Claire (left) and Pooja (right) are excellent people who have birthdays close together, so every year they have a birthday party at Boat Bar, a dive bar on Smith Street.
Last year, I made cake balls for the party and everyone liked them, so now it's tradition.
I use this recipe for best birthday cake, except I only used 4 cups of flour (instead of 4 cups and 2 tablespoons), I used regular all-purpose flour instead of cake flour and I baked in a single large casserole dish instead of two round pans. I also made the frosting, but I used 2 cups of sour cream (because that's how much comes in a container) and omitted the instant espresso.
After I baked it, this is what it looked like.
I resisted the urge to just cut myself a slice and move on, and I let the cake cool over night.
The next morning, I crumbled the cake and made the frosting.
Crumbling cake is best done with your best tools: clean hands.
Just get right on in there.
To make the frosting, I melted chocolate chips in 30 second increments in the microwave until smooth. No double boilers here, no sir.
After that, I added the sour cream, vanilla and corn syrup and stirred until smooth. Then I added the frosting to the cake crumbs and started shaping balls.
You may want to start adding the frosting slowly at first; you'll know you have enough when the balls start to hold together on their own. It's too much frosting if it falls apart as a pile of mush in your hand. That's ok though - cake balls are forgiving. Just mix it back in with some dry cake crumbs until you get the right consistency.
Once all the cake was formed into balls, I melted some more chocolate so I could dip them. You could get fancy here and use popsicle sticks so that you can dip all the way around, but I think that just ends up making more of a mess in the end. So I just dip half way or so, then roll around in rainbow sprinkles.
And there you have it: cake balls. This made 52 not-quite-evenly-sized balls, minus the bites that I snuck while I was making them.
I promise, you show up to a dive bar birthday party with these and you will not be turned away. The leftovers (should you have any) make an excellent breakfast the next morning if you, like me, believe hangovers deserve some cake for breakfast.