Food, like clothes, has fashions and trends. We have had cupcakes and macaroons and now it’s the era of the Whoopie Pie!
The name is amusing and nobody is sure where exactly that name originates, although it’s said to mimic the exclamation of joy as lunch boxes containing the aforementioned cakes were opened. They are an American sweet tradition from the state of either Maine or Pennsylvania. The pies are also called “gobs” in some quarters but that isn’t half so attractive.
Whoopie Pies are made from a batter that’s a lot less temperamental than that for macaroons. They look rather similar, being two spongy rounds sandwiched together with a creamy filling. They come in a slew of flavour combinations and there are even some savoury varieties that would be ideal as cocktail nibbles.
The pies are simple to make but here I offer a bit of advice: Take some baking parchment and draw 40 x 3cm circles. Divide the mixture equally between the circles and spread the batter to the edge. All your cakes will be exactly the same size and will cook evenly.
There are 80 recipes here but the permutations of cakes and fillings are huge, and everyone will have their own favourite. I have never quite seen the appeal of peanut butter and jelly (jam), but here that classic sandwich is transformed into a Whoopie Pie. However, I do have a high regard for Oreo cookies, another American institution: Chocolate Oreo Whoopie Pies contain crushed cookies incorporated into the cake batter, which is sandwiched with buttery chocolate cream.
Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Whoopie Pies are pale and exotic. They would be delicious paired with a glass of ginger tea on a hot (use your imagination) afternoon. Winter might find you tempted by Cinnamon Raisin Whoopie Pies or Apple and Calvados Whoopie Pies. The alcohol is in the batter but I might add a little to the filling as well.
The savoury Whoopie Pies are intriguing. Consider making three different varieties and serving them at a drinks party. Beetroot Whoopie Pies are a striking pink with a cream cheese filling. Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Whoopie Pies are flecked with red and green, and the smoked Salmon and Chive Whoopie Pies are blond and very smart.
This is a book crammed with inspiration and ideas for family cakes or snacks, but also for stylish savouries to go with aperitifs, or desserts for special occasions.
Whoopie Pies – Creamy, dreamy delights
Author: Viola Goren
Published by: Apple Press
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018