August 19, 2014

Star Wars Cake Batter Truffles

So, this weekend, the FYE (For Your Entertainment) in Woodbridge Mall was doing this grand reopening extravaganza for three days.

Anyway, I was browsing Facebook the Thursday before, and a post from Her Universe caught my eye.

"Do you live in the tri-state area?"
Yes, yes I do.
"Then come meet Ashley (Eckstein, founder of Her Universe) when she judges a cosplay contest in the Woodbridge Center Mall!"
Wait, my Woodbridge? The place I was just two weeks ago helping my mother look for a dress for the brother's wedding? With the Disney store and the carousel and the Nestle shop? That Woodbridge?

I was so there.
Now, I didn't participate in the cosplay contest (I saw that Miggy Jagger from Heroes of Cosplay was supposed to be co-judging it, so I assumed that it would draw some of the epic, screen-accurate cosplayers, but I guess it just either was too short notice, or not publicized well enough. That's not to say the cosplayers that showed up weren't excellent, but there just weren't as many as I was expecting, and a couple other newbies were participating, so while I still wouldn't have had a chance of winning, TARDIS dress and top hat wouldn't have looked so out of place) so I wore my Her Universe t-shirt. Specifically, my "Come to the darkside; we have cupcakes" Her Universe shirt that was designed because Ashley loves cupcakes.

Ever since I discovered that, I have totally wanted to give Ashley cupcakes. But I thought it would be kind of weird to bring cupcakes, so I thought I would make something that traveled a little better and was still kind of cupcakeish: Cake batter truffles. And what was even better about that was that I could make them in my myriad geeky silicone ice cube trays.
I very nearly wussed out at the last minute (YAY SOCIAL ANXIETY), but my mother (who I dragged with me with me, purportedly so we could look for wedding shoes afterwards, but mostly because I hate driving, and especially to Woodbridge), walked right up to her and introduced us, and kept dropping hints about the blog.

Ashley was super sweet and promised to check out the blog, even took out her phone to make a note of the name (but it's totally cool if she never does; I'm over the moon that she even intended to look it up), and was really impressed with the truffles. She asked me how I made them, and I stuttered something about homemade cake mix and ThinkGeek and ice cube trays in reply. I'm not completely sure how much sense it made at the time. My brain and my mouth aren't always on the same page.
Well, Ashley, if you're reading this, here is a much better explanation: I started things off with my Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (you could do store bought; I'm not judging, but I would have had to buy cake mix, which would be silly when I already had all the ingredients for it in my pantry). Now, I know I always say you can use cold butter in place of the butter flavored shortening, but for cake batter-y things, I feel like the butter flavoring is essential to the cake batter flavor. So if you can't bring yourself to use shortening, I would suggest adding maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of butter flavoring.

Next, I followed these instructions for the truffle filling from Take a Bite out of Boca, I just added some almond extract and upped the vanilla (since my mix was homemade, it wasn't pre-flavored) and nixed the salt (it already tasted a little salty to me). I also added chocolate sprinkles instead of rainbow. I stopped just before the rolling and chilling, since it was going into molds.
Then I melted some dark chocolate candy wafers (chocolate works as well, but the wafers just melt easier and cover better, and I already had them in the freezer). You want to fill the molds about 1/3 of the way with the chocolate and tap it a few times to get rid of air bubbles and fill in the details of your mold. Then take your truffle filling, roll it into a ball (a little less than a tablespoon was good for the Darth Vader molds. The Milennium Falcon took a lot more, maybe a tablespoon and a half? I didn't measure it). Press the filling down into the mold, until the chocolate starts to come up the sides. (Don't press too hard, or the chocolate will be too thin and break when you try to remove it). Fill the molds up the rest of the way with chocolate, give it another couple taps to get rid of air bubbles, and chill until the chocolate is firm (I freeze it, usually because I'm impatient).

Then just carefully pop them out of your molds, and give to the geeky celeb of your choice. It will still be weird, but not as weird as carting cupcakes around with you, and they might promise to visit your blog.
Cake Batter Truffles

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1½ cups flour
1 cup Yellow Cake Mix
1½ tsp. vanilla extract*
½ tsp. almond extract*
3-4 tbsp. milk
Candy coating (I used dark chocolate flavored. Vanilla or almond would work as well. Or use your favorite chocolate)

In bowl with electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. On low speed, add the flour, cake mix, and extracts, and mix until well incorporated. Add 3 tablespoons of milk (you may have to add more to achieve the right consistency). Stir in the sprinkles.

Melt the candy coating in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler. Fill your molds 1/3 of the way with the coating. Tap gently to get rid of air bubbles. Roll the filling into balls and press them into the molds, until the coating starts to come up the sides. Fill the molds the rest of the way with chocolate, tap again, and chill in the refigerator or freezer until the coating is firm.

*If using store bought cake mix, reduce the vanilla to 1 tsp. and forego the almond extract-- it will be pre-flavored

Recipe adapted from Take a Bite out of Boca
NOTE: I got both ice cube trays off of ThinkGeek, but it doesn't look like they have them anymore. (They're listed as out of stock, but don't show up in the general listings). You can find them elsewhere, like on Amazon or a site like Perpetual Kid

And because I know you want them: Cosplay Photos! (Sightlines were poor in the store, so I didn't get as many as I would have liked)

And finally, I feel like I should apologize for this:
Victoria Cosplay derp face