Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Giant Hostess Cupcake

Update 7/21: I jumped the gun on this one - don't do it! I had a terrible experience with this cake last night. The vanilla cream filling was horrid. I was up until midnight replacing the filling with a homemade whipped cream. I don't ever want to make this cake again, as cute as the idea was.

You know the one - the chocolate cupcake with the sqiggle of white frosting on top, and the creamy middle. I'm making a giant version for a coworker's birthday next week, and I couldn't wait until after the project to post the idea - it's just too good. Shhh... it's a surprise. Recipe courtesy of Baking Bites.

Giant Hostess Cupcake
2 batches of chocolate cake (4 layers, total)
1 batch vanilla cream filling
1 batch rich chocolate frosting (recipe below)

Take all four (cooled) chocolate cake layers and level the domed tops using a large, serrated knife. Using a large biscuit cutter or a paring knife, cut an approx. 5-inch circle from the center of each of two of the cake layers.
Stack one uncut layer on a cake plate or serving tray and place the two center-less layers on top of it. Fill the center of the cake with the vanilla cream filling. Reserve about 1-2 tbsp of filling to make the squiggle on top of the cake.
Place final uncut layer on top of the filling to seal it in.
Frost entire cake with a thin layer of rich chocolate frosting. Using a large offset spatula will give you the smoothest finish.Place reserved vanilla filling into a plastic bag and cut off the corner. Pipe filling onto top of the cake in a squiggly line to finish.
Cake can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature.

Vanilla Cream Filling
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
1/2 cup butter (or trans fat-free shortening)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes. Sir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil. When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.
When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until light. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electrick mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off.

Rich Chocolate Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt together butter and chocolate in a medium-sized, microwave safe bowl. Work in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir frequently, and continuing until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes). Add in confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

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