Every once in a while, I think to myself “Should I change the name of my blog? I haven’t made any blog-worthy mistakes worth mentioning in a VERY LONG time.” And then, something happens that reminds you that there was a reason behind the name and that I’m still learning and making mistakes is all part of the learning process.
Enter my idea for fake Ho Hos.
I had hinted at it a few posts ago to help promote the San Diego Food blogger bake sale. In my mind, I imagined rustic looking mini chocolate rolls filled with vanilla butter cream that were half dipped in melted chocolate. I even worked up a design for packaging in my head. Problem was — something I discovered the night before the bake sale — I had never made them before. What I thought should have been a slam dunk was a tragic chocolate mess. While the vanilla butter cream held up, the sponge roll cake collapsed on itself or cracked when rolled (see top photo). Two attempts and more than a pound of chocolate later, I resorted to a tried-and-true brownie recipe. I ended up splitting the brownie in half, spreading butter cream between the halves and dipped half of it in chocolate.
To anyone that bought the “Faux Hos” over the weekend, there was one bonus to it: They were extremely fresh. I made and assembled them less than an HOUR before the bake sale. Yeah, sure they weren’t round or even cakelike but they were delicious.
Lesson learned: always, ALWAYS test a recipe before a big event.
As for the bake sale, it was a phenomenal success with over $3,000 was raised for Share Our Strength.
Basic Chocolate Brownies
Makes 24 large brownies
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Grease and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat.
Whisk both sugars into the chocolate mix. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Stir in flour and salt until evenly incorporated and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes until center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let brownies cool completely in refrigerator before cutting into squares and splitting to fill with vanilla butter cream. (Recipe for vanilla butter cream follows.)
If you want to dip your brownies into chocolate, melt a pound of dark chocolate over a double boiler. While chocolate is melting, freeze filled brownies. Dip one end of cold brownies in chocolate and allow chocolate to cool.
Vanilla Butter Cream filling
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk
Beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed.
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been thoroughly incorporated.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes.
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoon at a time.