Cook Book Challenge: Week 35

It's been such a long while, but I'm finally delving back into the challenge of getting through my ever expanding collection of books. Picking up where I left off, this is the third instalment of Philadelphia's recipe books. You know the type when they're like, "Buy our products and get a free book!" deals. Except these books are actually good. For the third book, they teamed up with Cadbury for extra noms. It's probably no surprise that this book is dessert focused. I'm pretty sure there's not one savoury recipe in the whole thing, which is moderately disappointing. But it's hard to remain disappointed when browsing page after page of mouth watering recipes.

Cream cheese involved recipes are something I make relatively often, so there was little in there that was particularly challenging. One of the new candidates, however, was whoopie pies.

Through contact with so many international bloggers, whoopie pies and something I keep hearing about but have never experienced. I only had the most vague idea what they were. So It was definitely time to try them for myself.

If you're as unfamiliar with whoopie pies as most people on this continent are, it's basically two layers of cake with icing in the middle. It begins like most cakes: creaming your butter and sugar first, then folding in the rest of your ingredients. The batter alone for this was lovely, and I had to fight off many sneaky fingers and paws of individuals who didn't want to wait.

Once you have your batter, you dollop it unceremoniously onto a baking tray.

You don't need to worry about being pretty, as the batter spreads to give you this lovely, even disc.

While you're letting that cool, it's time to make the filling. The recipe called for milk chocolate, but I only had dark on hand so I ran with that.

And in no time you'll have a batch of whoopie pies ready for nomming.

I made half of them as suggested in the recipe: by dolloping the batter onto a baking tray.

For the rest I decided to play around and used a mini hemisphere tray to make little mounds.

I think I preferred this version. They turn out a bit darker and aren't as smooth, but I liked the height.

I'd tell you how lovely they are, but don't take my word for it. Just ask Tobias, who stood on the other side of the glass while I was taking photos trying every face he could muster to convince me to give them to him.

"Please, mum? Pleeeeeeeeeease?"

Here's Philly's recipe, minus the product placement:

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Ingredients

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

Filling
200g milk chocolate melts
75g unsalted butter, extra
250g cream cheese
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Fold in the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb soda with the buttermilk until combined. Drop tablespoonfuls of mixture onto paper lined baking trays to make 32, allowing room for spreading.
  2. Bake in a hot oven (200°C) for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned around the edges. Stand for 5 minutes before lifting onto a wire rack. Cool.
  3. Combine chocolate and extra butter in a bowl over simmering water. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and cool. Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar, then beat in the chocolate mixture. Chill until required.
  4. Pipe or spread the prepared chocolate cream over 16 bases, then sandwich together and dust with extra icing sugar. Serve immediately.

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

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