I’m gonna let you in on a dirty little secret. I used a boxed cake mix. For the first time in years. I’m a bit embarassed about it but circumstances dictated that I had to. A while ago I volunteered to bring a cake to something and then life totally got in the way–an unexpected work trip (where I drove 500 miles in a 36 hour span), preparations for five depositions next week, a concert Wednesday night, and not nearly enough sleep. I won’t even tell you how much trouble/grief this cake gave me (all my fault because I was tired and being so impatient) in construction because that will probably cause me to start crying. In a perfect world, I would’ve made this, but this time I cheated. And if you want, so can you. I promise I won’t tell.
A Giant Hostess Cupcake for Cheaters
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Bake cake according to directions on box using 2 8″ or 9″ round pans. Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes and then invert onto rack to cool completely.
While cakes are cooling, make the ganache frosting. Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
Level your cooled cake layers. (Don’t ask me how I know.) Place one cake layer on plate and top generously with marshmallow fluff. Top with second layer. Spread ganache frosting over top and sides of cake. Chilling the cake will harden the chocolate coating.
While cake is chilling, make frosting for the Curly Q. In a medium size bowl whisk the butter, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth. (Add more milk as needed to reach a pipeable consistency.) Fill piping bag and decorate top. (Hopefully you’ll have a steadier hand than I did last night at 2 AM.)