Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gluten Free Mini Orange & Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies

For my birthday recently, my dear friend Caroline gave me Claire Ptak's gorgeous Whoopie Pie Book and a mini whoopie pie baking tray, opening my eyes to a world of whoopie deliciousness hitherto untasted and unknown.

Here I've baked a gluten free adaptation of Ptak's chocolate chip whoopie cake recipe - adding my twist of orange zest and juice to the sponges, plus Green & Black's Maya Gold to the delectable marshmallow chocolate icing. The little pies are bite size chunks of chocolate orange. I don't know why they're are called pies - they're sweet little cupcake sandwiches and very addictive. Thanks Caroline!

Adapted from Claire Ptak's recipe in The Whoopie Pie Book. Buy the book on Amazon here

Makes 12 mini whoopie pies

for the pie batter:
140g gluten free mix flour (Dove's Farm or M&S recommended)
half a teaspoon gluten free baking powder (Barkart recommended)
pinch of salt
65g unsalted butter, room temperature
50g golden caster sugar
50g light muscovado sugar
half a large egg
30ml milk
30ml natural yoghurt
1 squeeze of a fresh juice from an orange
2 teaspoons of grated orange zest
100g plain chocolate chips

1. Grease a couple of mini whoopie pie baking trays, or grease and line a couple of flat baking trays.

2. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg, and beat well.

4. Next combine the milk and yoghurt in a measuring jug, stirring to make a quasi buttermilk.

5. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl, and then add the orange juice and orange zest. Stir well to combine.

6. Sift the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt into the batter, and beat again.

7. Finally, gently fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

8. Place the bowl full of batter into the fridge for half an hour to chill.

9. Turn the oven to 180C (160C fan ovens), and leave to come to temperature as the batter is chilling.

10. When ready, place spoonfuls of the chilled batter into the pie baking tray, or dollop small spoonfuls onto the lined baking trays.

11. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes only. You'll know the pies are done when your finger leaves an indent on the top of one of the pies.

12. Pop out of the baking trays and leave to cool on a wire rack or plate.

for the chocolate marshmallow filling:

50g Maya Gold dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 and a half egg whites
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
half a pinch of salt
2-3 drops of orange blossom extract

13. Melt the chocolate pieces in a bain mairie (a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water). Stir gently, and take off the heat to cool when melted.

14. To make the marshmallow, place the pan of water back on the heat and place another larger heatproof bowl over the top. Add the egg white, sugar, syrup, salt and orange blossom water, and whisk the ingredients by hand for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has cohered and froths.

15. Take the bowl off the heat, and beat it hard with an electric beater or whisk. You'll know the filling is ready when it is white, shiny and thickened and holds its shape. Gently stir in the melted chocolate until just combined.

16. When the whoopies are cool, place a heaped teaspoon full of the filling into the centre of a whoopie, and sandwich it gently with another one. You can serve immediately, or leave for half an hour to let the filling firm up.

These whoopie pies were idly baked to the sounds of Henry Purcell's Musique Funebre Pour La Reine Mary

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