Storm the Cassoulet

Homemade Hostess Cakes

on April 12, 2013

IMG_2293edit

Ingredients:

FOR THE CUPCAKES

1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

FOR THE FILLING

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 Tbsp heavy cream

1 cup marshmallow crème

FOR THE GANACHE

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

FOR ICING

4 Tbsp butter, softened

1 Tbsp milk

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

Method:

Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray muffin tins (18-20 muffins) with non-stick baking spray (or line with paper liners).

MAKE THE CUPCAKES: Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl. 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. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Place the chocolate mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs, beating on medium speed until well combined, then mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Fill each muffin about 1/2 way (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

MAKE THE FILLING: While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.

MAKE THE GANACHE: Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 tsp. vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

FILL THE CUPCAKES: Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It’s OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.

FROST THE CUPCAKES: When the ganache has cooled enough to work with, spoon a tablespoon of ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

PREPARE THE ICING: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly Q’s onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.

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