Thursday, December 17, 2009
Not all of my cupcake batter went to making brains yesterday, I reserved half of it to make yet another go at the elusive Hostess style cupcake.
This has to be my fourth time making them. There have been some dramatic failures in the kitchen attempting these. Now the chocolate glaze and cupcakes themselves are not hard to make, it is that creme filling! What IS that stuff anyway? Not sure where to start with the filling, I did a little research into other peoples cupcakes of that type a few months ago and started trying new recipes.
Let me tell you all, there are some really gross filling recipes out there! One that I tried was basically sweetened country-style gravy. I gave it a shot because it was reminiscent of pastry cream--minus the egg yolks--and although I was skeptical, the recipe's reviewers seemed to like it. So I gave it a shot, and wow... it was so incredibly vile.
That was failure number one.
Two and three were much better but they either lacked the right texture or the filling absorbed into cake within 24 hours. Eventually, I figured that whatever was inside a hostess cupcake was not man-made and was created with technology on par with CERN's new Hadron Collider. So I gave up. That is, until I had a breakthrough while making fudge for the holidays...
I was going through a lot of marshmallow creme and while noshing on a spoon it came to me....this stuff is pretty close! Really close, actually. So I decided to give the cupcakes one more go and it resulted in my Jumbo Binary Cupcakes with creme filling. Fully edible and finally, a result better than the store bought variety.
I was going to put nucleotide bases across the tops of these cupcakes, but I changed my mind last minute and put binary on them because I haven't done anything computer-science oriented for the blog yet. I know programmers don't code in binary, but even with my Java and C++ background I couldn't come up with a clever 10 character, comp-sci oriented message to sprawl across the cake. Binary is instantly recognizable and cute, so I went with that.
(Though, Mr. Humble gave me flak for not attempting to write out "cupcakes" in binary, but that is probably 50 characters long!)
Anyway, that's enough rambling on about cupcakes. Let's get on to how they were made.
Not so Humble's Creme Filled Jumbo Binary Cupcakes:
To make these I rounded up the following:
one batch of devils food cake batter
jumbo sized muffin pans
18 paper mini cupcake liners
6 oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
7 oz jar marshmallow creme
3 oz white chocolate
Since Hostess cupcakes don't have liners or crimping around them I wasn't going to put a paper liner into my jumbo muffin cups. Instead, I used a mini cupcake liner, flattened and placed it into the bottom of the cup. These things are exactly the right size when smoothed out to line the bottom of your large muffin tins. Great trick to help those muffins pop right out.
So I divided my batter among 18 of the muffin cups and baked according to the instructions (Yes, I know... I'm using cake mix, bad foodie move but also a busy mommy foodie today). I allowed them to cool completely, peeled the liner off the bottom and then got to work on the filling and glaze.
To make the filling, beat together the marshmallow creme and the butter and then put into the fridge to chill. Using a 1.5-inch biscuit cutter, core out the centers of the cupcakes and remove some of the cake from the middle. I prefer to do this over piping in the filling because it allows me to really stuff my cupcakes with the creme. Fill each cupcake with a heaping tablespoon of the creme and then replace the "core" you removed earlier, after trimming the excess cake off its bottom.
Now your cakes are ready to be glazed.
To make the glaze, place the finely chopped chocolate into a heat safe bowl and bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and fold together until smooth. You can either dip the cupcakes into the glaze, or like I did, apply the glaze with an offset spatula (I like to load on as much as possible).
Allow the cupcakes to dry for about 30 minutes and then you can work on your binary decoration.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, being careful as it can scorch fairly easily. Then using a piping bag with #2 tip, pipe on the ones and zeros to finish the cupcakes.
Let the glaze set for a few hours until it is no longer shiny and then they're ready to serve. That is, if you can wait that long.