Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ho Hos and Ding Dongs Galore

Polka Dot CakeI confess that I've often looked at a Ding Dong or a Ho Ho (and if you're not in America I haven't a clue what the cultural translation would be, you'll have to Google it) and, my mouth watering, thought what a perfection of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup they are.

Chocolate cake filled with pseudo frosting and dunked in more chocolate, these guys are America's unapologetic answer to "What's for dessert?"

But I'm here to tell you it can get even better.

You're not going to get these recipes from Martha or Wolfgang but they're fun, cute, and the kids will love them. If you're pressed for time and need a quick summer dessert these cakes-within-a-cake take a beautiful thing and make it even beautifuler. That's a new word and you heard it first right here folks.

I give you . . . the Polka Dot Cake and the Ho Ho Cake. No applause necessary.

Polka Dot Cake
10 Ding Dongs
1 package unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half-and-half (half cream, half milk)
zest of 1 orange
1 or 2 drops orange food coloring
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Line the bottom of a springform pan with a circle of wax paper and arrange 8 of the Ding Dongs in the bottom. Make sure they're a least 1/2 inch away from the edges.

Sprinkle gelatin in the cold water and let it sit for five minutes to soften. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together then fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside.

Bring the half-and-half and the orange zest to a boil then pour the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream, whisking all the time. Return the whole mix to the saucepan and heat it until it's just beginning to boil. Take it off the heat then whisk in the softened gelatin then pour it into a bowl sitting that you put in the ice water to cool. Stir the custard regularly until it begins to cool and is becoming thicker but is still a liquid. Stir in the food coloring.

Separately whip in a large bowl the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into the custard mixture once it's cool. Pour the whole thing into the springform pan over the top of the Ding Dongs and spread it to smooth it. Chop the remaining two Ding Dongs coarsely and scatter over the top of the cake, pushing them down into the custard slightly.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours until firm. When ready to serve, remove plastic, loosen sides, and remove outer ring. With a platter on top, invert the cake and remove bottom of pan and the wax circle. Serve chilled.

Ho Ho CakeHo Ho Cake
20 Ho Hos
1/2 cup raspberry jam
12 ounces cream cheese
1/2 powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

On a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, lay five Ho Hos next to each other lengthwise. Lay five more on the ends of the original five. It's hard to picture but you just want them laid out in two columns, five to a column.

Spread the jam over the top of the whole thing then top with two more groups of five. Freeze for several hours until firm.

Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the cream in a stream, beating until it's all combined evenly and smooth and spreadable.

Remove cake from freezer, transfer to a platter and then frost with cream cheese frosting mix then refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate curls or cocoa powder as desired. When slicing, be sure to slice it so that each piece comes out showing the pretty cross sections of the Ho Hos (as you see in the picture).

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Jolanthe said...

That HoHo cake is looking lovely...

Tammy said...

Would it shock you if I said I've never had a ho ho or a ding dong?

I haven't! But your cakes look like a lot of fun! They'd be fun to take to a church dinner.

Annette Lyon said...

Oh, my laws. I think my arteries hardened just looking at that. (But my mouth is watering)

MRMacrum said...

Here I am in Maine, a struggling to regain some semblance of the girlish figure I entered my 40s with. You toss up images of a cake stuffed to the gills with a sugary extravaganza that brings childhood fantasies back with a vengenace.

You are not helping.

Carissa(GoodNCrazy) said...

Talk about HOHO-licious! My tween will be all over these... she's been making a similar version with chocolate wafer cookies and the recipe on the back of the package...

And.. HELLO! Taking a minute to check in on some of my fave bloggers of all time.. :)

How's life, how's the summer... for a while I noticed it was hotter there than here for pete's sake! We had a COLD spring..
Ta ta!

Gianna said...

I would knock over martha stewart to get to your cake LOL.

Rachel said...

Wow! That looks incredibly yummy! My kids would love that as a birthday cake!