Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's a Cake Ball, You Ask?

Let me introduce you to the cake ball! I've recently discovered these delicious little globes of ecstasy that my friend, Rick Ryan, of Doris and Dixie makes. Rick and I have known each other for a few years now. We first met back when I was working in a retail wine and cheese shop and Rick was managing the restaurant next door. He would stop in and buy red bulls and we would chat a bit before he returned to work. He always had a kind word, a friendly remark, and fun shoes.

As we both moved onto different jobs, our paths would occasionally cross, and thanks to the power of Facebook, I was recently reminded of the business that he started called Doris and Dixie. I admire Rick for getting out there and doing something for himself on his own. As far as I know, he's been successfully running it for about a year now. His inspiration comes from his memories of both of his grandmothers' baking skills. His goal is to create delicious tasting desserts with only the best ingredients in a simple and homey way. How could anyone possibly go wrong with a guy who has a mission statement like that?

I have to say that he really does deliver on every promise. I can report that I was not only satisfied, but overjoyed with the results of our order of 4 dozen cake balls for the last Arneis Ensemble Concert this past Thursday. I've already ordered another batch for the next concert and am trying to decide how many I should selfishly hold back for my own personal enjoyment. Rick went so far as to hand-deliver the order to my apartment on the day of the concert and even brought us an extra dozen with his compliments just for Dan and me to enjoy. But, before I go on too much about the amazing customer service we received, let me just briefly describe these fantastic treats to you.

The flavors were mulled wine, peppermint, clove and rum, eggnog, and cider. They came from a series of new holiday flavors that we helped him premiere. They were cutely and practically packaged in egg crates, 5 sets of a dozen each. They were about an inch or so in diameter, and each had a different garnish, like crushed peppermint or colored sugar sprinkles to indicate the flavors. Of course, the appeal didn't stop at just the visual.

As we began our reception, they went so quickly that I only got to try the mulled wine. It was fantastic. Dan and I hoarded the rum and clove for ourselves at home - those didn't even make it to the concert. Biting into one through the layer of chocolate coating on the outside was extremely satisfying, only to be topped by the joy of the rich and moist cake center of each little delight. They were truly magnificent and put a smile on everyone's face. I was pleased that everyone loved them so much, and I couldn't have anticipated the amount of curiosity that they generated amongst our friends and recital attendees. I only hope that Rick will get a little business from his smashing success at our concert.

For now, as far as I know, he is only running Doris and Dixie out of his home. You can check out his website for pricing and information regarding ordering. I'm sure he would be only too pleased to fill whatever order you'd like to send his way. These are sure to be in high demand once the word gets out, and I'd expect to see them in coffee shops, restaurants, and who knows where else. Maybe someday, he'll even have his own little Doris and Dixie shop. I wish Rick and Doris and Dixie all the best of luck and success in future endeavors, and I await my next delivery with great anticipation!

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