I had an appointment shortly before dinner this week, which meant that the crockpot was the perfect solution to have dinner come in on time. I've found a few slow cooker recipes I love, so I admittedly haven't branched out too much with recipes because I just keep making the same ones over and over again! One of these is this week's French Dip Sandwiches. I also wanted to practice my piping skills from cake decorating class, so I chose to make homemade Hostess (or should I say "Hostess-like" to avoid copyright? is there copyright on desserts?) cupcakes.
French Dip Sandwiches
This recipe is easy and delicious. I think one of the keys is the small bit of garlic powder that's used - it definitely adds a distinctive aroma and taste. As someone who is fairly allergic to garlic if I eat it in anything but tiny quantities, I love using garlic powder because it doesn't seem to affect me! I served it on toasted rolls with melted provolone cheese and individual jus dipping bowls.
Bagged lettuce, shredded carrots, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing special. Sometimes I just don't have energy to figure out an exciting vegetable side.
I can't remember the last time I've had a real Hostess cupcake, which is probably for the best :) These were fun to make and delicious. The chocolate ganache frosting was less sweet and better consistency than the original, in my opinion.
Modifications: I used a gluten free chocolate cake mix instead of making cupcakes from scratch and halved the recipe. I didn't have the recommended Wilton #7 tip to make the swirls on top, so I used a #3, which was more difficult to use because the opening was smaller and my filling was pretty thick. I decorated a few with the Wilton #18 star tip, since that's what we needed to practice with for class (and the stars are pretty!).
Gripes: I am not sure what kind of marshmallow fluff is supposed to be used, but my filling/white frosting was much thicker than the pictures shown in the original recipe. It would have been nice (and certainly easier to pipe) if it was a little thinner. I used a cupcake filling tip (Wilton #230) to fill the cupcakes, but definitely was too hesitant because I got very little filling in the cupcakes. I need to practice more with getting good amounts of fillings in cupcakes!