We ate countless Ho Hos as kids and this cake seemed like the perfect Father's Day treat for the girls and me to make for their dad. You can dress it up or down, depending upon your ambition.
I used a box mix because I was short on time. The filling layer is what sends the richness over the top, so be careful not to spread it on too thick. This cake can be made with half the filling layer to cut some of the richness. Make this in a sheet pan (mine was a 16x12x1 disposable)and it will easily serve 24, if not more. If baking the chocolate cake in a standard cake pan, I would suggest using half the filling and half the frosting.
HO HO CAKE
Make your favorite chocolate cake, boxed cake or sheet cake. Cool completely.
Filling: (recipe from TastyKitchen member MissyDew}
5 Tbsp flour
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
Whisk 5 Tbsp flour into 1 cup whole (or milk with some fat) milk over medium heat, whisking constantly until very thick. (consistency of thick, THICK pudding or custard). Cool completely. Place in refrigerator if you want to speed the cooling process. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. In a mixing bowl, with whisk attachment, mix 1 cup softened butter and 1 cup granulated (not powdered) sugar until fluffy....oh, a couple minutes. Add cooled flour/milk mixture to butter/sugar mixture and beat with whisk attachment until light and fluffy. (Some recipes suggested 6-8 minutes, mine took about 2 to get the consistency I wanted. It should look like whipping cream). Spread on cooled cake.
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted or warmed in microwave to speed melting
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4-1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2, up to 2 cups powdered sugar
Heat 3/4 cup heavy cream and pour hot cream over chocolate. Let sit a minute or so; stir gently to melt. Cream butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Stir two mixtures together. Once combined, add the remaining powdered sugar (1 cup more, up to 1 1/2 cups more depending upon how thick and sweet you want it. Thinner seems more like the frosting on a ho ho). Use remaining heavy cream to thin out frosting as desired. Spread on cake immediately! Frosting starts to set up and become grainy in appearance if you let it sit slightly. You would then have to stir it again and that goofs up the texture. Spread right away!!!!
Allow to set up before cutting and serving. Can store at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from several sources:
allrecipes.com will take you to one Ho Ho Cake recipe
tastykitchen.com will take you to the filling (they call it frosting here) recipe
ourbestbites.com will take you to the same filling (okay, so it's frosting) recipe with clear directions and photos of what it should look like. btw~she strained her flour/milk mixture in her tutorial...this was not necessary for me...just keep whisking.