One of the most recognizable, freezer-friendly cakes is the star of this truffle recipe. McCain Cake Truffles are prepared with a chocolate cake and chocolate chips – that’s it! How’s that for easy and budget friendly? All is takes are those two ingredients to make one of the most moist and dense, chocolaty treat!
When I was younger, a McCain cake could be found quite regularly in our fridge. My parents would buy one quite often. And, why not? They were relatively cheap, and they were quite good! In fact, they’re still quite cheap to buy and you can find them anywhere. McCain Cake Truffles were prepared using a Deep’n Delicious Chocolate Cake, but you can use other flavours too.
One of the obvious choices would be the vanilla cake. Or, even the coconut cake! I would dip that one in melted white chocolate and top it with toasted coconut. Yum! You can read about how to make toasted coconut at home right here! The only one that I don’t think would word well is the marble cake. Sure, it would taste great, but I don’t think the inside would look great. The mixture of the white and brown cake might look rather muddled. It might work; who knows!?
Truffles can be made with just about anything! The key to a great truffle is to have a soft, moist, and sweet center, which can be either chocolate or cake-based. Next, you need to roll the truffle into a coating that compliments the inside. For the most part that’s either more chocolate, nuts, coconut, cocoa, or sprinkles. If you can manage to pair one of those things with the other, you can make any type of truffle you want! Don’t believe me? I proved it a few days ago with my Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donut Truffles, with my Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles, and now with these McCain Cake Truffles too!
THEY SAY PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
I experimented quite a bit this year with truffles made from items one can find from any local bakery. You would that that if the ratios were right in the first attempt, I could apply the same logic to any bakery item. But, because there are so many differences in terms of texture and moisture in most baked items, it takes a little finessing. Even on my worst day – one where a truffle recipe wasn’t quite right – the mixture was still edible even if it wasn’t presentable! And, that’s not a total loss now, is it?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – making truffles is so easy, which is probably why they are so popular. Their popularity only increases around Christmastime, when people start to indulge a little more, have more visitors dropping by, and less time to spending baking elaborate confections. That is why I’ve devoted an entire series to truffles. This is the 7th recipe in Lord Byron’s 12 Truffles of Christmas series! And, like some of the previous recipes in the series, I’m going to show you how to make them even easier! And, better!!!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- McCain Deep’n Delicious Chocolate Cake – You can find these in the freezer section of you local grocery store.
- Coconut Oil – This helps to thin out the chocolate so that you can get a thinner layer onto the truffles when dipping them. If you prefer a thicker chocolate coating, leave out the coconut oil.
- Milk Chocolate Chips – Use a brand that you trust. I’ve used no-name chocolate before and it wouldn’t melt smoothly.
- Sprinkles – These are completely optional, which is why I did not include them in the total number of ingredients needed at the beginning of this post.
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
Maybe you don’t care much for truffles. Or, maybe you’re impatient and can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s recipe will be! If either one of those applies to you, I have a remedy. Last year, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Biscotti of Christmas. The year before that, I published a series called Lord Byron’s 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. You can click on the image below and see the entire series on one page! Don’t worry, you won’t lose this page. It will open up a new webpage so that you can easily get back to these truffles!
HOW TO MAKE MCCAIN CAKE TRUFFLES:
McCain Cake Truffles are super easy to make and you only need two ingredients. Remember when I discussed the deconstructing part of the Red Velvet Cupcake Truffles? Well, that was necessary, because the ratio of cupcake to frosting is way off, when it comes to the construction of a truffle. Unlike those truffles, as it turns out, McCain cakes have the perfect ratio of cake to frosting, so no deconstructing or measuring is needed!
Run a knife through the cake just to cut it into manageable pieces. Plop the slices into a large bowl and beat both the cake and the frosting together with a hand-held mixer. Beat on low speed at first, increasing the speed as the mixture frosting begins to moisten the cake crumbs. Beat until there’s no longer any frosting visible and all you can see is a solid, deep brown colour.
Next, cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for one hour. It’s really important to chill the mixture so that you can roll it into balls without it being to sticky. Once chilled, measure out one tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the mixture. Place the tray in the fridge for 1 hour. This will firm up the balls making them easier to dip into the chocolate.
OTHER CAKE OPTIONS:
So, what if you can’t find a McCain cake? Or, what if you don’t like McCain cake? Well, of course you can substitute it with any cake that you like! But, please be warned that the frosting to cake ratio with McCain is most likely going to be different than a cake that isn’t the same brand. That might cause a little bit of a problem.
If you alternative cake has too little frosting, the truffles will be dry and crumbly. If, however, the cake has too much frosting, you’ll have trouble getting the mixture rolled into balls. Try this instead. Remove the frosting from your cake and set it aside. Crumble you cake until it resembles coarse sand. Then, add a cup of frosting to the cake crumbs and mix them together with your hand-held mixer.
