Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Superbowl Treats - Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Homemade hostess!
Let's be honest, the Super Bowl is almost as much about the food as it is about the football game (and I can say that because I am a big NFL fan). According to the Huffington Post, an average of 1,200 calories are consumed during the game - that's over half of your daily caloric intake! This year I was asked to bring dessert.  I hadn't baked any over the top treats since Christmas, so AJ encouraged me to "go all out."

The Super Bowl is all about simple comfort food, so I didn't want to do anything too gourmet. I thought about making whoopie pies until I stumbled upon a recipe for homemade hostess cupcakes. Now, I have never been a huge fan of hostess goodies - they were dry and a poor substitute for my mom's homemade baked goods. However, the homemade version of hostess cupcakes was something I could get behind. 

Combining the cocoa mixture with the butter-sugar mixture.
The first step is to choose a good cake recipe. I heard good things about Martha's devil's food recipe, and I am a big fan of her one bowl chocolate cupcakes, so I decided to try them out. The recipe was pretty easy to put together. Honestly, the hardest part of making cupcakes for me is pouring the batter into the tin evenly. Using an ice cream scoop helps though. :)
Adding the dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream.

Oh hello cuppycakes!
When the cupcakes have cooled you can start on the frosting and filling. The filling is one of the most important aspects of the hostess cupcake. Now some recipes say that you can use marshmallow fluff, but I wanted to do these totally from scratch. The perfect homemade filling is a 7-minute frosting. Several recipes called for cooking the filling mixture over the stove and beating it with a hand mixer. I have attempted this before and it is a crazy, hot mess (not unlike myself after a night of drinking). I have a kitchen aid standing mixer and I needed a recipe that didn't need the use of a hand mixer being plunged into boiling syrup. After a minute or two of googling I came across this one which is perfect for the standing mixer, with the added bonus of keeping scalding hot syrup from getting all over your skin. This turned out mounds of fluffy, white, marshmallow-y filling (for detailed instructions see here). NOMS!

Marshmallow-y goodness.

After the filling, comes the chocolate ganache frosting. I had the luck of having a sous chef who could make this for me (thanks honey)! I used the frosting recipe in the hostess cupcake blog. The trick with this one is to make sure you don't scald the cream. Then let the ganache cool a bit before proceeding to filling and frosting the cupcakes.

I used the cone method for filling these. Which is basically what it sounds like. First, cut out a cone from the cupcake, creating a hole inside (Note: I often carve out a little more from the cupcake to make a bigger hole). Cut off the tip of the cone. Place a teaspoon of filling inside the cupcake and then place the top back on. Drizzle ganache on top and repeat with remaining cupcakes. Save some of the filling for decorating with those trademark squiggles. I used a sandwich bag and it worked well.

Ready for my close-up!

These cupcakes were gobbled up at the Super Bowl party faster than the lights went out at the Super Dome! They were even better after a day in the fridge. Hmm next up hostess cupcake pancakes?
Oh my goodness.


gastronomer said...

These cupcakes look BOMB! And excellent job on the squiggles -- they're perfect.

Ariel said...

Thanks gastronomer! I hear you will be in the SF area soon. Any good eats planned?

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