Swanky, Savvy Homemade Monday hosted by Home Savvy A to Z, Creative Juice hosted by Momnivore's Dilemma, Cure for the Common Monday hosted by Lines Across My Face, and Tuesday Tutorials hosted by The Kurtz Corner, Tutorial Tips and Tidbits hosted by Stone Gable.

29 comments:

  1. cakepops are tricky when you're starting but after some practice they get easier and more fun!

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  2. Yum, yum, yum. Thank you for the step by step directions, too.

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  3. this is an awesome post. I am making rice crispie pops for a birthday party and your tips about dipping are super helpful. :)

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  4. Hello,


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  5. Such a wonderful post. Love the more adult idea of the salted chocolate!

    I especially like your step by step instructional format to the blog. Good luck with it, hope you make a thousand posts!

    Dave

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  6. I'm craving cake balls now... especially chocolate ones....oh my goodness. Beautiful pictures too!

    Thanks for linking up on the FBF linky last week, would love for you to link up another one! Its so fun looks at old posts =)
    Cookin' for my Captain's FBF #9

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  7. Wow! This looks so sooo yummy! I'm craving for some now! Thanks for the lovely recipe. Great creative space you got here.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

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  8. Great tutorial! I'd love for you to link up to my Sweet Treats party this weekend. Hope to see you there!

    Ashton
    www.somethingswanky.com
    {Sweet Treats Thursday} Thu-Su

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  9. These do look good. I love the idea of adding the salt. Thanks for sharing us how you inserted the stick. I need to learn to make fancier treats like this. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

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  10. Looks delicious! I really need to try this sometime! :)

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  11. I have never made these. I always thought they would be much harder to make. I will have to make them for my grand kids.
    New follower from Sweets for Saturday. Hope you follow back.

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  12. found you on ftlb! this looks so yummy! and fairly easy! I shall have to try it out for myself! thanks for posting it!

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  13. Great post...I feel famous! Thank you for teaching me to make these!!!! Alex considers it a "life skill" now! ;) Like all things on your blog...fantastic!

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  14. These look wonderful, great step by step pictures too. X

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  15. Yuuuuuum. Thanks for linking up at my blog party! Your cake pops are beautiful and your blog pics are amazing! I am looking forward to exploring more of your site!

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  16. My good word. That is a great tutorial! I just butchered a batch of cake pops...lol... I will be featuring you next week on Creative Juice Thursday...

    {love the name of your blog btw...}

    Thanks for linking up today...

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  17. I plan on saving making cake pops for when my one year old is old enough to do them with me! :D

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  18. Oh my, these look heavenly! I love salty chocolate it's such a good combo!

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  19. Wow these look delicious. Beautiful photographs too! Thanks for sharing last week. You have so many fantastic and yummy-looking ideas. I love the picture of you cooking at age 4. I hope to see you again this week.
    Rachel

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  20. You've been featured! Stop by, grab a featured button from the right side bar if you'd like and link up any of your new projects! :)

    http://www.thekurtzcorner.com/2011/08/tuesday-tutorials-link-party-no2.html

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  21. This is very cute chocolate popes. I like it very much.. Looks very tasty and sweet. Keep it up..

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  22. making my mouth water ! Looks so yummy! Ive always wanted to try these but i was always afraid of them being to salty. Thank you for giving me encouragment!

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  23. Hi I don't know how I ended up here, but boy am I glad I did! ;) I am going to try these cake pops for Halloween, they look great, and since I am a chocolate lover going through PMS right about now, I am really loving these! I just hope I don't end up eating all the Halloween treats. Maybe I'll just make a pat with myself to only eat all the swimmers. "just as long as they don't all turn into swimmers."
    Thank you for sharing, and all the great pictures, it's like Cake Pops for Dummies! They look so good and it sounds like you and your friend had a great time making these.
    My cooking buddy is my 3 year old grand-baby. I bet she would just love this recipe come to think about it. ;)
    Have a great day and a Fun and Spooky Halloween!
    Laura AKA Smart Moms Saving Money
    http://www.smartmomssavingmoney.blogspot.com

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  24. Your cake pops & truffles look wonderful! This is Jenny's little sister Carly. I am a big chocoholic so these look like they would be right up my alley!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Carly! Jenny's hands look fabulous, don't they?? :-)

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  25. These look so yummy, makes me drool! I like the truffles best too!

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  26. Oh my goodness, and I mean goodness! What a great sweet treat! Thanks for the VERY WELL DONE culinary tutorial and sharing it at TUTORIAL TIPS AND TIDBITS! I am making this!!!! T

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  27. I have recently discovered a store that sells chocolates with a bit of salt on them. They have become my new favorites. I just love the chocolate and salt combo. I can't want to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial!

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I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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