Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Maple Apple Cake - Ball Filling (and Apple Pie Cake Balls!)

I think what I like best about cake balls like this is that they really remind me of the good old fashioned TimBits (AKA doughnut holes). Now I know that most of them out there are glazed, chocolate coated or otherwise decorated (you can definitely see some great examples in Dede Wilson's book Cake Balls: More Than 60 Delectable and Whimsical Sweet Spheres of Goodness - some of them are so gorgeous I feel inadequate! However, I had a few things working against me: time, energy and the fact that I'm lazy. I'll admit it - I hate coating things in chocolate, it's messy, a long process and three quarters of the time the chocolate never sets up properly regardless of what kind I use.

So, when I was looking at the components of these "Apple Pie" cake balls, I figured why cover up the delicate flavour of the perfectly caramelized apples with chocolate? No. That would just be sacrilege in my books. Instead, I wanted to enhance the filling's flavour and hearken back to my memories with the bake sale TimBits... and what could be a more logical choice than a toss in cinnamon sugar??


So here's the filling recipe that I adapted from Dede Wilson's book - I scaled back the recipe since I wasn't cooking for hundreds, and I added some extra flavour with maple sugar, fresh ginger and a whisper of cardamom (my new fave with apples). The process to cook down the diced apples takes less time than the actual dicing, but it is so worth it for the flavour, colour and texture you get! It's actually best to make this (and the Vegan Vanilla Loaf Cake) a day or two in advance - the flavours blend in the filling and the cake gets a chance to dry out (cube it first for speed!). This also makes spectacular tartlets and "pie cookies" (I'll show you some of the ones I made soon!), so it's definitely not a one-trick pony.

Maple Apple Cake - Ball Filling
Adapted from Cake Balls: More Than 60 Delectable and Whimsical Sweet Spheres of Goodness by Dede Wilson.
Makes about 3/4 cup
2 tsp salted butter
1/3 cup maple sugar
3 medium-small or 2 huge apples, peeled and diced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch cardamom
  1. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring once or twice, for 3-4 minutes until the sugar melts.
  3. Add apples and ginger, stirring well.
  4. Sprinkle with spices and stir in.
  5. Cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes, until the apples are soft and the mixture is syrupy.
  6. Cool completely before using in cake balls or tarts.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 38.8
Total Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 1.7 mg
Sodium: 4.9 mg
Total Carbs: 8.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 0.1 g

Cake ball recipe after the jump!

 So, finally...

Apple Pie Cake Balls
Makes about 30
1 batch Vegan Vanilla Loaf Cake, ideally cubed and left out overnight
1 batch Maple Apple Cake - Ball Filling (above), cooled
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp raw sugar
  1. Mash or tear the cake cubes with your hands or a few forks until crumbly.
  2. Add the Maple Apple Cake - Ball Filling, mixing with a fork to form a dough (add a dash of milk or apple juice if necessary, I had no problem).
  3. Chill 30 minutes.
  4. Mix the cinnamon and sugars.
  5. Scoop tablespoon sized balls and roll in the spiced sugar, tapping off excess.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days, or freeze up to 4 months.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 66.6
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 4.2 mg
Total Carbs: 10.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 0.6 g