Isaac has a new found love, Ding Dongs. He went to a party a few weeks ago and was introduced to the little round cakester. He is hooked. I am a tad embarrassed to admit this, but I grew up on Ding Dongs, Ho-Ho’s, and Scooter Pies. Those were my snack of choice. With that said, I would NEVER think of buying them for my kids. Although I remember them being quite delicious, I just couldn’t bring them into my house.
I need a birthday cake for an upcoming celebration and after searching some books as well as my own personal library, I was not inspired. I turned to Tastespotting and did a search for “ding dong”. I found a few but the one that caught my eye was Smitten Kitten’s blog post dated February 26, 2008. I went back and fourth as to whether I should do hers or do the recipe I used for Eli’s birthday cupcakes. Because I had just made the cupcakes, I went for something new. Plus, hers were cake specific and I didn’t have a lot of time to test and re-test.
I made her cake in a large sheet pan. I went back and forth as to whether I should cut out circles, thus what to do with the scraps or to just cut in 2 1/2″ squares. You all know me, I can’t waste. So, I went for the squares. When the cake was removed from the pan, I loved the thickness. It was almost the perfect “ding-dong” height. However, when I cut them up, sliced them in half and filled them, they were uber-thick. Almost too thick. Regardless, continued on with the mission. While the cake was cooling, I made the butter cream. I love this butter cream. It is, if I must say, perfect. I also used the Lacquer Glaze from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I love Rose and love this book.
Next time, provided there is a next time, I will make them round. I will also, try to pipe the butter cream into the center rather than cut them in half. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious, I was just hoping for them to better replicate the “original” ! I made them too big. Big, small, whatever, everyone LOVED them…the were a huge hit.
Chocolate Devils Food Cake
2 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
• preheat oven to 300*, grease pans or cookie sheet (I used a large 10″ x 15″ cake pan ). line bottom with parchment and grease again
• chop chocolate + combine with hot coffee, let mixture stand, stir after 2 minutes and keep stirring until the mixture is smooth.
• sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs until thickened. slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, + melted chocolate/coffee mixture. add sugar/flour mixture and mix until just combined.
• pour batter into prepared pan. bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes).
• cool completely to room temperature. invert cake and peel off parchment.
• at this point, I cut the cake into 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares. then i cut them through the center, creating two equal halves. cut out a hole in the middle with a melon baller and then piped in some cream filling. put the top back on and then froze them on parchment lined cookie sheets.
Basic Butter Cream
4 oz. softened butter
4 cups sifted confection sugar
1 Tbls. vanilla
3 or more Tbl. milk (depending upon how thick you like it)
•mix to your desired thickness
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp. powdered gelatin
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbls. plus 1 tsp. corn syrup
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbls. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
• in a small bowl, place 1/4 cup cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. stir to moisten and allow to rest for 5 minutes. cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
• in small sauce pot, over medium heat, whisk sugar and 1/4 cup of water. stir constantly until sugar dissolves.
• remove the pan from the heat and gently whisk in the corn syrup & cocoa until smooth. the mixture should be glossy. stir in the heavy cream with a silicone spatula.
• return the pan to medium heat and stirring constantly, bring the mixture to the boiling point (190*). small bubbles will start to form.
• remove the pan from the heat and strain into a medium bowl. cool to 122*-140*. stir in the softened gelatin until dissolved.
• strain into a heatproof glass measuring cup. cool, stirring gently. the glaze coats best at 80*. this glaze is best used right away. this glaze is yummy.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com