Consider this feast a Labor Day labor of love. Next up: Cherry-Cream Whoopie Pies! They taste like Hostess snack cakes . . . and are not for the faint of heart!!
Cherry-Cream Whoopie Pies
They may not be your plain ol’ whoopie pie shape or filling, but they sure are a delicious, all-American treat for the summertime!
- 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz.) cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 oz. (about 1/3 cup) semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk (reserve the white for the filling, below)
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine-grained sea salt
- 1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (4 oz.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Marshmallow Cream Filling:
- 1/3 cup (2 5/8 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup or Lyle’s golden syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large egg whites
- Coconut-Cherry Filling:
- 1 14.5-oz. can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 cup pitted sour cherries (fresh, jarred, or thawed from frozen)
- Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325˚F and spritz a 9- by 13-inch metal baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
- Whisk the cocoa powder and boiling water together in a medium mixing bowl to make a paste, then stir in the melted chocolate. Reserve.
- Whisk the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla together in a small mixing bowl. Reserve.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl. Reserve.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the butter is pale and fluffy.
- Scrape the reserved cocoa paste into the butter and stir on low speed until fully incorporated.
- Add a third of the flour and stir until just incorporated, then half the egg and sour cream mixture. Repeat with a third more of the flour and the remaining half of the egg mixture, then stir in the remaining flour.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, using a silicone spatula to distribute it in a thin, even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto the rack to remove the cake. Cool completely.
- To fill the cakes choose one of the following cream fillings (or both!):
- Make the marshmallow cream filling:
- Stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a small, high-sided saucepan over medium low heat just until the sugar has fully dissolved and the liquid no longer feels granular.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the liquid to a boil without stirring. Continue to heat until the sugar syrup reaches 235˚-240˚F (soft-ball stage).
- Whip the egg whites with an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed just until soft peaks form. Stop the mixer and, just before the sugar syrup reaches soft-ball stage, restart the mixer on low speed and carefully drizzle the syrup into the egg whites.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip for 4-5 minutes more until the filling is thick, shiny, and white, forming stiff peaks.
- Make the cherry-coconut filling:
- Open the can of coconut milk from the bottom of the can—the milk will have separated in the refrigerator into liquid and solid layers.
- Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and add the cherries. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the cherries have absorbed a good deal of the coconut liquid. Remove from the heat and strain, then coarsely chop the coconut-infused cherries.
- Whip the solid, cold coconut cream on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
- Put it all together:
- Slicing from the long side of the cake, divide the cake into 6 2- by 9-inch strips, then slice each strip into 5 rectangles each 1 1/2 inches long. You’ll have 30 rectangles total once the entire cake is cut.
- Spread your filling(s) of choice in thin layers on half the rectangles, then top with the remaining rectangles to make sandwich cakes.
- Cakes will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.