As food trends go, this is one I wasn’t sure about at first, particularly because of the cheesy name – American of course! According to most sources, they originated in the Amish communities in the US. They would be added to lunchboxes as a treat, and the lucky recipient would shout out, ‘Whoopie!’ if they found one packed up for them at lunchtime.
I have to admit, the Whoopie Pies you see here were my third attempt. The first attempt, I inexplicably used bicarbonate of soda instead of baking powder, and poor quality marshmallows. The result was quite crunchy, biscuity with a jelly-like filling. My lovely colleagues were generous and complimentary.
The second attempt went much better, but took me a long time, and got eaten before I managed to take any snaps! That time though, I did get to perfect the piping and the flavours.
So, attempt three: Passion fruit filling and icing and light, spongy pies, hooray!
My advice is, these will make a big impression, but make sure you have a good few hours to make them, as they have several stages. Just one more thing, those who like to think they set trends may say they are the new cupcakes, but unlike cupcakes, they are not so quick and easy to make.
This recipe is an adaptation of one from the king of baking, Mr Dan Lepard.
Recipe for Passionfruit Whoopie Pies
For the pies
75g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
125g soured cream
25ml cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
275g plain flour
For the filling
100g white marshmallows
125g very soft unsalted butter
Pulp from two passion fruit
For the icing
Pulp from two passion fruit
200g icing sugar
Line a few baking trays with greaseproof paper and get your piping nozzles at the ready. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Melt the butter in a bowl, then put it to one side. Then whisk the egg with an electric hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy, then add the sugar a third at a time and whisk it up until it’s thick and glossy. Add the cold milk to the egg, plus the soured cream and vanilla and stir to combine, then beat this into the egg and sugar bit by bit. Then sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture and gently mix until it’s smooth.
Get your piping nozzle out and spoon about a third of the mixture into the piping bag. Then pipe small balls, about 3cm apart onto your trays.
It’s important to leave this space as they will grow while they’re cooking, and if they are too close, they’ll end up with flat edges, which spoils the effect.
Cook the pies for about 12-14 minutes, until they’re just turning golden, but not too dark or they’ll be a bit too hard. Cool them on a cooling rack.
And then put them into pairs.
For the marshmallow cream, heat the milk in a pan on a low heat, then add the marshmallows and stir continuously until they’re melted and the mixture is smooth. Then transfer to a bowl to cool. Beat the soft butter until it’s creamy and soft, then gradually mix it with the marshmallow mixture until it’s all smooth. Finally, stir in the passionfruit pulp and then put the marshmallow cream in the fridge to set.
To make the icing, mix 200g of icing sugar with the rest of the passionfruit pulp and put in the fridge to set.
Ok, now to make the pies. Make sure the cream isn’t to runny, or it will just squidge out of the sides. Sandwich the pies together and put them in the fridge to set. After about half an hour, get them out of the fridge and top them with the icing, then finally back into the fridge one more time to set.
Yes, that really is the last stage. Finally, they are ready… get them out of the fridge and keep them at room temperature to serve.
© Katheryn Rice 2010