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Whoopie Pies

4 Feb

Ah, I was so close to naming this post ‘Whoopie Pie-berg’, but just had to stop myself despite the hilarity (explicit indication there that I find my own jokes hilarious… This is slighty awkward).

Anyway, it’s baking day! Today I made a batch of Whoopie Pies for a group of visiting friends and, luckily, they went down a storm!

‘What’s a ruddy Whoopie Pie, you crazy person!’ I hear you scream. Well to be honest, I hadn’t heard of them either, up until recently  when flipping through my trusted Hummingbird Bakery cookbook- my version of a Bible. The only way I can describe them is this: Imagine soft, spongy chocolate chip cookies glued together with a luxurious chocolate buttercream filling. Oh yes, it’s about to get real up in here… Oh and yes, I realise that these don’t exactly look light and fluffy and perfectly-shaped, but do keep in mind this was my first attempt (ever!), and that they taste much, much better than they look (if I do say so myself)! 

Here’s the recipe: (For the sponge)

  • 1 large egg
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 125g (4½oz) plain yoghurt
  • 25ml (1fl oz) milk
  • ¼tsp vanilla essence
  • 75g (2oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 275g (10 oz) plain flour
  •  ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼tsp baking powder
  • 150g (5½oz) dark chocolate chips

(For the filling)

  • 170g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 280g (10 oz) icing sugar
  • 220g (8oz) vanilla marshmallow fluff.

1.) Whisk the egg and sugar until pale and fluffy. Pour the yoghurt, milk and vanilla essence into a jug. Mix together then gradually add to egg mixture. Pour in the melted butter and mix again.

2.) Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, then add these dry ingredients to the batter in two stages, mixing thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips, then place finished batter in the fridge to cool and set for 15-20 mins. 

3.) In the meantime, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3, and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

4.) Spoon the batter onto trays, making 16-20 mounds (the size you choose per mound depends on how big you want your pies to be, as they usually rise and spread when baking), making sure they are around 2-3 cm (1¼ in) apart.

5.) Bake in the oven for 10-13 mins or until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before you add the filling.

6.) While the sponges are cooking, mix together the butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar until smooth. Add the marshmallow fluff and continue to beat until frosting is soft and fluffy. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up.

7.) To assemble the whoopie pies, take one sponge and spread about 1 tbsps of the filling on the flat side and then sandwich together with another sponge, flat side facing down. Continue doing this until all the sponge and frosting has been used.

Voilà– delicious Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies! Now go and bake, eat, then have pie-induced heart attack.

NB: These beauties can also be made in various different flavours such as banoffee, chocolate and peanut butter- these are just the chocolate chip version (and my favourite!).  

Just a quick note before I go… Is it just me or is Lana Del Rey’s new album ‘Born to Die’ absolutely superb?! I couldn’t care less about the negative media attention she’s been receiving, or the rumours of her past, her image and whatnot. The girl’s vocals are stunning, her songs  pieces of art, and her lyrics beautifully heartfelt and captivating. This is all completely subjective of course… But bah, who cares? Everyone else is putting their two cents in, and I want in! Particular highlights are songs Off to the Races, Diet Mountain Dew, Radio, National Anthem and Summertime Sadness. I love her. That is all.

Night all!

Music to My Ears

17 Nov

Personally, I’ve always fancied myself as having quite an eclectic music taste, as I pretty much listen to anything in all different genres, so long as it’s good. Therefore, seeing as I’ve pretty much had the same string of songs on repeat on my iPod for the last couple of weeks, and am thus very much in music-mode, I thought I’d make this a sort of random, irregular post on my musical obsessions of the moment!

Anyone heard of Maverick Sabre? I hope so. Not only because his name is in actual fact awesome, but his bluesy voice is hypnotizing and his refreshingly soulful music resonates nostalgia to a male early-days Amy Winehouse. I had vaguely heard of Maverick Sabre a while ago, however I only really listened to his music recently when sitting in a restaurant. It literally made me drop the conversation I was having and lulled me into some sort of pleasant, catatonic, auditory state. The song in question (which is in fact his most recent) was ‘I Need’. It’s beautiful, and demonstrates a mix of soul and R&B; a common characteristic of  Sabre’s music; which sets him apart from many other contemporary artists… Selling him much?! Anyway, that lapse in judgement aside, I’d definitely recommend a listen!

