Dolly Madison Zingers (Devil’s Food) by Todd Wilbur
Former U.S. President James Madison’s wife did not create this baking company, despite the fact that her name is on every carrot cake, crumb cake and Zinger that comes off the production line. It was instead company founder Roy Nafziger’s brainstorm to use the former first lady’s name, since she was notorious for throwing huge shindigs at the nation’s Capitol featuring a fine selection of desserts and baked goods. Nafziger said his company would create cakes “fine enough to serve at the White House.” While I don’t expect you’ll be treated to a tray of Zingers on your next stay in the Lincoln Bedroom, I will agree that these little snack cakes are a tasty way to appease a sweet tooth. You can craft a version at home by making little cake pans out of aluminum foil that is wrapped around an empty prescription pill bottle. The cake batter is easy, since you just use any instant devil’s food cake mix. I like Duncan Hines, but you can use whatever you want. As for the frosting, it may not come out as dark brown as the original since the recipe here doesn’t include brown food coloring (caramel coloring). But the taste will be right on. And I think President Clinton would agree that as long as the sweet little treats taste good, appearance is secondary.
Duncan Hines devil’s food cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Hershey’s chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt1. Prepare the cake batter following the directions on the box. If you use Duncan Hines brand, you will need 1 1/3 cups of water, 1/2 cup of oil and three eggs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To prepare the cake pans that will make cakes the size of Zingers, tear off 20 pieces of aluminum foil that are each about 8 inches wide. Fold the foil in half and then in half once more so that you have a rectangular piece of foil. Wrap this piece of foil around a small prescription medicine bottle. Tuck in the ends and take the bottle out, leaving the foil open at the top. This will form a little pan. Flatten the bottom so that the mini pan stand up straight. Place this into a baking pan and repeat with the remaining pieces of foil. When you have arranged all of the foil pans in a baking pan, spray the inside of all the pans with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each little pan about halfway with cake batter. Bake cakes for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
3. To make the filling, combine the hot water with the salt in a small bowl and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool.
4. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt mixture to the bowl and mix.
5. To make the chocolate frosting, combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer until smooth.
6. To assemble your snack cakes first poke three holes with a toothpick or skewer in the top of a cake and swirl around inside the holes making little caverns for your filling.
7. Use a pastry bag with a small tip to squeeze some filling into each hole. Careful not to overfill, or your cake will burst open. Sure, it’s exciting, but this mess won’t make for a good clone.
8. Once the cake is filled, use a butter knife to spread frosting on top of the cake over the holes. Drag a fork lengthwise over the frosting making groves, just like the real thing. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)
Makes 20 snack cakes.