Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Filling

So last week the game my fiancĂ© was for going to see his friends was cancelled.  This meant he didn't take the cakes I made to Dundee.  He was not too upset by that part, because it meant he got to eat two thirds of them (I took some into work with me).  But I felt a bit bad about them missing out on cakes and because I wouldn't usually make them this week due to working Monday.  So I caved to my own feelings and whipped up something for him to take this week.  I'm a big softie apparently.

Last week I also acquired some new books for my cookbook collection.  The shop I work in sells books (among other things) and we have loads of good deals on.  We're also getting a small period of extra staff discount so I was taking advantage of it.  One of the books I snapped up was The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days.  It is quite a nice book and it's where today's recipe comes from.  I found it whilst flicking through and thought my fiancĂ© would enjoy them (I always base what I make for him and his friends primarily on what he likes).  They were based on carrot cake, which he likes, and has a cinnamon filling.  It was also for something I had never made before: whoopie pies.  It was certainly interesting.  And really I should read recipes all the way through because otherwise I start mixing up timings.  I was finishing off the filling at midnight last night and really I needed to let it set for 30 minutes before using it but I wanted to go to bed.  So I just put it in as it was and then put the whole cakes into the fridge.  Next time I'll do it the right way around.  

As for the final result, I have no idea what a whoopie pie should feel like so I don't know if I was successful...I admit I was expecting something more biscuit like but the book said cake so I think I am at least on the right lines.  Taste wise they were apparently very yummy and well received and all gone by the end of the night.

Recipe - adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days
Makes 8-10 

  • 1 large egg
  • 150g/5.5oz caster sugar
  • 125g/4.5oz plain yoghurt
  • 25ml/1fl.oz milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g/2.5oz unsalted butter
  • 275g/10oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100g/3.5oz carrot
  • 170g/6oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 280g/10oz icing sugar
  • 175g/6oz vanilla marshmallow fluff (I made it from the recipe I used here)
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and then set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg and the sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  3. In a jug, mix together the yoghurt, milk and vanilla.
  4. Pour into the whisked eggs, followed by the melted butter and mix to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, ground spices, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt.
  6. Add half to the egg and yoghurt mixture and beat in until just incorporated.  Repeat with the second half.
  7. Peel and grate the carrot. 
  8. Put into a sieve and press down to drain out any liquid.
  9. Add the carrot to the batter and stir in (if using an electric whisk or mixer up until this point, do this by hand) until it is spread evenly throughout the mixture.
  10. Put the batter in the fridge to cool and set for 30-40 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°/Gas Mark 3 and line 2-3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  12. Once the batter is cool, spoon small mounds of butter onto the trays.  Make sure you have even numbers of mounds since each pair makes a pie.  The mounds should be about 3-5cm/1.25-2inches in diameter and spaced well apart (at least 2.5cm/1inch) because they will spread out when cooking.
  13. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  They should be lightly golden all over and will spring back when you touch them.
  14. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool. 
  15. Whilst the cakes cool, make the marshmallow fluff (if not already done so) and then make the filling.
  16. Mix together the butter, icing sugar and ground cinnamon until the butter and sugar combine together.  
  17. Add the marshmallow fluff and mix until mixture is light and fluffy.
  18. Put the filling in the fridge for half and hour.
  19. When sponges are cold, it is time to fill them.  Spread 1.5 tablespoons of filling mixture on the flat side of one of the cakes then place a second one on top, with the flat side touching the filling, to make a sandwich.  Press together gently.
  20. Repeat until all pies are sandwiches together.

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