|A shot of espresso is a perfect partner.|
The countdown to Christmas has begun! Only 23 days to go and, although I'm excited, there's a tinge of sadness as well as I will be away from my parents for the celebrations for the first time in five years. But instead of staying down in the dumps, I've decided to enjoy my first Christmas back in Canada. So I'm going to try and make some of the sweet goodies my mother does and plans are in the works to have Christmas dinner with my aunt and her family. Hopefully it will be just as delicious as our Easter affair.
I came across the recipe for these Red Velvet Cake Balls last week. It reminded me of 'Rum Balls', a truffle like confection that is popular around Christmas time back home in Bombay. Usually made with cake crumbs and sometimes studded with candied fruit, it was to be something my sister and I looked forward to because it used to have a hint of rum as well. I'm pretty sure it was rum essence, but we'd like to pretend that there was a possibility that we could get drunk. One of the bakeries called Hearsch near our high school used to sell them as well and I remember collecting my pocket money to buy one or splitting it with another friend. Because the treat was so rare, I guess it tasted all the sweeter.
|You could have one or a couple (I would go with at least two!)|
Traditionally in Bombay, you exchange plates of home-made sweets with family and friends on Christmas day. A neighbour of ours Mrs. Fernandes used to do a particularly good version of the rum balls (they used to feel particularly boozy) and we used to look forward to it every year. It was gooey in the centre and topped with chocolate and my sister and I inevitably used to start fighting over the last one. This recipe is reminiscent of the rum balls although I feel I could have made a more moist filling. In fact, a little bit of rum would have made it taste better as well. Also, my red velvet cake (recipe from Epicurious) turned out extremely dark so aesthetically it didn't look as festive as I would have liked it to.
Nonetheless, I took the Red Velvet Balls with me to the Santa Parade we went to with a group of friends and they all gave it the thumbs up. I thought it tasted better at room temperature because of the fudge-like factor but Sean preferred it cold from the fridge as the chocolate cracked on biting before you got to the centre. Instead of plain chocolate, I used the Lindt dark chocolate with chili so the sweetness had a tiny bit of heat as well. Our friends' little son came up to me with his mouth all covered in chocolate and very sweetly said, "It's good Beverley." Now who can argue with a judge like that?
Red Velvet Cake Balls
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them.)
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)