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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!

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Crunchy Peanut Cookies

28 Sep

I love this recipe. 

Not only is it my grandma’s (the Godfather of baking)- making me more desperate to not completely ruin it, but I’ve been told by the Don herself that my batch were a perfect replica! Hence my confidence in now posting it here…

Here it is:

  • 120g (40z) softened butter
  • 90g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 90g (3oz) muscovado sugar
  • ½ jar peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  •  ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 210g (7oz) plain flour

1.) Preset oven at 180°C, Gas mark 4. Lightly grease a tin, or roll out a sheet of greaseproof paper, depending on your preference.

2.) Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the peanut butter, egg, vanilla essence and then the flour.

3.) Beat or mix until the mixture takes on a dough form.

4.) Break into small pieces (depending on whether you want large or small biscuits), roll into balls and place on tin.

5.) Press down on each ball of mixture with the back of a fork to form a criss-cross pattern on each (can be made as flat as you like).

6.) Bake for about 30 mins, or until cooked and lightly browned.

Right, so a few side-notes and confessions:

1.) I used soft light brown sugar for the muscovado sugar part of the ingredients.

2.) Also, I used crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth, because I feel it adds some much needed texture to the cookies, as well as that extra crunch. 

3.) In my grandma’s original recipe she uses actual peanuts instead of peanut butter (don’t ask me how), and knowing that this was way out of my small culinary league of skills, she granted me the peanut butter shortcut. 

Anyway, regardless of a few rule breaks, these cookies were lovely (if I do say so myself!) and crunchy treat. Enjoy!

You Must Be Having A Loaf

30 Jul

Not bad for a first attempt, is it? I baked this Coffee and Chocolate Loaf yesterday and, even if I do say so myself, I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’ve even received rave reviews from family members and friends who I persistently badgered to try a slice, so that must be good! Here’s the recipe:

  • 190g (70z) unsalted butter, softened + extra for greasing
  • 130g(4½oz) plain flour + extra for dusting
  • 190g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60g (2oz) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp strong coffee (brewed and cooled)
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3, then grease loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Separately pour milk into a jug, add the coffee and mix together. Add the dry ingredients to cake batter in two batches, alternating with coffee/milk. Mix well after each addition, until finally the batter is smooth and even.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and place in oven to bake for approx. 1 hour, or until sponge is firm and a skewer inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for a while in the tin before turning out onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Personally, I find that there’s no real need to strictly follow any recipe right to a tee, so in this case as I couldn’t find any soft light brown sugar, I opted for the hard dark brown sugar that I did find at the back of my cupboard, which may sound rather dubious, yet seemed to work perfectly with the coffee to create a dark, rich loaf. I could stick to that story, which sounds quite inspired; or I could just be honest and say that it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever, so to hell with it!

Enjoy!