Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The cake that fed the world...

I've made some changes to the blog layout to try and make my blog look a little bit more cohesive, rather than disjointed colours. I know that white is hardly original, but I like the fresh and clean feel it has. What do you think?

On to the post...

This cake came about because I was reading about the wonder that is cake balls here, here and here. Cake mixed with icing rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate? Who thinks of these things? As strange as it sounds, I had to try it.

The first time I tried I took the cheat's way out, using a Devil's Food Cake mix. They were okay, nothing special, but since the cake and icing were brown and I used milk chocolate, the coating was brown too so there wasn't the lovely contrasting colours like there are on the other blogs. The flavour too wasn't quite there but the whole thing had quite a lot of promise.

So I had to make them again. I really loved the idea of a red velvet cakeball, after seeing the amazing pictures of them over at Bakerella.com. Red velvet cake isn't seen all that often in Australia so I wasn't sure how the lovely red colour came about. I looked at lots and lots of recipes, but ultimately decided to try this one from Smitten Kitchen because I have never had a Deb recipe fail me before.

It turns out that the lovely colour comes from food colouring. Lots of it. I don't know what I was expecting but I did have hopes that it would be some amazing chemical reaction of some sort. Anyway, after a trip to the supermarket for some food colouring, I was off.

I didn't really think about quantities while I was getting prepared. Normally I would halve recipes because there are only two of us and there's only so much food you can take to work to force on your co-workers. This didn't even cross my mind so I made the recipe as written only to start being slightly concerned when the mix came dangerously close to the top of my mixer bowl.

There were no accidents, but when it came to pouring the mixture into the tins it became quite clear that I had heaps more than the two round cakes I was intending to make. So I pulled out the cupcake trays and started filling. By the time I had used all of the mixture, I had 24 cupcakes and 2 full-sized cakes. So, this mixture makes a lot.

I have never used food colouring in cooking before. There isn't really any instructions on the label of the food colouring bottle so I wasn't sure if I just dropped it in directly or if it needed to be mixed with water or how much you are supposed to use. In hindsight, Deb's recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of red food colouring and this is probably what I should have done, but my food colouring bottle seemed so small that I couldn't see how I'd be supposed to use the whole bottle in one cake. I only used a tablespoon. So my cake was brown. Oh well. You live, you learn.

Tastewise, the cake was yummy. So moist and chocolately. I love cream cheese icing, so pair them together and it was awesome. One of the round cakes was donated to the cake balls cause (which I'll blog about soon) and the cupcakes and the other round cake were taken to work. They were very very well received. We don't have that big an office, but all cakes and cupcakes disappeared with surprising speed.

The recipe I used came from this post on Smitten Kitchen.

Thanks to a huge backlog of posts, the posting of this recipe has been a little delayed. It was originally made in September 2009.


  1. Hey, nice changes. The white is nice and fresh! Your photos are looking much better too, good on you. Like to try those cupcake balls- yum.

  2. Thanks Pinky! I thought new year, new look.

    Thanks very much for the comment about the photos too, I'm learning slowly. I have to keep practicing.