Choc whoopie pies with fresh strawberry buttercream

20:30:00

I've always been a bit of a whoopie pie sceptic. A while back, when they were 'making a comeback' I couldn't have cared less. I didn't see what was a) so exciting and b) so impressive.
Then I had a whoopie pie flavoured ice-cream and it was gooood!

Well today I decided to put my bias aside and give making them a try.
Not exactly as easy as it looks...
I'm quite excited with these...

This was the first time I'd ever adapted a recipe to make it what I wanted. I sourced a whoopie pie recipe (this one) and from there proceeded to change it (which was quiet exciting!) until I ended up with these.
Chocolate and strawberry whoppie pies!
To make these whoopie pies you'll need;
125g butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, slightly compacted
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg at room temperature
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
330ml buttermilk. Neat trick I have been using for a while now. If you don't have buttermilk at home you can make it using white vinegar and milk. For each 300ml of buttermilk required place 1 tbl of vinegar and fill to 300ml. In this case we need 1 tbl + 1tsp of vinegar then fill to the required 330ml with milk. Saves a trip to the supermarket! Yay!)

Preheat oven to 190°C and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. You're going to make heaps of biscuits and will definitely need to trays. However if you don't have two trays you can reuse the same trays, just let them cool a little first.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugars (both brown and caster) and vanilla together until pale and creamy. Beat in egg.

Stir in bicarb until combined.

Fold in flour and buttermilk in alternating little batches until just smooth. I have discovered that whoopie pies are basically cakes in biscuit form. They are squishy and cake like, almost like the top of a muffin but a little fluffier and lighter. To make sure that they are as fluffy as they can be, don't over fold the mixture.

Scoop out using an ice-cream scoop with a diameter of roughly 3cm (so quite small). I found one of my measuring spoons was 3cm so I used that. Basically if all else fails you want to end up with around a teaspoon of mixture in a little round dollop on the baking trays.
I got a bit worried when the batter consistency was so runny. I mean you really do scoop out cake batter into a tray (and for a first timer, pray) that they turn into what they're meant to.

Bake for 10 minutes or until firm swapping trays around half way through. Take from the oven and put on a wire rack immediately to cool.

And surprisingly after baking they worked!

So here I have these yummy little cakes.
But what to fill them with?

After ages trawling the web (I seem to do this a lot) I came to the conclusion that most commonly whoopie pies are filled with marshmallow cream. Being slightly scared of making marshmallow still, (although I don't know why) I decided to steer away at least this time.
Now I could have stuck with something easy, fresh fruit and whipped cream was probably the easiest option, but what is life without some challenge?
So I decided to make strawberry buttercream using fresh strawberries. (another first time eek!)

To make the strawberry buttercream you'll need;
1 cup strawberry chopped
8 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
About 60g butter
About 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbl milk

Basically this is a strawberry sauce recipe which is then added to a buttercream recipe. The approximates for the buttercream is because making buttercream is just a process of adding ingredients until you have the right consistency.

To begin add the strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat stirring occasionally. Cook for about 15 minutes mashing the strawberries against the side (so it's not overly lumpy) until the sauce has thickened and is rich enough in flavour for your liking. The longer it is left the stronger the flavour.

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream butter. Add some of the icing sugar and some of the sauce. Basically just keep adding icing sugar and sauce until you get the right consistency and the taste you want. Please add the sauce in really little amounts, so you don't make wayyy to much filling!

Pipe filling into the base of one biscuit to stick the two together!

And there you have it! Whoopie pies!

My first time and I'm convinced they are definitely worth it!

Happy baking!

xx

Caitlin

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