So here is the first blog post on my new Petit Fours series. Kicking off with the delightfully named Whoopie Pie. The Amish are given credit for inventing these tasty treats, it’s rumoured they were so named because when a child (or indeed a husband) found one in their lunch box they would shout ‘Whoopie!’ in excitement. Cute! Whoopie pies are not technically a Petit Four. They most certainly are not French, but if you make them small enough they can become a Petit Four. Red Velvet whoopies are one of the Petit Fours being served in Starbucks at the moment. So rather than simply copy them and bake the same, I thought I would have a go at making strawberry whoopies, yum! I have veganised this recipe from Claire Ptak’s gorgeous book ‘The Whoopie Pie Book‘. So, here we go…
This recipe calls for 1 egg and buttermilk, so to make it vegan I used 1 eggs worth of egg replacer (my first time ever using it might I add) and mixed up some vegan ‘buttermilk’.
This recipe can make up to 9 large whoopies (10cm wide) or 24 small Petit Four sized whoopies (about 5cm wide). So feel free to make the bigger ones if you wish.*
You will need:
For the whoopie.
100g of fresh ripe strawberries
300g of plain flour
1 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt (argh, I hate stupid measurements like this, just chuck in a pinch!)
200g of light brown sugar
75ml of vegetable oil
65ml of soya milk
1 tsp of cider vinegar
20g of egg replacer (or however much the instructions say you need for 1 egg’s worth)
icing for dusting (optional, I forgot about this step as I was so eager to eat them!)
55-65ml of water
For the ‘Buttercream‘.
50ml of unstrained strawberry puree (about 80g of unhulled berries)
90g of very soft vegan spread
500-750g of icing sugar
1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
Do not pre-heat the oven until you have put the batter in the fridge to chill as this just wastes energy and money putting it on now.
1)Put the 65ml of soya milk in a small glass or plastic bowl (not metal as the mixture may react and create a metallic tatse, yuck!). Add in the 1 tsp of cider vinegar and leave for 5-10 minutes to curdle.
2) Mash the strawberries or blitz them in a food processor until chopped, not pureed. Set aside.
4) In another bowl (make sure it’s a big one) mix together the sugar and the oil really well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the strawberries and your ‘buttermilk’ until just combined.
5) Fold in the flour in two parts, try not to over mix the batter. Finally, add in 55-65ml of water (for the egg replacer), depending on how gloopy the batter is. You don’t want it to be runny as the whoopies won’t hold their shape on the baking tray. Put the mixture in the fridge for it to chill for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven now.
6) For the buttercream, mix together the spread and 300g of icing sugar until light and fluffy. You can do this with a free standing mixer with a flat beater if you wish. I just did it by hand with a wooden spoon.
7) Gradually add in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and the strawberry puree.
8) Gradually stir in a further 200g of icing sugar to the mix until it is fluffy again. If you feel the mixture is too soft, simply add in more of the icing sugar until it forms very soft peaks (I only needed to use 500g of icing sugar).Put in the fridge to stiffen up a bit.
9) Once the batter is nice and chilled, drop 24 x 5cm blobs (using a spoon or melon baller) onto the trays about 5cm apart. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes** so that the whoopies are left with a wee indentation in the top when you press them with your finger. Make sure you bake in two batches if your oven is not big enough rather than baking on two levels. The lower whoopies will only be less cooked otherwise.
10) Allow whoopies to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack. Once completely cooled, you can spread or pipe a generous dollop of the buttercream (stir when taken out of the fridge to make fluffy again) onto the upturned side of half the whoopies and place another on top. Et Voila! Yummy Strawberry Whoopie Petit Fours! :)
*I made mine a bit too big (more Grande Fours than Petit Fours I guess) so I got about 14 medium whoopies from this batch (they are about 7cm wide). I think next time I will use a small melon baller to create the Petit Four size whoopies, also, it will make them a lot neater and uniform in size (as you can see from my photos they all came out a bit wonky).
**If making the larger whoopies, allow 10-12 minutes for baking.