Whoopie! Whooooopppppieeee! These pies make me happy just by saying the name.
(Oh, I've also just realised - my blog is two years old today! Whoopie to that :-)
So what is a whoopie pie, you ask? They came from Pennsylvania and are sort of a dense cake/fluffy cookie, with a frosted filling sandwiching (usually marshmallow fluff) two cakes together. I guess they must be like some sort of pie, seeing as that's where the name came from, but these are as far from apple pies as apples are from oranges. But more.
According to Wikipedia (but isn't everything these days?) when farmers found these in their lunchboxes (baked by Amish women, obviously), they would shout 'whoopie!'. My theory is that they're whoopie 'pies' because the farmers would shout whooo....ppiiee! Whoop..piee! Whooopie...piee! Whoopie pie!
When I first saw these in the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, I thought they were macrons. They are not macarons! These are bigger, denser, chewier and gooier (although I am torn between which one is yummier). The filling is made from Marshmallow Fluff (the stuff of gods), which you can buy online from Ocado, but more recently I've found that ASDA stocks it too =)
I made these to bring to the badminton social club yesterday, so uh, sorry guys but you were the guinea pigs for my whoopie pie experiment, as I have never made these before! I also did not know that there were such things as 'whoopie pie pans', so I didn't use one and that' why mine came out in a few shapes that some may describe as 'weird'. But I'd like to think that not using a whoopie pie pan separates out the men from the boys.
I made (the more popular) coconut and cherry cupcakes too. But they were kinda ugly so I didn't photograph them.
Now, I got many jokes about spiking these cakes so that other people would play (badminton) badly. I promise I didn't :p If anything, it made me play worse (than usual), because all I could think about were cakes, and if anyone liked the ones I brought. The shuttlecock had practically turned into a cake in my mind. So obviously that's why I kept missing the shuttle, because, well, when it's an imaginary cake who would want to destroy such a beautiful work of art?
So... that's my excuse anyway.
A couple of notes when making these:
- I halved the recipe for the marshmallow filling which was plenty for the whoopie pie filling. Otherwise you end up with excess chocolate goo (not that this would be the worst thing to happen to you).
- If you don't have a whoopie pie pan, these whoopie pies expand a bit so if you want to keep them a dainty size spoon the batter into very small circles before baking.
p.s. if you were wondering I got the cake stand from eBay but I think they're being sold for about £5 on Amazon too :)
Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies
From the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, with the filling recipe halved
Makes about 10
For the Sponge
1 large egg
150g (5½oz) caster sugar
125g (4½oz) plain yoghurt
25ml (1floz) whole milk
¼ tsp vanilla essence
75g (2½oz) melted unsalted butter
275g (10oz) plain flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp baking powder
150g (5½ oz) chocolate chips
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
140g (5oz) icing sugar
110g (4oz) vanilla marshmallow fluff
Using a hand-held or freestanding mixer, cream the egg and sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour the yoghurt, milk and vanilla essence into a jug and stir together then add to the beaten egg and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix in thoroughly on a medium speed.
Sift the remaining sponge ingredients together, then add to the creamed mixture in two batches, mixing well on a medium speed after each addition. Place the batter in the fridge to cool and set for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C, (325F) and line two baking trays with baking parchment or grease whoopie pie trays.
Once the batter has cooled down, spoon it on to the prepared trays, dividing the mixture into 16-20 rounds (8-10 per tray), each 3-5 cm in diameter and spaced 2-3cm apart.
Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until springy to touch. Remove from the trays and place on a wire rack, allowing them to cool completely before sandwiching together.
While the sponges are cooking, make the filling. Using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and the icing sugar on a low-speed until well blended. Add the marshmallow fluff, and lightly mix it in, then increase the speed to high and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Place in the fridge and leave for about 30 minutes to firm up slightly.
To assemble the whoopie pies, take one of the sponges and spread about 1 tablespoon of the filling over the flat side, adding a little more if needed. Then stick another sponge, with the flat side facing down, on the filling to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining sponges and filling.