Sunday, March 4, 2012

After School Snack Cakes

I freely admit to being a child of the 80's.  Roller skating, neon shirts, headbands, the whole she-bang. And snack cakes.  You may also remember a certain brand of snack cake, named after a former First Lady and promoted by Snoopy and the gang.  Yes, that's right, Dolly Madison Zingers!
These days, they've been bought out by their competitor, Snoopy is gone, and they're just not the same.  Plus, my girls can't have them.  So I thought I'd make a homemade version.  These are based on a vintage recipe for Golden Cake.  But, rather than try to make an exact copy of the original cakes, I decided that I'd make a more decadent version.  They're not healthy, but they're not loaded with hydrogenated fat, either.  Especially if you use Spectrum shortening and Ghiradelli chips - neither of which contained hydrogenated fats.

Homemade Zingers

6 Tsbp butter
1 c. + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 ½ c. Fancy Flour Blend OR
1/2 c. millet flour
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
3/4 c. white rice flour
1/4 c. tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 c. milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
5 oz chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a mini loaf pan either by greasing and flouring, or with nonstick spray.  Now, normally, I don't like nonstick spray because it tends to be very difficult to clean off my pans and builds up in brown layers over time.  But I tried both, and had less of a sticking problem with the spray.  

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum.  Set aside. 
Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

Add milk and flour mixture alternately, then beat on medium for about 2 minutes, until smooth.  Fill wells in mini loaf pan about 1/2 full.  A 2 oz disher made this easy and nearly perfect.

Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Melt the chocolate.  Your choice of chocolate will determine how dark your chocolate cakes come out.    I used 70% Lindt chocolate, and got a medium chocolate. 

Now, if like me, you only have one loaf pan, stir the chocolate into the remaining batter, then wait until your vanilla cakes have baked, wash the pan, and regrease it.  Since our batter has been sitting for a while, stir in another 1/2 tsp of baking powder.  Then pour the chocolate batter into the pans and bake as before.
I filled mine with the Brave Tart's German Buttercream.  (Yep.  Again.  It's my go-to buttercream for lots of reasons.)  This time, I made a 1/2 batch, substituting 1/2 c. shortening for one stick of butter just for stability.  Load the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  This will allow you to poke into the cakes and gently squeeze in some filling.  Don't overdo it, or they'll "blow up."  I filled mine from the top, which will be covered by frosting anyway.

The original frosting isn't so much a frosting as a coating, and I didn't think that a sugar-based frosting was going to make an acceptable substitute.  So I went with whipped ganache, instead.

Whipped ganache

8 oz white chocolate chips
8 oz chocolate chips (I used 1/2 milk and 1/2 dark)
2 c. heavy cream

Place white chips in one bowl, and chocolate chips in another.  Heat the cream until it steams, and tiny bubbles form at the edges.  Pour 1 c. of cream over each variety of chips.  Allow to stand for 3-4 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Refrigerated until cold.  Beat on high speed until ganache is thickened and fluffy.  Frost cakes, then pull a serrated knife or a fork across tops to form the characteristic ridges.

Ba-Zinger!

You can store them in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge.  Though if your house is like mine, they won't last long enough to worry about it.


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