Once fully mixed through, try rolling a tablespoon of the mixture into balls. Was it easy to do? Great! If not, add a bit more frosting and mix again. Remember, when it comes to a truffle, a moist center is better than a dry center, but it can’t be too moist, or it won’t form a ball or keep it’s shape. To avoid all of this drama, use a McCain cake!
THE BEST WAY TO COAT TRUFFLES IN CHOCOLATE!
I used to think that perfectly dipped chocolate truffles was witchcraft! Of course I’m kidding, but honestly, I could never master it. Either the chocolate was too thick, or not smooth enough. And, I was always left with a pool of chocolate at the bottom of the truffle that would harden. There’s nothing wrong with extra chocolate, but I so badly wanted to make my McCain Cake Truffles look better.
I tried that fancy little tool for dipping things into chocolate. It’s like a two-tined fork with really long tines. Apparently, the truffle is supposed to balance on there, while the thin tines allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Lies! There is no fancy tool needed to get perfect chocolate dipped truffles. All you need is melted chocolate with a good consistency and two toothpicks. Here’s how I do it.
If you use melting chocolate right out of the bag, like candy melts or chocolate chips, for example, you will end up with very thick chocolate. The thicker the chocolate, the longer it will take to harden, which means more time for it to run. Thin your chocolate by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter to the bowl before you start to melt it. This will thin it without any risk of your chocolate seizing or compromising the flavour.
DIP, LIFT, TAP AND TOOTHPICKS???
Working with chilled truffles, which I keep refrigerated until the chocolate is ready, I insert a toothpick about 1/3rd of an inch into the truffle. Dunk the truffle into the bowl of chocolate and gently move the toothpick in a circular motion so that the entire truffle is enrobed. Carefully lift the truffle out of the chocolate and slightly tap the toothpick on the rim of the bowl. The excess chocolate will fall back into the bowl.
I cannot stress enough the importance of using a chilled truffle center. The coldness will help to harden the chocolate right away. The rest is just semantics! With a second toothpick, run it very gently under the truffle to wipe away the excess chocolate. Do not press against the truffle; just wipe against the dripping chocolate.
Next, transfer the truffle to the prepared baking tray. You should still be holding the toothpick sticking out of the truffle and the truffle should be sitting on the parchment paper. Using the second toothpick, push it gently into the hole where the first toothpick is standing. Gently twist the first toothpick between your thumb and finger to loosen. Pull the toothpick up and out. Finally, remove the second toothpick, and use it to carefully smooth the still melted chocolate over the hole. Top with a few chocolate sprinkles, if using.
MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, GARNISH!
I had to practice quite a bit to get truffles looking their best. Even now, there are sometimes when I’ll run into a problem and they don’t turn out as nicely as I’d like them to! I learned a long time ago from watching re-runs of Julia Child’s cooking series that garnish can cover up little mishaps. There’s a running joke in my family that parsley is my best friend, because I love to garnish everything!
Even if you dipped the perfect truffle, it’s still nice to add something to the outside of it. As you can see in the photographs, I garnished the truffles with a few chocolate sprinkles. I remember McCain cakes having sprinkles on them! But, now they don’t. Is that just an Ontario thing, or did they cancel sprinkles everywhere? Anyway, not only does it look better, it covers any holes left behind from the toothpick!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
When it comes to truffles of any kind, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop. Store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze these truffles, again, pile them into a food-safe, freezer-friendly container. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in! You can freeze these for up to three months. Enjoy!
McCain Cake Truffles
- 1 whole McCain Deep'n Delicious Chocolate Cake (see notes in post)
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles, optional
- Run a knife through the cake just to cut it into manageable pieces. Transfer the pieces to a large bowl and beat both the cake and the frosting together with a hand-held mixer. Beat on low speed at first, increasing the speed as the mixture frosting begins to moisten the cake crumbs. Beat until there’s no longer any frosting visible and all you can see is a solid, deep brown colour.
- Next, cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for one hour. It’s really important to chill the mixture so that you can roll it into balls without it being to sticky.
- Once chilled, measure out one tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all of the mixture. Place the tray in the fridge for 1 hour. This will firm up the balls making them easier to dip into the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate chips and the coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl. On medium power, microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second increments on half powder until chocolate is smooth. Stir between each increment.
- Working with chilled truffles, insert a toothpick about 1/3rd of an inch into the truffle. Dunk the truffle into the bowl of chocolate and gently move the toothpick in a circular motion so that the entire truffle is enrobed. Carefully lift the truffle out of the chocolate and slightly tap the toothpick on the rim of the bowl. The excess chocolate will fall back into the bowl.
- Next, transfer the truffle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with a a few chocolate sprinkles.
- Continue to coat all of the truffles in the melted chocolate. Once done, transfer baking sheet to fridge until chocolate is firm.
- Transfer to food safe container. Keep refrigerated.