>Sigh. Whoopee pies. So what is the big deal? I LOVE the idea of cupcakes. Done well, they are just frivolous and flamboyant. So much avenue for creativity, from the choice of cases, to the cake flavours to the piping of the frosting and selection of decorations.
Whoopee (?Whoopie) pies on the other hand is a bit bleuurgh. They look like someone had overfilled their muffin tins, ended up with muffins that wouldn’t shift from the tin and they ended having to be lopped off in order to extract the bottom half of the muffins.
I thought I would give it a go anyway, and I have been working on some ideas of fillings and cake flavours. I felt it would be prudent if I started my experiment with a tried and tested cake recipe.
As always, I forgot to take photos of the process. I would encourage you to try out this cake recipe as it is easy peasy and I doubt many would struggle to find the ingredients. You don’t even need eggs for it so it’s practically vegan/dairy-free. Get yourself some Pure spread and add to the buttercream mix some home made caramel syrup extract and you would have a really scrummy vegan treat.
Aawwww, it looks like lips!!! It had a lovely brownie type slight crunch to the outside and the inside was light and moist. The filling was not too sweet and it just melted with the whoopee pie beautifully. A bit like eating a pavlova, you know you are eating a good one when you don’t know when the meringue stopped and when the cream started.
Recipe (borrowed from David Lebovitz and adapted a little)
1 cup of water
1/3 of vegetable or sunflower oil
1tbsp of white vinegar
1tsp of vanilla extract
Mix the above in a measuring jug.
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour (use plain flour and sub the last 1 1/2 tbsp. with cornflour – why exactly I don’t know, I reckon Joe Pastry would be able to explain the science)
5tbsp of cocoa powder (please avoid instant drinking chocolate)
1 cup packed light muscovado sugar
1tsp instant coffee
Mix the dry ingredients well.
Take the wet mixture and fold it into the dry ingredients. Take great care in not over mixing as you’ll end up with a dense cake, err whoopee.
Buy yourself one of those inexpensive whoopee pies tin from Lakelands or you could pipe the mixture out into 2 1/2inch rounds. However, there are disadvantages two both methods. Use a tin and you can end with a muffin top effect (like I did as I wasn’t really sure how much you should fill the holes). If you decide to pipe them on, you gotta be aware of the mixture’s flow velocity (yes, that is a real baking term) or you’ll end up with rounds that don’t match.
As I said, I used a tin and tried twice before the baby needed me. The first time, I used just under an ice cream scoop’s worth and it did create a muffin top effect and my whoopees didn’t dome the way I wanted them (this could be due to the fact that all the print for the temperature setting on my oven has rubbed off and the light in my oven has gone so I couldn’t quite read the oven thermometer properly.
Set your oven at 180c and bake for 12-15mins.
What you are looking for is a pie that has a slight biscuit crust, sorts in between a cake and a biscuit really. Do remember that like any cakes, they do firm up and become crisper so maybe consider when you want to serve them as this should influence your baking time.
Leave them to cool before sandwiching them together. As I was just experimenting, I made up a modified buttercream using equal amounts of icing sugar and butter (please people, NOT without salt. I used half unsalted, half salted. If you are using unsalted butter, salt to taste. Fleur de sel would be lovely). I sploshed a glug of milk too just to create a light and p whipped texture.
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