As the Christmas season is almost upon us, this blog will take a different direction over the next few weeks, focussing on festive fare. This will especially be the case because we are now on our long summer school break and so I won’t be packing too many lunchboxes for the time being.
But before we get to these wicked chocolate balls, it was my very great honour this week to be nominated for the Leibster Award by not one, but two of my fellow bloggers. So a big shout out to Mom’s Gluten Free Noms and Grow. Cook. Eat. Share for your very kind and humbling nominations. Unfortunately, my blog is ineligible for the award, but one of the questions posed by Mom’s Gluten Free Noms got me thinking:
Share one absolute kitchen disaster with us.
Well, let me tell you, there have been a great many, often when I’m cooking for a crowd, usually involving some kind of second-degree burn (to me, to the food, or even both). For a big family occasion back in July, I needed to make a cake for a dual celebration. I had settled on two chocolate cakes sandwiched together with jam, covered in chocolate ganache and chocolate freckles. I’ve previously written about my preference for using packet cake mix when it comes to making a celebratory cake (click here to see the post), so I was pretty pleased that I could speedily whip up the batter and get the cakes cooking. I was miles ahead of schedule, or so I thought.
Unfortunately, when it came time to pull the cakes out of the oven, I dropped the first cake. when the tin hit the ground, the cake bounced up and landed back in the tin. All was well from a hygiene point of view, but the cake smashed into so many pieces that sticking it back together with icing was out of the question. So … what to do?
I took that broken cake and processed it into crumbs. I used the crumbs to make the chocolate balls and weighed, packeted, labelled and froze the remainder so that I could easily make the balls again at a later date.
With the other cake, after it had completely cooled, I cut out a bit from the top to form a small hollow. I then covered the whole thing in chocolate ganache, piled up the balls in the centre and put chocolate freckles around the outside. Here’s the finished product:
Yup, I was pretty pleased with that: snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. If only all of my culinary disasters turned out so well!
I’d love to tell you that the recipe is mine. Because, well, it’s yummy and it’s genius in its simplicity. But it’s not. It came home from school one day on a homework card and my eldest would not rest until we’d made it together. And am I ever glad that she persisted! If you have the cake crumbs handy, it’s easy, simple, quick, delicious, impressive. Great at this time of the year when there’s party after function after party. I’ve been reluctant to share this with you as I have no idea who, when, or how this recipe was published. But just so we’re clear – it’s not mine, wish it was, and a big thanks to the author, whoever you are.
And if you’re Down Under and really don’t have any time to cook, head into a Coles Supermarket and check out their Christmas food range. Lots of gluten-free goodies on offer, including their Rainbow chocolate balls, which are very similar (although with many more ingredients).
200 grams gluten-free milk chocolate drops, melts or chips
50 grams butter
50 grams gluten-free icing mixture
100 grams gluten-free chocolate cake crumbs
1/4 cup (approximately) gluten-free 100s & 1000s, chocolate sprinkles or desiccated coconut
Put chocolate drops and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until ingredients are melted and chocolate is combined.
Sift icing mixture into the bowl and add the cake crumbs. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls of about 1.5 to 2 centimetres in diameter. Put the sprinkles in a small bowl and roll the balls in the sprinkles. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes approximately 18-20 balls.