Cake - So often it seems that the gauge by which our social functions are judged is by the quality of the cake being served. "Did you go the Jones' anniversary party?" "Yeah, but the cake wasn't very good." And comedian Jim Gaffigan highlighted the importance of cake in the office this way:
"Hey it's Bill's birthday."
"Ah, I hate that guy."
"There's cake in the conference room."
"....Well, I should at least say hello."
Yes, cake plays an important role in social functions, so it seems that it should be a somewhat memorable item, no? If you go to Austin Cake Ball, memorable is what you'll get. "A cake ball?" you may ask. "What on earth is that?"
Well, it is precisely what it sounds like. A ball of cake that has been coated in white, dark or milk chocolate. It may help to think of them as cake truffles or perhaps as ultra-small cupcakes. Austin Cake Ball makes some of the best cake I have ever had anywhere, any time. For me, Austin Cake Ball was not a new experience as I had the chance to sample their treats at the Austin Film and Food Gala. Their cakes are all made fresh and each one has a deepness of flavor one might not expect out of cake. After all, most of us have been ruined on store bought cakes which primarily have the flavor of blandness with an overly sweet frosting.
The folks over at Austin Cake Ball take real pride in what they do. Just talk to Ben, one of the owners, and you'll be immediately struck by his passion for what he does. It's a passion that has led the Whole Foods retail stores to carry their products in seventeen locations, and it's a passion that comes through in the final product.
First, let's take a look at the Honey Walnut Brie. Of all of the flavors offered this one was the most intriguing to me. I would never have thought of using a cheese like brie in a cake, but it works perfectly. This one is covered in a white chocolate coating and by all accounts this should be extremely sweet, but the brie helps to balance some of that out. At the same time it lends a real creaminess to the cake ball, and adds a nice background savory note. Overall, this one has a very deep flavor which is no surprise considering all that goes into it - black walnut extract, clover honey, diced walnuts, vanilla butter cream, and brie with a walnut topper. Without doubt, this is one of my favorites.
Ah, citrus and chocolate, a winning combination if ever there was one. The Dark Chocolate Orange cake ball manages to be both decadent and delicate at the same time. It's rich, moist dark chocolate cake with just the right amount of orange flavor to stand out. The coating is a dark chocolate confectioner's coating. The overall effect is both robust and sophisticated all at once.
The Mexican Chocolate is a very interesting flavor as well. While not quite as dark as the Dark Chocolate Orange, it still surprises you with a very complex flavor profile. These are made with Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, light brown sugar, sweet cream buttermilk and Belgian chocolate butter cream. This one has an incredible depth of flavor and is just as rich and moist as all of the others. Oh, did I forget to mention the special ingredients - ancho chile and cayenne. That's right, it also has a little chile powder to give it a slightly spicy finish. Not so much that it burns your mouth, but just enough to provide a pleasant tingle to let you know it's there.
Finally, we come to the Tiramisu. This one seemed to be the unanimous favorite. This one is made with espresso, sweet cream, mascarpone, Kahlua, coffee extract, espresso butter cream and white chocolate confectioner's coating with a dusting of cocoa powder. One very nice touch is that the cocoa powder is put on just before the coating has a chance to harden which keeps the powder in place. Personally, I'm a fan of tiramisu in general. The only issue that I have with it is that the coffee tends to overpower all of the other flavors. That is certainly not the case with this cake ball. You get all of the good coffee flavor without it stomping all over everything else. It's creamy and sweet and I think just about the most perfect of the cake balls.
In addition to single-serving treats, Austin Cake Ball also caters events and accepts online orders. Your order can come in almost any configuration imaginable, whether as a self-serve type of centerpiece, single-servings placed tableside or as a cake ball cake. That is, cake balls that have been placed around a form into the shape of a cake. They add a very contemporary feel to any event, and become quite a memorable centerpiece. Also, no slicing needed! Just pick and choose your favorite cake ball and enjoy.
Pricing runs about $2.25-2.50 per cake ball depending how many you order. Each cake ball is surprisingly filling. It'd be safe to say that after two or three cake balls you will feel quite stuffed. Whether you are out and about and want to stop for a quick break or are arranging some kind of event, Austin Cake Ball comes highly recommended. Austin Fat Guys gives Austin Cake Ball 4 points out of 5 of the Lone Star.
AFG Rating: 4 Lone Star Points.