Having a fun halloween party this year? Well, you’re in luck! Have I got a recipe for you! We’re having a potluck at work tomorrow and our theme is Halloween. We do the potlucks quarterly and each potluck has a different theme. There’s a team assigned to each quarter and they decide the theme, purchase the decorations, and decorate the meeting room. The rest of us get to bring in the food. It works out really well! So, anyway, seeing as it’s October, it made sense for the October team to choose Halloween as their theme. The best part? I coordinate the potluck side of it all so that means I get first dibs on whatever I want to bring! Ha! And, as soon as I saw this recipe in Food and Wine magazine, I knew I absolutely, positively had to make them. Homemade red velvet cake crumbled into balls, dipped in white chocolate, and decorated to look like an eyeball? Oh yes.
So, the article in the magazine was about a Halloween party that Neil Patrick Harris and his spouse were throwing and it gave other recipe ideas as well. I was discussing these with a friend and I shared the recipe/Food and Wine article with her and her exact words were “Holy cow. When I become a movie star, the first person I’m going to try and make friends with is Neil Patrick Harris. I want IN on that Halloween party.” No kidding. Seriously, who doesn’t want to be friends with him anyway and why don’t parties like that happen around in my neighborhood?! Anyway, the whole thing looks like it will be a total blast and yes, please, I don’t mind one little bit if I copy your “party tricks” for our measly little work potluck and make them my own. Oh, and prepare to get messy. Hey, if you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right! 🙂
Red-Velvet Cake Balls with White Chocolate
Active: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: Makes 40 cake balls
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
Binding and Coating
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenend
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 ounces white chocolate
Assorted liquid food coloring or M&M’s, for decorating
1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. In a bowl, whisk the 1 1/4 cups of flour with the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and the oil, vinegar, buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until moistened.
2. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the center of the oven for aobut 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack and let cool completely.
3. MAKING THE BINDING AND COATING: Line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Finely crumble the cooled cake into the bowl and stir until combined.
4. Using your hands, briefly knead the mixture. Using a 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop 40 mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, press and roll the mounds into tight balls. Refrigerate until firm.
5. In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals until nearly melted; stir until smooth. Line another baking sheet with wax paper. Dip the cake balls into the melted white chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let cool until the coating has set. Using a clean-fine-tipped paintbrush, decorate the balls with food coloring to look like eyeballs, or press an M&M onto each cake ball before the coating has set. Serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The finished cake balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.