Friday, 4 January 2013

Blueberry Whoopie Pies - A Beginning

This is my first post, and what recipe, of a possible millions, have I chosen for this honor? A recipe which I partly made up, when it never occurred to me to write down my adaptions (including the essential detail of quantities), so most of this recipe is written based on memory.

However, that is not why I chose this recipe. I made (and invented) these whoopie pies at a friend's house, where about a dozen of us were hanging out in the kitchen, singing along to good music, laughing and having fun. That is what I think food, and surely, the making of it, should be about.

Originally, these were meant to be banoffee whoopie pies, but because my friend didn't have any bananas, we substituted for frozen blueberries, and ended up making an entirely different flavor. I have written this recipe as I made it that day, however to improve it I would add dulce de leche, or some sort of caramel sauce in the place of the golden syrup to give the cakes more of a 'toffee' flavor, and perhaps use just brown sugar, instead of half-brown-half-caster, to again make the caramel flavor more prominent.

I based this recipe on Claire Ptak's recipe for chocolate chip whoopies from her book, The Whoopie Pie Book. The icing sandwiched in between two whoopies is adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly cookbook Cupcakes' recipe for butter cream frosting.

Blueberry Whoopie Pies with Blueberry Butter Cream Frosting

Makes about 9 large or 24 mini whoopie pies

For the cakes:

280g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 large egg
60ml buttermilk
1 Tbsp golden syrup or caramel sauce
1/2 cup blueberries, crushed
100g dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas 4. Line 2 trays with baking paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream the softened butter and sugars together until light and fluffy using an electric beater. Add the egg and mix well. Measure the buttermilk into a jug and add the golden syrup/caramel sauce. Pour this into the butter mixture and beat until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the blueberries (and chocolate chips). Chill for 30 minutes.
Drop 18 large or 48 small scoops of batter, about 5 cm apart, onto the prepared baking trays. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes for large whoops or 8-10 for mini whoops, until the cakes are left with a slight impression when touched with a finger.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack a cool completely.

For the frosting:

125g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar
1/2 cup blueberries, crushed
2 Tbsp milk (if needed; see method)

Beat butter in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, beat in sifted icing sugar and blueberries, in two batches. If frosting is too dry and some icing sugar won't incorporate into mixture, add milk, 1 tsp at a time, until all icing sugar is incorporated and icing is fairly stiff.

To assemble:

Pipe or spread a generous scoop of blueberry butter cream frosting on the flat surface of a cooled whoopie. Top with another whoopie to make a sandwich, and serve.

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