Friday, 26 April 2013
It has been said that cupcakes are becoming very passe. What a fickle lot we are . . . I expect that the Macaron will be the next thing to go out of culinary fashion . . .
What cupcakes and macarons once were, the Whoopie Pie now is!! These little babies are taking the country by storm!
Coming from North America I am no stranger to the Whoopie Pie. I have been making the chocolate ones for years. They are a typically Amish treat originally used as a thrifty way to use up leftover cake batters. Quite ingenious I think, but then again . . . the Amish are well known for their thrift and ingenuity.
It is said that when the lucky husbands and children of these thrifty Amish housewives opened their lunch pails and spied these little treats inside, they would shout out with loud "Whoopie's!" Hence the name Whoopie Pie.
One thing I love about the British is that they are not afraid to embrace foods of different cultures and make them their own. You can find all sorts of designer whoopie pies showing up in the more up-to-date cafes and bakeries across the land.
This is my attempt to create a truly "British" Whoopie Pie. What could shout out England more than the good old Bakewell Tart! I spent almost all of today working on these and perfecting them. I am really pleased with the results.
These tasty little cakes have all the characteristics of a traditional Bakewell tart . . . an delicious cake batter, containing ground almonds . . . raspberry jam, the almond icing on top and the glace cherry. The only thing that is not traditional is that gorgeous whipped marshmallow filling . . . oh and there's no crust, but to be honest . . .
You won't miss it a bit!!!! I think I'm on the cutting edge of something really wonderful here. I think you will find these . . . very . . . very . . . very . . . moreish!
And that's NO lie! (I'm pretty proud of these. Can you tell??) A bit messy to eat for sure, but oh . . . so . . . scrummy!
*Bakewell Whoopie Pies*
Makes about 20
Delicious double almond cake/biscuits with a filling of seedless raspberry jam and lucious marshallow cream, drizzled with an almond drizzle icing and topped with flaked almonds and glace cherries. Oh my but these are some good. I believe if I opened my lunch bucket and found one of these, I'd be shouting "Whoopie" too! To make perfectly round whoopie pies use a piping bag with a wide piping nozzle.
75g unsalted butter, melted (5 TBS)
1 large free range egg
150g of caster sugar (3/4 cup)
125g sour cream (slightly more than 1/2 cup)
25ml of cold milk (about 3 TBS) Plus 1 TBS if needed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
275g plain flour (2 cups, less 1 TBS)
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g of ground almonds (1/2 cup)
For the marshmallow cream filling:
100g mini or regular marshmallows (18 large ones)
50ml of milk (1/8 cup)
125g of very soft unsalted butter (8 1/2 TBS)
about 4 heaped TBS of seedless raspberry jam, stirred to loosen
For the drizzle:
200g icing sugar, sifted (about 1 1/2 cups)
few drops of almond extract
10 glace cherries, halved
Preheat the oven to180*C/350*F/Gas mark4. LIne some large bakign trays with nonstick baking paper and set aside.
Whisk the egg with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Continue to whisk adding the sugar a bit at a time until thick and glossy. Beat in the melted butter, sour cream, milk, vanilla and almond extracts. Sift the flour and baking soda together and then add this to the liquid mixture, beating it in until smooth. Fold in the almonds and if need be the additional TBS of milk. You want a fairly thick batter, not too runny. Spoon into a piping bag with a wide piping nozzle fitted.
Pipe walnut sized balls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 1/2 inches between each. (Alternately you can spoon walnut sized blobs onto the sheets) This will take a few batches of baking so don't worry if they don't all fit on the trays at once.
Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until slightly browned and crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining batter until it is gone.
To make the marshmallow cream, place the marshmallows and milk in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat, until the marshmallows have melted and completely amalgamated with the milk Remove from the heat and cool. Add the butter and beat together until smooth and light.
To assemble, sandwich two cookie/cakes together with a layer of raspberry jam on the bottom, topped with a dollop of marshallow cream. Place the sandwiched whoopie pies onto a baking rack. Whisk together the icing sugar, a few drops of almond extract and enough cold water to make a runny drizzle. You don't want it too runny or too thick. Just add it a bit at a time until you get the proper consistency. Drizzle this over the whoopie pies, topping each with 1/2 of a cherry and some flaked almonds before it sets. Allow to set before serving.
These will keep for several hours once filled and iced. Best eaten on the day they are baked! (Not a problem I'd say!!)