At the risk of sounding ridiculously mainstream, I’ve also developed a sort of fondness for Rihanna’s new single ‘We Found Love’- featuring Calvin Harris. Before I’d even heard it, despite the fact that Calvin Harris is an awesome Brit artist and much-appreciated on this side of the pond (need I even bother mentioning the amazing on-stage Jedward/pineapple stunt of 2009 which resulted in Harris’ life-long ban from the UK X Factor?), I had decided that I didn’t want to hear the song and refused that I would like it… Simply on the basis that Rihanna’s been a bit of a ‘new single’ hoe this year (I mean, how many ‘new singles’ can one woman release in a year alone? Come on!), and I pathetically wanted to resist from following the crowd …Hello! If I hadn’t done that when Cher Lloyd’s ‘Swagger Jagger’ was released, then where would we be?! For all we know, that monstrosity could have actually reached the number 1 spo-

Oh wait…             Dammit!

However, when I did find myself listening to the song I was pleasantly surprised, as I mostly always am with Rihanna’s music (I’m sorry for ever doubting you Rihanna! I understand that the days of ‘Rated R’ are behind us now!). Also, the fun and gritty video really sells the song, which is of course a bonus…

Finally, the last (I promise!) song which has also taken my fancy recently (excuse the twee and slightly sickening expression), is Labrinth’s team-up with Tinie Tempah. What is it with all these contemporary rappers putting some sort of reference to height issues in their names? Yes Tinchy Stryder, you too! The song ‘Earthquake’ is actually great- it’s bound to be special with sophisticated and mature lyrics such as “throw bombs on it” and “just smash something”… Perhaps not, but don’t let that turn you off! Labrinth’s a really good artist, and listening to ‘Earthquake’ made me wonder why I hadn’t paid enough attention to him from the start.

Yes, yes, I understand that my reviews of these songs are all completely subjective! However alls I knows is they are awesome tunes, and are winning like Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood. Trust a brother.

Night all!

Pink Friday

21 Jul

So I bought this pink lipgloss (Bourjois Paris- Effect 3D, Rose) in order to fit in with my costume idea for a friend’s birthday party. The theme is pop and rock stars, past and present. So being an olive-skinned brunette, I of course took this as an opportunity to experience being a blonde for once in my life, just for the fun of it. Yes, it sounds crazy but when else would I get the chance to experiment with a blonde wig without seeming an utter fool?

When considering my options for music artists, I had to painfully reject the idea of going Gaga (literally)- the most eccentric of my choices, and my personal favourite. This was because although she can get away with wearing almost anything due to her, let’s call it, unique sense of style (hello, meat dress anyone?), I still wasn’t sure of my chances of getting away with being a blondie, as I have tanned skin and dark hair for a reason- blonde just doesn’t suit me, unfortunately.

However, it then dawned on me… Why worry about being judged, looking like a crazy bitch in a blonde wig, when I could choose to do this by dressing as another darker-skinned lady who totally makes blonde work, and owns it?

Nicki Minaj- I had never properly listened to her music before, but you just have to look at a picture of the woman to see how evidently she oozes mad confidence, both in her style and in herself. Given, she walks around with hair in a range of different colours; from bubble gum pink to candyfloss orange and seaweed green; nevertheless, a slick blonde do has frequently been her signature look as of late.

So, as I was saying (oh, I do love coming  full circle), I bought this Bourjois Paris lipgloss in order to fully emulate Nicki Minaj’s iconic new era ‘Barbie’ image. Here’s to hoping I’ll do her justice!

In other news, I’ve learned today that you know when you have a baking disaster on your hands (or ‘baking fail’ as I’ve aptly named it) because when you end up desperately scraping your cookie mix into a cake tin- that’s bad. It can’t get any more ambiguous than that, however my pride won’t let me explain any further at risk of wholly losing any faith left in my baking abilities, once and for all.