Posting from Baltimore today, while on a short business trip. I did get the cake o' the week baked before I left, though!
Did I use every bowl in my kitchen for this week's cake? Well, no, but it sure felt like it...and I have a great surplus of bowls. The results were good, but oh, the cleanup. Even with the dishwasher, it seemed to take forever.
Whoopie pies seem to be very 'in' at the moment. A whoopie pie is made of 2 cake pieces stuck together with frosting, or ganache, or whipped cream, or whatever. Marshmallow cream or fluff seems to be traditional as an ingredient in the filling in Maine, the source of Two Fat Cats Whoopie Pies. The recipe uses a very sweet buttercream to get to a marshmallow-like filling.
The chocolate cake batter was made with melted dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, and buttermilk, making a very chocolatey and not too sweet cake. The technique for the whoopie pies is to scoop out the batter into mounds onto baking sheets instead of baking it in a pan. My "pies" came out considerably flatter than the photo of Rose's. despite trying to mound it up. Perhaps the batter was not quite stiff enough, or maybe I had a problem with the baking itself.
Let's start the major bowl count here: KitchenAid bowl and flat beater dirtied for the cake part. I'm not going to tally the prep bowls and measuring spoons.
The cakes got set aside to cool, and it was on to the multi-step frosting. Boiling a sugar syrup, then setting it aside to keep warm. Beating an egg white in a small bowl with a hand-held mixer to stiff peaks, then returning to the syrup to bring it to firm-ball stage, dumping it into a glass measuring cup to stop the cooking, then drizzling it into the beaten egg white while beating some more to make a meringue. (Are you counting? saucepan-small bowl-handheld beaters-measuring cup...) The meringue was beaten a while to cool, then went in the fridge for further temperature reduction. The standing mixer came back out, first with the paddle to beat butter and powdered sugar, then a change to the wisk and beat more, until the butter-sugar mix was light and fluffy. (There was very little in the bowl at this point, and the beaters barely seemed to beat it. It wasn't until I scraped the bowl and saw some unbeaten butter that I realized the mixture had lightened somewhat.) The meringue mixture was just about at the right temp, and that got beaten into the butter/sugar mixture. That was it--just add the paddle and whisk beaters and the KitchenAid bowl to the washup list, plus all the prep bowls, measuring instruments, scrapers and so on. The resulting buttercream was very pretty and fluffy but *very* sweet, and I'm not normally that sensitive to extra sugar. I can see why this substitutes for a true marshmallow-based frosting.
Now, last step: sticking the cake pieces together with the frosting. But the cake tops were very soft and stuck to my hands and to any surface they touched. Which meant when I put a completed whoopie pie on a plate, it left a swath of chocolate behind when it was picked up. 'S OK, a swipe of the finger took care of that. Maybe it was the warmth and humidity of my kitchen, as we were having summertime temps in Atlanta and I had not yet cranked up the A/C to drop the house temperature and lower the humidity.
Tasting verdict: I like these a lot. The overly sweet filling is balanced by the dark chocolate cakes. Nephew and younger niece were not overly impressed: call it a "good, but not great" reaction from both of them. A single whoopie pie was too large a serving, though, and if I make these again I think I'll use a smaller scoop.