“I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.”

So I screwed up! Who doesn’t, I say! I think mistakes are important to not only learn but to accidentally tread onto something you might have overlooked. This is my story of how my mistake turned into something really good!

I had planned to make cupcakes for this week’s Office Thursdays.  Since we were out of town on V’s birthday (which was on the 9th), I wasn’t able to bake a birthday cake for him. For the uninitiated V loves carrot cake (carrot cake and my mango kulfi are the only two desserts I have seen him asking me to make). So, I thought I’ll make carrot cake cupcakes – V would also get to eat them plus he can take some for his office!

Now, when I was in India, my mom had made these whole wheat carrot cupcakes. My mom always made an amazing carrot cake but she got this equally good recipe for whole wheat carrot cake from a sweet lady named Sanu. I loved the whole wheat versions- more so because they were whole wheat! So I decided to give this new recipe a try.

I do not know what went wrong- was it too much baking soda, or was it too much oil or did I fill the pans too much- but the cupcakes fell and then they crumbled when I tried taking them out. Some survived, but most didn’t.

Now, I could have sat there- mourned the disaster. I could have wondered, sitting with my cake crumbs and could have analyzed what I did wrong. But I didn’t. Instead, I made these- White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Carrot Cake truffles! And, boy, were they a treat! While making them, this is what I realized and here I am sharing life’s lessons learned from a failed recipe! 🙂

Life has and will continue throwing curves at you, which will leave you disappointed. But how you handle those disappointment is what matters. Sometimes, actually most of the times..no, wait..always those disappointments turn out to be more beautiful than what you actually expected and wanted, if not immediately- then eventually. Everything is part of a bigger plan and when the time is right the plan will unveil itself to you. Mistakes happen- and if you get past these mistakes, you will get a sweet treat in the end.

Also, one shouldn’t waste their time over analyzing- I am not saying don’t analyze the situation- its important to analyze so that the mistake isn’t repeated. (I will be looking into where I went wrong so that I can make V try those awesome cupcakes that I enjoyed back in India) But don’t over analyze. Accept that you made a mistake and know that it can be made right.

And that’s what I did. I accepted that something went wrong, but I did not lose hope. Well, had these been just for me- I would have been happy eating the crumbs. They were actually quite good. But, they weren’t for me. And of course I couldn’t serve crumbs to people, now, could I? I can almost imagine the look on V’s face- “So what do you have for my office people on Thursday“Oh, I have crumbs!” Nah-uh, it wouldn’t do. Now, I remember seeing on TasteSpotting and FoodGawker pictures of cake truffles and thought that would be the perfect thing to use the crumbs for.

Cake truffles are made of three things-

  • a crumbled cake- Check (I had that!)
  • white chocolate or dark chocolate for coating the crumb balls- Check (had that too- things are looking good so far)
  • and, cream cheese frosting that would help bind the crumbs together so that balls do not fall apart- Oops! Did not have cream cheese on hand! So I improvised. I had Greek yogurt  – I mixed that with a good splash of vanilla and icing sugar and got a healthier cream cheese frosting substitute!

Then I got to work. In a large bowl, I put the cake crumbs and added the greek yogurt frosting. This is where you get down and dirty. Using your hands, combine all the ingredients. You can later lick your hands for added measure- believe me, it helps! Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours. Cake truffle experts swear this is an important step, so do not skip it!

After two hours, or what seemed like eternity to me, form 1 1/2 inch balls from the mixture and place on a baking sheet preferably lined with parchment paper. Freeze at least 6 hours. Again a step crucial to making cake truffles, as pointed out by cake truffle experts!

Melt the candy melts or white chocolate. I used the microwave to melt the chocolate- can be done over a double broiler too. If using the microwave, be careful as to not burn the chocolate. I also heated the chocolate in small batches, so that I don’t have the problem of the chocolate hardening up on me.

Working in small batches, remove the balls from the freezer and dip the balls into warm chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Well, I did read you need not refrigerate them as the chocolate tends to crack if refrigerated- but it was a hot day and I was scared they might spoil, so I refrigerated. Well, I am not Pierre Herme, I am sure I will be excused!)

I had only a handful of white chocolate and wanted to send the white chocolate ones to V’s office (and hence very few of them in the pictures I took later the next day). For the rest I used dark chocolate.

By the way, while working on these I also got other ideas for using the crumbs.  What about a carrot cake crumble with a toffee sauce topping. Doesn’t that sound divine! or maybe, a trifle by layering carrot cake and whipping cream. Like they say, when one door closes, another opens or in this case plenty others opened!

