Recipe: Grasshopper whoopie pies
PUBLISHED: 13:41 01 September 2017
Treat the kids before they go back to school next week by making these tasty, chocolate mint flavoured cakes.
As I type this, following a video and photo shoot with the lovely Sarah Lucy Brown, it is raining the proverbial cats and dogs outside. I can barely see the garden shed through the wall of precipitation hammering down on the garden.
Selfishly I’m glad the weather hasn’t been so great – at least it wasn’t raining on my week off work with the kids. Poor husband is having to think of all kinds of things to keep their busy minds occupied and off technology.
What I always suggest (obviously) is baking. It doesn’t cost the earth. You can all do it together. There’s the pleasure of being able to lick the bowl (chef’s privilege). And at the end you’ve got an edible reward for your efforts. Plus it involves a bit of science and maths – so it’s practically homework right?
While these cakes look garishly Halloweeny, they actually take cue from an American dessert – Grasshopper Pie. Lurid, trashy and sweet, the Grasshopper’s chocolate base is filled with a fluffy centre, flavoured with that old fashioned after dinner tipple my parents would have drunk in the 80s (crème de menthe), and a white chocolate liqueur.
I’ve stolen the flavour combination, taken out the alcohol and used it as a base for a batch of whoopie pies – which are spheres of sponge sandwiched together with buttercream. Why? Children find the name hilarious, so are usually well up for making them.
The mint choc chip style filling tastes pretty much exactly like the ice cream – just try not to eat it all before sandwiching these together!
Grasshopper Whoopie Pies
For the sponge: 260g plain flour, 3tbsps cocoa powder, 1.5tsps baking powder, 80g chopped chocolate, 75g unsalted butter, 1 large egg, 125g light brown sugar, 75g caster sugar, 125ml milk soured with 2tsps lemon juice
For the buttercream
140g soft unsalted butter, 280g icing sugar, 2tbsps milk, 1tsp green food colouring, 1-2tsps to taste of peppermint extract, 80g chopped milk chocolate, pinch salt
To glaze and finish
Icing sugar, cold water, green food colouring, chopped milk chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. In a pan melt the butter and chocolate on a very low heat and allow to cool. Mix together the egg, milk and sugars. Add the melted butter and chocolate and combine. Fold in the flour mix and 2tbsps water.
Line two baking trays and dollop 12 even spoonfuls to each tray so you have 24 in total – make sure they are as similar in size as possible.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
For the buttercream cream together the sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Add the colouring and flavouring to taste, then the salt (which enhances the flavour and stops it being too sweet). Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Sandwich the cooled cakes together with the buttercream. Mix about 200g icing sugar with a touch of water and as much food colouring as you like to make icing the thickness of double cream. Spoon over the cakes and finish with a sprinkle of chocolate.