Cake Balls: How To Turn a Fail Cake into a Delicious Dessert

How did a fail batch of cupcakes turn into an artisan treat? Well, I took a tip from a blog post by my professional baker friend, Rosy Choi, on how to turn baking disasters into new delicious treats 🙂

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My original plan was to make green tea matcha cupcakes. I wanted to make a chiffon cake instead of normal cupcake because I wanted to capture the Asian essence of the green tea component. I played around with using only egg whites…well it didn’t turn out so well.

The cupcakes came out in such an odd form. The cupcake itself was “straight.” Usually, cupcakes have a muffin top. The muffin top didn’t just not appear, it shrunk. Yes, a huge crater formed on the top AND the bottom of the cupcake. The middle of the cakes were 1cm less thick than the walls. In short…this batch was absolutely not presentable.

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So what did I do with this fail batch of cupcakes? Usually, I would’ve just given them all to my dad to eat because he eats anything. BUT, after reading Rosy’s post, I decided to take her awesome advice to make cake pops out of them!

What a genius idea! It’s so simple that I wonder how I never thought about that myself. Cake crumbles, icing, chocolate, it’s such a simple recipe that makes such a good treat! I’m so glad I didn’t have to waste a whole batch of cupcakes, and instead, make something that was even more delicious. Thank you so much for your advice Rosy 🙂

Everyone please check out her blog! She has her own company called “Rosy’s Bake Shoppe,” and she also makes a lot of dinner recipes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know your comments 🙂

Ingredients:

Cake (If you don’t have cake “scraps” to use, baking a cake is fine too)

Icing (If you don’t have leftover icing, making your own icing is fine too)

Mini cupcake liners (Cake balls) or sticks (Cake pops)

Let’s get rollin’!

 1. Mash up the cake until it is crumbly

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*If you baked your own cake, let the cake cool completely before you start crumbling it. Otherwise, the cake will stick together because there is a lot of moisture and heat

2. Knead the cake crumbles with icing until the mixture is able to stand by itself without crumbling (you can try rolling some into balls at this point to see if they break or not). I’m not giving any measurements because it really depends on the type of “mistake” had. If it’s too dry, use more icing. If it’s too moist (like my batch), use less icing.

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3. Roll the dough into balls about 2-3cm thick depending on whether you’re making a cake pop or ball. Cake pops are usually bigger than cake balls.

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*Don’t make the ball too big for the cake pop, or else it might fall off the stick when you are dipping it in chocolate

4. Place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes so that the balls stiffen and don’t fall apart

*Cake pops: Dab the end of a stick into melted chocolate and then stick it halfway through the cake ball before you place everything in the fridge

5. Melt chocolate using proper chocolate melting techniques. Place the ball into the chocolate and use a spoon to smother it with chocolate. Shake the spoon around to get the excess chocolate off

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*Cake pops: Dip the cake-end into the chocolate and use a spoon to round the chocolate. Be careful not to press too hard, or else the whole cake will fall off the stick

6. Transfer the ball onto parchment paper, and place into the fridge to let harden

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*Cake pops: You can either insert the stick into a colander or make your own Styrofoam tray for it to try and serve

7. Take the balls out and decorate it however you like (Ex. sprinkles, drizzling with chocolate)

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IMG_4317 8. Place the balls into mini cupcake liners and they’re ready to serve!

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Melt-In-Your-Mouth Blueberry & Lemon Cheesecake

Up until now, it has been snowing non-stop for over 50 hours.  

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To cozy up in my house, I need more than hot chocolate…I want a hot dessert! But who do I have at home that can make something like that? I don’t have fudge to make a hot lava cake and I don’t think I’m allowed to set my banana on fire to make some flambé…

So I scavenged through my pantry and fridge, and noticed that I had a lot of cream cheese (There was a sale at safeway a week ago), extra graham crumbs from my strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, as well as a lot of glass jars (from the Crème brûlée at Costco)

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What caught my eye was the side of the cream cheese box…IT WAS CHEESECAKE! I had never made cheesecake before, so I thought this would be a cool experience since I had all the ingredients already anyways.

I DID want to keep to my “experimenting” spirit, so I tried to incorporate some lemon flavor and fruit inside it as well. I’m so glad it turned out so well, because after 40 minutes of baking, I had a warm, melt-in-my-mouth treat to cozy up to. It’s actually a very easy recipe. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

Cheesecake:

2 8oz sticks of cream cheese

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tbsp of lemon rind

1 egg

Graham Crust:

1/8 cup butter

1 cup graham crumbs

LET’S GET MIXING!

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

2. The recipe on the box said to mix all the ingredients together. However, from my experience with making cream cheese frosting, I knew that the cream cheese would not be smooth and would be chunky instead. It’s really important to mix the cream cheese by itself until no lumps are visible. This will ensure that no lumps appear in later steps when you start adding other ingredients.

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*Use a rubber scraper to smooth the cream cheese out like you’re spreading an icing on a cake, and see if there are any lumps in the cream cheese. If there are, keep mixing!

3. Once the cream cheese is smooth, add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind, and egg into it, and mix until no lumps are visible. Set aside mixture.