22 Thoughts on “Carrot cake Truffles or Life’s lessons from a failed recipe

  1. Divya on 20 May, 2011 at 10:39 am said:

    I really enjoyed reading this entry on your blog. I am very inspired by the way you turned a mishap into such a beautiful thing 🙂 The recipe sounds really amazing too…will surely give it a try. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. shanu singh on 20 May, 2011 at 11:58 am said:

    ok..now im gng to hv to make these.

  3. Manasi on 20 May, 2011 at 6:54 pm said:

    I love your pictures!! And the best part about screwing up and making up for your mistakes in cooking is that the gratfication is instant. You instantly see the bigger plan – when you get the courage to get past the mistake, isn’t it?? I think God needs to translate the cooking model into life in general- atleast the instant gratification part! Think he forgot to factor in the human bias towards impatience.

  4. Looking at those drool worthy truffles, I wouldn’t have guessed that they are failures! Great job, turning a failure into a celebrated success!

  5. baby chauhan on 22 May, 2011 at 6:29 am said:

    lovely pics Im sure they must be tastng good. Good way to recover

  6. Shubha on 24 May, 2011 at 3:08 pm said:

    Hi Shumaila,

    I came across your blog recently while searching for a recipe on the web and since then I have been hooked to it! I can associate with you in a lot ways. I too got married and came to the US last year in March. And I am also a “house wife” 🙂 I always wanted to try my hand at baking for quite some time but somehow never got around to it. So last month, I decided I had to give it a try and started experimenting with some basic recipes. After a few failed attempts I can now bake some decent cakes from scratch. I can now say baking has become a hobby which I am very passionate about. I was reading your first post where you had mentioned that after some research you ordered some books about baking. I’m in the same dilemma too. I have Dorie Greenspan on my list. But I couldn’t decide on the rest. Since you have been there and done that, which books would you suggest for a “novice” baker like me?

    Thanks a ton!

    • Hey Shubha!
      Thank you so much for appreciating my blog! You made my day!:) And am glad to know that baking has become something you are really passionate about. Dorie Greenspan is good and her recipes are well tested with great results always. I also like Rose’s Cake Bible. There are no pictures in the book- but her instructions are great and the results again are great.She has advanced level cakes as well if you become too daring after your baking successes!

      If you want to foray into bread baking to get Peter reinhart’s bread baker’s apprentice> He explains the intricacies of bread making so well. I also enjoy Maida Heatter’s recipes. I recently bought David Lebovitz book but haven’t got a chance to bake from his book- but I love his blog. Though haven’t tried yet but I have heard the recipes of Baked exploration are pretty good and its on my to-buy list (though I won’t be buying any more books since I am saving for a camera now:) ). But I feel Cake Bible is a pretty good buy and so is Dorie Greenspan’s book. Hope that helps!

  7. wonderful, a great read.

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  10. I missed this amazing post the first time around
    That is such an amazing idea
    I look forward to my next cake disaster hehehe

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  12. Just love this. I too make way too many mistakes in the kitchen but always end up with something better than I expected. The key is not to give up. Love love love these truffles, they look SO delicious!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your cute and amusing truffle story. I’m glad it worked out for you. 🙂 Your truffles are adorable.

    I stumbled upon your blog while obsessing on Google over my own dessert disaster: My ice cream truffles melted! WHILE they were in the freezer! Long story but…Do you have any tips on what I can do with my melted ice cream? And the pistachio powder that was supposed to coat the (now liquified) truffles?

    • Hmmmm..I am sure it is late by now and you must have found a solution (do share it with us!) but I would just use the ice cream and the powder in a shake of some sort. 🙂

      • Thanks for listening and getting back to me. 🙂

        I melted the remaining bar and waited for it to cool to room temp, which is what I should have done in the first place.

        I took my frozen ice cream puddle out of the freezer, and quickly drizzled the cooled liquid chocolate over the flat mass, and sprinkled the pistachio powder. Now it’s like…an ice cream bark with a layer of chocolate & nut powder over it. It’s a mess, but at least it’s still edible…

  15. Aruna on 4 June, 2013 at 12:14 am said:

    Oh, here’s a tip. If you add a little oil or butter or shortening to your melted chocolate – like a TB – it’s supposed to prevent your chocolate from getting clumpy. Maybe you won’t have to melt in small batches, then.

    I’ve read bloggers melt the chocolate & oil together, or stir it in after melting.

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