First it was cupcakes. From awkward at- work birthday celebrations, to baby showers and hen’s nights. They were everywhere.
Then it was macarons.
Now it seems like there’s a new contender for coolest kid of the confectionery class.
I’m talking about whoopie pies.
Faddism be gone. To me these are worth it for the novelty value of the name alone. What other dessert allows you to say with a straight face that you’ve been busy making whoopie?
These cushiony treats are little like the love child of a macaron and a cupcake. And it turns out they’re not really pies at all.
They have the same sandwich shape of a macaron. They also come with a creamy filling- if that’s your type of thing. But their outside is more like cake. That cake is usually chocolate, but you can pretty much go any way your heart desires.
Whoopie pies have their origins in Maine and Pennsylvania. The story goes that Amish wives used to put them in their husband’s lunch pails. Their name came from what their husbands would say when they opened up their lunch and saw them there.
The classic creamy filling for a whoopie pie involves some marshmallow fluff- ( a strange product that lives on the shelf of most Walmarts- but not so much in Australia or London).
If you’re curious to try the pie complete with the sticky chew and lolly sweet flavour of marshmallow, you can melt marshmallows with butter and then use this to solder the cakes together.
But be warned. Hot marshmallow can burn. And when it gets cold it seizes tight. If you choose this path there’s a chance that (like me) you’ll get marshmallow glue stuck to both your kitchen and your hair. Luckily for everyone involved, it melts off easily with warm water.
If you’re also like me and often tempted by less labour intensive options, then butter cream, or cream cheese sweetened with icing sugar does a fine job for the filling.
Generally I think the same rules apply here as for making any kind of whoopie.
Be safe. Clean up. And if it feels good, then do it.
These quantities are enough to make 16 whoopie pies, (32 halves) about 4 cm in diameter.
1 piping bag. 1 tray lined with baking paper. 1 mixing bowl.
100g/4oz caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
225g/8oz self raising flour
½ tsp salt
2 cups of marshmallows
2 tablespoons of butter
Cream cheese filling
250 grams of cream cheese
3 tablespoons of icing sugar
Here’s how we roll
Whoopie Pie shells
1) Preheated the oven to 180 C and lined a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2) Cream the caster sugar and butter together with a mixer until they were fluffy and duckling yellow.
3) Crack the two eggs and beat them in.
4) Add the milk. Then the cocoa, salt and self raising flour to the eggs, butter and sugar. Gently combined it all.
5) Use a piping bag to pipe little circles about 4 cm across, with a good distance between each circle on the tray (NB, you could also use a melon baller, or a tablespoon). You may need to cook them in two batches, depending on the size of your baking tray.
6) Bake them for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick came out of the top of one clean. I let them cool on a wire rack.
7) Make matching pairs out of pie halves.
1) Melt a a cup of marshmallows with two tablespoons of butter in a non stick saucepan, stirring so the marshmallows dissolved.
2) While the marshmallow mix was still quite warm spoon it onto one half of the pies, before sandwiching the other on top.
Sweetened cream cheese
1) Mix the cream cheese together with the icing sugar. If you want it sweeter, add a little more icing sugar.
2) Spoon the cream cheese onto one half of the pies, before sandwiching the other on top.