Passion fruit Whoopie Pies

INGREDIENTS:
makes 6 large whoopie pies, or numerous more small onesfor cake:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbspn vinegar
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup black cocoa powder (if you don’t have black cocoa, just substitute regular cocoa powder)
  • 1 tspn sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tspn baking soda
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 scant cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside for five minutes.  (Or, use buttermilk instead of milk and vinegar.)
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, black cocoa, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture, creaming until combined.
  6. Alternatively in three stages, add the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter and eggs, making sure to mix thoroughly between each addition.
  7. Using a piping bag with a large round tip or an ice cream scoop, pour the batter into round shapes on baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, making sure to leave at least 3-4 inches between each cake
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, adjusting for the size of the whoopie pies.  Cakes are done when they are springy and retain their shape when gently touched.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling with frosting.

or passion fruit curd:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz. passion fruit nectar/juice/syrup
  • 1/2 oz. water (if using passion fruit syrup or nectar, leave out if using fresh juice)
  • (2 Tbspn sugar, if using passion fruit juice)

METHOD:

  1. Have ready a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.
  2. Combine ingredients in a double boiler.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  3. Immediately strain through the mesh strainer and let cool completely.

for passion fruit frosting:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 5 Tbspn flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3-3/4 cups cooled passion fruit curd

METHOD:

  1. Place milk in a medium saucepan.  Scrape in the vanilla bean and throw the whole bean in.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for ten minutes.
  2. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk.  Add the flour.  Whisking constantly, cook the milk and flour until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  3. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
  4. Add the passion fruit curd to the butter and whip until combined.
  5. Add the thickened milk mixture to the butter and passion fruit, whisking until light, whipped, and fluffy.  Use immediately.
  6. Pipe the passion fruit frosting onto a cake round and then sandwich with another cake.
  7. Refrigerate to allow the frosting to set before serving.
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