Oh yes, I’m out of the country. Sorry for any delays in responses or little tech bugs that pop up while I’m gone. Enjoy this series of cakes while I’m off remembering what life was like before internet access.
My father raised his brothers on spaghettios and twinkies. Ding dongs were a special occasion treat. To him, Hostess was totally normal and definitely a good thing to feed to children. My mother, excellent woman that she is, did not allow anything Hostess inside our house for years, and on this point, there was no debate. No Hostess.
Thus, twinkies and ding dongs and hohos became our little rebellion. We’d stop at the gas station twenty minutes from home and Dad would run in a buy us some contraband, which we would consume before brushing crumbs off our faces and hiding the evidence in the trash can. This usually worked best when there was only one or two kids in the car – less chance of spilling the beans.
For Dad, I’ve been known to haul Pinguinos home from Mexico, a little smashed under the bottle of Kahlua, but as fresh as the day they were baked. Thus, for Father’s Day it was only fitting to make him a giant Ding Dong.
Apparently, this hit the spot. I will admit to some nerve making moments. I was terrified the top layer of cake would collapse into the cream filled hole. I was certain this cake would be uncuttable, like one of those custard pies that never quite sets. And I knew that it would be oh so sweet. But you know what? I was declared World’s Coolest Daughter for this cake, so apparently all my fears were in vain.
Notes: The cake for this is pretty soft. I’d recommend judicious use of the freezer as you put this cake together. It also was very sweet, just so you know.
Giant Ding Dong Cake
Allow three hours. Makes one 9″ round cake.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1) Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans.
2) Cream together butter and sugar until creamy, then add eggs one at a time.
3) Sift together all dry ingredients. Mix water and milk together in separate bowl.
4) Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, then the water and milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients.
5) Divide batter between pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6) Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks until room temperature.
1) Set water to simmer in a sauce pan large enough to hold a metal bowl with all your frosting ingredients. (Keep in mind that the frosting will fluff up considerably.)
2) Combing all frosting ingredients in that metal bowl. Set bowl in a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a mixer* until frosting is thick and fluffy. Remove from heat and continue to beat until frosting has cooled slightly.
1) Bring cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat – make sure sugar has dissolved.
2) Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Add butter in pieces and continue to stir until smooth.
3) Allow to cool to spreadable consistency. If you use the fridge, remove every 5-10 minutes and stir to ensure a consistent texture.
1) Cut one of the cake layers in half horizontally.** Place on plate or cake platter, spread with a thin layer of filling.
2) Place second, whole layer on top of the first half layer. Using a knife, carefully cut a 6″ round hole in the middle of the cake. Use a spoon to remove the cake.***
3) Fill the hole with the filling, then spread leftover filling in a thicker layer to the edge of the second layer.**** Reserve 1/4 cup filling.
4) Carefully place the second half layer on top of the cake, sealing in your ding dong.
5) Frost top and sides with chocolate frosting.
6) Using the reserved filling from step three, pipe loops across the top of the cake. *****
*This is one of the few times when you actually must use a hand mixer. You can’t whip fast enough by hand to make this frosting.
**An easy way to do this is to take a long piece of dental floss, wrap it around the cake sides like a belt, then tighten slowly – it’ll cut right through the cake. You can also use a large bread knife or a fancy cake cutter tool.
***Yum. Leftover cake pieces.
**** If you really want to be authentic, don’t spread the filling over the rest of the layer, but it tastes so good, I think you should. (Rhyme.)
***** A ziploc bag with the corner snipped is the perfect piping tool here.