Thursday, February 11, 2010

D is for Ding Dong

i just love that phrase
yer such a ding dong
ding dong the witch is dead
nothin' like a box of ding dongs
i never had a ding dong
until i was in college that is
when I was on my own
and could eat whatever i wanted
no matter how bad it was for me
my mom didn't believe in processed foods
she knew they existed
but they didn't exist in our california rancher
not when
for half the cost
you could have something
homemade and delicious
or an apple
which was her favorite go-to snack
outside of a piece of cheese

i can still hear her voice
when we would come home from school
and complain of hunger
have an apple or piece of cheese
can you imagine the neglect? 
(insert sarcasm here)
so you can understand when
an 18 year old
with a pocketful of change
would immediately buy
a box of ding dongs
and then wallow in the disappointment

unbelievably, what i was missing
was nothing
compared to 
peanut butter cookies
ding dongs pretty much suck
(my opinion)
but homemade ding dongs
pretty much rule
Amazing Devil's Food Cake
(printable recipe)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 1/2 cups hot coffee or hot water or mixture of the two (i use espresso with water)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 extra large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream + 1/2 cup milk or 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 
1 tsp vanilla
melt bittersweet chocolate in hot water/coffee.  Sift dry ingredients together (including sugar). Mix together the chocolate/coffee mixture, milk, sour cream and vanilla. In a mixer beat the eggs with the oil until thickened and doubled in volume (about 3-5 minutes).  Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.
Bake in 2-9" rounds that have been prepared with cooking spray and lined with baking paper. 
*note...for ding dongs, i make in a sheet pan and use a cookie cutter to cut the rounds.
Oven temp should be 350 and bake until tester comes out clean. For the sheet pan, it will go fast...about 20 minutes. For the cake rounds allow about 50 minutes, but check on it after 30 minutes.

Creamy Fluffy Filling
(printable recipe)
i recommend this for filling...but not for frosting. It is lightly sweet and very sturdy
1 cup milk
5 Tbs flour
11/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shortening--room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter--room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
Over low heat, cook milk and flour in a saucepan until it makes a thick paste. Use a whisk to break up lumps. Let cool.  In mixer using whisk attachment, beat shortening, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add in cooled flour paste and whip until light and fluffy.  Add more sugar if you want a sweeter taste.
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate--chopped
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tbs corn syrup
2 Tbs butter
Heat cream with sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.  Once cream begins to simmer and sugar is dissolved, pour over chocolate and butter. Let chocolate melt and then whisk together until it is thick and shiny..

To assemble: cut rounds of the chocolate cake. Spread a layer of filling on top of one round and top with a second round.  Fill in nooks and large gaps with a bit more filling.  Place in fridge to harden.  Meanwhile make ganache.  Set cakes on a cooling rack over a lined sheet pan.  Pour ganache over cooled cakes and gently tap the rack to move the ganache over the cake. Use a small spatula warmed over a flame to nudge and smooth out the ganache. 
Let cool at room temp or in the fridge if you are in a rush.  You may loose some of the gloss if you refrigerate.  Serve as is, or wrap in foil for authenticity!


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