Kitchen Karma & Home-Made Hostess Cupcakes

Karma in the kitchen. It's real- and it's cruel.

I wanted to make some home-made hostess cupcakes for my brother's BBQ but didn't want to spend an entire Friday night doing so. As I read the directions from Not So Humble Pie's version, I made note of the boxed Devil's Food cake... a carnal sin of 'foodies.' Oh well! Boxed cake isn't bad cake! Save myself some time to kick back on the ol' couch. Right?

The Gods of the Kitchen heard this whisper in my soul... and were angered. 'Foodies' don't use boxed cake. Foodies suffer and make the 'real deal.'

First, the grocery store told me they discontinued selling Marshmallow fluff... Say what now? Went to another store. No fluff either. Conspiracy? I decided to make some homemade fluff which I've never done before. When the time came, I learned it calls for buttermilk. Which I did not have. So I cheated with some emergency mix.

Open the oven to find- the cake is not rising. This is boxed cake! Doesn't it come with an anti-f*ck up guarantee? The liner that NotSoHumble recommends stuck to the bottom. It was a pain to pop out. They fell apart in the process and I got burned. Then a pan full of water fell on the floor by the sink thanks to my cat.

Dumped the cake. Cleaned the dishes. Snatched a recipe from David Lebowitz. Prayed I had enough cocoa for the cake. Made ganache. Stared at the 5 cups of Marshmallow fluff I had created when I only needed one. Oh well...

Lesson learned. They're called short cuts for a reason... cuz they'll cut you.

The home-made Devil's Food cake was perfectly rich and moist. What separates this chocolate cake from the rest is the use of cocoa instead of melted chocolate, hot water, and coffee. It's similar to angel food cake, but not as firm. Don't want this texture for your Hostess cupcake? Use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, like this one!

This Hostess cupcake schools the one you'll find at the grocery store. The ganache is thick. The cake fluffy. The filling is smooth. Plus- you get to decorate it however you please! Get creative : )

Cake

9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup strong coffee (or water)
½ cup whole or low-fat milk

Fluff

3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
7 oz jar marshmallow creme

Ganache

6 oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream

Decor

3 ounces white chocolate, plus #2 tip

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 cupcake tins or jumbo muffin tins- depending on how big you want these. I did a mix because it was a BBQ and I wanted to make sure everyone got some.

For the cake.... Sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat together the butter and sugar about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Scrap down the sides as you go! Make it even.

Mix together the coffee and milk. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, the add the coffee and milk. Finally stir in the other half of the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter into the cupcake tins, filling 3/4s full, and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For the filling... beat together fluff and mutter. Set in fridge to chill. Using a biscuit cutter (for the jumbo muffins) or an apple corer (regular cupcakes), remove the middle of the cake. Fill with the marshmallow mix.

For the ganache... set the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl on the side. In a small sauce pan, bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate- mix till smooth. This takes awhile to cool, be patient. It thickens up rather nicely and is super easy to frost. Cheat cheat- set the bowl of ganache on top of a bowl of ice.

For the decor... Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, heating in increments and stirring often. It can scorch easily!

Using a piping bag with #2 tip, pipe away to your heart's content. Or go crazy with sprinkles.