Monday, May 30, 2011

Ding Dong Cupcakes

These are FABULOUS. The filling is my favorite part...And I don't even like regular ding dongs!

Ding Dong Cupcakes
-from Our Best Bites-

Cupcakes :
1 c. Flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
4 Tbs. butter, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. luke warm water
1/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with FOIL liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, brown sugar, and butter together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not over beat.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups- use a pam-sprayed cookie scoop for even filling. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Anywhere from 15-20 minutes- don’t over bake! Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove them and let them cool.

Prepare the filling and place in a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with the tip cut off.

Vanilla Cream Filling:
3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it’s all I have and it’s actually fine)
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. You should end up with a nice, smooth mixture. It’s almost like pudding before it’s set. Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Don’t be scared. It’s going to look like a goopy mess and kind of lumpy and separated. Beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes until fluffy and light.

There are 2 ways to fill a cupcake. Use whichever method you prefer. Then top cupcakes with ganache.

Method 1: Take a pastry bag with a regular tip on it and place it directly in the center of the cupcake. Press out filling while slowly pulling the bag up and out.

Method 2: Take a sharp knife and remove the center of the cupcake in a cone shape. Place filling inside, cut the bottom of the “cone” off, and place the top part back on.

Chocolate Ganache :
3/4 c. Cream
2 Tbs. real butter, melted
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Place chocolate in a bowl. Pour melted butter over it. Place cream in microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes- it needs to be at a simmer. Immediately pour over chocolate and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 3 minutes and then stir until smooth. Let it cool until it’s a good spreading consistency and then spread on top of filled cupcakes.

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