Whoopie! (Pies)

I’m not sure how I’ve gone my whole life without eating a Whoopie Pie but wow these are good. Credit for this recipe goes to MengBakes, one of my favourite Toronto bakers. She made them for PiDay, and they looked so delicious so I had to give them a try.

Plus, this was as good a vehicle as any for my two current favourite things, tahini and brown butter.

Is it weird that my two favourite things are tahini and brown butter?

Butter is great as it is, but brown butter is butter times 1000. It’s nutty and caramelly it’s what you think of when someone says “scrumptious”.

The cakes on these beauties are so good you can eat them on their own. They’re dense and fudgey, but also soft and light.

 

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Cakes

  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 115g butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 219g all-purpose flour
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa (I always use Valrhona)
  • 10g Black cocoa (well stocked bulk food stores will have this)
  • 1/8 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • A few dashes of cinnamon
  • 240g (1 cup) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In your stand mixer, beat both sugars, salt, and butter on medium high until light and fluffy, get in there and scrape down the sides a few times to get it all nice and combined.
  3. Add egg and egg yolk and beat on low to combine, and then on medium high for a few minutes until mixture is fluffy again.
  4. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining ingredients.
  6. Turn the stand mixer to low, and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk, and alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with flour. Keep the mixer on low throughout, and give it a few seconds between each addition to let the batter combine.
  7. If you have a medium (1.5″) cookie scoop, use it to portion the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving about 1″ between each portion. If you do not have a cookie scoop, use a tablespoon measuring spoon, but it will be difficult to get uniform cookies. The goal is to get ‘balls’ of batter as even and round as you can. DON’T flatten them, and don’t worry if they’re a bit ragged, they’ll flatten out and even out (mostly) in the oven.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes minutes. They’ll still look shiny and a bit moist (but firm) when they come out, that’s good! Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. The cakes can be made a day in advance, store in an airtight container in layers, with parchment between them.

Brown Butter & Tahini Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 180g Egg whites (approx 6 eggs)
  • 300g granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
  • 400g butter (room temp) (3 ½ sticks) in small chunks (about ½ tbsp each)
  • 3-6 tbsp tahini
  1. A few hours before (or the night before), brown half the butter by cutting 200g of butter into equally sized pieces, and heating in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until there are lots of brown specks and the butter is very fragrant. Transfer to a clean, heatproof bowl, and let it come to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until solid.
  2. Take all of the butter out of the fridge. It needs to be right at room temperature. Too cold and it won’t emulsify properly, too warm and it will melt and not emulsify properly.
  3. Prepare a pot with water on medium for bain marie.
  4. Separate egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk the mixture constantly over the bain marie until it is 150-160f.
  6. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and beat with the whip at high speed until the bottom of the bowl is cool. Your meringue should have stiff peaks and be quite glossy.
  7. On the second lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time, slowly enough that each piece incorporates before adding the next (about 10 seconds between each piece. Continue mixing until fully emulsified. Once all the butter is added, turn up the speed to get the buttercream smooth and fluffy.
  8. Turn the mixer to low, and add 3-6 tbsp of tahini. Mix to combine.

Assembly

  1. Match up cake halves that are similar in size (and shape, if, like me, you didn’t get them all to be neat circles).
  2. Put the buttercream in a piping bag (or a ziploc bag with a corner snipped off) and pipe a generous amount of buttercream onto one side of each sandwich (I piped two layers on each one.
  3. Press the two sides of the whoopie pie together, give a little twist, and then refrigerate to set the buttercream (or just eat them!).

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