Adventures in Candyland

I have made rum balls and some truffles that I rolled in cocoa or coconut, but had never dipped any candy. But I came across a recipe that looked so easy, I thought—I could do that for gifts this year. It was basically as follows:

Bake a cake
Crumble it up while still warm and mix in a package of frosting
Chill, make into balls, freeze the balls and dip in candy coating.

How easy is that? I’ve never used candy coating, but I’m about the last person in the USA who hasn’t, so how hard can it be?

I made spice cake, added the frosting and, when the time came, melted a slab of the white bark stuff from the store and dipped my little cake balls. And it was pretty easy. But what I did notice (and, gentle reader if you are a gentle reader, you may want to skip this part) is that, as the white candy shell hardened, and the cake ball thawed, it became evident where any little gap in the shell was, from the toothpick I’d used or just from a failure to get a complete thick coating. Because tiny little spices cake extrusions appeared on about half a dozen of the cake balls. The color and size was very much what you’d see dragging behind a gold fish that a quick needed a quick swim in a bidet….. Charming image, I know, but that is what it looked like!
So, I cleaned that up and stuck them in the fridge. And later the freezer, so I could then take them off the tray and freeze them in a container.
But Philip and I each sampled a couple and our take on it was:

Way too sweet.

The coating is just overpoweringly sweet—and not flavorful in any other way. Which was not helped by what I’ve decided is too much frosting in the cake. The texture isn’t cake, it isn’t truffle, and it is sort of frosting. It tastes ok, but combined with the sweetness of the coating it is too sweet and not flavorful, and I’d not want to feature it in a gift basket. I’m not tossing these, since we do have a family thing to attend with 12 children under the age of 10 and said children are known to have no limit called “too sweet.”

My next batch will include a smaller proportion of frosting, which I’m inclined to make myself instead of using store bought, and I will be hitting the Wilton aisle and find some better candy melts to see if any of them are more flavorful. If not, I’m going back to tried and true recipes that don’t require dipping.

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