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300 Cake Balls

May 23, 2011

My wonderful friends’ wedding has now come and gone along with 300 wonderful cake balls.  It was a relatively in depth process so I’ll try to share it here with you and not write a billion words!

As you saw in an earlier post, I was practicing “cake balling” to prepare for this wedding.  I kept having trouble with lumpy chocolate so I finally decided to sign up for a cake ball class at our local bake shop.  Low and behold, life got in the way and Melissa and I had to leave town and miss the class.  I quickly emailed people I know who are master “cake ballers” and went to the bake shop to find out if they could at least advise me.  They were amazing.  Here’s a little bit of the info they shared:

1. Guittard Chocolate is the best chocolate to dip in.  No tempering required.  They even said microwaving it is just as good as using a double boiler.
2. Flavors recommended: Red Velvet with Cream Cheese and dipped in White Chocolate & Strawberry with Chocolate dipped in Dark Chocolate.
3. Cake mix and icing from a jar is just as good.  The only person who knows the difference would be my grandma.

So helpful!  I went with their flavor recommendations and I used box mix and jars of icing.  My sister, Melissa, helped me with the dipping process, but I’m jumping ahead.  Here is the cake ball game plan as it played out.

Tuesday: I baked 6 cakes on Tuesday before the wedding.  3 Strawberry and 3 Red Velvet.  I crumbled the cakes with each flavor in their own container.  I then mixed them with 2 jars of icing.  I bought 3 just in case, but 2 ended up being the perfect moistness!  I stored this in the fridge overnight.

Wednesday: I came home from work and rolled the cake into balls.  I use a scoop to insure consistency and preciseness.  I ended up with 149 Red Velvet balls and 153 strawberry.  I have no idea how that happened.  But I needed 250 for the wedding so we were good!

Thursday: This was the intense and dreaded day.  I came home from work and covered the island in my kitchen with parchment paper.  I luckily have an awesome island that is one solid surface.  I then got everything ready so I’d be really prepared and not have to dig in cabinets or drawers while I worked.  I dipped each ball in chocolate or white chocolate while Melissa followed with a popsicle stick to smooth out my fork marks (I am not a pro at that part) and she added pretty sprinkles to the top.  It took us 4 hours to dip and decorate 300 cake balls.  I left them on the counter overnight.  I had lots of dishes to do.

Friday: I woke up early Friday morning to layer the cake balls in my containers.  I layered rows of 5 x 8 between parchment paper to end with 125 red velvet balls and 125 strawberry.  I had what I referred to as “ugly” balls and brought those to work with me.  They were a hit so I knew the wedding guests would enjoy the pretty ones!

Saturday: This was the big day.  I had other errands to run in the morning and then headed toward the venue in the early afternoon.  Melissa met me and helped set the balls up.  The bride and groom had purchased beautiful dishes to display them in.  They looked great!  I hope the photographer took pictures because I want to steal a few!  I got so many compliments and there wasn’t a cake ball left at the end of the night!  Success!

In this time of reflection, it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it would be.  I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of Melissa. Would I do it again?  For a friend or family member yes, a random person, probably not.  🙂  I may have to up my price to after figuring out the hours of labor from day one through Saturday.  With Melissa and my combined hours of labor, we worked 16 hours.  Wowsa!  This great couple got a deal!  🙂   I think I might now understand why places charge at least 2 dollars a ball!  So much work.

If you have any questions about the process, let me know!  I thought it might be most interesting to reflect on the process and share some fun pictures!

Enjoy and Happy Sweet Eating!
-Amanda

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3 comments

  1. Agreed. It’s much easier with 2 people, but mom and I make a great team….ok dad is really good at prepping/rolling the balls too. We used ghirardelli to dip some over the holidays and it definitely made a difference. Mom bought the big bars at Sam’s, but not sure how the price compares ghirardelli.


  2. ps- lemon cake/lemon icing in choc is really good too!


    • I am so not a lemon dessert fan, but I may try it for all the citrus lovers out there! Thanks for the advice. 🙂



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