One of my girlfriends is having a Girls Only Cocktails and Hors d'Oeuvres party this weekend. I have been looking forward to it all week long! In my fleeting spare moments, I have been trying to think of a fabulous dish that I can whip up and bring with me. Oh yeah... there's a prize for the best fall themed appetizer!
Well, my sister found it for me by accident. She was searching for my blog and stumbled across another blog that has nearly the same title as mine, and the blog address is just one letter off from mine. It's called High Heels and an Apron. Well of course, I had to go and check her out! I don't know what her name is, but she's from the south and she's a dietitian who's writing her own cookbook. Her "Cake Balls" recipe was the first thing I saw on her page.
I changed her recipe a little bit to make these Chocolate Carrot Cake Bites. What sounds better than carrot cake mixed with cream cheese and then dipped in chocolate?
Her recipe calls for boxed cake, semi-sweet chocolate and one brick of lite cream cheese. I decided to use regular cream cheese, and I doubled what her recipe called for, as one just didn't seem to be enough. It's been my experience that semi-sweet chocolate does not dry hard, and is just plain messy to handle and serve. I used the Wilton Candy Melts (available at Michaels) because that chocolate will dry hard. Instead of boxed cake, I made a carrot cake from scratch. Martha Stewart's carrot cake is my favorite. Surprise, right?
for the recipe
The secret to any recipe that has nuts in it, is to toast them first. 375 degrees on a baking sheet for 7 minutes. Toasting the nuts releases their essential oils, bringing out their fullest flavor.
This carrot cake recipe really stands out because of the fresh grated ginger that it calls for. I always try to use fresh ingredients instead of powder spices whenever I can. It REALLY makes a difference!
One of my most favorite tools in the kitchen is my rasper. It effortlessly grates anything you want, quickly. Ginger is difficult and time consuming to grate because it's very watery. The rasper had it done in minutes.
When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately crumble it into a large mixing bowl. While it's still warm, mix in the cream cheese.
When it's all mixed up, cover and put in the refrigerator until well chilled. Take the chilled mixture out, and with a small cookie scoop, form cake into bite sized balls. Poke in your cocktail picks (or toothpicks).
Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Dip the carrot cake bites into the chocolate and put on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When you're finished, put cookie sheets into the refrigerator to let chocolate set.
Overall a pretty easy recipe to make. I hope everyone at the party likes these. I tried one of the extras and it was EXCELLENT!
**Note** the recipe for the carrot cake will make two 8 inch rounds. You will only need one of those rounds to make 30 bite sized appetizers. I went ahead and frosted the leftover cake and we'll have it for dessert!