While I love DMing, I do get to kick back and enjoy being an adventurer as well. The group I play with as a character met to continue our quest investigating increasing giant activity. If you are currently running Pathfinder Society – Year of the Serpent or Storm King’s Thunder, beware possible spoilers ahead.
This week I wanted to take one of my favorite baked goods and put a little D&D spin on it. I love making cake balls because they are fairly easy and really versatile on the variety you can make. My old stand by, and viking husband’s favorite, is strawberry cream cheese cake balls with a dark chocolate shell.
The latest story-line for Critical Role has left me with dragons on the brain; especially red dragon eggs, so I decided to take my cake ball recipe and tailor it to a dragon egg theme. The recipe can be found below.
Like all cake balls, you first have to make a delicious cake (in this case a Pillsbury Funfetti cake) and absolutely destroy it so you can roll it up into bite size spheres.
Well not quite spheres this time around since I was going for the egg shape. If you have never made cake balls, you take a freshly made cake, mush it into bits, add icing to give it some sticky/solidness, and roll them up to your desired shape/size. Now don’t obsess over the shape too much to start. You will put these in the fridge for a bit to stiffen up some, so you can finish out shaping them before you coat them in the chocolate.
I wanted to get some extra texture with the shells on these, so I took some red sugar sprinkles and mixed in them in with the melting chocolate.
It took so much will power to not just eat this with a spoon.
It gave the chocolate a nice shimmer and extra crunch. I did not want to go for a perfect smooth egg look. In my mind, a red dragon egg would be housed in a hot lava filled cavern. I wanted to go for a cooled lava texture as if the eggs were coated in lava to give them a hard protective shell and be encased in the heat. I made sure my chocolate was a little thicker to get that caked on look and then added a touch more red sprinkles just to give the eggs some extra shine. I absolutely love how they turned out!
Seriously, I took a bajillion pictures of them.
Most importantly, they tasted great too. I love it when a baking project turns out. Believe me plenty of them absolutely do not. Cake balls though are normally the more cooperative variety of baking endeavors.
Speaking of tasty baked noms, Justin and Raven broke out some of the best Oreo truffles I have ever had.
Sweet, rich, and absolutely to die for. Not to mention they were a great pairing with the dragon eggs.
Best friends forever.
Since I took the baking route this time around, the rest of the group brought the savory goods. Raven provided a game night favorite.
Pigs in a blanket, YEAH! Easy, delicious, bite-size, and a staple for gaming. My mom would make this little treats for our game nights, so I was probably more excited than normal when she brought these out.
Now I know pizza is pizza and there is a million and one types and brands, but the pizza Lemmie brought to cook was down right delicious. I like pizza just like 99.9% of the rest of the world, but finding a brand you can cook at home that tastes fantastic can be difficult.
This right here, Mama Cozzi’s Pizza Kitchen, yea ma’am. Great take and bake that you can get from Aldi. Just like I said last week, don’t be afraid to buy things frozen because you really can find something that tastes homemade.
Time to chow down and prepare for our next adventure.
Lemmie’s little future adventurer Jade was saving her energy for the battles to come.
And beast companion Jake was on standby for any treats that could be sent his way.
I love this little guy. I try to steal him every time we come over.
Just like last week, I will give everyone a little intro to our adventuring party.
The “Nature-loving” Druid
Female Elf Druid
played by Raven
The “Giant Expert” Rouge
Female Halfling Rouge
played by Lemmie
Source: we are Rogue
The “Cautious” Warlock
Male Half-elf Warlock
played by Justin
The “Death-watcher” Cleric
Male Dwarf Cleric
played by John
Source: rpg setting
The “Mysterious” Sorcerer
Female Tiefling Sorcerer
played by Melany
Source: John-Paul Balmet
The “Missing” Barbarian
Male Dwarf Barbarian
played by Johnny
The “Joy-filled” Paladin
Female Half-orc Paladin
played by ME!
The “Killer of all you love” DM
Male Human Dungeon Master
played by Matt
Don’t book a judge by his lover
We had made our way to Daggerford in our previous session and needed more information about the increase in giant activity in the area. After meeting our newest member Ink, and making a deal with a seriously shady individual, we were out fulfilling the requests for “Mr McShadyassguy”. He had asked us to trade some goods with a band of gnolls for him, clear some entity out of a mask, and procure a mirror by way of gambling…with years. Seriously this guys is SOOOO shady. We had all pretty much decided he needed to go after we finished up these tasks. We could not let him keep conducting such shady deeds in town.
We started the session after we had dealt with the gnolls previously and discovered the cargo he was trading for were baby white lions. Unfortunately a low perception roll on the crates did not show they had what appeared to be breathing holes. Larken tossed one of the boxes to open it, and well yeah the baby lion inside did not survive. Sari was so very upset about that one. Thankfully after realizing what was inside, we stopped Larken from breaking the other box in the same manner. That baby lion, while freaked out, was quite alive. We decided to go ahead and clear out the mask. Our cleric Larken activated the mask, and a bunch of nasty little Magmin popped out. Not knowing what we would face, we tired to talk to the first one that popped out. It just took off towards some bushes hell bent to catch them on fire. Great, little pyromaniacs.
So in grand adventurer fashion, we proceeded to lay into the little trouble makers, hoping to make short work of them. Too bad they had the unfortunate side effect of exploding when you kill them. Man that splash damage was a bitch. Despite that unpleasant surprise, we were able to finish the lot of them off without massive loss.
Now we had to decide what to do “Mr CreepyMcCreeperson”. Do we give him the baby lions and mask, or do we take him out? I mean come on!? Who trades for rare baby lions with shady gnolls and has a mask that contains exploding fire creatures? Bad guys, that’s who. We needed to make some stops before we dealt with this “totally a bad guy”, so the group split up and finished out some to-dos.
