Monday, June 27, 2011

Fauxstess Cupcakes (aka "Hostess Cupcakes")

When I was a kid, "fresh off the boat" from the Philippines, my only experience as far as sleepovers were when my cousin, Mary, would invite me and 2 of our younger cousins for sleepovers. She was only a couple of years older than I was, but I thought it was so cool that I got to hang out with someone older. She would think up creative ways to keep me and my younger cousins busy during those 2 days she had us. Then she would feed us sandwiches for lunch or dinner. I had never had American sandwiches before and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Then for snacks, I had my first taste of "Hostess" treats: Ding Dongs, Hostess cupcakes, or Twinkies. I even remember the time we went to a drive-in movie and she brought us Ding Dongs to snack on. However, Hostess cupcakes were my favorite. Funny thing was, even though I loved them, I never ate them when I was at home. Perhaps it was because my parents never bought them for us nor had I ever thought to ask them to buy some.

I came across this recipe from Beantown Baker, and I began to reminisce about those sleepovers at my cousin Mary's house 25 years ago. I haven't had a Hostess cupcake in a long time. I think its time to introduce them to my own daughter and hope that she, too, would have fond memories of eating these yummy treats. And they came out so well. The filling was not overly sweet, unlike the original version. Hubby loved these and thought they were "so cool." I thought they looked pretty cool too :) This recipe goes out to my dear cousin Mary. Love you cuz ♥

1/2 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, separated at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. water

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks, canola oil, 1/2 cup sugar and water until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix by hand just until combined.

4) In a clean medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one quarter of the eggs whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Add remaining egg whites and gently fold mixture together until no streaks remain.

5) Evenly divide batter into prepared muffin pan, about half full. Bake for 13-16 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched in the center. Cool on a wire rack before adding filling and topping.

Cream filling
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1) While cupcakes are cooling, combine filling ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until thick and fluffy, about 6-7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Reserved half of the filling to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes at the end.

2) Once the cupcake have cooled, cut a hole on the center of the cupcakes. Pipe the filling in the hole. Set aside.

1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1) In a small saucepan, heat cream until steaming. Remove from heat, add chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes. Add butter and stir until smooth.

2) Transfer frosting into a small bowl. Dip the top of each cupcake to thoroughly coat.

3) Spoon the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Pipe swirls across the center of each cupcake. Refrigerate cupcakes for at least 10 minutes to set frosting.

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