Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies
So, despite my clafoutis attempts in the microwave, I know you have probably been craving sugar at forages and finds a little recently, am I right? Well this week I’m making up a little for the slightly depleted cookery posts of late. In fact I was so excited to be in a kitchen with an oven, albeit a student kitchen, that I spent the entire afternoon cooking yesterday, much to the surprise of the kitchen’s actual occupants! However, Seb had stocked up on baking ingredients and equipment especially in preparation for my visit, as well as taking me to a lovely meal at Loch Fyne fish bar in Kenilworth on Monday (YUM!), which is all reason enough to cook something delicious in return…
Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies
My choice of confectionery somewhat reflects my response at being in a normal, stocked kitchen again. WHHOOPPIEEEEEEE!!!!!

Another way to explain what I decided to make is to re-introduce you to one of my favourite bloggers, bakerella! She did a little feature on a book written by her friend on the new ‘thing’, whoopie pies. I have seen these around for a while. Subconsciously I casually wrote them off as a less successful than ‘cake-pops’ attempt at the reinvention of the cupcake’s commercial popularity. I had tasted the co-op’s sickly, expensive versions. What I hadn’t done is… baked them myself. And wow, have I missed out!

Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies
Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies
I mean, I love making cakes. But I have a definite limited capacity for cake – even a moist and flavoured cake can leave me feeling full and no longer enthusiastic after a small-medium slice. Yesterday was a different story: I baked, I tasted the mixture, I licked the bowl, I tried the freshly baked versions, I then tested them with icing, and finally assessed the finished product before nomming them down with Seb later on. Perhaps their appeal is their light and thin layers – I like layers. Especially when one of them is icing.

Enough. On with the recipe, you say. Well this raised a problem for me. Every recipe, including the one on Bakerella’s page, was in “cups”. Why do Americans insist upon this? Seb had scales. Not cups. So I spent a good half an hour in a Maths lecture translating this recipe for you into English, as I felt that a metric Whoopie pie recipe was needed, and one with English versions of ingredients too.

Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies

Chocolate & Strawberry Whoopie Pies (Metric/English ingredients version).

200g flour
55g cocoa power
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half tsp salt
4tbsp of unsalted butter*
4tbsp of Trex/Cookeen/other ‘vegetable shortening’ product equivalent
220g dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml of milk

Method: Sift together flour, bicarb, salt and cocoa powder. In another bowl, beat together the butter & ‘shortening’ and then the sugar for several minutes until combined & fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla extract. Finally, mix in half the flour mixture & half the milk until smooth before adding the other half of each. Place spoonfuls of mixture onto non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at around 160 degrees C until they are springy.

*sorry, I didn’t get around to finding the equivalent of tbsps of butter, since I figured I could measure out a tablespoon’s worth!

To make a frosting, mix a tub of cream cheese with about 50g butter and icing sugar – this depends on your consistency, I would recommend under 100g of icing sugar to keep it thick. I layered the cakes with cream & slices of strawberry. And cut a few into heart shapes. Yum! To see the step-by-step version, go to Bakerella’s page.

Chocolate & strawberry Whoopie pies

What a delightfully-spent afternoon! I also made a delicious dinner, one which I planned a while ago in my scrapbook, and will share tomorrow. Also, another of my favourite themed bakes of the year is coming up: Halloween. Exciting!

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