Wow, this summer is flying by. It’s always been this way ever since Girlfriend was born. There just always seem to be wonderful things to do during the summer. Of course, we spend a whole lot of time hanging out–but that is part of the beauty of summer. You can spend a whole lot of time doing nothing. I always tell people that we go kind of feral over the summer. We revert to our natural rhythms. We stay up late reading and we wake up late. Once the weather gets sunny and warm (which often doesn’t happen until after July 4th), we spend entire days in the garden just puttering and chatting. We spend every evening reading and chatting on the front porch. We hang out in the middle of the street (we live on a dead-end), chatting with passers-by, petting the zillions of neighborhood dogs who come to visit, the kids riding bikes, and the adults drinking cocktails. We have fires in our little fire pit in the garden, roast marshmallows, and stay there until the mosquitoes drive us crazy.
A few weeks ago, a pal of mine, Jessie (go check out her site and her art–so great!), asked me if I wanted to participate in a Whoopie Pie contest that she was organizing with the kind folks over at Oddfellows Cafe. I said yes! Over the weeks leading up to the contest, I experimented with Whoopie Pies, helped along by the book, Whoopie Pies, by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. This book is full of every recipe you could think of for whoopie pies. It also contains a detailed description of whoopie pies. The whoopie pie (or “gob”) is a treat that has its roots in the Northeastern part of United States. The description from the book:
“Not quite a sandwich cookie, and not quite a cake, whoopie pies are marked by two characteristics: their soft, rounded shape and a generous amount of creamy filling.”
The “classic” whoopie pie has dark chocolate cake with a marshmallow cream filling. At first I was tempted to go with a classic whoopie pie as my entry into the contest, but then I saw the recipe for the S’more whoopie pie and knew that would be my entry. It’s summer, after all, and s’mores are a key part of summer campfires (or backyard fire pit fires). Being gluten-free, I had to adapt the recipe to mimic the graham cracker whoopie cakes. I had already done this with my graham cracker recipe, so that part wasn’t hard. The hard part was getting the fillings right. The recipe includes a marshmallow cream filling and a chocolate ganache filling. As written, the fillings were too sweet for my tastes. So, I experimented with toning down the sweetness. The happy result is a s’more whoopie pie that is a somewhat less sweet than an actual s’more, and is one that appeals to kids and adults alike!
S’more Whoopie Pie, Gluten-Free
-adapted from Whoopie Pies
Special Equipment Needed
-stand mixer (or a hand mixer will do)
-a 3″ wide circle of some sort that you can trace
For the Graham Cracker Cakes
1 1/2 cups (180 g) sorghum flour
3/4 cup (105 g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 C; 1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (215 g) packed dark brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup (4 oz; 120 ml) buttermilk (well-shaken), or 1/2 cup milk with 1 tsp vinegar mixed in
2 TBL milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Marshmallow Cream Filling
1 1/2 cup (130g) Marshmallow Cream (you can also use Marshmallow Fluff)
1 1/4 cup (10 oz; 285g) vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum Organic non-hydrogenated shortening)
3/4 cup (85g) confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache Filling
8 oz (225g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or bars chopped (I use a mixture of the two)
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
To Make the Cakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 3″ wide drinking glass or cookie cutter and a pencil, draw circles that are about 2″ apart (on my 11″x17″ cookie sheets I was able to make 6 circles on each sheet).
In a medium bowl, stir together both flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy (about 3 minutes), add the brown sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the buttermilk and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup or a small bowl, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar (it will foam up). Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately to the butter mixture–starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat the resulting mixture on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until completely combined.
Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter into the middle of each circle drawn on the parchment paper. Carefully smooth this out to the edges, until your batter evenly fills the circle. If your parchment paper is moving around too much while you work, you can put a dab of batter under the parchment paper, on one of the corners, to anchor it.
Bake each sheet for about 12 minutes–until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet for abut 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Marshmallow Filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Cream (or Fluff) and the vegetable shortening. Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla and beat until fluffy–about 3 more minutes.
To Make the Chocolate Ganache Filling
Place your chocolate into a large heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream over low heat until just boiling–watch carefully so it doesn’t burn! Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate is melted. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature until it is the consistency of frosting. This may take up to 2 hours, depending on how hot your kitchen is. You can also place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to speed up the process, stirring every 10 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
To Assemble the Pies
Take two of the cakes and place them flat side up. You can now spread or pipe your fillings onto them. I like to pipe the marshmallow fluff with a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (I use a #807 tip) onto one cake
and the spread a generous amount of ganache onto the other cake
Then carefully put the two sides together, with the fillings in the middle. Repeat this process with all of your cakes.
These are best eaten the day that they are assembled. If you need to store them, store them in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
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