Saturday, January 21, 2012

When Life Gives You Cake, Make Cake Pops!

When baking, especially to order, one thing you can always be sure of is having leftovers. Leftover frosting, leftover filling, leftover cake. And in an effort to be as resourceful as I can be, I always try to find ways to use these leftovers so I don't have to discard them.
Often times, this involves the use of my freezer, which, by the way, is constantly overflowing with such leftovers. Freezers have the capacity to prolong the shelf life of so many different kinds of foods. If you are ever wondering if something is freezable and for how long, do a test run with a sample of the food you want to freeze. The success of freezing foods is almost solely reliant on the way in which you wrap and seal your food. You will probably be surprised at the wide array of foods you can freeze. Of course, once you do realize the true potential of your freezer, you'll run out of room and need another one, like I do...

The most efficient way I have found to save leftover cake and frosting is by making cake balls - bite sized balls made of cake and frosting that are utterly poppable. Of course, you don't need leftover cake and frosting to make these. You can make a batch of both specifically for the purpose of making cake balls! :-) They are such a cinch to make! Take your cake (leftover or not) and crumble it all using a food processor or your hands into a bowl, leaving no big chunks. Then take some frosting and mix it in. Keep adding frosting until the mixture becomes the consistency of a thick cookie dough. Roll 1" balls out of this mixture and place them on a wax-lined cookie sheet. Transfer them to the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once they have hardened, place them in one layer in a freezer bag that has been lined with wax paper on both sides. Make sure your bag is completely sealed and store in the fridge for up to 3 months! These yummy cake balls are an easy treat anytime you are having a hankering for some cake (which for me is quite often). Just eat them frozen or pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds at 30% power and they're ready to go.

If you want to take it a step further, once you've rolled the balls and placed them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, you can take them out and dip them in melted chocolate or candy melts. Then roll them in sprinkles or nuts or coconut or whatever appeals to you and voila! You've made cake pops. Once dry, these too are freezable for up to 3 months in an airtight freezer bag. As a precaution, I wrap my cake pops individually in a small square of saran wrap and then bag a bunch of them together, pushing as much air out of the bags as I can before sealing and storing them in the freezer. Thaw them in the fridge for 24 hours prior to eating them.

Wasting as little food as I can in the kitchen is so important to me ethically and financially. Often times, it take just a few extra minutes to throw something together that is easy, delicious, and can extend the shelf life of your food. Whether it's leftover dinner or leftover cake, it's important to be aware of what we use, what the true life span of our food is, and to cut our waste in any way we can. So enjoy cake balls out of your freezer!

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