I saw these totally retro, devilishly chocolate, homemade Twinkies on Simple Math Bakery’s site last week (check Jeanne’s site out…much better photos there my friends). They immediately brought back memories of sitting in the school lunch shelter at turquoise painted picnic tables (gum stuck to the underneath of course), chatting with my friends and trading chips and cookies when someone had what you wanted.
When I broke into my lunch, I immediately had to check out the dessert action first. I have always had a very bad sweet tooth I’m afraid.
The best (and worst for you) part of any kid’s 70′s lunch, if she was worth her salt, was the Hostess surprise inside. Whether it was a semi-stale bright yellow Twinkie or the foil wrapped Devil’s food, Ding Dong, Hostess was the king of the Snack world in the 70′s…though, sadly and very gratefully, not any more.
My mom was fairly health conscious, even when it wasn’t trendy, so my lunch box didn’t have these treats very often…unless my dad had done the grocery shopping instead that week. Then our cupboards were full of the “don’ts”; Cocoa Krispies, Doritos and Hostess. As horrible as all that crap was (and is!), I would anxiously await those magical lunches when it was stuffed with “the crap”.
As I grew a little older and wiser, I learned that Twinkies, although very cute and perky, were not exactly what the package claimed them to be. They were rarely moist, suspiciously bright yellow and stayed in the same semi-fresh state for months (probably years) if you… hypothetically speaking…accidentally left one in an old lunch box and decided to give it a taste.
Thankfully, the ones here today only share the same shape…perhaps stir up a few memories, but happily taste nothing like the originals. These are rich, decadent and chocolatey, and they are Jeanne’svery own recipe. Her blog is one of my faves, and you should definitely check it out, and then you will be hooked. I used my favorite Chuao Cacao Rouge cocoa powder which I am presuming is the reason my little cakes are much darker than hers. Either way, you will not be disappointed.
For a traditional Yellow Homemade Twinkie recipe, go here.
Simple Math Bakery’s Very Own “Death by Chocolate” Twinkies
Feel free to make this into cupcakes so you don’t need to buy a special pan. It will work great!
For me, it made about 15 Twinkies…for Jeanne it made 20…this does not shock me, my first batch were fairly hefty.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
7 eggs, separated
Chocolate Cream Filling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (I used half and half)
1/4 cup cocoa powder, best quality makes a huge difference
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Cakes: Spray coat a “Canoe Pan” or fill cupcake pan with liners. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a balloon whisk attachment beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Scoop out and set aside in another bowl.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together flour through salt. Add oil, water, vanilla and egg yolks. Combine, using the paddle attachment beat on medium until smooth.
Using a rubber scraper, gently fold in 1/3 of the eggwhites and repeat until combined. If you are using a canoe pan, fill half way carefully spooning your batter into the spaces. Otherwise, fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.
For Twinkies, bake for about 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for five minutes and then carefully release them and cool on a wire rack.
For cupcakes, 15-22 minutes. Cool cupcakes similarly.
Cakes must be COMPLETELY COOL to fill with cream.
While the cakes are baking, make your filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder and flour. Add the milk slowly, whisking until smooth. Then heat and cook on medium, stirring constantly. From Jeanne’s instructions, “When the mixture becomes a paste (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside to cool completely.”
In the top portion of a double boiler, heat the chocolate chips just until they melt. Remove from heat and allow to cool until just barely warm. If you would prefer to melt the chocolate in the microwave, simply put them in a microwave proof bowl and heat for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until smooth.
“With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat until combined. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and beat for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.”
To fill Twinkies: I used the pastry cream filler tool that came with the pan, but you can use a pastry bag fitted with either a cupcake filling tip or any regular tip will work fine too (star tip, whatever). Hold Twinkie in one hand upside down and squirt the filling into three place in the bottom. I did not have luck with getting enough filling into the crevice. In the future, I might use a cupcake corer to remove pieces of the cake and then fill. The filling was plenty thick to stay in though so the filling was not the problem. It was the baker.
To fill cupcakes: Core out a piece of the cupcake with a cupcake corer, apple corer or simply a paring knife and then fill with a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Frost. Use the frosting from this post; it’s the bomb and would go with the cream filling smashingly.
Enjoy your this rich and creamy retro snack and think back to your lunch table days.