August 19, 2008

Homemade Chocodiles




Ingredients:

for the sponge cake:
2 cups flour
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract



for the cream filling:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the chocolate coating:
5 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

for the cream filling:
In a small pan, mix flour with milk and boil until thick. Cool. Beat until fluffy and add other ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 24. Note: if you make it the day before, you might want to beat it again before piping it into the cakes to ensure a fluffy texture. Also, the cream should be cold and rather stiff when you pipe it into the cake, the act of piping will soften it a bit so do not be tempted to let it warm up before filling.

for the sponge cake:
Grease 8 to 12 wells in a "cream canoe" pan. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, until it is very light and fluffy-almost at soft peaks. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pans. Note: check the instructions on your pan, but I would recommend filling them about halfway, there is a lot of leavening in the the batter and you wouldn't want them to overflow.




Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cakes are just golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the center cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, invert to a wire rack and cool completely before filling. Use a pastry bag or cream filling gun (one comes with the pan I linked to) and fill three holes (chopsticks make good hole punchers, just be careful not to poke all the way to the other side and give a it a little wiggle so the inside hole is slightly bigger than the outside)on the underside of the cake with cream. Slightly overfill each hole, then use your thumb to tamp it in.




for the coating:
Combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla and boiling water in saucepan. Stir over low heat to mix well. Do not let it boil. Dip the bottoms of cooled, filled cakes in the chocolate then place on a wire rack over a bowl and pour the chocolate directly from the pan over the top of the cakes to coat the tops. Refill the pan with the chocolate that collects in the bowl.



Allow the cakes to drip over a wire rack with waxed paper underneath to catch the drips. Repeat if needed. Note: it seems like you are making a lot of glaze, but you lose a lot as they drip and dry and it is better to have too much than to run out before you are finished.



My thoughts:
Today is my birthday (29! Oy!) and ever since I've known my husband he has made something special for my birthday. First it was a crazy bombe with 2 kinds of mousse for my 25th birthday then red velvet cupcakes, then vanilla bean cupcakes, last year's chocolate malt cupcakes and this year's chocodiles. Chocodiles are a cult classic only available in some areas (NOT Baltimore!) and we thought it would be fun to make a homemade version. I know we can't be the only ones who have wished that packaged snacks tasted as good as they looked. By making our own, they really do.

Making the cakes was a joint effort, I created the recipe and tweaked it while he did the actual mixing and baking. I think they turned out really well, not too gourmetish or fancy but a really fresh tasting step up from the prepackaged cakes. The cake was really light and fluffy and the cream filling was exactly the right texture: creamy but not oily or greasy.

Chocodiles, for those not in the know, are basically a chocolate covered Twinkie. Once sold all over the US, they are now only available in select cities on the West Coast and the subject of much debate and interest among the junk food glitterati. There is even a petition urging Hostess to bring Chocodiles back to the East Coast!

If you are more of a Twinkie person, try this recipe. It will be the best Twinkie you've ever had. The pinnacle of Twinkiedom. Or love Sno-Balls? I have a recipe for that too!

Note: If you don't have a cream canoe pan, you could try a version using a traditional cupcake pan. I must say, it is well worth buying the actual pan. The cupcakes were perfectly golden brown and slid right out with no sticking.

34 comments:

  1. O. MY. GOD. I'd never heard of chocodiles, but now they're going to be my new best friend. Wow, those are amazing looking. And happy birthday!

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  2. You are on a roll! Yesterday Ovaltine ice cream, today Chocodiles . . . I just might make both this weekend. :) Mary in Southern Maryland

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  3. Wow! That is junk food at its finest!

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  4. Happy birthday!! Those chocodiles look so decadent.

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  5. OMG these look *amazing*! I do remember Chocodiles from my childhood, but its been years since I've thought of them. Congrats on your new and improved version and wishing you a very happy birthday!

    Cheers!

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  6. That is awesome! I bet they taste even better than the Hostess version. :)

    Happy Birthday!

