Friday, 22 November 2013

Hostess Cupcakes From Scratch

If you haven't noticed already, I am completely obsessed with copycat recipes at the moment. I have dabbled with nutter butters, thin mints, tagalongs, peanut butter cups, and so much more. It is the best feeling to bake something in your very own kitchen, and it taste better than the store bought version. Today, I made Hostess cupcakes and boy were these guys tricky AND time consuming. But, the end result is what makes it all worth it. Go ahead, take a look!

*Makes: 14 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
  • 3 ounces (90g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
  • 1/3 cup (50g) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) brewed coffee, still hot
  • 3/4 cup (100g) strong bread flour
  • 3/4 (150g) cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
  • 1 cup (250g) marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, sifted
For the ganache frosting:
  • 2 1/2 ounces (90g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60g) heavy cream
For the pink icing:
  • 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloing (optional)


Step 1: Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper.

Step 2: Place the chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the mixture and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Step 3: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Step 4: Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and using a wooden spoon, mix until smooth.

Step 5: Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups (about 2 tablespoons per muffin casing). Bake cupcakes until set and just firm to the touch, 15-20 minutes (mine were in the oven for exactly 16 minutes, so just keep an eye on them after 15 minutes). Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes-1 hour before filling with marshmallow frosting.

Step 6: Make the filling: Add your butter to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Let it melt before adding your marshmallows. Keep mixing until all marshmallows have melted. Next, add half the powdered sugar and mix. Then add the remaining sugar and mix again until well combined. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large, round tip. Set aside until ready to use. 

Step 7: Make the ganache frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the stove, and immediately pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, then gently whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. Set aside to thicken for 5 to 10 minutes. (If your chocolate didn't melt completely after pouring the cream on top, put the bowl over a sauce pan, filled with water, on the stove and melt that way)

Step 8: Make the pink icing: Using a food processor, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla until completely blended and smooth. Add your food coloring and mix well. Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small, round tip and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 9: Assemble the cupcakes: Using the bottom of a large decorating tip, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down (you may need to use a knife like me to get all the cupcake out of the hole). Using the prepared pastry bag, pipe filling into the holes of each cupcake. 

Step 10: Once all of the cupcakes have been filled, take them one at a time and dip them, top-side-down, into the ganache. Dip them down to where the liners starts, so that the entire top is covered. Allow any excess to drip off, then place back on the cooling rack, right-side up. Once all of the cupcakes have been topped with ganache, transfer the cooling rack to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the ganache to firm up and set.

Step 11: Once the ganache is firm, take your pastry bag with the pink icing and pipe the decorative curls across the top of each cupcake. Allow to set for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

There you have it, hostess cupcakes from scratch!

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