Editor’s note: In his book Food Rules, Michael Pollan declares, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” The idea is that by cooking at home, you’ll avoid all the unpronounceable chemicals found in store-bought junk. And even though you might gorge on it, you can only eat as much as you made—and it takes hands-on effort, not just a trip to the supermarket, to procure more. In that spirit, we offer DIY Junk Food, the recipe column for those who want to get their hands dirty in the kitchen before enjoying some sublime junk.
Dearests, did I whet your junk food junkie appetites with today’s DIY organic Twinkies video? Thought I’d send in a little culinary backup via the written recipe in case you didn’t catch all my measuring, molding, and mixing in the vid. These pair pretty keenly with a nice, tall glass of organic moo juice. Enjoy!
Homemade Organic Twinkies
Adapted from Chow’s recipe
3 large organic eggs, separated
1/3 cup organic granulated sugar
1/3 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream (see recipe below)
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour the wells of the baking pan (or your own little homemade Twinkie pans, per today’s video); set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on medium speed, adding sugar a little at a time, until mixture is thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. In a separate large bowl, whisk egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold whites into yolk mixture until well incorporated. Sift flour and baking powder into batter, and fold just until incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract.
Divide batter evenly among the baking pan wells (or your own little DIY pans) and bake until cakes spring back when touched, a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, and cakes are golden brown, about 20–22 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes; then loosen from the sides by running a knife along the edge of the pan. Invert onto a rack, remove cakes, and cool completely. While cakes are cooling make Vanilla Cream.
Once cakes are cool, flip each over, and with a (reusable!) straw or the end of a spoon make three incisions running the length of the cake. Scoop Vanilla Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip (or snip the corner off of a small plastic bag—you can wash and reuse later).
Place the tip into each incision, and press cream into the incisions until full. When cakes are completely full, turn them back over and serve.
Makes 8 cakes, you lucky duck. Eat up!
4 ounces organic mascarpone or cream cheese, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved (or 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract)
3 large organic egg whites
2/3 cup organic granulated sugar
Combine cheese, vanilla bean, and seeds (or vanilla extract) in a bowl and mix until cheese is soft and ingredients are evenly combined; reserve.
Simmer 1 inch of water in a medium pot. Combine egg whites and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Make a double boiler by placing the bowl with the egg mixture over the pot of simmering water. (Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.) Whisk egg mixture continuously until it reaches 110 degrees, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place mixture in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until it has doubled in volume, about 5–7 minutes. (The egg mixture should be glossy and hold a soft peak.) Add cheese mixture and beat just until smooth. Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.