Friday, September 10, 2010

Kitchens aren't just for making messes.

I've always relished being a sort of anti-domestic diva. I blame Sex and the City. There's a charm to the way Carrie Bradshaw squeals, "I keep sweaters in my stove!" (on second thought, what? That bitch has a closet the size of Texas) that I assumed would carry over to my crippling inability to so much as microwave popcorn. I approached my culinary ineptitude with as much conviction as I could muster, happily spouting tales of botched grilled cheeses and refusing to pay serious attention when I was forced to help out in the kitchen at home.

Well, turns out there's something more charming than keeping sweaters in your stove: being able to whip up delicious food for yourself and others. It was like a switch flipped overnight. I woke up one morning this summer and decided I felt like scrambled eggs for breakfast. I eHow-ed "how to cook scrambled eggs." I threw in some feta and rosemary. Surprisingly tasty! And ready in minutes! I felt invincible. The world was my oyster. Hate oysters. The world was my cupcake. I made myself pancakes for dinner that night (breakfast foods are a gateway drug). I was hooked.

Since I'm incapable of doing anything halfway, I've since expanded my repertoire to include everything from starters to salads to sweets. I'm a much better dessert chef than savory chef - I do better with the precision of baking than the more instinctual nature of cooking - but all things considered, my kitchen experimentation has been pretty darn successful (and thoroughly enjoyable to boot). I get much more excited about quirky flavor combos and aesthetically pleasing pastries than I do about honing a gourmet-level palate, so don't expect anything too refined, but I thought it might be fun to start posting a few La Vie en Recipes for my non-lethal creations.

Matchmaker Truffles (Where Cake Meets Candy)

Warning: These are incredibly rich. They're almost too much for me, and I have, like, the sweetest sweet tooth that ever sweeted. Enjoy in small doses.

1 box cake mix (any flavor) and whatever ingredients it calls for (usually oil and eggs)
1 jar store-bought frosting (again, flavor of your choice)
1 package semisweet baking morsels or confectioner's coating

1. Bake cake as directed. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
2. Crumble warm cake into a large mixing bowl, being sure to discard any well-done edges. Mash in jar of frosting. Mix until consistent (you can use a hand mixer or go old-school with a fork). Cover and refrigerate cake/frosting "dough" for at least three hours (or overnight).
3. Roll into bite-size balls, handling as quickly as possible. Freeze for at least an hour.
4. Melt semisweet baking morsels or confectioner's coating on stove or in microwave (see package or Google for directions). Using a toothpick, roll balls in molten coating for as short a time as possible (while still covering completely) and place on wax paper. Sprinkle immediately (one by one), as coating will harden fast. Makes about six dozen. Store in freezer.

Mine are funfetti cake with vanilla frosting and they are wickedly scrumptious little sugar bombs. Next up: red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting in white chocolate. I've also caught wind of an alcoholic version that substitutes Bailey's Irish Cream for frosting. That might have to happen for this year's holiday parties. Just saying.

Your melted chocolate or confectioner's coating will start to get pretty gross after about three dozen, so you might want to do a couple of batches. Unless you want cake truffles that look like this:

Instead of this:

Equally yummy, but not nearly as giftable. And trust won't want to eat all six dozen of these yourself.


Azriella said...

I love these, but you're right about how rich they are! Another fun thing you can do is to stick little lollipop sticks into them. Makes them easier to eat and they look super cute and festive.

Trisha Kay said...

OMG So. Good. Soooo good. I don't know if I told you this earlier. But SO good.