Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Convenient Ganachey Icing

I don't have a good name for my hybrid icing, so I'll refer to it as ganachey icing. Ganache is a term for a chocolate icing with two main ingredients—chocolate (squares, chips, candies, etc.) and heavy cream. The white icing equivalent is white chocolate and heavy cream. A typical ganache to me is the chocolate icing on Hostess cupcakes.

My alternative to heavy cream is canned frosting. The convenience is microwaving two items and not having to boil cream. Anyway, the ratio is typically half "candy" and half frosting, by weight. For cupcakes, I tend to use 8 ounces of candy (Wilton, chocolate or other flavor chips, candy bars, "bark", ...) and 8 ounces of frosting for a batch of cupcakes cut into 48 halves.

You can be as flexible and adventuresome with icing flavors and cake shapes as you want. For that matter, the ganachey icing is good also on cookies and rice crispy bars/squares. I have not ever tried icing a whole cake because I tend to make bite-size desserts.

Melt the candy in a microwave. Follow instructions for melting if the package has them. Otherwise, microwave a minute at a time, using a spoon to test for meltedness each time. When it's melted, spoon in the frosting, stir, and microwave the mixture until it's a syrupy texture. Spread or dip items as desired.

  • The first batch of images show icing one mini-cupcake. Coverage should be about 60 (one cake mix box recipe). YMMV for how many bite-sizers you ice.
  • The second batch of images show icing a sheet of chocolate rice crispy treats, then cutting and arranging the squares into a container. Yes, that's a squeegie handle I use for spreading the warm ganachey icing—clean!

In case mentioning Hostess cupcakes triggers a Pavlovian response and you want to try making your own, do a Google search for "homemade hostess cupcakes recipe". Of several recipes I've viewed, these bakers are serious scratch-recipe people! One recipe that is particularly eye-catching for details and pictures is Faux Hostess Cupcakes - Childhood Lunchbox Memories. A secondary source for reasonable information is Homemade Hostess Cupcakes.

I myself would probably just be casual enough to bake from a box cake mix recipe, squirt in canned frosting, pour and spread my ganache recipe, and draw the squiggle with more canned frosting. Wouldn't these cupcakes look cute as mini versions?

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