Sunday, March 1, 2009
For girls' night, I was in charge of dessert. I wanted to make something chocolatey and delicious, and something new with a fun little twist.
I found inspiration on Annie's Eats. I saw her cream-filled chocolate cupcakes and knew I wanted to make them. However, I kind of pieced together my own version instead of following her exact recipe.
The end result was these little look-alike Hostess cupcakes that tasted absolutely A-MAZ-ING. Of course, seeing as how they were chocolate and all, they were quickly gobbled up at girls' night.
Because I had such success with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake when I made my Oreo cupcakes last month, I decided to use that recipe again for this cupcake.
For the filling, I didn't want to use the recipe Annie had up for her cream, because it was seemingly really similar to the recipe I used for the frosting on last week's S'mores Cupcakes. I wasn't overly fond of the taste of the marshmallow fluff. Anyway, I went on a hunt for another "Hostess-like" cream filling, and happened to find it on another one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. And um, yeah. It turned out wonderfully well, and was the perfect filling for this cupcake.
For the chocolate frosting, I did end up sticking with the chocolate ganache listed with Annie's recipe. At first, I wasn't too sure about using semi-sweet chocolate, because I really wanted the cupcake to taste similar to (but of course, BETTER than) the original Hostess cupcake. But I went with it anyway, and this ganache did not disappoint. The only problem is that I ended up running out of it! I had 24 cupcakes and only got about 16 of them dipped before I started running low. In the end, I was able to coat 23 of the 24 cupcakes, but the last 7 of them didn't look as smooth and nice as the others.
These cupcakes get two enthusiastic thumbs up, and are a real crowd pleaser. For the adults, they reminded us all of our childhoods. For the kids? They were just plain yummy!
Look-Alike Hostess Cupcakes
(Sources: Hershey's, Smitten Kitchen, and Annie's Eats)
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
For the cream filling (Seven Minute Frosting):
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be really thin). Fill cups about 3/4 full with batter to get bigger cupcakes.
3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. (Makes 24 cupcakes.)
4. While waiting for cupcakes to cool, combine filling ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Reserve 1/2 cup of the filling to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes at the end.
5. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare a piping bag with a 1/4" tip, and fill bag with the vanilla filling. Squeeze filling into middle of cupcakes. (Because I didn't get the desired amount of filling into my s'mores cupcakes last week, this time, I used a different method. I basically did this, but the holes I made in the tops of my cupcakes were a bit smaller.)
6. After cupcakes are filled, begin working on the chocolate ganache frosting. In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until steaming, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth.
7. Transfer to a small bowl and dip the top of each cupcake to thoroughly coat.
8. Prepare another piping bag with a small tip. Fill with the reserved 1/2 cup of cream filling. Pipe swirls across the top of the cupcakes. (For Hostess accuracy, Smitten Kitchen says that there are exactly 7 swirls on top of each cupcake. I did my best to aim for seven each time, but some of my cupcakes ended up with 8. Haha!)
9. Allow chocolate ganache to set before storing. Enjoy!