This post brings us to the halfway point of this year’s 12 Days of Oscar. The 2008 film Milk tells the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. After three unsuccessful political campaigns, Milk is elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Soon Milk finds himself politically and personally at odds with another Supervisor, Dan White, and the movie hints that Milk suspects White to be a closeted homosexual. After not getting much support for a proposition to get the Supervisors a pay increase White resigns only to quickly ask Mayor Moscone to reinstate him. When White is denied a meeting with the mayor to once again argue for reinstatement, he shoots Mayor Moscone in his office and then guns down Milk. Sean Penn won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Milk also won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for six more: Best Picture (which went to Slumdog Millionaire), Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.
At his trial for the assassination of Milk and Moscone, White’s attorneys argued that White had diminished mental capacity due to depression. Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that one of the indicators of White’s depression was that White, previously a health-conscious fitness fanatic, had taken to consuming sugar-laden foods such as Coca-Cola and Twinkies. One reporter called this the “Twinkie defense,” and the term became popular. Considering the way America went into a frenzy when Hostess suspended production in 2012, Twinkies have a long history of being associated with erratic behavior. The good news is that whether you’re not in your right mind with or without a Twinkie, you can make your own at home.
for the cakes:
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 1/2 C. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 C. canola oil
- 3/4 C. cold water
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 7 eggs, separated
for the filling:
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 C. butter
- 1/2 C. sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a canoe pan with cooking spray and set aside. If you do not have a canoe pan, don’t fear. Make your own molds by tearing off an approximately 12″ square piece of aluminum foil, folding it in half and in half again so you have a smaller square, and wrapping it around a spice jar. Pinch the ends closed, and leave the top open so you have an aluminum foil “boat.” Make 9-12 of these. Place these on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment (or electric hand mixer), beat the egg whites to very stiff peaks and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder, and salt for 1 minute until combined.
Add the oil, water, vanilla, and egg yolks.
Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula, gently scoop 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter and gently fold in. Repeat with 1/3 of the egg whites and then the final 1/3 of the egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan or molds, filling each cavity or mold 2/3 full.
Bake for 8-12 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan or molds.
Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them to cool flat-side-down on a cooling rack.
To make the filling, heat the flour and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.
After about 5 minutes when the mixture becomes a paste, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 1 minute.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to keep a skin from forming and then set it aside to cool completely.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for about 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a round tip.
Place the tip about halfway into the flat side of the cake and squeeze gently. Do this about 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the way down the cake so that each bite has some filling.
Makes 9-12 servings depending on your pan.
Source: adapted from Simple Math Bakery