Cake Truffles: Momofuku Genius

Peanut Caramel Banana Bread Truffles

I have spent the weekend delving into the sweet tooth heaven that is the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christine Tosi.  Starting with the cereal milk ice cream, (recipe to follow- definitely the best ice cream I’ve made at home so far, and one of my favourite ice creams ever!), I then started perusing the internet looking at pictures of other fantastic creations from this New York bakery.

One picture that kept popping up was the Cake Truffle, in particular Birthday Cake Truffles, sold by the bakery.  These looked absolutely amazing, and combined two of my favourite things, truffles and cake.  I couldn’t locate a recipe for these bite sized cake balls, but after reading a number of blogs from people who had tried them, or made something similar it seemed it was simply a case of crumbling a cake, mixing it with icing and rolling into balls.  Perhaps with a quick roll in something to coat to improve the appearance. Obviously the quality and flavour of your original cake and icing will effect the ball. I’m not sure this is quite how Momofuku does them, as the menu seems to feature binding ingredients such as liquid cheesecake (further experimentation to come!), but it was a good starting point.

I had a couple of cakes in the freezer after a Saturday baking frenzy that resulted in three cakes and only two people to feed, so I thought I would experiment with those.

One cake was a banana peanut loaf and the other a mandarin and yogurt cake.  I quickly whipped up some salted caramel butter cream for the banana and chocolate butter cream for the mandarin, crumbled them up and mixed them in.  I then rolled the mixture into balls, rolled the banana cake in shredded coconut and the mandarin one in icing sugar and chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours.

not so attractive Mandarin Chocolate Cake Truffles- next time I'll coat them in chocolate

The resulting balls were amazing, dense and moist like the part of the cake that comes in contact with the icing and is really soft (my favourite part!).  They were definitely a huge improvement on the cakes themselves which were a little dry.  A great use of any slightly old/dry cake really, but probably tastes even better with a fresh moist one.

You could really do this with any cake you enjoy, or even a packet mix.  The icing possibilities are endless and these little bites make great, transportable treats.  I think next time I will chocolate coat them, and there will definitely be more than one next time!

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Traditional Salted Caramel Fudge with Sultanas

Ever since my recent trip to Sri Lanka, I have been lusting after the fudge like Burfi sweets which I tried there.  These come in a variety of flavours and are generally based on ground nuts such as almonds or pistachios, milk or coconut.  They can also me made with sweetened condensed milk, although I’m not sure this is entirely authentic!

Sri Lankan Burfi in a variety of flavours

After extensive internet research I decided to make a coconut burfi recipe (post to follow), but also to make a traditional fudge recipe as I was in possession of a new thermometer and wanted to try it out.  Both sweets turned out well and were not difficult to make.

For the fudge I used a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage everyday‘.  This is a traditional fudge recipe, based on cream and butter, rather than sweetened condensed milk or marshmallow creme, (I presume this is an American invention!).  The recipe in the book is for a vanilla fudge, but I decided that with the substitute of white to brown sugar this  was close enough to caramel to warrant salt, (salted caramel is my current sweet obsession!), and threw in a few sultanas as I really like fudge with nuts or sultanas in it.

It’s very moreish, highly unhealthy and totally delicious.  It set very well and cut into nice cubes, so perhaps would be suitable for presents as well.

Salted Caramel Fudge with Sultanas (Based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Vanilla Fudge)
Makes 30ish squares

  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (I omitted this as can’t get it here)
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

1.  Put the sugar, syrup, butter and cream into a large saucepan, you need plenty of room for the mixture to bubble as it boils.

2.  Melt and combine over a low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

3.  Turn up the heat, stop stirring and bring to the boil with the sugar thermometer in the pan. Boil until the mixture reaches soft ball stage – 116C.

4.  Remove the pan from the heat, remove the sugar thermometer and leave to stand for 10 mins.
5.  Meanwhile lightly oil a 15cm x 22cm baking dish.

6.  After resting the mixture for 10 mins, add the vanilla extract and beat until the mixture thickens and starts to come away from the base of the pan, about 8 minutes with electric whisk.

7.  Put the fudge mixture into the baking dish, smooth the top and leave to cool.

8.  When quite cold mark it into squares and leave for about 4 hours to firm up, then take out of the dish and store in an airtight tin.