Lunch-Dessert. It was usually pre-packaged. It was always dry. It probably could survive a nuclear holocaust. But, holy pete, did you ever love them.
My lunch box never contained Twinkies - I don't think I trusted them as a kid. Something about the unnatural log shape. I was a chocolate girl - I took after my Dad. So we both would choose those little devil food cupcakes as our after-lunch snack. The little white icing swirl and waxy chocolate topping would make us come running.
Like most things, the memory of it all is always better than the real thing. That's what nostalgia does to us. I promise you, Full House isn't such a great show. And, no, Uncle Jesse really wasn't all that cool. That's why I vowed to make a Hostess Cupcake that would meet the expectations created by my childhood. And, because it was a favourite of my Dad, making it for Father's Day seemed like the bees knees.
So, if your Dad is like mine and loves good ol' lunch box treats, try whipping up a batch of these. Yes, it may take all the bowls in your kitchen, yes it may seem like a lot of complicated steps, but I promise your Dad will love it - mine did! (even though they melted during the car ride to his house).
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
adapted from Bake at 350
Makes 10 Cupcakes (just enough for you and your family - and a couple extra for Dad!)
1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons cups granulated sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup marshmallow creme (I actually just melted marshmallows in with a Tablespoon of water)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cups powdered sugar
1) Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl
2) In a saucepan, pour in sugar and 1/2 cup of water in. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. 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.
3)Beat the egg into the chocolate with a whisk, then pour the mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until all lumps are out (I use a whisk for this as well).
4)Pour the batter into the cupcake liners (~1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake in a 350F oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans, then let them cool completely before filling them with the marshmallow creme.
1) Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and beat until smooth. After everything is mixed in, beat in the remaining confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow until smooth and leave in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are completely cool and ready to fill.
1)Place the chocolate (chopped up) in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.
1)Fill a pastry bag with the marshmallow creme filling and fit it with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top and fill until the cupcake it poofs up slightly (careful not to overfill).
2)Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with a knife. Chill until the ganache has fully set
3)Prepare the icing while the ganache is in the fridge. Using a mixer, beat the butter, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, (adding more milk or sugar if needed). Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe swirls onto the cupcakes to decorate.
our cupcakes may have melted during the long car ride to dad's house, but they still tasted like love . . . and chocolate
Happy Father's Day!