Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Classic Snacks Made From Scratch:Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes

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Well those homemade deep fried doughnuts were a surefire hit around here and I hope everyone gets a chance to make the treats themselves sometime.Definitely to delicious to pass up the recipe opportunity;however with that being said I couldn't just pass this chapter up and not test out another "cakey treats" for everyone.

So for me I chose a treat that everyone should know based on one of the all popular hostess products. Now its not the Twinkie like most will guess, its actually the iconic creamed filled "Chocolate Hostess Cupcake" with the signature glaze and icing doodle.These are actually a store bought cupcake I have never tried myself;however don't worry I had tester's by me to compare the homemade version.

So to start with I found that the recipe was pretty simply layout with detailed directions.It also included quite a bit of ingredients that were luckily inexpensive.Now the recipe for the cupcake section was like any basic chocolate cupcake made with cocoa powder and kept moist with milk.It was really simple to create this cake batter since I used my stand mixer and it actually cut the time down compared to a hand-mixer or by hand.I also learned that this recipe is somewhat adaptable,especially in one part of the cake section.

For example,If you have muffin liner's around I definitely recommend to use them since they are a simple and guaranteed way to prevent sticking,breaking and to create a ridged decorative edge.Also, great for travelling and giving to friends and family to test out.If you don't like cupcake liner's you can easily grease the muffin tin like the recipe asks or you can remove the liner's after baking to create a nice decorative edge.Your choice in the matter.I also learned that a simple way to fill the muffin cup's is using a ice cream scoop since I always seem to see TV show cook's use them and I thought I should try it out.Then lastly a good tip is to always use a toothpick to test if the cupcakes are done and they are best when the toothpick comes clean.Anyways,thumbs up for the cupcake section of this recipe for simplicity and detail.

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So since I mentioned adaptability we all know that there is no way I can fool around with the signature marshmallow filling of this cupcake so I left that all alone.This marsh mellow filling was a brand new territory for me, so I watched closely to the directions and took my time.Its definitely a recipe you need patience for to create since you need to reach the right consistency before you can even fill your cupcakes.It was quite fun to learned how to make something you never had before.Thumbs up for the filling section of this recipe for simple detail and teaching me something new.

So now for the chocolate glaze and icing. Well these two recipes were the simplest sections to this whole recipe.The glaze was basically melting ingredients together to create a simple glaze to dip your cupcakes and the icing was simply mixed together for quick use in decorating.These are both quick to make and assembling can be done basically right away after filling.Thumbs up for the easy and quick directions.

Now for then fun part of the recipe, the assembling.Well this took a couple cupcakes to get close to the original.The filling took sometime of how much filling should be added and how big you want the holes to be before it breaks.I'm always hesitant with fragile work with baked goods can be.Once all the cupcakes were filled,covered and set it was time to add the glaze.Well I learned that dipping them is the wrong way to go even though the recipe ask you too because what happens is the filling leaks into the glaze so I used a cake spatula to spread the glaze on took some time this way, but I got the job done without anything getting wrecked.Then lastly, it was time for the signature icing doodle, which was quite simple to pipe using a small round top using an icing bottle or bag.The decorating part was a lot of fun and I learned some new skills to make my baked goods pretty.Thumbs up for the decorating part of this recipe.Good detail and quite helpful.

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So since I learned how this recipe tests out.What is this cupcake like in flavor,texture and comparability to the original.Well it heavily stays close to the original "Chocolate Hostess Cupcake" when it comes to the look of the overall cake with its color,glaze,filling and doodle.So now its just the flavor and texture to compare.Well this cake has a very dark chocolate flavor with a moist,slightly dense cake texture. The glaze is quite sweet with a semisweet chocolate flavor and is quite smooth.Now the filling along side is a marshmallow fluff that is very light,fluffy and creamy with a mild sweetness.This cupcake overall is very chocolaty and sweet.The less glaze that is used the better and its definitely needs to be paired with a of glass milk.They are also best eaten right away and all fifteen that I made were gone in like three days.

