Make your own Twinkie

Akron Beacon JournalJanuary 22, 2013 

The store shelves where the Hostess display used to be have been bare for two months as the sale of the snack cake company inches its way through layers of legalities.

Buyers are anxious to take over the name and start producing Twinkies and other snack cakes again, and it’s likely that a sale will come soon.

But that’s little comfort if you’re hankering for a Twinkie now.

Of course, you don’t have to wait to have one of those cream-filled golden sponge cakes. Twinkies are pretty easy to make at home, and folks have been doing it for years.

It was one of the first recipes that Todd Wilbur ever cloned.

Wilbur is the author of the Top Secret Recipes cookbook series, in which he takes brand-name foods or chain restaurant menu items and replicates them for the home cook.

His first book, Top Secret Recipes, came out in 1993, and the Twinkie clone was in that book.

Since the demise of the Twinkie in November, Wilbur said his website, www.topsecretrecipes.com, has seen a significant increase in traffic from “people looking for a home-brewed way of making a Twinkie.”

His recipe calls for a boxed poundcake mix, which makes it easy to replicate. However, Wilbur, now at work on his 11th Top Secret book, said he may try to make a recipe completely from scratch to include in the new book.

Wilbur’s first cloned recipe was Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip cookies. Since then, he’s tackled everything from Kentucky Fried Chicken to Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

He always begins by looking at the ingredient list on the side of the box. Twinkies had 37 ingredients, many of which were thickeners or preservatives.

Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies won’t last forever. “It looks exactly the same, but it smells terrible. The oils go rancid and it gets petrified. It turns into a rock,” he said.

Wilbur said most folks find that when they make Twinkies from scratch, they enjoy them more than the original.

For the cakes Nonstick spray 4 egg whites 1 box golden poundcake mix 2⁄3 cup water

For the filling 2 teaspoon very hot water 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 2 cups marshmallow creme 1⁄2 cup shortening 1⁄3 cup powdered sugar 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

You will need a spice bottle, approximately the size of a Twinkie, 10 pieces of aluminum foil, 12 by 14 inches each, a cake decorator or pastry bag and a chopstick.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave top of the mold open for pouring in batter. Make 10 of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease inside of each mold with nonstick spray.

Disregard directions on box of cake mix. Instead, beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended. Fold egg whites into cake batter and slowly combine until mixed.

Pour the batter into molds, filling each one about 3⁄4 inch full. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely and remove from molds.

For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. Combine marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.

Add salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.

When cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

Makes 10 snack cakes. -- www.topsecretrecipes.com

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