Ren and my character Vola met with the future wife of the city’s new duke to deliver the unfortunate news that her grandfather had passed. Fun stuff right? While we dealt with that grim task, Sari took some time to comfort the baby lion. She loves all things nature and animal, so she had him all fed, comforted, and named by the time we came back. Larken had waited by the town market with the trade goods owed to “absolutely a bad guy”. A random passerby stopped thinking Larken was selling said goods at the market. Well of course he was. Knowing we were not going to be dealing with “I swear he is really a bad guy” much longer, Larken began selling the goods. He even set up an area where we could give blessing from his god Kelemvor…Lord of the Dead. A mom stopped and asked him to set her mischievous son straight, so Larken proceeded to tell the young boy about the city of the dead and all the horrors that await the faithless and bad little boys. The little boy ran away crying, and the mother, very satisfied, dropped silver in Larken’s donation box.
While Larken made a quick sliver off the people of Daggerford, Ink and Theren returned to the town library to see what they could find on the giants in the region, and Ren and I asked around for some information on possible wild life reserves for the baby lion. We asked a town guard about what one might do with wild life they came upon, and he told us of an oddball townsfolk that had a sister that ran a wild life reserve. That oddball townsfolk turned out to be “HE’S A BAD GUY DAMN IT!”. Of course. OF COURSE! Apparently despite his creepiness, that guy is some sort of philanthropist and was likely saving the lions from the gnolls. The mask could only be used to trap fire based creatures, so he was clearing it out to possibly catch more. ARGH! Come on!
But wait! We still had to deal with the last task. He wanted a magic mirror from this woman who was doing research on how to harness time. The only way to get the mirror was to gamble 20 years of your life to her research. Now that is some bad guy like stuff there, right? At this point future adventurer Jade was awake and completely enthralled in this quest.
Little known fact, vikings have natural baby soothing abilities.
The members of the group with longer life spans stepped up to gamble the years. The game was called 20 bones, and you could bet years to add a D20 to your roll. For each D20 that you rolled higher than her, you got your bet year for that die and one of her years back. For each D20 lower than the one she rolled, you lose your year to her and she keeps hers. She had 20 years in the pot, and the 20 years from our group was split between Sari, Larken, and Ink. Well, despite their best effort, and ton of slight of hand checks, our group lost all 20 of our years. Luckily the price of the mirror was simply to play, but we had hoped to not have 20 years sucked out of our friends. And when I say sucked out, that was exactly how she did it. They were hooked up to a crazy magic and science based machine that sucked the years from a tube shoved down your throat. Ouch.
So through the weirdest game possible, we had this mysterious mirror to give to “I’m still not convinced he is not a bad guy”. When we give him the baby lion, he tells us it was in fact a gift for his niece to take to the wild life reserve his sister has. That mask? He had told us about an abandon warehouse far outside of town where we could clear out the mask. Oh yeah, that was probably a better idea than the edge of town and fairly thoughtful to others’ safety. Yeah well that mirror, surely that is something evil. Kinda. Apparently the mirror can be used to trap people in it, AH HA, but he was trying to get the mirror to rescue an adventurer that had been trapped inside. Oh, so he really is a good guy. DAMN IT!
So here we were about to take out a guy we thought was evil, and he turns out to be some creepy version of Mother Teresa. Crap. Vola was trying to glean a pearl of wisdom learned from this almost debacle, and unfortunately she is not the most intelligent of the group; so the lesson we are left from all this is to “never book a judge by his lover”.
Until the next adventure, Bon Dungeon Eats!
Recipe: Red Dragon Cake Balls
- 1 box cake mix (I used funfetti mix to give extra texture)
- 1 16 oz. container of icing (I used cream cheese icing)
- oil (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
- eggs (for cake mix – see box for amounts)
- 2-3 bags of melting wafers (I used ghirardelli melting dark chocolate)
- red sugar sprinkles
Prepare the cake as instructed on the box. Once the cake is ready, set it aside and allow it to cool completely. If you try to make the cake balls while the cake is still warm, they will not keep their shape.
Take the cooled cake and crumble it up in a large mixing bowl. Add roughly half of the icing to the crumbled cake and mix together. You want the texture to be soft but firm enough to shape into balls. If the mix is still too crumbly, add more icing a tablespoon at a time until it is a good shaping texture. If you put in too much icing, it may be too mushy to shape, so add slowly and test often.
Once the mix is right, shape into roughly egg size/shape balls. Don’t worry about the shape being perfect at this stage. You will be able to shape them more before you add the chocolate shells. Place them on a plate or cookie sheet as you go and transfer them to the refrigerator to set for at least an hour.
Once the cake balls have stiffened in the refrigerator, melt your chocolate wafers by the instructions on the bag. For the dragon egg texture, you want the chocolate to be a little thick. Add the red sugar sprinkles to the melted chocolate. Just sprinkle in enough to give the chocolate a little texture, but not too much so the chocolate becomes too clumpy.
Take each egg and roll in the chocolate mix. Be messy with it because you are not going for perfect. You want that rough rolled on look. If you did want perfect smooth eggs, place all of the eggs on baking racks and pour the chocolate evenly over them. As you coat the eggs, sprinkle your red sugar sprinkles over the tops to give them the extra shimmer. Place them on baking racks (or the same plate/cookie sheet if you do not have racks), and transfer them back into the refrigerator to harden completely. You will notice the chocolate hardens quickly even before you put them in the refrigerator, so it should only take 30 minutes to an hour before they are fully set.