Greetings and Salutations!
Time to balance some happy baking with some sad music. Apron and tissues optional.
You might remember that I posted about Cake Pops before. I included some photos and instructions on making cake balls in that Cake Pop post. The Bakerella video clip in that post is helpful to see how cake balls are formed…just omit the stick step.
The recipe here, for the red velvet cake, is much moister than the cake recipe I used in the Cake Pop post so the balls come together really nicely without any crumbling. I’ve included a cream cheese frosting recipe, but feel free to use canned cream cheese frosting. I have tried with homemade and without and did not really notice much of a difference.
Go ahead and make these cake balls. There is nothing quite like sinking your teeth into the crisp shell of chocolate which holds a delectable (and beautiful in color) bite of cake.
Red Velvet Cake Balls
Ingredients for cake:
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 (1 ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons butter, softened
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, well sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients to decorated cake balls:
Dark chocolate candy melts
White (vanilla) candy melts
White chocolate to melt for swirl decoration
Assorted sprinkles, colored sugar, candy pearls and eyes, to decorate
Directions for cake:
1 Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
2. Place cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix with electric mixer on low for 1-2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 additional minutes.
3. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Directions for frosting:
1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on low, about 1 minute.
2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, mixing on low speed until the sugar is well mixed, 1-2 minutes.
3. Add vanilla and mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 1-2 more minutes.
Directions to decorate cake balls:
1. Melt the candy melts.
2. Hold a chilled cake ball with a toothpick or between your fingers and spoon melted candy coating over to cover. (I don’t dip them so that I avoid getting any crumbs in the melted coating)
3. Lay the dipped balls on wax paper to harden, placing the spot where you pierced the ball down to cover the hole, or cover the hole with decoration.
4. For decoration, fill a narrow-tip plastic squeeze bottle with white chocolate (or any contrasting color of melted coating you like) and pipe swirls over the balls, or sprinkle with colored sparkling sugar.
5. Dipped balls will keep at room temperature for days; if you refrigerate them, the coating will sweat.
Recipe for cake and frosting adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor
The Decorating Directions came from an excellent article I found from The DallasNews.com. The article has lots of terrific tips for assembling the cake balls as well as a bunch of cake/frosting flavor combinations.
Cake Balls make me really happy.
Sad songs make me really happy, too.
I love all sorts of music, but I’m a sucker for songs that make my eyes sting with tears.
The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned). The first few months I always ended up in sobs when Colin Meloy sings:
“With this long last rush of air, we’ll speak our vows of starry whisper
And when the waves came crashing down, he closed his eyes and softly kissed her”
Something about how he changes from first person to third person moves me so much. And it is such a sad end to the story. **Sniff**
I’m serious, but then again you know how emotional The Decemberists make me. (Two weeks till the concert, btw)
This version is from The Decemberists’ iTunes Session just out this month.
The very first song that made me cry was ‘Wait For Me’ by The Playmates. I played that 45 over and over on my little victrola. (Ha! Those born in the past 20 years may need a dictionary.) I remember my mother getting completely annoyed by the whole thing. “If you don’t stop that goddamned crying I am going to throw that record away!”
You know what is ironic? I ended up marrying a Johnny. Maybe it was a sign.
The Playmates-Wait For Me
This song from Trembling Blue Stars is one of those classic unrequited love tunes.
“Making contact gets harder
As the silence grows longer
And why would you think of me
When you were not the one in love
When you were not the dreamer
When you were just the dream”
Trembling Blue Stars-Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise
Another really sad one from Cinerama.
“I’ve loved you and thought of you ever since the day
I drove you into someone else’s bed
(I’m still not sure how)
You’ll see the new me
You used to say I never listened to a word you said —
Well, I’m listening now”
Single Father is truly a heartbreaking song. Jackie Leven’s voice is so full of emotion and the lyrics are so stirring.
“I remember losing my baby every time I hear a church bell chime.
I was a single father,
but I just can’t complain.
Got a heart full of headstones as I step down
from the train.”
Jackie Leven-Single Father
I could go on and on.
Bruised by Ben Folds is wicked sad.
The River by Bruce Springsteen still tears me up sometimes.
Eleanor Rigby is pretty freakin’ sad.
The Associates belting out Gloomy Sunday. Sad.
Back To The Old House by The Smiths is quite sad. But, then again, Morrissey wrote the book on morose.
I always thought Back To Black by Amy Winehouse was really sad. Now all her songs make me sad.
Tears In Heaven? I knew the story, but after I read Eric Clapton’s autobiography, I totally go to pieces when this song comes on or when I play it on the piano. It is just as affecting as an instrumental.
What are your favorite sad songs?
Cheers! (No go make some cake balls so you can get a smile back on your face.)