Cake Pops & Cake Truffles

Who can deny chocolate? Well I know there are some crazy people out there who can...(not crazy in the offensive way of course)...but who would want to? Especially when it comes to chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, and a chocolate candy coating. Three chocolates that are undeniably divine together!
So what is this goodness I speak of??? Cake pops and cake truffles of course! The last time I made cake pops I brought them over to my sis and she absolutely LOVED them, so I asked what flavor she would want if I made them again and of course she said choc-o-lat-e! I used one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes and my all time FAVORITE chocolate frosting recipe to create these delectable bites...and they are delish! When I made cake pops the first time, I did not really LOVE them. I think the problem was that I used a box cake mix and store bought frosting (as this is what the cake pop masters say to use) and it was just too artificial for my buds. So after making these babies from scratch, I can totally see why there truly is a cake pop craze! My hubby totally loved the truffles, he is my biggest supporter and it makes me so happy to see the yummy smile on his face after eating something he likes. Let's just say these are high up on his list! I am not sure that I can explain them if you have not had one, but let me give it a shot. When you sink your teeth into one you get a quick snap of chocolate coating that gives way to rich bites of cake enveloped in just enough frosting to give you the satisfaction of both taste and texture. Can you picture it?!? Well if you can't, grab your apron and lets get bakin!

To start, you will want to make your cake and frosting of choice. Below you will find my chocolate cake and frosting recipes. Once your cake is cooked and cooled, you can have a little fun breaking it up. I find it is easiest to break it up with my hands, but you can also use a couple of forks if that suits your fancy. Next you will mix in the frosting. I add about half of the recipe at first and combine really well, then add a little at a time combining well after each addition until you have added all of the frosting. I find this way you get a really even distribution which makes for better taste and texture.

Chocolate Cake: (adapted from Martha Stewart's Devil's Food Cupcake recipe)
1/4 c. plus 2 T. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 c. plus 2 T. hot water
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 c. plus 2 T. sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 T. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. sour cream, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9"x 9" square pan. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
Pour batter in pan. Bake about 35 minutes. Let cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting: makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
2-4 T. milk
pinch of salt
Cream butter, add cocoa, vanilla, salt and confectioners sugar, mix until well combined. Add milk 1 T. at a time to achieve desired consistency.
Now that you have your mix, you can make your balls. I made half into cake pops and half into cake truffles. For the pops, I use about a tablespoon of the cake/frosting mixture, roll into a ball, place on a cookie sheet and freeze to set. For the truffles, I use about 2 tablespoons of the cake/frosting mixture, roll into a ball, place on a cookie sheet and freeze to set.
While they are setting up in the freezer, warm your chocolate candy melts. From here I will divide the directions for the pops and truffles...
Remove from freezer, dip each lollipop stick into the melted candy melts about 1/4 inch, push into center of cake ball. When complete, freeze to set. Remove from freezer and coat entire cake ball in candy melts. Twirl, shake, spin and swirl to get the excess off then place upright in a low cup filled with sugar to hold it in place until the coating sets. Complete the remainder of the pops. Melt white candy melts in piping bag and drizzle over in criss-cross design, allow to set.
Remove from freezer, using a lollipop stick or cake tester stuck through the middle of the ball, dip truffle in candy melt coating until completely coated. Again try to remove excess and place truffle back on baking sheet as best as possible! Sprinkle one half with chopped nuts.
Best to keep cake pops and truffles in the fridge or a cool place and allow to come to room temp before serving; however, they are pretty darn good cold too! So that's it, simple as that! As always, happy baking, happier eating!

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