Recently I’ve tried to get more into baking – a lot easier as I’m now in my own home, and have a lot more free time after the wedding. After a few months spent collecting the necessary baking equipment – mixing bowls and trays are about as far as I’ve got at the moment, which does limit making baking options – I decided to go with an old favourite, whoopie pies. Chocolate cake and buttercream icing? Its like the sponge verision of an Oreo, who can say no! (Not many people, as it turns out… :P)
The whoopee pie was originally an American classic, great for party food with the unusual pie/cupcake combo making for fun making and eating! Which is always good! The recipe I used for this was from my trusty Step-By-Step Baking book, a pleasure to just look through as well as giving the most clear and concise instructions for baking that I’ve come across. The best bit however, is that with each type of recipe, the book gives you a couple more versions and flavours just to make sure there’s enough to please everyone. The basic whoopie pie recipe is delicious, with chocolate sponge surrounding a creamy buttercream icing centre, and also has the added decoration of icing with chocolate shavings to really make it special.
I’ve made these before and they went down an absolute treat, looking fantastic as well as tasting fantastically light, despite their size and appearance looking a little heavy. This weekend I decided to give the chocolate orange version a go, this being by far and away my favourite flavour to add to chocolate! I was in heaven! The recipe for the variations on the main are a little simpler than the basic version, not detailing the exact process for each step but you can always flick back a page to check you’re doing it right. The step-by-step instructions often have pictures, giving you a clear indication of exactly what you should be doing which is so helpful especially when building something like these whoopie pies.
The flavouring of the chocolate and icing comes from real orange, using the zest in the chocolate sponge and the juice in the buttercream, and the smell in the kitchen was to die for! I had to stop myself just sniffing at the mixtures all day, telling myself they would taste even better once baked and combined to the final product. I was a bit neater with the making of the sponge halves this go, having discerned the trick with the hot wet spoon to smooth the cake mix into the correct shape. Once the pies were all made, it was off to my parents house baring cakey goodness and wedding photos! The pies were very well received, though when I first bit into mine I wasn’t sure if there was enough orange flavour to them, but it was the subtlety of the flavouring that made them so delicious, along with the light consistency of both the buttercream and the sponge.
The recipe I followed was supposed to be enough to make 10 pies, but I think I need to be a bit less liberal with my spooned dollops onto the baking tray, as we only got 8! Even then, I’m beginning to think that whilst I, being a chocoholic, can easily demolish these giants, maybe if I make them smaller, there will be more tasty bites of goodness to go round and last longer! I’m excited to give the other flavours a go, including Black Forest Gateaux and any other concoctions I can think of!
The Vintage Housewife x