So because I have already conquered making Twinkies from scratch. I was asked to tackle making ding dongs. Sounds simple enough, if you are not a Celiac, or Gluten Intolerant. I was skeptical, but ended up succeeding! These Ding Dongs are amazing, and no you cannot tell they are gluten free. Are you skeptical? I bet you are thinking... "oh I would be able to tell they are gluten free". I challenge you. I passed these puppies through 8 teenagers. Only one of which has Celiac (That being Taylor of course). Every single one of the kids gobbled them up and wanted seconds. Then, and only then, did I tell them they were gluten free. That is when the "OH MY GOSH! NO WAY's!" start flying. If you attempt these, I would love for you to comment and tell me about the reactions you get. These are going to make so many kids happy! I threw myself on two of them
First you have to start with the cakes:
1-1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum if your flour does not already contain it (for gf only)
1-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup (+) 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 egg whites
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2-1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spray two cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray ( if you are gluten free make sure to never use pam baking spray, it has wheat in it!).
In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
Add oil and buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running on low speed, add eggs one at a time; beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add coffee and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans, filling cups just shy of 1/2 full. You are going to end up having to do this for 2 batches.
Bake cupcakes in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
Make filling while cakes are cooking.
Combine 1-1/2 cups sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Boil sugar mixture without stirring until it reaches the soft-ball stage, 238° F.
While the sugar is cooking, place the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl. Using either the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Then, gradually pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl. Raise speed to high and beat until cool and stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
Preparing the ganache coating. In a large bowl, combined chocolate and corn syrup. Pour heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Remove pan from heat and pour over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for 2 minutes.
Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth. Let the ganache sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before use.
Place the prepared frosting into a small zip-top storage bag or pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip.
With a sharp pointed knife make a tiny slit in the underside of each cupcake. Gently insert the tip into the underside of each cupcake, about halfway through the cake. Gently squeeze a small amount of filling into the cupcake. You should feel the cake expand under your fingers.
Working with a few at a time, gently drop the filled cupcakes into the bowl of ganache. Use a fork to spread chocolate over the top side of each cupcake. Remove chocolate coated cakes from the ganache and transfer to a wax paper lined pan to set.
Store Ding Dongs’s tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you have a bunch of teens around like I do, they won't last more than a day.