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*To get the lemon rind, I used a mini cheese grater that I bought from New Zealand because I didn’t have a lemon zester. I personally don’t like it when I find long strips of lemon in my desserts (I’m not really a fan of citrus), so getting little chunks of lemon skin from the cheese grater was perfect for me 🙂

4. Melt the margarine. Add the graham crumbs into the margarine and mix until well incorporated

5. Grease the glass jars with shortening so that the graham crust doesn’t stick to the glass after it bakes

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6. Line the bottom of the jar with a layer of crust. I used 4 teaspoons for every jar. Use the spoon to pack the crust down so that none of the cheesecake mixture can go through.

7. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust until it is about 1 cm from the rim of the glass jar (This leaves room for decorations later)

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8 . Fill a large cake pan with hot water until it is ¼ of the way deep. Place the jars in the pan so that the water is about halfway up the jar. This prevents the glass and cheese from being overheated and “crusting.” I got this method from learning how to not burn chocolate 🙂

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9. Bake the cheesecakes for 40 minutes

10. Take out the cheesecakes and let them cool for 15 minutes. Add the blueberries on top, and drizzle some warm jam over it if you’d like.

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11. SERVE WARM! It really helps lighten the mood of a cold, snowy day. However, you can also freeze it like a normal cheesecake, and it will still taste good.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

Hello everyone! I apologize for not posting recently. I was away for a cadet international exchange to New Zealand, but I’m back now! I’ll tell you all about it in a future post 🙂

I was browsing the SFU Bookstore just a couple days ago and came across a book on marshmallow making.

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For those of you who don’t know, I’m a BIG FAN of toasted coconut marshmallows. I think I nearly spent $30 last summer alone buying them from the Candy Factory at Mayfair during cadet summer camp.

I was so excited to try making marshmallows because people don’t usually think of making them. They are so easy to get in stores, so why bother?

Well I decided to take the challenge! The first time, I used the recipe in the book, it resulted in marshmallows that were WAY to sweet.

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I ended up making another batch, this time with my own measurements and procedures. I cut down half the sugar and corn syrup that was used so that the marshmallows would be less sweet. I also cut the waiting time in half by setting the marshmallows in the fridge instead of at room temperature.

Even though it took me 3 batches to make the perfect marshmallow, the fact that this recipe calls for almost no oven time makes it such an easy recipe! Definitely try it out and tell me how it goes. 

Since I am on reading break, I will be posting PLENTY of new recipes this week, including an “Olympic Special” to celebrate the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.

Enjoy and see you soon! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 Cups of shredded coconut (unsweetened)

1 1/4 Cup of Confectioners’ Sugar

1/2 Cup of Cornstarch

1/2 Cup white flour for dusting

1 Cup of Cold Water

3 Tbsp Powdered Gelatine

1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Golden Corn Syrup

1/4 Salt

1 Tspn Vanilla Extract

The Coconut:

1. Set your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit

2. Evenly distribute the shredded coconut over a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir the coconut halfway just to mix things up a bit

3. Set cookie sheet aside to cool

The Mixture:

1. In a large bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and corn starch. Set aside

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2. Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of coconut shred (approx. 1 cm thick). A rectangular pan is ideal, however, I did not have one, so I used 1 11-inch diameter round cake pan, and a 13-inch square ceramic casserole dish instead

3. Pour 1/2 cup of water into a medium bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine on top of the water. Set aside for 10 minutes. It should have the consistency of very hard jello

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4. Place the granulated sugar, golden corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water, and salt in a saucepan. Put the stove on low heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the granulated sugar has melted

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5. Set the stove on a medium-high heat and let it boil for approx. 5 minutes. It should be a clear, brown colour

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6. Add the liquid mixture into the gelatine mixture, and stir until the gelatine has melted

7. Add the gelatine/syrup mixture into the confectioners’ sugar/cornstarch mixture. Add vanilla. Use an electric hand-mixer on high speed to combine the ingredients for 10 minutes. The mixture should grow about half it’s size, and will become a whiter colour

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8. Pour the mixture into a pan quickly before it cools

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*This was the normal batch and didn’t have the coconut. If there was, the whole bottom of the pan would be lined with it

9. Place the pan in the fridge for 1.5 hours 

Cutting out the marshmallows:

1.  Take the pan out of the fridge. Use a knife to cut around the marshmallow so that it detaches from the sides of the pan

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2. Using your hands, gently reach to the bottom of the pan and scoop the big sheet of marshmallow outIMG_3684      IMG_3687

3. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut the marshmallows into squares. Wash the knife every few cuts so that your cuts can remain sharp. You can also use cookie cutter to cut out your favourite shapes

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Decorating the marshmallows

Full coconut:

1. Mix 2 table spoons of water with 1 teaspoon of confectioners’ sugar

2. Dab the white part of the marshmallow with this mixture, and then roll the marshmallow in the coconut shreds until it is evenly coated

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Chocolate:

1. Melt 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

2. Dip the bottom of the marshmallow into the melted chocolate until it is evenly coated on the bottom

*For presentation purposes, you can place the marshmallows onto mini cupcake liners

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ENJOY YOUR MARSHMALLOWS! 🙂