“As he continues to walk around the circus, Bailey’s path leads back to the courtyard. He stops briefly to watch the sparkling bonfire and then at a vendor to purchase a bag of chocolates to make up for his mostly uneaten dinner. The chocolates are shaped like mice, with almond ears and licorice tails.” – The Night Circus
When I decided to create desserts for The Night Circus, this was the first one that came to mind. What a fun, unique, circus-y treat! These mice are delicious, with a soft cake center coated in creamy chocolate with a couple almonds to boot. The sunflower seeds create perfectly shaped eyes, completing the magical look.
- Chocolate cake box mix, plus whatever ingredients are needed (eggs, oil, water, etc.)
- 16 ounces chocolate frosting
- Black licorice strings (you can use the licorice “wheels” and gently pull them apart)
- Sliced almonds
- Candy coated sunflower seeds
- Cocoa candy melts, or chocolate chips and shortening (I’ll explain in a minute)
- Wire rack
1. I started the same way I make cake pops – I baked the cake mix, cooled it for a while before crumbling it into a bowl, mixed in the frosting, and then it is ready to shape!
2. However, I wanted the licorice tails to be very secure in the body of the mouse so that I could dip the mice into the candy coating by the tail. So, I took a piece of the cake mixture in my hands, about the size I wanted the mouse to be. I then pulled apart the cake mixture into two halves and pushed the tail into the middle of the body.
Then, I molded the two pieces together around the tail and add the almond ears, so they looked like this:
It is not as hard as it sounds!
3. Refrigerate your mice for a couple hours (you can pop them in the freezer if you’re pressed for time).
4. Once they are quite cold, prepare the chocolate coating. If using candy melts, all you need to do is melt them according to the instructions. If you’re using regular chocolate, you will need to add some shortening to help it harden as it dries. The more shortening you add, the faster it will harden! You don’t want the coating to harden too quickly, or you will not be able to get rid of the excess before it hardens. The general rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of shortening for every 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chocolate chips. Oh, and you HAVE to use shortening – no substitutions! While you’re at it, go ahead and grease your wire rack with the shortening too.
5. Now, here’s the fun part – grab a mouse by the tail and dip!
You can gently spin the mouse to get rid of the excess coating. Place on the wire rack. Before the coating hardens completely, add some sunflower seed eyes.
6. Repeat for all of your mice.
Find more “The Night Circus” inspired treats here.