Don’t you dare forget Valentine’s Day…

Or you'll be in big trouble.

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red velvet cake balls dipped in white chocolate

last valentine’s day, my dear friend theresa sent me a valentine’s care package and sent me…chocolate dipped cake balls! they were so delicious that i vowed to attempt to recreate the tasty little guys. she sent me bakerella’s recipe, and it turned out pretty dang well 🙂 2011 resolution: bake + cook more. additional documentation to follow new experiments.

the recipe calls for box mix, but i wanted to test my hand at making red velvet cake from scratch. yes, i recognize that i’m a bit of a masochist. cake and frosting recipe borrowed from epicurious.

red velvet cake

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (ran out, so i substituted 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (couldn’t find it at the grocery store, so i used half and half)
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs

cream cheese frosting

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (only had 2 cups before i ran out)

even with the substitutions, these turned out rather well!

red velvet cake balls

  • red velvet cake (1 recipe, above, or box mix)
  • cream cheese frosting (16 oz)
  • 1 package chocolate bark (i used white chocolate)

cake:

  1. preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. butter and flour 2 cake pans (i used a tall spring form pan).
  3. sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  5. beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl, adding one egg at a time.
  6. beat in dry ingredients, 1/4 at a time, and buttermilk, 1/3 at a time.
  7. pour batter into pan(s) and bake about 27 minutes, when tester comes out clean.
  8. cool once done.

frosting:

  1. beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl, then add vanilla.
  2. add powdered sugar and beat until thoroughly blended.

forming the balls!

  1. the fun (and kind of sad) part of this is releasing the cake from the pan and crumbling it. crumble away –  i did this in a freezer bag to minimize the mess.
  2. once cake is crumbled, mix the cream cheese frosting into the cake crumbs to reach a more dense, moist consistency so the balls will hold their shape.
  3. form golf ball sized balls on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. this will help the balls stay intact for the dipping process.
  4. melt the chocolate in a double boiler and, using two spoons, dip the balls in to coat thoroughly.  (had a LOT of issues here. the chocolate didn’t melt quite right, but i successfully coated a decent amount of the balls. need to figure out a more efficient way to do this part…) the chocolate isn’t 100% necessary since the balls themselves are really tasty already, but the presentation is really quite nice. i wouldn’t recommend laying the sugar on too thick though, the cake balls can get really sweet.

more baking. chinese new year. puppy love.

kiss your sweetie.

got my jackrabbit e-newsletter today, and they’re offering  a discount for couples who kiss at the register. cute idea – i strongly recommend if you’re part of a couple that runs or if you’re not afraid to kiss people. details below:

Kiss Your Sweetie Promo⇒

Emolior Academy

From Thurs Feb 4 until Valentines Day we’re offering a special promo for couples. Come into any of our stores with your sweetie and get:

15% off any two or more pairs of shoes

20% off any two or more pieces of apparel

But, in order to earn your discount you have to kiss your sweetie at the register. That’s right, just share a kiss with your special someone to get your discount! Just make sure one of our staff members sees the kiss, because just telling us you kissed someone doesn’t count. If you don’t have a sweetie at the moment you can always try to meet someone at the store, or better yet come to one of the Valentine’s day singles events listed above on Feb 14th to get the same great deals.