Now I did get some feedback on these cupcakes and everyone told me "that these are better then the original" since they are no addictive or bad aftertastes.When baked good are homemade they are always better since they are freshly made.Everyone loved these simple and fancy cupcakes and they were gone really quickly.A+ for the recipe and cupcake.

I hope everyone tries out this recipe and compares the homemade to the original.It's a lot of fun to create these cupcakes and decorate them. Everyone will be certainly impressed by your skillful work and will be surprised how simple they are to make.So go on and make them and let me know how similar they are in the comments.I give a thumbs up for recipe, flavor,texture and comparability.

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The Recipe

Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield:12-15 cupcakes
Difficulty:Easy to moderate
Equipment:stand mixer,standard muffin tin,liners, pastry bag with small round piping tip. 

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1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp ( 4 ounces) chilled unsalted butter,cut into cubes
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole or reduced fat milk


2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole or reduced milk
3 ounces semisweet chocolate,coarsely chopped

White Doodle Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp whole or reduced fat milk
1 tsp light corn syrup

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Preheat oven to 350F.Spray or line the muffin tin.

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Together I added the flour,sifted in the cocoa powder,added the baking powder and salt in a large bowl,then whisked thoroughly to remove any lumps.

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In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,I creamed the butter and sugar together for 2- 3 minutes on medium speed until pale and fluffy.Then reduced the speed to low to add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding each one.Then I added the vanilla and stirred until combined.( Tip: Can easily use a handheld mixer)

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Then I added the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture,alternating.One third of flour,mixing on low until just combined and then adding half of the milk until just combined.Repeated with third of flour,mix and then added the remaining milk,mix and then added the final portion of flour,stirred until just combined.

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Divided the batter evenly using an ice cream scoop into prepared muffin wells.Then baked for 15-20 minutes until set in middle and using the toothpick test. Once slightly cooled I removed the cupcakes from the muffin tin and let cool completely on a wire rack at room temp.

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Make The Filling:

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While the cupcakes were cooling, I filled a small straight sided sauce pan with water half way.Then I brought it to a simmer over medium-low heat.Then I placed the egg whites and sugar in a large glass bowl and set the bowl over the simmering water.Whisked continuously for 1-2 minutes, until sugar dissolved and liquid was slightly opaque,frothy and warm to the touch.Removed the glass bowl and poured into the clean stand mixer.

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Using the whisk attachment,I whipped the mixture on medium-high speed for about 2-3 minutes,until the liquid  was opaque and glossy.Then I added the cream of tartar and vanilla, then whipped until the marshmallow mixture formed stiff peaks when the mixer is turned off and whisk is lifted. (Took 1-2 minutes or more)

Make Frosting:

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Stirred the powdered sugar,corn syrup, vanilla and milk together in a glass bowl.Placed over top of the simmering water and cooked,until warm to the touch.Chopped the chocolate finely and then stirred it in,until melted.Removed from the heat once completely melted in mixture.

Assemble The Cupcakes

Using a sharp paring knife, I cut a wide deep hole into each cupcake while making sure not to cut completely through and leaving at least 1/2 inch border to the cupcakes.(Tip: Also making sure not to discard the top pieces). Then I filled each cupcake with marshmallow filling,smoothing it over and then placing the top piece back on, pressing gently.Let cake set for a few minutes.

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Then to add the glaze I used a cake spatula to spread the glaze on to each cupcake.(My Tip :You can also dip each cupcake into the glaze and letting excess glaze drip back into the bowl;however you are risking the filling leaking out of the cupcake and into the glaze.) Best to control it using a spatula.

Then set on a wire rack to allow the glaze to completely set for at least 30 minutes.

Make And Pipe The Doodle Icing: 

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Whisked the powdered sugar,milk and corn syrup together in a small bowl,until a thick glazed formed.(Tip:Might be to thick,be sure to add a little milk and if it becomes to liquidity add more powdered sugar)

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Then filled my piping bottle and attached a small round tip ( Pastry bag can be used as well).Then I pipped small circles of icing down along the center of each cupcake.Then I allowed the cupcakes to sit for at least 1 hour so the frosting and icing could firm up.

These cupcakes can be made a day in advanced and kept at room temp They should be eaten within 3 days.

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