Valentine’s day is so cute. I’m sorry, I know there are people out there who hate Valentine’s day and think that it’s a commercial attack on all single people. I feel for you, sad lonely folk. I’m ready to give you a hug. But even when I was single (which was most Valentine’s days, let’s be honest) I still loved it.
It’s just so darn cute. There’s chocolate and hand written love notes and roses and sometimes stuffed animals. You can always use more chocolate and more flowers and Valentine’s day gives you both so we shall celebrate it here on Nifty Spoon!
A few years ago Cake Pops made an appearance and everyone decided they were the new cupcake, the new fad that was here to stay. I admit, cake pops can be adorable. They are portable and on a stick and everyone loves cute things on a stick! But I’m not sure why, I never really liked them. I felt like if I wanted to eat cake I would do just that. Eat cake. Smushing it all up and squishing it onto a stick and then covering it in chocolate that has to be mixed with shortening to make it pretty? It just doesn’t sound appetizing. So I never made cake pops. I ate a few here and there when they were offered. I wasn’t impressed.
And then this Valentine’s day I wanted to make a red wine chocolate cake. Magnificent, covered with red wine chocolate buttercream and delicious. My batter ended up overflowing in the oven. I was too impatient to wait before turning the cake out of the pan and it split into four huge ugly steamy chunks that would never stick together no matter how hard I tried to patch it up with frosting. I was dismayed. What was I to do with an entire ruined (but incredibly delicious!) red wine chocolate cake with red wine fudge butter cream? *tears*
I had to make cake truffles. This was the clear solution. Here are a few things I learned while making these little bite sized treats.
- I am not talented or skilled when it comes to coating things with chocolate. It wasn’t a pretty picture, my friends.
- Cake pops truly can be tasty! It takes a good cake to make a good cake ball. Quality going in = quality coming out.
- Red wine always needs to be mixed with chocolate. It makes it ten times better. Plus…cake!
Now, I am no expert at cake ball dipping or drizzling or covering or any sort of make-this-truffle-look-astounding skill. These pictures clearly show that. (Haha! HELP!) So I will direct you to the website that helped me the most HERE. I used the method that recommended a plastic fork with the middle tines broken off and that was very helpful. If you are having troubles with melting the candy coating or chocolate (like I did with my first two attempts, HA!) this tutorial might be a good resource. As far as the cake and frosting–follow this recipe. It’s delicious!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ilk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ package of raspberry jello
- ½ cup softened butter
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 3-6 Tablespoons (or more if needed) dry red wine
- ¼ cup cocoa
- Candy coating or chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9 inch baking pan.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- In another bowl combine egg, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to bowl with flour and beat on medium speed with a mixer until well combined. Stir in the wine until mixed. (The batter will be thin) Pour into your prepared pan
- Bake 30 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or the top of the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Cool 10 minutes, then turn cake out of pan and cool completely.
- When cake is cool, place in a large bowl and crumble into fine crumbs (similar to wet sand) with forks. You can also use a food processor.
- For butter cream: in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Slowly blend powdered sugar and cocoa powder until well combined. Mix in ½ tsp vanilla and red wine by Tablespoon until the thickness is desirable. Add ¾ cup of frosting to the cake crumbs and stir until the crumbs hold together like a dough when grabbed in your hand.
- To roll ball, pinch a amount of the cake "dough" and roll into balls in your palms about 1 inch wide. Place the cake "dough" balls in the fridge for half an hour or in the freezer while you melt the candy coating for decorating. There are many ways to melt chocolate and candy coating, view the website linked above to see suggestions.