Sunday, November 14, 2010

Faux Hostess Cupcakes - Childhood Lunchbox Memories

I can't tell you the excitement that would run through me when I would open my Lunchbox in Elementary School and find that my Mom had included a Hostess Cupcake for my dessert.  That was the ultimate treat!  A store bought Hostess Cupcake!  I would show it to all my friends, who were immediately jealous.  It made my day and the afternoon couldn't go by fast enough for me to get home and thank my Mother for this amazing treat.

When I got a little bit older my brother and I would make our own fake Hostess Cupcakes by making a box mix of Devils Food Cupcakes, slicing off the bottom, hollowing out the middle and filling them with Vanilla Ice Cream or Cool Whip.  A yummy snack but no where near the yumminess of the Hostess Cupcake.  And ours never had frosting or that magical white squiggle.

I decided it was about time I tackled that magical Hostess Cupcake.  Start with your favorite Chocolate Cupcake recipe.  I used this one from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson.  They baked up beautifully.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, core the centers out to fill with Vanilla Cream filling.  I used my Cupcake Corer (made by Cuisipro), which is an amazing little tool that makes coring cupcakes a breeze.  You can see it at work in the photo.

Here's the recipe for the filling:

Mock Creme Cupcake Filling
by Taylor on Recipezaar
for 24 Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
2/3 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Cream butter and Crisco until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, flour, then milk and vanilla.  Whip until sugar is all dissolved and mixture is thick and fluffy.  Put in pastry bag fitted with a #10 round tip.  Pipe into center of cooled chocolate cupcakes.  Replace center of cupcake that was removed.
Now for the Chocolate Ganache.  If you've never made Ganache, don't be afraid, it's very easy and tastes divine.  Here's the easy recipe I found:

Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from the Pillsbury Cookbook
Enough to cover 24 Cupcakes

12 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, chopped or 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter

In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine chocolate and cream.  Mix and melt together, until chocolate is completely melted, and mixture is smooth and creamy.  Remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter.  Let cool at least 20 minutes until it is warm to the touch.  Take the cupcakes individually and dip them in the Ganache up to the top of their liners.  Pull cupcake out of the Ganache and let any excess drip back into saucepan.  Place dipped cupcake on rack for Ganache to dry.

Once the Ganache on the Cupcakes is dry and set mix up a small batch of Vanilla Decorator's Buttercream

Vanilla Decorator's Buttercream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (not butter flavored)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup of milk
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoons vanilla

Cream together butter and Crisco until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar.  Add milk, salt and vanilla.  Continue adding powdered sugar until frosting is of piping consistency.  Place in a pastry bag fitted with a #2 tip and pipe a squiggle across the center of the Ganache.

By this time you won't be able to resist, so dig in!  They are delicious!