Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Hummingbird Bakery:Cake Days & Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I recently got The Hummingbird Bakery's book Cake Days and have been longing to bake from it since I got it.Nearly every recipe in the book is accompanied by a delicious looking picture.The first recipe I tried from the book was the chocolate whoopie pies.I have made whoopie pies many times before and have always found them easy to make.However,I found this recipe different.Firstly I found the batter was very stiff once I had added all the flour.The batter is supposed to be left in the fridge for half an hour before it is baked but I only left it in for fifteen minutes,partly because I didnt want it to become any more stiff than it already was and partly because I didnt want to wait any longer ;)I spooned out the batter onto baking sheets and into the oven the whoopie pies went to bake.While they were cookin I made up the frosting.When I too the whoopie pies out of the oven I noticed that they had grew quite large while in the oven.The top of the whoopie pies was also very cracked with deep ridges.These looked nothing like my usual whoopie pies which have smooth tops.I presume it must be down to something I did while making the whoopie pies and would be greatful of any comments suggesting what might have went wrong.I allowed these to cool and then took a taste.I found the flavour of the whoopie pies was definitely different to ones I have made before.I thought that the chocolate taste was actually quite bitter and the pie itself not very sweet.The filling on the other hand was very sweet thanks to the marshmallow fluff used and therefore I thought it worked very well with the pie.Overall I thought these whoopie pies were just okay but if I was making them again I would definitely try to make them sweeter and also less cracked once cooked.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
1 large egg
150g(5 1/2 oz) caster sugar
125g(4 1/2 oz) plain yoghurt
25ml(1 fl oz) whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
75g(2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter,melted
200g(7 oz) plain flour
80g(3 oz) cocoa powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

170g(6 oz) softened,unsalted butter
280g(10 oz) icing sugar
220g(8 oz) vanilla marshmallow fluff

1.Using a hand held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,cream the egg and sugar together 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.
2.Sift the remaining sponge ingredients together,then add to the creamed mixture in two batches,mixing well on medium speed after each addition.Place the batter in the fridge to cool and set for 20-30 minutes.
3.Meanwhile,preheat the oven to 170C(325F)Gas mark 3,and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
4.Once the batter has cooled down,spoon it on to the prepared baking trays,(dividing the mixture into 16-20 mounds(8-10 per tray),each 3-5cm(1 1/4-2in) in diameter and spaced 2-3cm(3/4-1 1/4 in) apart.Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until springy to the touch.Remove from the trays and place on a wire rack,allowing them to cool completely before sandwiching together.
5.While the sponges are cooking,you can 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.
6.To assemble the whoopie pies,take one of the sponges and spread about one tablespoon of 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.

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