Whoopie pies. - Sweet little sandwich biscuity-cakes with a round appearance which can be filled with all sorts of things and topped, or not.
Originating in the Amish communities of America's New England. they began life as a way of using left-over batter. The cakes were put in the lunch boxes of husbands and children as a surprise. Their name allegedly resulted from the grateful recipients shouting 'whoopie' when they discovered the lunch time treat.
A Whoopie should be a tad chewy and slightly soft with a touch of a crisp edge. Simple to make, they can be flavoured in many ways but are generally sandwiched together with a creamy filling, often with a base of marshmallow or butter.
Before going gluten free, we often had Whoopies, especially when friends came to stay. They look fantastic when they are piled high on a serving plate and there is something quite special watching the excitement of children as they take and tuck into one of these individual balls of deliciousness.
One of my first self-developed gluten free recipes was for Whoopie Pies, as I struggled to find anything that came close to the texture of the gluten-containing versions I was used to. I was thrilled when I managed to produce this one as not only did the batter bake as it was meant to, but the resulting cakes taste fantastic and freeze really well if you want to make them ahead of time and fill at a later date.
I think these Whoopies are a perfect offering for the new individually portioned baking blog challenge 'Treat Petite' which is being hosted by Kat at The Baking Explorer and Stuart at Cakeyboi. To help kick things off this month, they have made September 'No Theme' month, so anything goes! Hope you like them........
The Whoopie sponge has just the right amount of firmness so that when you bite into it, you have that momentary deduction of cake versus biscuit. But it is still soft and chewy as it should be with a lovely rich cocoa-chocolate flavour. Perfect for adding your favourite filling!
I love to fill mine with Nutella cream, which simply involves whisking fresh cream with a little Nutella, but tastes soooo good against the chocolate sponge - fresh, nutty and slightly sweet. Although this makes them less easy to transport (than if you were filling with a sugary butter or marshmallow mix), I think using cream gives them a fresher, luxuriant taste. If you want to make them more of a pudding, they can take a little extra cream, so serve more on the side.
I could quite happily sit with a bowl full of Nutella cream and a spoon and devour the lot, but then I would be missing out on the Whoopies..................
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Ingredients75g dark chocolate
75g unsalted butter
1 large egg - room temperature
150g light soft brown sugar
130 ml soured cream
110 ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
245g white gluten free flour mix
¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
Ingredients300 ml double cream
3 to 4 teaspoons Nutella / chocolate-hazelnut spread
icing sugar to sprinkle
- Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper (or batch bake if you don't have enough)
- Preheat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- Weigh, sieve and mix together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and xanthan gum in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a small bowl by either placing the bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water, stirring frequently, or using a microwave on medium setting in 30 second bursts, stirring between each. Once smooth and fully combined, set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat the sugar into the egg (about a third at a time) until smooth and glossy.
- Add the chocolate-butter mix, soured cream, vanilla and half of the milk and beat until fully combined and silky.
- Add half of the flour-cocoa mix and beat until smooth.
- Fold in the remainder of the flour mix a little at a time alternately with the remaining milk, until you have a smooth batter of thick dropping consistency.
- Either pipe or spoon the mixture onto the baking sheets in small walnut-sized balls, 3 to 4 cm apart.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until a knife comes out clean and the tops are springy to the touch. You may want to swap the trays around half way through cooking to ensure an even bake.
- Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- To make the Nutella cream, whisk the cream with the Nutella in a medium-sized bowl until it has thickened and holds its shape.
- Sandwich together the Whoopies with Nutella cream.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated