Along with the nut-crusted mocha-cinnamon cake balls, I brought these very tropical morsels to a party with friends from the U.P. WILOCI. Why coconut and pandan? It’s a classic combination in Southeast Asia, for one. But the more significant reason…
See, I was browsing Google images of “cake balls” for ideas and inspiration, and ninety percent of the images were of cake balls coated in melted chocolate and decorated to death. I mean, really. Try it yourself. Go to Google, click the “Images” tab and search for “cake balls”.
Now, I have nothing against chocolate. I adore chocolate. But I’m really allergic to over-decorated food as I always get the impression that the cook is more concerned about the visual impact rather than the gastronomical experience. Instead of feeling inspired by the images, I ended up closing my browser. Instead, I closed my eyes and imagined. The coconut pandan cake balls materialized in my head and I knew exactly how I was going to make them.
Recipe: Coconut pandan cake balls
- 1 butter cake (get the recipe), cooled
- about 1/3 c. of desiccated coconut
- 1/4 c. of butter, softened (not melted)
- 1 c. of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 1 tbsp. of coconut cream
- a few drops of green food color
- a few drops of pandan flavor (available in most supermarkets)
- Crumble the cake. For a finer texture, rub the cake through a grater.
- Toast the desiccated coconut in an oil-free pan until lightly browned. Transfer to a shallow bowl and cool.
- Mix together the softened butter and confectioner’s sugar to make the icing that will bind the cake balls. Stir in the coconut cream. Add the green food color and pandan flavor. Stir until the coloring is even.
- Stir the crumbled cake and icing together. Form the mixture into balls about an inch-and-a-half in diameter.
- Roll the cake balls in the toasted desiccated coconut.
- Drop the cake balls in paper cups. Keep in the fridge, in a covered container, until serving time.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): about 24 cake balls