Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Irish Cream Cake Balls (And Happy St. Patrick's Day!)
I am adding this bonus recipe in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I'm not Irish (to my knowledge) but I have friends who are and have a lot of pride in their heritage. So I made this with them in mind.
Ironically it doesn't look too beautiful or appealing. Therefore it fits right in with my Ugly Foods that Taste Fabulous Week (making it example # 4 -)
The idea for this came to me as I was looking at dessert recipes online early this morning. A "Cake ball" listing caught my eye. It sounded simple - just combine a cake mix with icing, roll it into balls and dip it into chocolate. I wanted to give it a festive twist though. I decided to take a chance by adding in Bailey's Irish Cream and some green food coloring for the holiday. Then I realized I didn't have a cake box mix. No problem though, I can make my own cake mix using the ingredients I have on hand. And soon after, this green treat was born.
I hope you enjoy it! And I hope the Irish give me their stamp of approval as well!
Irish Cream Cake Balls
(Makes over 3 dozen, about 40 balls)
1 box of yellow cake mix (Or make your own cake mix, recipe is posted below!)
8-10 oz of diet soda (I used Diet Coke instead of using oil and eggs)
2 oz of Bailey's Irish Cream liquor
1 can of vanilla cake frosting
10 to 12 drops of green food coloring
chocolate chips or bark for dipping (10 oz bag or more) - this is optional
Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (if you need to make your own, like I did!)
2 and 1/2 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar (I used Stevia)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 cup of light butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Grease two mini muffin tins with cooking spray as well.
Combine the ingredients of your homemade yellow cake mix (recipe is listed above) together and blend well. Or simply throw the contents of a yellow cake mix into a large bowl. Pour in the 8 to 10 oz of diet soda and the 2 oz of Bailey's Irish cream. Add in about 5-6 drops of the green food coloring. Stir with a spoon until all has been incorporated.
(Note: If you are using a regular cake mix, you can follow the instructions to include oil and eggs. I just prefer saving that for other meals since I know that Diet soda or regular soda works just fine. Don't forget to use the Irish Bailey's Cream though! :-)
(Or if you just want to make this special green dessert for kids, then I suppose you can leave out the Bailey's liquor. But really it's what makes this treat extra delicious! )
Pour (or spoon out) batter into the greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for about a half-hour. Don't worry about how it looks because you're going to break it up into crumbs anyway!
After the cake is cool, crumble it into small pieces using a fork or just your hands. Open your can of vanilla cake frosting. Place about 4-6 drops of green food coloring into the icing. Mix well. Spoon out the vanilla cake frosting into the cake crumbles.
Yes, that's a lot of green! Just go with it!
Mix with a spoon or your hands until it has blended together. Now form the cake mixture into balls. I placed mine in lightly greased mini muffin tins to help me keep them about the same size:
I made 40 balls with my cake batter. Place them in the freezer to harden for at least 30 - 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer.
You can serve them as is without any dip. Or if you want to give them that extra sugar and special touch, then you can dip them in chocolate.
To make the chocolate dip: Take your bag of chocolate chips or bark (white, dark, milk chocolate - it doesn't matter!) and melt them until they are a complete liquid. Use a double broiler or melt them in the microwave every 30 seconds and stir constantly. Dip each ball in the chocolate then place them back in the mini muffin tin or a pan until they harden. These are best placed in the fridge until you're ready to serve them!
But if you don't want to go through all the trouble of dipping them in chocolate, they are just as good without the dip, in my opinion. Plus, they're good conversation starters by keeping them solid green! :-)
And yes, I CAN DEFINITELY taste the Irish cream in them. It's not an overpowering flavor but it's surely there!
May the luck of the Irish be with you! I'll enjoy a few of these cake balls tomorrow for breakfast and with my coffee, which will also have some Bailey's in it! :-)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I'll see you on Friday with another ugly food recipe and an ugly food photo submission!