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Feb 24, 2018
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Recipe: Strawberry-Filled Hostess Cupcakes

February 12th 03:02pm, 2018

 

020918_baked

 

Hostess CupCakes are a source of nostalgia for many, and I’m sure purists won’t appreciate my messing with a classic. Still, I’ve always wondered what I could do with different flavors of filling, so I infused the sugary marshmallow with pulverized Trader Joe’s freeze-dried strawberries. These are extremely potent – the flavor is just as strong as fresh strawberries. I also added a tiny drop of lavender extract to give the filling a rounded floral note, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have lavender at hand.

These moist, super soft cupcakes contain a gooey, sticky filling that smells and tastes like fresh strawberries, all topped with a thick, fudgy chocolate ganache. It’s a pleasant twist on a classic, minus all the preservatives and transfats. Happy Valentine’s Day – and happy baking!

 

Strawberry-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from recipes from Cook’s Illustrated and My Baking Addiction
24 cupcakes

1½ cup hot coffee
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
⅔ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 tsp. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups bread flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp. water
¼ tsp. lavender extract (optional)
1 1.2-ounce bag Trader Joe’s freeze-dried strawberries, pulverized to a powder
½ cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coffee, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder until the chocolate melts completely. Refrigerate or let rest until it comes to room temperature.
• Whisk in the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla, then use a spatula to fold in the flour, 1½ cups sugar, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.
• Evenly divide the batter between the cupcake liners. Bake about 17 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• Use a knife or a cupcake corer to make ½-inch wide-wells in the top of each cupcake, being careful not to go through the bottom. Reserve the removed pieces of cake. Set aside.
• In a saucepan over medium heat, bring a few inches of water to a simmer. Place the remaining ½ cup sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, water, the remaining pinch of salt and lavender, if using, in a small stainless-steel bowl, then place the bowl over the saucepan to create a double boiler. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients constantly until it reaches 175 degrees, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
• Use an electric beater on high speed to whip the mixture until it becomes soft and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the strawberry powder and beat again until combined.
• Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marshmallow filling to decorate the cupcakes. Use a spoon to fill the holes in each cupcake with around 1 tablespoon filling, but don’t fill completely. Cover each hole with the reserved pieces of cake. The marshmallow should be completely encased inside the cupcake. Set aside.
• In a small saucepan over medium to low heat, warm the cream until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the semisweet chocolate and the butter until just submerged. Let rest 2 minutes, then whisk gently until the chocolate melts. Let cool until it’s warm to the touch.
• Use a spoon to spread about 2 tablespoons on top of each cupcake. Let rest 30 minutes to cool and firm up.
• Place the remaining 2 tablespoons marshmallow filling in a small zip-top bag. Snip 1 corner and use to pipe loops or other designs on the cupcakes.

Photo by Amrita Song 

Amrita Song is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who blogs at A Song in Motion

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By Amrita Song

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