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  7. Happy birthday and enjoy the chocodiles!

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  8. I was never a fan of twinkies or chocodiles but yours look so so so lovely... They look so yummy...

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  9. Happy birthday...what a great treat you've got there.

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  10. Happy Birthday! Never heard of chocodiles before but they look great. Hope you had a fab day.

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  11. Those look so good! I can't wait to try them. And I have to say - pouring the chocolate over them and into a bowl is so smart! I never thought of that, and I always struggle with the mess when making things like that (especially holiday cookies and candy). Thanks so much for the tip!!

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  12. I sent this link to a fellow foodie friend that just asked me about chocodiles! And darn you I guess I am adding "canoe pan" to my wish list too. LOL. Happy belated birthday!
    /Clara

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  13. My hand is raised, yes I am a twinky person and yes I will be making these soon. Besides we all need our fair share of junk food, to keep us in check.

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  14. You know, the title certainly caught my eye, but it was the picture that reeled me in. Heaven.

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  15. I find this so funny because earlier today I had been introduced to chocodiles for the first time- and here is a recipe!!

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  16. These are great!! They remind me of my childhood - my dad used to always get chocodiles at the gas station as special treats. Yum!

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  17. Ohhh! Chocodiles were my absolute favorite as a kid. Last time I went to Disneyland, I made sure to pick some up outside of LA.

    There is a website that will ship them... Freshchocodiles.com :)

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  18. this looks so good! reminds me of the pure bliss that is childhood :)

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  19. "Junk food glitterati!!!" LOL!!!
    Happy birthday, Rachel!

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  20. Bmore: Ha! I was excited to work in this post both "junk food glitterati" AND "pinnacle of Twinkiedom". It was like a present to myself.

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  21. Love it! And happy birthday!!!!

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  22. Yeah we don't have chocodiles here in SF. But I have to say YUMM!

    What a crazy sweet husband. Seriously.

    Happy, Happy Birthday... again.

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  23. EEP! SO CUTE... i've never tried, or even HEARD of a chocodile before, i guess NY where I grew up was not blessed enough to have such awesome creations. Don't you just love home-made tastier versions of childhood mass-produced goodies?

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  24. these look delicious, part of the glitterati indeed.

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  25. I moved to Washington State and my husband introduced me to Chocodiles. At the time I think I called him an "Evil Bastid" for doing so.

    I think I shall make him some, now, you evil, evil woman.

    P.S. Belated Happy birthday.

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  26. A belated Happy Birthday and those look lovely..kind of like Chocolate Eclairs?

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  27. Thanks NC--sort of like eclairs but a little less fussy.

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  28. I made 'em!!!! They are delicious, stunning - surprisingly tasty. Worth the effort and super recipe! You have a stunning website.

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  29. OK, I am using these as the basis of my Galactus Planets -- we all know superheroes can be stopped with Fresh Snack Cakes. Your strawberry-inside cupcakes suggested a molten core of a planet to me, but what cake flavor? Obviously, these! (well, some chocolate for my husband) (Marvel Team Up 137 even has Galactus eating Twinkies, I found out. seriously.) I don't have "cream canoe" pans, but i do have the half-ball ones, hence, planets!

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  30. I want to make these bc my sister sent me a trashy rundown of all the food trainwrecks you can make with twinkies which include: twinkie tacos and twinkie sushi.

    http://www.hostesscakes.com/recipe_list.htm

    Although with these homemade twinkies, i may reconsider my snap judgments. twinkie kebab here i come!

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  31. OMG! LOve Chocodiles! I would love to make my own without the trans fat.Thank you so much for sharing your receipe!

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  32. Alas...the empire fell along with my beloved Chocodiles! CANT WAIT to make/try these!! I never knew they were only available in the west until we moved from San Diego to Kansas City and even with a Hostess plant in town, nobody knew what I was talking about! Last Valentine's Day hubby was in CO for business, he sent me a pic of Chocodiles shaped in a heart...who'd have known that would be the last time I'd see my old chocolatey friend lol

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