Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A different cupcake method

The Home Baker Copyright 2006

Scant 1 cup water
6 tbsp butter
Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
Scant 1 5/8 cups all-purpose flour

1 ¾ oz semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
4 tbsp water
3 ½ tbsp butter
1 ¾ oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 20 muffin paper cases.

Put the water, butter, superfine sugar and syrup in a pan over low heat and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Put the milk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the baking soda and stir to dissolve. Sift the cocoa and flour into a separate bowl and add the syrup mixture. Stir in the milk mixture and beat until smooth.

Carefully spoon the batter into the paper cases to come within two-thirds of the tops. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool.

To make the frosting, melt the semisweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl with half the water and half the butter set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and let stand over the water. Repeat with the white chocolate and remaining water and butter.

Stir half the confectioners’ sugar into each bowl and beat until smooth and fudgy. Divide the frosting between the cakes, filling to the tops of the paper cases. Let cool and set before serving.

(I only made chocolate frosting.)

I was intrigued by this recipe. No eggs? I've seen eggless cupcakes before but this was different. It starts with making a syrup? I was too curious not to try it.

My first impression was that the cake wasn't sweet enough and the frosting was too sweet. The next day, however, I thought they had a nice balance. This is a good recipe to make ahead of time. This is also a good recipe to make if you don't want an overly sweet cupcake - just use a different frosting.

The texture was interesting - not dry, not classically moist. There was something about this cupcake that reminded me of a commercial snack cake. Not a Tastycake but maybe something from Drake's or Hostess. I plan on making these again and adding a cream filling and frosting.

My only beef is that they didn't look anything like the picture in the cookbook. In the picture they had flat tops and smooth frosting but I'm sure I could fix the difference by putting less batter in each cup and thinning the frosting out a bit more.

I know, the measurements are sort of funky in this recipe - 'scant', 'generous' - those terms bug me in a baking recipe. 1 5/8 of a cup???? I believe the cookbook was originally published using the metric system hence the weirdness.

Question of the Day: Do you like any commercial snack cake items? I will admit that as much as I like to bake from scratch there are some commercial snack cake items that I still love. Tastycake pies (especially the coconut cream). Tastycake Honeybuns (with the glaze not the frosting). There are probably others that I would still like but I don't really have room in my diet for anything more than the occasional Tastycake. My son can't eat a lot of that stuff (peanut allergy, shared lines, yada yada) so I'm limited to things they sell at the store near work. Anyone remember Zingers? Like a Twinkie with rasberry on the outside and dipped in coconut? I haven't seen those in a long time but I would grab them if I saw them.


HotHeaded said...

I love hostess cupcakes. The orange are my favorite.
I have seen Zingers in stores around here. But I have never tried them.

Sheila said...

I love banana flips--I haven't had one since I was about 9 and I am 45 now but I can still taste them. I'm not sure who made them--probably Hostess. Remember the orange Ding Dongs? I think those only came out around Halloween--I liked those too. I grew up in Louisiana so I am not sure if those were regional or not. Sheila

Jennifer said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Zingers! I see them at the gas station every once in a while. I have to force myself to walk away.

Oh man--I've had a long day and now I want a zinger.

Tracy said...

Oh gosh do I love Hostess Cupcakes. Yours look good too!

Anonymous said...

Only about any one that was ever made. :/