July 31, 2010

Have a Ball!

Cake balls/pops/truffles/etc. seem to be all the rage these days. People have been asking me for some time what the next big thing after cupcakes will be, and I think this may be it. Bakeries all over the country have started offering them because they help make use of "cake droppings," as I like to call them. These are all the cake crumbs you're left with after a week of leveling cakes for stacking, filling, and frosting.

Basically, you take a 9" x 13" cake pan full of crumbs, add about 2 cups of frosting (perhaps less, depending on how moist your initial cake recipe is), squish it all together, and make balls about 1-2 inches in diameter. Freeze them individually on a sheet pan for 20-30 minutes and dip in tempered chocolate or chocolate coating. They're really cute on miniature cupcake liners, all boxed up and ready to go for party favors, hostess gifts--you name it!

Bakerella has made cake pops a worldwide phenomenon through her blog and now soon-to-be published book. These take a lot more effort but are probably worth it in the end. I can imagine the reaction you'd get from your crowd! Check out her site and view her amazing gallery of cake pop artistry. The first time I made them, it was more of a deliberate effort. The client wanted them to start with, so I had to bake a cake from scratch (because that's how I roll), crumble it up, make the frosting (because I just don't do canned frosting of course), and mix it all up for the ball "batter." It seemed like a lot of labor to basically have something mini-cupcake-sized anyway. I didn't quite get what the hubbub was about, but knowing its the best way to make use of "cake droppings" these days helps you feel more sustainable in today's waste-conscious society. You can even freeze your cake crumbs for up to 3 months and use them as needed.

I recently made a bunch of cake balls and debuted them at my book club. For years, these wonderful folks have been my test kitchen, and I have soooooo appreciated them for that. Everyone loved them and thought they were one of the best desserts I've brought to a meeting. One longtime clubber actually came up with the name I'll be using to add them to my menu: Bomb-bons! Very sassy and the perfect thing to call something that packs that much of a sugar punch!

So if you're interested in Bomb-bons a la Pomegranate Sweets & Savories, give me a call or visit my site to order some. I'll be posting the available flavors each week. This week, I'm featuring Grandma's Chocolate, Carrot, and Vanilla Buttermilk. And maybe, when Bakerella's book comes out, it might inspire me to work on a pomegranate-shaped one I can call my signature Bomb-bon!

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