The whole “Cake Pops” craze pretty much passed me by with no interest on my part, but I think it’s accurate to say that Cake Truffles are Cake Pops without sticks. Or Cake Pops are Cake Truffles with sticks. I have no idea which one’s the chicken and which one’s the egg.
After making the Momofuku Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Layer Cake, I had a whole container of cake scraps left. The obvious use, of course, would be to simply go at ‘em with a fork. But we were sort of busy with eating the actual cake. The Cake Truffles recipe from the same Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi makes great use of these weirdly shaped bits and pieces.
Reminder: Cooking by the Book posts are meant to be companions to the original recipe, not a substitute. As long as the book is still in print, I won’t be copying the recipe here for you. See here for why.
Before You Start (Regarding Ingredients)
One great thing about this recipe is that you’re simply making use of leftovers, so there really are no new ingredients needed. You can also use any kind of cake, combined with whatever frosting/cake-moistening ooze, chocolate and coating you like, making it the ultimate “cabinet crap” recipe. (My term for dishes that use up the random items lurking in your kitchen.) In addition to the scrap Chocolate Chip Layer Cake, the Cake Truffles I made used up leftover passion fruit purée and chocolate “Crumb.”
If you’re using only the amount of scrap from one Momofuku Layer Cake, you’ll end up with about 9-10 truffles. (You may be able to squeeze out a couple more — when I opened up my scraps container, it looked mysteriously as though some cake had vanished; a bit of inquiry elicited a confession from Shake that yes, perhaps some cake had been consumed without my knowledge one late night.) I would imagine that you could save up scrap in the freezer and make a bigger batch of truffles later, if you wanted.
Dead easy. The hardest part is melting the chocolate and coating the little balls of cake with it — it gets a bit messy. Tosi advises to wear a pair of disposable rubber gloves, which is probably a good idea.
Of course, getting to this point means you already made one of Momofuku Milk Bar’s crazy-ass cakes, which is not so easy.
Considering the effort-to-output ratio, this one’s a real winner. Plus, I like anything that turns leftovers into something drool-worthy.
It seems like Cake Pops drive people nuts because making cake just to destroy it and make dinky little balls out of it is pretty much a pain in the ass. This recipe doesn’t yield a ton of Cake Truffles — unless you’re baking on a Momofuku Milk Bar scale — the way that making an intentional batch of Cake Pops would, but as a cute way to garnish your Layer Cake presentation, or a small treat for another day, I don’t think you could do better.
Should I try this recipe? Absolutely. It would be a total shame to let the leftovers from making any Momofuku Milk Bar cake go to waste after all the effort you put in. And these look pretty darn impressive considering how easy they are to make.
Difficulty: 1 out of 5 (if you don’t factor in the whole “I had to make the insane Momofuku Cake first” thing). Personally, although these were easy to make, I would never make cake just to make these, so my rating is based on this being a way to use up cake you have already made.
Should I buy the book? This recipe is by no means representative of the difficulty or involved ingredient list that typifies the rest of the book. See my other Cooking by the Book post from this title for a better idea of whether this cookbook would be right for you.
Momofuku Milk Bar
by Christina Tosi, foreword by David Chang
Retail List Price: $35.00
256 pages, hardcover
Clarkson Potter (October 2011)