Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I ate a Hostess cupcake on the day that should have been my FODMAP wheat challenge. This was silly because Hostess cupcakes, though they are delightful creations, contain high fructose corn syrup. I also had a couple of Honey Maid Graham Crackers topped with Nutella. Honey is high in fructose. Nutella probably has lactose. There was too much -tose. It was not my most intelligent evening of feeding myself. I did not properly challenge wheat. I paid for it with a rough night of overactive stomach.

But I love Hostess cupcakes. Love. It was a happy day when those cakes returned from bankruptcy. "Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever," they say. I agree.

The recipe for homemade Hostess cupcakes I found on the Internet would not be something I would normally undertake to perform even to avoid the now dread fructose. It has way too many steps, but it occurred to me that the cake in these cupcakes is quite similar to the cake in a certain dessert that I've really been craving. I decided to give the cupcakes a whirl with the added benefit of baking a sheet cake to be used for a copy cat version of the hot fudge ice cream cake found these days only in King's Family Restaurants.

The recipe calls for brewed coffee. Coffee as it turns out, brings out the flavor of chocolate creating the really black color you see in a Hostess cupcake. As I do not drink coffee, this was a bit of a challenge in itself. I visited three establishments before getting assistance from a Giant Eagle employee to pump my own.

I had hoped to avoid the embarrassment of being a grown woman that doesn't know how to self-serve coffee by driving through Wendy's. It wasn't open. Starbucks had no parking spaces. Thankfully, Giant Eagle's workers were friendly and only slightly amused at my inexperience.

I followed the recipe closely except that I cut a little lid in each cupcake so that there would be cake above the filling. Hostess injects their filling from the side, so I figured a nice smooth top would be closer to the original.

Reviews on these were mixed.

Tim and I found the cupcakes quite delicious although nothing at all like a Hostess. The ganache on these is simply divine. If I'm being honest, the topping of the store bought version tastes exactly like plastic. The filling was superb. The cake... not so much. It was a little dry and tended more toward a brownie than the nice springy cake I was hoping for.

Julia had no use for them at all. She liked the filing, but disliked even the word "ganache." There was still a cupcake in the refrigerator after a whole week. No one loved it.

A box of Hostess cupcakes is worth the $3.99. The homemade version has to run about $12 per cake.

But, those were just a distraction on the way to the real culinary masterpiece: the hot fudge ice cream cake. The sheet cake was a bit dry on the first night, but I discovered a happy side effect from freezing the leftovers. The microwave defrost made the cake moist and springy. It's some kind of kitchen magic that I still don't quite understand.

King's has nothing on this. From now on all Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake desserts will be made at home.

The Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake Recipe
Homemade Hostess Cupcake Cake
Homemade Fudge
Breyer's Ice Cream (fructose-free!)
Whipped Cream
Make it look like the picture and enjoy!