This year for his birthday Jack is all about the Slytherin house from Harry Potter. More specifically, he’s all about his favorite character in the series, Draco Malfoy. Jim theorizes it has to do with the fact that Jack relates to Draco because he looks a lot like the actor that plays Draco, Tom Felton. There is definitely a resemblance so we just go with it…..we’re assuming that Jack won’t go bad.
It’s a low key birthday this year so rather than the production of last year’s Indiana Jones cake (maybe I’ll blog that one day….) or even a batch of cupcakes, it’s cake balls all the way. These things take so much less time than a traditional cake and they turn out so fantastic looking!
To get started, I picked up a few candy making supplies. Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Heather did all the hard work by baking the cake! By the time I arrived, all I needed to do was crumble the cake, whip up a small batch of icing and mixed in about 1/2 C to the cake crumbles. Then I threw mixture in a Ziploc bag to chill out in the ‘fridge over night.
Now to the fun stuff. I rolled out each of the cake balls and melted the dark green chocolate. For the full cake, I was able to get 30 good sized cake balls.
I dipped a few pops into the chocolate, but they were all coming out with terribly clumpy results. (yes, I wanted them to be *perfect*) This chocolate just set up so quickly! I’m sure it would be great for molding, but it didn’t give me enough work time for what I wanted to do. Lesson learned: stick with the Wilton candy melts! After a few notable failures, I added a bit of shortening (about 1T) to the chocolate which gave me a bit more work time, but still not as much as I would have liked. Thankfully, the plate of failure tasted delicious and I was able to ward off hungry taste testers with failed samples.
I finally decided that these pops just weren’t going to stand up straight and once I decided to lay them on their side (ugly side down) I breezed right through the dipping of the rest. The first ones were set by the time I finished the last pop and I was ready to dust with luster dust. I used Wilton’s dark green pearl dust which gave the cake balls a great snake skin effect. You can see the ones on the left are dusted and the ones on the right as waiting to be dusted. It turns out, the bumpier the texture, the better the look….wish I’d known that when I started!
I pulled out the silver luster dust and mixed up a small bowl with a bit of vodka to put on the final touch – a hand painted silver snake. Painting these cake balls would have been impossible without the luster dust – there’s just too much wax in this particular brand of chocolate (Candy Wafers from Hobby Lobby). Once I got the stroke down, it was easy to work my way through all the cake balls. We put them on a tray for display and Jack loved them!