Sunday, January 31, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Balls "hugged by" Hershey's Hugs

I tried making Red Velvet Cake Balls last year and I completely failed! I don't know all where I went wrong but they were hard as a rock and tasted terrible! I had a friend who recently made them and said they were a big hit so I decided I'd try again. I found a recipe on this really cute recipe blog and decided to try again. Well, let me tell you, this time was a success and these cake balls are SCRUMPTIOUS (Lamar says they are decadent). :) Here's the recipe:

Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix (you will need vegetable oil and 3 eggs).
1 1/2 cups of cream cheese frosting or 16 oz. can of cream cheese frosting.
I used the Cake Artisan's recipe for the can find it here. I halfed the recipe and still had some left over.
2 1/2 bags Hershey's Hugs (I bought 2 and that wasn't quite enough...I still had 2 balls left...I ended up melting a Hershey bar and some Dove milk chocolate hearts for those 2 balls and they were GREAT, too!).
Parchment or wax paper (I used parchment).

Bake the cake according to package directions.

While cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing. This icing reminded me of my Granny's icing. When I was 10 years old, Granny asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her a tub of cream cheese icing. She laughed but I was serious and that is what I got for my 10th birthday. The second I tasted this icing, I thought of Granny.

After the cake has completely cooled, crumble it up into pieces in a large bowl and mix 1 1/2 cups of cream cheese icing. Okay, this is where I realized I went wrong last time. I had trouble getting all the icing mixed in and didn't know what the consistency was supposed to be like. I didn't stir them enough last time and the consistency was all wrong. You have to really put a lot of elbow grease into this...stir hard until it's all mixed in and has the consistency of the picture above. I actually had Lamar stir it for me. It's good exercise! :) Also, I don't like canned icing and used the canned last time although after trying these, I think they'd still be really good even with canned icing. The next step is to roll the cake into balls (my balls were probably 2 inches around) and put them onto parchment paper in a 9x13 inch pan (a bigger pan wouldn't fit in our freezer).

Next, freeze the balls for 2 hours. This is another area where I went wrong last time...I did not freeze the balls before I put them in the melted chocolate. This is SO important because it holds the balls together when you are dipping them in the melted chocolate. Also, the chocolate hardens faster after dipping.

After the balls are frozen, unwrap the Hugs (I did one pkg. at a time) and melt in the microwave. I melted for 1 minute, stirred, and then put them back in for another 40 seconds, stirred, and they were ready to be dipped.
I poked a toothpick through the ball and covered it in the melted Hugs.
Last time, the balls fell apart completely when I tried to dip them in the white chocolate bark (another thing I did different last time). I think the reason they fell apart is because I hadn't stirred them enough so they were too crumbly and I didn't freeze them. It was easy this time!
I think it was so neat how the chocolate got hard so fast. I ended up using Hershey's Hugs because my friend used Hershey's white chocolate. I am a Hershey's girl and knew how wrong my balls turned out last time so I decided I'd use what she did. Well, our Kroger didn't have those so I got the Nestle white chocolate chips. When Mar and I were walking down the candy aisle at the store (we always have to get him Dove dark chocolate) I saw those Hershey Hugs and knew they'd be delicious on the cake balls so I put the Nestle back. How can you go wrong with Hugs?! :) You can't!
I think these look pretty...I kept imagining them with a white chocolate monogram on them. Good idea for a shower or something.

There you have it! Absolutely delicious!!!
Oh, the recipe made 33 balls.
If you want them cold, you can put them back in the refrigerator. They are really good cold!
One more thing: I didn't realize until a few years ago that red velvet cake is actually chocolate cake with red food coloring. I wouldn't try it before that because I didn't think red cake looked like it would taste good (I also had an image in my mind of that armadillo cake from Steel Magnolias and it looked really gross). :) When I found out it was just chocolate cake with red food coloring, I didn't hesitate at all to try it and LOVED it!! My favorite thing about red velvet cake is the cream cheese icing that usually accompanies it. I have heard so many people say they don't like red velvet cake but they like chocolate cake. Maybe they are like I used to be and don't realize it's just chocolate cake or maybe they don't like the cream cheese icing. Anyway, I'm so glad I discovered red velvet's my absolute favorite. I was missing out for years!!! :)
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  1. heather! i'm so excited to try these - i think i'm going to make them for a super bowl party! yum-o! love, noel

  2. They are great aren't they. I made them for my daughter's first birthday and I think if I hadn't had perfect round bakerella balls in my mind I would have enjoyed them more... but sooo much fun!!