I make (what I have been told are) fantastic vegan-friendly cake balls.
Occasionally, however, I am told that chocolate isn't the best coating for these little delights as not everyone -likes- dark chocolate and I completely agree that there should be some alternatives. People who like cake but don't necessarily like chocolate should be able to enjoy cake balls, too! So, I went searching.
In the US there is a "craft and celebration leader" (read: Company that makes tools so you can make your own cookies, cakes and other wonderful edibles) that makes a product called "bark" which is for coating said cake balls and for making chocolates (in the broadest sense of the term). These "barks", however, are decidedly -not- vegan-friendly as they contain large amounts of milk and milk-derived products. This is true for most commercially available white chocolate, though "true" chocolate should not contain any milk at all unless it's specifically Milk Chocolate.
What's a vegan-friendly baker to do when faced with such adversity?
While searching I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a go.
Melting Cacao Butter
Chilling in the mould
I made it to the recipe -exactly- as was written and found it resulted in a chocolate that I, personally, didn't like. Too sweet, powdery/mealy texture… not quite sure how to describe it. Not my cup o' cha at all.
It sure does take a pretty picture, though.
I decided I had to play with the recipe a bit. I took the supersweet, powdery chocolate and melted it back down. I then added some more cacao butter and one other ingredient (Sorry. Mrs B secret!) and chilled it down again.
For some, yet to be determined, reason it separated a bit... the vanilla powder I used sank right to the bottom. I'm thinking that I probably didn't dissolve everything properly. The effect is undoubtedly cool and since I won't be selling the chocolate for consumption as it is, I'm actually OK with it. I may have to learn to temper, of course, and I'm sure that initial learning experiment will prove hilarious so I promise to share.
(This little guy was supposed to be a ginger-bread-type shape and in my haste to get photos done (so that I could post) I managed to tear him from limb to limb while trying to extricate him from his mould. Poor fellow!)
The thing I like best about this recipe is that I can flavour it with any oil-based extract or flavour that I like. I can also colour it (they make food colouring powders!) to match / clash with the centre of the cake balls. Oh, the possibilities!
When will you make yours?
**Handy Hint: When making chocolate of -any- colour or flavour; make sure you do NOT introduce any water or water-based ingredients to your chocolate. It will perform some (entirely freaky) thing called seizing which is quite unpleasant and often irreversible! So, please, dear readers, be oh-so-careful! (Some sources say seizing is reversible and others say that it's fatal. Why take the chance, I say!)