It wasn’t that long ago that I had my first Whoopie Pie from the Hummingbird Bakery in South Kensington, I don’t know how I’ve come this far without trying them. A cake sandwich with fluffy frosting filling, they are just so good!
I had been eyeing up the whoopie pie recipes in Cake Days for a while, but was feeling a little cautious about attempting them for a number of reasons. Firstly, at the bottom of the ingredients list is something I know you won’t have in your cupboard – Marshmallow Fluff. Secondly, they take a fair amount of time with all the chilling, baking, more chilling and cooling. And thirdly, the ones from the shop are just so perfect I didn’t know if I could do them justice. But, I found myself with a Saturday morning to spare and I was feeling bold. They also happen to be one of Jake’s favourites and he starts a new job on Monday so I thought I might treat him (as if he doesn’t get plenty of baked treats from me?!).
I think I need another try at them, mine look very home-made! Smoother batter, bigger but flatter mounds on the baking tray, and not quite as long in the oven and they’ll be getting there!
First up, the elusive Marshmallow Fluff. Apparently you can buy it in Asda and I have seen it with my own eyes in Partridge’s on King’s Road, London. Unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to buy some when I saw it, so I resorted to homemade. With all things “marshmallow” in baking, it’s actually very similar to meringue. I opted for an Italian meringue method, using hot syrup which cooks the egg whites. Let’s tackle this first:Marshmallow Fluff, Makes about 500g 3 large egg whites 175g caster sugar 180ml golden syrup or “light corn syrup” 80ml water 1tsp vanilla extract
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until frothy. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until soft peaks.
Top Tip! To make golden syrup easier to handle, either put the tin into a bowl of hot water, or put the bottle in the microwave for 30 seconds, it will melt it and make it much easier to pour. Combine the remaining sugar, syrup and water in a small bowl and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. This part is MUCH easier if you have a candy thermometer, you need to bring the mixture to firm ball stage, at 245°F, it will take about 10 minutes.
Remove the syrup mixture from the heat, with the electric mixer running on low, slowly add the hot syrup to the egg whites. Once it has all been incorporated, add the vanilla extract and turn the mixer up to high and beat for another 4 minutes until the mixture is thick and voluminous, and maintains it’s shape without bubbling away like egg whites tend to.
Save 220g of this deliciously sweet cloud for the filling of the pies and store the rest in a tightly sealed jar.Chocolate Whoopie Pies, Makes 8-10 pies For the Sponge 1 large egg 150g caster sugar 125g plain yoghurt 25ml semi skimmed milk ¼ tsp vanilla essence 75g unsalted butter, melted 200g plain flour 80g cocoa Powder ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda ¼ tsp baking powder Filling 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature 280g icing sugar 220g vanilla marshmallow fluff
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg and the sugar together until light in colour and creamy. Combine the yoghurt, milk and vanilla essence together and add to the egg and sugar. Add the melted butter to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture in two batches, beating well after each addition. Then put the batter in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two or three baking trays with baking parchment.
When ready, spoon the batter into mounds 3-5cm in diameter on the baking trays, 2-3cm apart. I found that mine came out a little small and tall, so I would suggest making them at 5cm in diameter but flatten the tops slightly. Bake for 10-13 mins. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
For the filling, beat together the butter and sugar until well mixed. Add the marshmallow fluff, stir to combine then turn the mixer up high and beat until it is light and fluffy. Put in the fridge for about 30minutes to firm up a bit.
Once the cakes are completely cool, put a tablespoon of filling on the flat side of one of the cakes and sandwich another on top of the filling.
Whoopie Pies – done!