A Gigantic Whoopie Pie
We had some peppermint candy canes leftover from the holidays and as I was figuring out what to do with them this creation sprung forth fully formed in my mind. I could see it even before I tasted it. Based on our Easy Chocolate Cake recipe and using our Dark Chocolate Ganache I turned my thoughts to the filling. Classic whoopie pies must have marshmallow in the filling, so that was a given. Now, here is something that I have learned over the years of playing with – it is hard to measure. Not only because it is very sticky but also because it has a certain loft (fluffiness) that can become compressed upon measuring. Best-case scenario is that you can create a recipe that calls for an entire container, thereby eliminating any need for measuring. Then there was the matter of the peppermint flavor. Of course those peppermint candy canes would make an appearance, but what about peppermint flavoring for the filling? There are three basic ways to go: extract, flavoring and essential oil. They go from least to most potent in the order listed. Extracts are alcohol based and very easy to find; you can probably find peppermint extract in a local supermarket. Flavorings are typically non-alcohol based and hold their flavor very well during baking. Essential oils are, not surprisingly, oil based. They are quite potent and will be used in much lesser amounts than the first two but the flavor is quite pure.
- Easy Chocolate Cake, baked and cooled in two slanted 9-inch cake pans (see Tip)
- ¾ to 1 cup Chocolate Ganache, ready to pour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1, 7 ½ ounce jar Marshmallow Fluff (about 2 ½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or flavoring or peppermint oil to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon)
- ¾ cup crushed peppermint candy or candy canes
- Have cake layers baked and cooled.
- For the Filling: Beat the butter in stand mixer fitted with flat paddle until smooth. Beat in about half of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed, then add remaining confectioners’ sugar and beat very well until creamy. Beat in Fluff and peppermint flavor and beat for a few minutes until very smooth and creamy and spreadable.
- For Assembly: Place one cake layer broad side down on display plate. Top with filling in an even layer, all the way to the edges. Place second cake on top, broad side on top. Pour ganache in center of top of cake and allow to flow edges; if some drips over that’s okay. Sprinkle the peppermint candy in the center while ganache is still soft. Cake is ready to serve or store under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 24-hours.
- I usually like to bake with straight-sided cake pans but in this case I wanted slanted sides to create the rounded appearance of a whoopie pie. I used the Wilton Avanti in 9-inch. I placed the bottom layer with the broader side flat on the plate and then the top layer was placed on top of the filling with the broader side on top, ready to receive the ganache. While not as domed and rounded as a proper whoopie pie, this approach gave a better look than if I had used straight sided pans.