Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Whoopie Pies

I've been making whoopie for my pies. Not that heavy sweet stuff, but light of heart whoopie. The traditional New England Whoopie Pie is filled with a powdered sugar frosting mixed with Marshmallow Fluff. It can be just a little too much of a good thing. One of my favorite frosting and fillings for chocolate cake is an Italian Meringue. It is light and delicately sweet and leaves you asking for more. Heart shaped Whoopie Pies and Meringue filling sounded like a perfect marriage to me. And it was. I think it is the only broken heart I've ever looked forward to. They are so pretty that they can be served atop a tutu-like pink carnation and eaten with a spoon or tucked inside a cellophane bag for your sweet Valentine. I've never had wine with my cake, but hey, this is Valentine's Day. I found a Californian Merlot wine and couldn't resist trying it. Any wine named Cupcake is my cup of tea! It is described as,

"Decadent flavors of rich black cherry, supple mocha and wonderful sweet oak mingles into a plush, full finish. In other words: sinful."

The label even suggests serving it with chocolate cake. Cheers!

Soooo....Make a little whoopie this Valentine's Day....
and remember...All there is, is Love, Love is all there is ♥♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day!

Whoopie Pies
(Cakes adapted from Gourmet)

For the cakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
* to substitute buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk. Let stand 10 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until combined. In a small bowl stir together buttermilk and vanilla. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well blended. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternatively add the flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down sides after each batch, and mix until smooth.

For round cakes, spoon batter into 2 1/2 inch circles onto a parchment lined or buttered baking sheet. Space about 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed up and spring back when lightly touched, about 10 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer to a baking rack to cool. Once cool, fill one with filling and top with another.

Makes about 16 3-inch filled cakes.

Heart Shaped Cakes:
To make heart shapes, make a 3x3 inch heart template on light cardboard. On a sheet of parchment to fit your baking sheet, use a pencil to trace around the template making heart shapes. Leave 1-2 inches space between shapes. Turn the parchment over, pencil side down onto baking sheet.

Fill a large pastry bag fitted a large tip or just the coupling, and pipe inside of the heart shape leaving 1/4-1/2 inch space all around to allow for spreading. Try and accentuate the tail of the heart since it spreads while baking. If necessary, use your fingertips to give it more shape.
Bake and once cool, match up pairs of hearts that are similar shape and size. Fill pastry bag with filling and using a large tip, generously pipe filling on one cake and top with its matching cake. Lightly press together. Makes about 16 heart shaped filled cakes.

Meringue Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and water in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil until it reaches the soft ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. When the syrup reaches 240 degrees, pour 1/4 cup of the syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, drop by drop, beating at high speed. Gradually add the rest of the syrup in a fine stream and beat for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is cool. It should be glossy and thick, but not dry.
If coloring the meringue pink, add a few drops of red food coloring and continue beating until it reaches a light-medium pink.
Makes about 3 cups.

Love Notes: Add a 1/2 teaspoon of rosewater or other flavoring to the meringue frosting for a variation. Since I am lazy and cheap, I mean clever, I re-used the parchment paper by just scraping off any remaining cake bits on it. If you are putting the Whoopie Pies in bags, it helps to freeze them individually before placing in the bag. This keeps the filling from smearing. They can also be placed back in the freezer at this time until ready to give away.

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La Table De Nana said...

Your presentations and photos just get better and better..I love the little whoopie pies..I just baked J a brownie cake.. with Mon Amour written on it..The writing was too soft and not pretty so no photos..It was for him anyways:)

Love the wine have such cute kinds..

Love your blog.. you should do a pretty book..You've got connections even:) But you don't need them..
Happy Valentine's Day Diane..

linda said...

adore these whoopee pies…i am not usually a whoopee pie lover but, these intrigue me as they are light & i love meringue frostings!
great post…please write a book…i agree with la table de nana…please!

happy diane!

ann said...

These look really wonderful. I love the lightness of the filling. I'm a Boston girl too!

Nicole Pearce said...

Sounds like someone is in the mood for Valentine's day.
Too bad cute little heart shaped pink goodies are only acceptable one day of the year.
Happy Valentine's Day!

2 Stews said...

Monique...I'm sure your amour brownie cake was just perfect with Jacques. It was full of love. You are both blessed to have each other. Thanks for the kind comments. They mean a lot.

Linda..Yes, I agree that normally I am not crazy about too large and overly sweet cakes. I think these strike a nice balance. Thanks!! I'd love to compile things into a book. I keep thinking about it.

Ann...Hey neighbor, are you on the North Shore? I took a peek at your site and will keep visiting to see what you're up to.

Nicole...I'm not one for Hallmark Holidays, but it is a fun reminder to send out thoughts of love. I think pink goodies of sweetness are always acceptable and bring a smile, no matter the age or gender of the recipient. Thanks and Happy Valentine's Day.

All...Thanks for visiting...xoxo...Diane

Foodiewife said...

I have always wanted to make Whoopie Pies, but never get around to it. I'm a marshmallow fluff person-- but, I have to say, it's totally genius that you made Italian meringue. You've moved these up a few notches on my recipe bucket list.
These are simply gorgeous! Bravo.

Chocolate Freckles said...

These are so pretty perfect for thanksgiving! :)

Lisa said...

Your whoopie pies look so good. Love the heart shape. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your whoopie pies up.

Meg Luby said...

i almost bought a whoopie pie tin! thank you for saving me the buck, these look GREAT!

Nancy said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blog. How beautiful. Happy Valentine's Day!

Deana Sidney said...

The pictures are so lovely. I especially love the carnation pillow! They are a much-maligned flower that need some better press... they used to make wine and syrup with them!
I do love the meringue fluff.... great VD dessert!

Edible Art said...

ive never tried a whoopie pie,
but after looking at your pictures, i wannnnnnttt !

amazing pictures & presentation btw. (:

Kathy Walker said...

I just recently had my first Whoopie Pie. They were delicious but not nearly as adorable as yours! What a great idea!