Ca-Ca Balls

Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. This is truly what the recipe is called. Naturally I had to make it.

You get a couple chances in your life to name something. Children, Pets, plants – or maybe even a recipe. There is quite a bit of thought that can go into picking the perfect name. This is, after all, the name that it will have forever. Personally, I think it’s a big responsibility to make sure it’s a good, strong name – something you know they can live with. The other side of the coin, you can go full tilt-balls to wall and name your newborn X Æ A-12.

Or title your recipe Ca Ca Balls.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cube butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz coconut
  • 2 cups nuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla

There was some research that I needed to put into this before I got going. A “cube” of butter isn’t something I’m familiar with. Annoyingly, Google gave me two different answers. A “cube” of butter is either a tablespoon OR a whole stick. Huge difference there – certainly something that can make or break my balls. I went over Google’s head and texted Mom directly. Logic leaned us towards using a tablespoon. Easier to add butter later, rather than take butter away.

Let’s Cook

There aren’t too many steps here. Mix the liquids, and then add all the dry. After it’s all mixed well, chill for two hours. It was here that I realized that maybe the full stick of butter is what I should have done. It’s very thick and it would be just as easy to roll into balls – so why chill for two hours? But is adding the butter now a mistake? After chilling for two hours this stuff was like spackle. I got it all rolled out and tucked into the freezer for the night.

This morning I tackled the second part- the chocolate coating! I assume this is what puts the “Ca Ca” into the balls! However, I am sure as hell not going to melt chocolate with 1/3 block of paraffin! I had no idea this was something people did. And I certainly didn’t realize that this is something that people STILL do. Is the paraffin used to make the chocolate harden and create a shell? A present day substitute would be those candy melts, don’t you think? Either way – I don’t have candy melts in stock and I certainly don’t have paraffin!

I heated heavy cream on the stove and added it to bittersweet chocolate and a touch of corn syrup. It’s a very thin glaze, so I ended up having to coat these bastards twice. Good Lord what a big honkin’ mess. I put them in the fridge to set as best as possible.

End Result

I give you – – crap on a plate. If there was anything named literally – it’s this. I’m quite sure that the look of them is entirely my fault. Choosing to go with a thin glaze instead of candle wax takes away from the professional finish I guess.

They taste sickeningly sweet. If you’ve got a sweet tooth – and like coconut – this ball of ca-ca is for you! It’s like an almond joy and macaroon pooped out a baby. Oddly enough, my daughter has had two…So not a total failure?

I would love to say I’ve closed the book on this – – but I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to until I try again with a stick of butter and a better chocolate shell. Damnit.

Lemon Delight

There is nothing that scares my family more than Jello. After the Lime Crab Mold debacle of 2019, they fear the Jello. Intense fear. I spend most evenings going through all the recipes that my Mom gave me and picking the ones that sound interesting – and I thought that just maybe this one would be okay…even if it has Jello.

Full disclosure at the beginning at this post. I did this wrong. Like, horribly wrong. I’ve always tried to interpret the recipes written in front of me instead of doing any sort of research first. I don’t want to know what it’s supposed to look like or how it’s supposed to be made. I want to see if I can follow the recipe as written. Now that I’ve looked online I clearly see that this was supposed to be Jello PUDDING. Not Jello gelatin. Rereading the recipe, it’s SO clear now.

However, even if I had replaced the gelatin for pudding – this shit still wasn’t going to ‘thicken’ over a double boiler. What exactly does “thick” mean? Thick like a pastry cream – or just thicker than water? I cooked this over a double boiler for 25 minutes and there was little to no change. It was thicker than water – so I went with that.

Next: “…then add the egg whites beaten stiff with the rest of the sugar”. Do I beat the egg whites with the sugar? Or do I beat the eggs and then add that and the sugar separately? When I add it, am I suppose to mix it? Or am I suppose to just layer it on top? I have so many questions!!

What made the most sense to me was to beat the sugar in with the eggs whites and make a basic meringue and mixed the whole thing together.

My last major mistake was an inaccurate count of graham crackers. I counted 13 graham crackers right out of the box. But since I’m clearly an idiot I took 13 full sheets of crackers. Each of those damn crackers is actually 2. Or maybe four? I doubled, or maybe even quadrupled, the cracker ratio.

Here’s a lesson for today. If something doesn’t feel right – it probably isn’t. I kept muttering to myself the entire time I was doing this, “This doesn’t feel right?”. Turns out I was correct. Trust your gut, girl!

In the end – it’s actually tastes good. It’s creamy, tart & sweet. But I can assure you that this isn’t what it’s supposed to look like. The final product looks like a piece of fried chicken on top of pudding. The graham cracker ratio is SO off it doesn’t hold together and sort of flakes off. There is graham cracker shrapnel all over my kitchen.

My husband actually likes it and plans on eating some of it – so not a total waste of food….But I’m still going to count this as a failure.