Sunday, March 6, 2011

Making Whoopie.....(Pies)

I was fascinated while travelling in the US last month by the way that American chefs and entrepeneurs are constantly re-inventing 'old' or classic dishes and making them the latest trend. A few years ago it was cupcakes, more recently mac 'n' cheese,( there's a restaurant in New York called S'mac) donuts, pies etc.

This time I noticed Whoopie Pies everywhere. Originally of Pennsylvania Dutch origin (you can read a New York Times article about them here) I'd describe them as a cake/biscuit hybrid or maybe a teeny teeny layer cake. Two discs of (usually chocolate) cake sandwiched together with a fluffy frosting.

On my last trip to Sur le Table before leaving San Francisco I picked up a Whoopie Pie tin & this morning had a crack at making them. You don't have to have a special tin, you can also bake them on a baking tray, using an icecream scoop to get perfectly round, even cakes.I've cobbled together a recipe for them from the packagin on the pie tin and a book in my shop called Amish Country Cookbook.

First the cakes:

Cream together 120gms of softened butter and 1 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1tsp vanilla extract and beat until well-combined.

Sift together 2cups plain flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1tsp baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the dry ingredients alternately with 1 cup butter milk ( or milk soured with lemon juice) until just combined (As with all cakes it's important not to over beat).

Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each cavity spread batter to the edges. Bake for about 8 minutes.

When they're cool you sandwich them together with raspberry jam and 'Marshmallow Fluff' - not something you can buy on any Australian supermarket shelf ( or at USA Foods I discovered when I went down there to buy grits) . So I went online and found a recipe here for the calorific spread. You could instead use a traditional royal icing or buttercream icing.

Here's the result:

I love the way they look and as I saw on my trip, there are almost endless possible variations.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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