Monday, March 29, 2010

Homemade Junk Food, Pretty Delicious III

In my final edition of this week's Homemade Junk Food, I offer you the most scrumptious cupcake you've ever eaten in your entire life. Seriously. It's life changing. This cupcake will not just knock your socks off, it'll knock the paint off your toenails right along with 'em.

Inspired by the ubiquitous Hostess Cupcake of convenience store fame, HC and I decided that surely, surely, we are each more hostess than the supposed "best selling snack cake in history". We are the hostesses with the mostesses.

At least, that's what we were determined to prove.

Here's the recipe from the blog Bake At 350.

*NB: As you can see, this recipe calls for a separate recipe for the filling and the little white swirly icing on the top. While I did follow these instructions, looking back on it, there was enough extra filling that it would have been more expeditious just to use the leftover filling as the decorative white icing as well.

For the Cupcakes
1 & 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

For the Ganache
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Icing
1 stick unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Place paper liners in muffin tin for about 20 cupcakes.

Prepare the cupcakes: Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Using a mixer, beat the eggs into the chocolate, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

(They will sink in the middle...they'll puff up when filled later)

For the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, cut little inverted cones out of the tops of the cupcakes, only descending about halfway through the cupcake itself.

Above is a picture of the little cone turned upside down on top of the hollowed out cupcake.

Then, put the filling in an icing bag with a wide tip or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, and fill the hollowed out parts of with the marshmallow cream. Break of the point of the cones you cut out, to make room for the filling, and replace the tops to cover the filling up. Some marshmallow cream may squeeze out if you overfilled them, but just clean it off with a butter knife (or you fingers), eat the extra, and call it even.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip (I just used a ziplock with the corner cut off) pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Now eat'em! You can't tell me those aren't 10,000 times better than the artificially flavored variety. As I said in my Pretzel Dog post, I don't even like Hostess Cupcakes, really.

But these -- these are heavenly.

1 comment:

  1. They ARE heavenly...I totally agree! If they didn't use every bowl in the house, I'd make them every week. Well, then I'd have to exercise, so maybe not *every* week!