This is me and my friend, Michelle.
She and I first met while working at summer camp together, over 8 years ago.
We stayed good friends all through college, despite the fact that she was in school in California and I was in Colorado.
And then, after we graduated college, we spent several months working to save money, and then we embarked on a 6-week long tour through Europe. It was just me, Michelle, and our backpacks. (And the Ford Focus we rented in Spain.)
There's more than just a Ford Focus joining our friendship now, though.
There's a baby.
(Not mine, as I'm sure you already guessed.)
We had Michelle's baby shower on Sunday.
I made cake balls for the favors.
I had never made cake balls before.
I might never make cake balls again.
Regardless, they were delicious.
Cake balls are kind of like cake, except they're coated in a thick, chewy chocolate coating.
Cake balls are kind of like truffles, except they're filled with moist, flavorful cake.
Cake balls start off remarkably easy to make: you take a cake mix (I used Duncan Hines' Red Velvet and Pillsbury's Strawberry), mix it up according to the directions, then bake it. Once it is done baking, you crumble the cake up into a mixing bowl. Once it's nice and crumbled, you add the contents of an entire tub of frosting. (I used Duncan Hines' cream cheese frosting for the red velvet cake and DH cherry frosting for the strawberry.) Use your hands to mix the cake and the frosting well, until it is light and fluffy. Use your hands to roll into small balls, then lay on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap, then place in freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Once the cake balls have frozen for the appropriate amount of time, you'll melt chocolate in a double-boiler.
I used semi-sweet milk chocolate for the red velvet balls and white chocolate for the strawberry balls.
If you can find Candiquick, use it.
I couldn't, so I used Nestle chips. Although the chips got the job done, I wouldn't recommend using chips. If I ever make cake balls again, I'm using Candiquick.
Melt chips, then use a fork to dip each ball, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Toss to coat, then remove from chocolate and lay on wax paper to dry.
Once all balls have been coated in chocolate, use a piping bag (or a ziploc baggie with the end snipped off, like me) to draw little designs on your cake balls.
Place cake balls bake on wax paper-lined baking sheets, then place in refrigerator. Allow to completely chill and harden, then remove.
Store cake balls in an air-tight container, outside of the fridge, so that they do not sweat.
Since my cake balls were for Michelle's baby shower, I packaged them up into little brown paper packets, tied with black ribbon and carried them to the shower in my little coffee table Seven-Up tray.
Next time I see Michelle, it will be me, Michelle, and Michelle's baby.
I can't wait to meet her little one.
I'll be just about excited as I was when Michelle and I embarked on our European adventure.
Although, I think this new adventure will go down as the biggest one yet in Michelle's book.
Maybe I'll even make cake balls to celebrate.