Make Your Own Hostess Snacks (Ding Dong’s, Anyone?)
Stock your shelves and say your good-byes, because the Hostess Brand is no more. The bankrupt Twinkie manufacturer is going out of business after the company failed to come to an agreement with its striking bakers, which means we must part with our beloved Ding Dong’s, Ho Ho’s, and Twinkies.
As an ode to all the good times we’ve had with these classic snacks, we’re showing you how to re-create them at home. There’s no telling how fast grocery stores will run out of whatever stock they have left!
Homemade Ding DongsCake Ingredients: 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee 3 cups sugar 2 1/2 cups flour 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process) 2 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp baking powder 1 1/4 tsp salt 3 eggs 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk 3/4 tsp vanilla Frosting Ingredients: 2 egg whites 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup light corn syrup 2 Tbsp water 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract Ganache Ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces
Cake AssemblyPreheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don't have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
For the FrostingCombine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.
Now Onto the Filling...Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
Final TouchesOnce the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls. Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with 7-minute frosting and replace top of cake. Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving.
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