I spotted these Hostess cupcake look-alikes in the February/March edition of the Food Network Magazine. The recipe is provided by Sally Russo, the owner of Lulu’s Bake Shoppe in Boston. With their shiny, smooth ganache topping, these cupcakes looked mouth-wateringly good. I’ve wanted to try making them since I bought the magazine a month ago, but figured they were worth saving for a special occasion. Since my husband and I did not out on Valentine’s Day, these were the perfect treat for our night in.
Since I filled the muffin cups a little more than I should have, I ended up with 21 cupcakes, and not a full 2 dozen. Despite the fact that the cupcakes baked through perfectly, the centers of most of them did not rise completely. Filling the cupcakes was easier then I thought, but I had a hard time following the “do not overfill” direction. I only used about half of the filling. I’m not sure if this is because my dimpled cupcakes had less room for filling, or because it’s a generous recipe.
I ran into a little bit of trouble with the ganache topping. I think I let is cool a little too long, so it started to set up as I was still working on the cupcakes. Because of this, the ganache went on thickly and only a few of the cupcakes have a really glossy finish. The finished product still looked and tasted great.
This cream-filled cupcake recipe was pretty time-consuming to work through, simply because there were so many components. None of the steps are complicated, but you need to prepare the cupcakes, cream filling, ganache topping and decorator frosting. It’s a lot of work for one baking session. Next time, I will plan to bake and fill the cupcakes one day, and then top them with ganache and frosting the following day.
These cream-filled cupcakes were well worth the time I invested. The cupcake itself has a rich chocolate flavor, and a dense, moist consistency. The cream filling is a fun, sweet surprise and the bittersweet ganache topping is rich and smooth. I will be definitely be making these again!
Lulu’s Cream Filled Cupcakes
Yields 24 cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
FOR THE FILLING
4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
FOR THE GANACHE AND ICING
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick, plus 1 tbsp butter
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Place paper liners in two 12-cup muffin pans.
2. Prepare the cupcakes. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about three minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
Using a mixer, beat in the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in teh center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Using a mizer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tbsp heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tbsp heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside.
5. Prepare the ganache: Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tbsp butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 tsp vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.
6. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag wit a medium tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). Dip the cupcake tops in the ganache. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, prepare the icing: using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 tsp vanilsl, the milk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip; pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.