Although rare, there were a few disadvantages in having a father who was a baker. The major issue, as I saw it, when I was 8, was that I was not allowed to indulge in various childhood treats that others took for granted. Chips Ahoy? Nope. Wonder Bread? Nada. Hostess Cupcakes? Not on your life. I had to enjoy these forbidden treats surreptitiously at my best friend’s house, since none of them could pass Daddy’s strict culinary standards. While my cravings for a Chips Ahoy cookie or a slice of Wonder Bread have long since gone away (what was I thinking?), I am still a sucker for the treat of all treats—the Hostess Cupcake.
I was contemplating that wonderful creation one day a couple of years ago, when suddenly I was struck with an inspiration……what if I made my own cream filled cupcakes? Would it be possible? Would it be difficult? What the heck; why not give it a try? So, I pulled three different recipes out of my file and I came up with this one:
Cathy’s Cream Filled Cupcakes
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
I don’t get fancy with these. Just put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes until it’s all blended. The batter will be very thin. Line the cupcake pans with liners (this recipe will make 28-30 cupcakes) and fill the liners a little over ½ full. I use a large measuring cup for this part, since the batter is so thin. Bake them at 350 ° for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let them cool completely.
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar (powdered sugar will make this too sweet, trust me)
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
Whisk the flour and the milk together in a small saucepan until the mixture is very smooth. Heat this over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it gets thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and place the flour mixture in a small bowl, covering the top with plastic wrap. Allow this to cool to room temperature (chill in the refrigerator if necessary).
Whisk, whisk, whisk!!
Then whisk some more...we don't want lumps.
Place the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl (preferably, use a stand mixer). Beat at high speed for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the cooled flour mixture and the vanilla and continue to beat for 5-10 minutes or until the filling is very creamy and no sugar granules remain. Since I don’t have a splatter guard, I cover the mixer with a towel while it is beating, so I don’t find frosting flung across the kitchen.
In my original recipe, I scaled back on the ingredients for the filling because I always have so much left over. But what the heck, go ahead and make the full batch and just use the leftovers to frost graham crackers. Yummy.
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini-chips)
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium/low heat until it just comes to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 2 minutes.Using a wooden spoon, stir the chocolate and the cream until well-blended.
To assemble the cupcakes, begin by filling a pastry bag with the butter cream filling. Fit an appropriate tip on the pastry bag. I originally said to use a #5 tip. Sadly, my dog chewed up the good set of tips that I had (…sigh…I can’t keep anything nice) so I found a nice long plastic tip that works well. Push the tip into the top of a cupcake and pipe in enough filling that you see the top of the cupcake just ready to break. Repeat for each cupcake.
When all of the cupcakes have been filled, prepare the chocolate ganache. Take a cupcake and swirl the top in the chocolate glaze, covering the top of the cupcake; repeat for each one. Let the cupcakes sit for a few minutes, so the glaze hardens and then pipe some of the leftover filling in a swirl over the top of the cupcakes.
For an extra special treat, make the cupcakes in mini-muffin pans. So cute!
I think even my father would have approved!