Words can’t even describe how happy I am I made these glorious Lemon Cake Balls yesterday! They have a killer thick white chocolate crust and they are velvet smooth on the inside!
I had cream cheese in my fridge and I wanted to make small treats for friends coming over. I wanted them to be white and lemony, so, I knew Mommy’s recipe for her scrumptiously velvet-y lemon bundt cake (or sheet cake, depending on the pan you bake it in) would be ideal!
You can make them a day ahead, so that they chill completely. The ingredients for this recipe will create a huge amount of cake, so I used half of it for the cake balls and the other half I just drizzled with lemon glaze and let it serve its sheet cake purpose! I will post a recipe for that, later on. Now, for the balls…
WHAT YOU NEED:
For the cake:
- 1/2 packet of butter (130 gr) at room temperature
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (extract or powder)
- 1 little bag baking powder (20 gr)
- 250 ml milk (I used almond)
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- In your mixer,with the paddle attachment on, put the butter and beat, at medium speed, for 5′, until it becomes fluffy.
- Preheat the oven at 200 C ( 390F).
- Greese a small pan, square or round, with a little butter and sprinkle some flour in. Shake and tap the pan until the flour covers all the surface. Toss the excess flour.
- Separate the egg yolks (in a small bowl) from the egg whites (in a medium bowl).
- Keep the speed at medium, add the first yolk and wait for 1′.
- Add a little sugar and wait for 2′.
- Add the second yolk, followed by a little more sugar. Do the same, alternating egg yolks and sugar, until they’re finished.
- Keep the mixer on and add the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Now, work similarly, alternating the milk, flour and baking powder, showing faith and patience! When they’re finished, turn the mixer off.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, for about 5′, until they turn into a white mousse, forming steady peaks.
- Using a scraper spatula, add the egg whites into the cake batter, folding them in circular movements. Don’t overdo it, you need the air from the egg whites to help the mixture remain fluffy and airy.
- Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 1 hour. Half the way through, cover the cake with aluminum foil, so that the top doesn’t get burnt.
- Insert a knife in the cake and if it comes out clean, it is ready. Let it cool for 15′. You can eat it as it is, perfectly fine, but if you want to meet your goal, continue for the cake balls.
For the Cake Balls:
- 250 gr cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 4 bars of white chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix all the ingredients, except for the chocolate, lemon zest and the oil, together until they combine well and become a smooth, fluffy mixture.
- Cut the cake in large pieces, removing any burnt or hard crust parts.
- Take the pieces, one at a time, over the bowl and with your CLEAN hands just smash the cake into crumbs. When you finish, using your hands again, squeeze the mixture to help it incorporate well, becoming soft and smooth. Try not to eat it as it is!!!
4. Put the bowl in the freezer for 30′, while you clean the mess in the kitchen!
5. Take the mixture out and form it into small balls, rolling them in your hands. I got 33 cute balls, the size of a walnut.
6. Place them on 2 plates- I used 2 plates so that they din’t stick together- and put them in the freezer again for 15′.
7. While waiting, and with a spotless kitchen, add just a little water in a medium pot and put on medium to low heat. Place a small pot, with a handle, on top of it. In this small pot, add the chocolate, cut into pieces. The water from the big pot must not splash into the small one. We just need the steam from the warming water to heat the small pan. This way, called bain-marie, the chocolate will melt gently and gradually, without getting burnt. Stir occasionally. If the water splashes, turn the heat down to low. Don’t let the water reach the chocolate, so it must be very little!
8. When the chocolate is melted, add the oil and stir, to make it shiny and runnier.
9. Cover a platter with aluminum foil and parchment paper on top.
10. Take the first plate of balls out of the freezer.
11. Take one and toss it in the chocolate. Using two teaspoons, roll it over, to get it covered thorougly. With the spoons, drain the excess chocolate off, making sure you don’t scratch any cake dough- you don’t want any dough residue in the chocolate- and transfer it on the platter. Continue the same way for all the cake balls, one at a time.
12. Do the same for the second plate of balls.
13. Add a little lemon zest on top of every cake ball, to decorate them. Let them cool down and place in the fridge for 3 hours, or overnight.
14. Put them in the serving bowl you desire and keep them in the fridge. They last for….well, one day or so, because noone will resist them!!!!
I’m telling you, I found my cheery old self again and my wide smile back, after every bite…or ball… Huge success, it won’t let you down. I don’t care they are not perfeclty even and thoroughly shaped. I think they seem more “rustic” and more desirable with all their edges and chocolate “waves” on.