Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! Hope you all have someone nice to share it with, and if not, hopefully you have a ton of delicious chocolate treats on hand for immediate consumption. That's the only reason anyone celebrates Valentine's Day, right? An excuse to go on an all-out, gluttonous chocolate binge? Yes? Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, I've been thinking long and hard about what I wanted to make for my Valentine's post. Something chocolate-y, obviously, but beyond that there were too many possibilities. Chocolate truffles? Maybe. Molten lava cake? Mmmmm. Chocolate covered strawberries? Decadent and healthy-ish, and possibly an aphrodisiac! But at the end of the day I settled on homemade Hostess cupcakes. There's something about reproducing homemade versions of popular commercial brand foods that really tickles me pink. Don't ask, I can't explain it either.
Is there anyone who didn't love Hostess cupcakes as a kid? Tender crumbly cake, sweet creme filling, rich chocolate topping that can be pulled away and eaten separately. Mmmm. Sure, the whole thing was a little too sweet and artificial-tasting, but I loved 'em anyway. I ate them every single day in high school until the day I discovered the wonders of glazed Honey Buns.
So, the homemade version. Awesome, but different. The cake is less sweet, probably because there is not a ton of sugar in the recipe. And, the entire outside is slightly crusty, like the top of a muffin -- I didn't use cupcake wrappers, so that could be why. But the cream filling, ganache topping and piping? Spot on. Tasted exactly like a Hostess cupcake should.
This was a very time-intensive dessert (so many steps -- baking, filling, icing, piping), but I was very pleased overall, and Dan gave his stamp of approval -- always a win in my book.
Recipe can be found here.