These days I try to eat salads everyday and eat treats far less often. But there was a time in my life right after culinary school where I seriously considered being a pastry chef. I learned to bake with my mom at a very young age, and I have always loved to make desserts, and especially pretty desserts.
I also love to use a piping bag and different fun pastry tips. My mom taught me those skills very young, and they take some practice to master, especially the knack of squeezing from the back of the pastry bag rather than the front.
I don’t think I have piped anything in at least a year, maybe more, but this past Thanksgiving I made marshmallows from scratch, and piped them in a flower swirl pattern on top of my Sweet Potato Praline Casserole. It was something I had brainstormed and envisioned, and I was so tickled that I was able to pull off what I had pictured in my head.
I knew that when I made the marshmallows, I would have more than I needed for just the Sweet Potato Casserole, so I decided to make Whoopie Pies too. The recipe I used for the cakes is adapted very slightly from Paleo Spirit’s recipe for her Chocolate Birthday Cake. I’ve made it before in her layer cake version, and I remember that the cake was incredibly moist, and also that the batter was very stiff and thick, so I thought it might work for making these Whoopie Pie Cakes. With just a few small adjustments it was perfect.
I would not say that this recipe is really Paleo because I use two different forms of dairy – butter and heavy cream, but I did use high quality grass fed butter and cream, and I did not use any refined sugar in this recipe. I used maple syrup, honey, and maple sugar. It’s still a treat, and I have no illusions that it is a “healthy” treat because of the amount of sweetener in all the components of the dessert.
But I have this to say on the subject: the chef in me appreciates the principles in whole food/paleo eating because it focuses on the quality of the ingredients used. From my perspective as a chef, I use these ingredients because they simply taste worlds better than regular butter, cream and white sugar. From my experience and research on whole food for health reasons, I know that these ingredients are more nutrient dense and healthy than their over processed, genetically modified counterparts.
BUT these Whoopie Pies are delicious because of the ingredients, and so good that I would definitely serve them on a dessert menu if I had continued on my path as a pastry chef. I don’t bake nearly as often as I used to, but during the holidays I can’t resist the urge!
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Cakes
Makes 12 Cakes, or 6 completed whoopie pies
2/3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
1/2 cup f cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 eggs (I prefer pasture-raised, GMO-free eggs)
3/4 cup Grade B Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 cup melted grass-fed unsalted butter, cooled slightly
1/2 cup of brewed coffee, cooled
1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Sift dry ingredients together, except for the extra tablespoon of coconut flour.
- Whisk eggs, melted butter, syrup, coffee and vanilla together.
- Add dry to wet and fold to incorporate. Set aside to let the batter set up slightly, and meanwhile prep 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- Add the extra tablespoon of coconut flour to your batter and fold to combine. This extra tablespoon should give the batter just a touch more stiffness.
- Scoop out the batter onto the baking sheets using a regular sized ice cream scoop, allowing for enough room for 6 per baking sheet. They will spread just slightly as they bake, so don’t put them too close together or too close to the edge of the pan. Using your fingers, very gently smooth the tops of the cakes, but try not to spread the cakes out too much or they will be too thin.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway in the middle of baking. Cool cakes completely. (You can make the cakes the day before if you wish.)
Pipe-able Marshmallow Creme Filling
Slightly adapted from The Urban Poser – for more detailed tips on making marshmallows visit her recipe.
1 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons grass fed gelatin
1/2 cup of mild, organic honey
1/2 cup of organic Grade B maple syrup
1 Tablespoon organic vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over a 1/2 cup of water.
- On medium to medium-high heat, bring syrup and remaining 1/2 cup of water to a boil until it reaches 240-242 degrees (softball stage) in a saucepan. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. This will take approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and proceed to step 3.
- Working quickly, with the mixer on medium with the whisk attachment, pour honey-syrup in a steady stream combining with the softened gelatin. Pour slowly, avoiding beaters.
- Turn mixer on high for 10-15 minutes until fluffy and marshmallowy.
- Spoon into a piping bag with a jumbo open star tip, and immediately pipe onto half of the whoopie pie cakes in a swirly pattern.
Salted Maple Sugar Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup unsalted grass fed butter
1/2 cup organic maple sugar
3/4 cup grass fed cream
1/2 teaspoon coarse grey sea salt
- Melt butter over medium.
- Add sugar and whisk until boiling, 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually whisk into the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce to thicken, 2-3 minutes.
- Add salt to last off the heat. Drizzle over the tops of the whoopie pies, and garnish with extra coarse grey sea salt.