Thursday, March 08, 2012
Susan Blum, owner of Blum'n Good Cake & Pastries, recently added two mini desserts-- cake pops and whoopie pies – to the selection of sweets that she makes to order.
“Cake pops are fun because they’re like cake on a stick,” says Blum who lives in Lawrence. “And whoopie pies are sandwich cakes and easy to eat.”
Though the term American as a whoopie pie doesn’t quite have the ring to it the apple pie does, whoopie pies – traditionally two small rounds of chocolate cake sandwiched with a butter cream filling – are an original American dessert. Said to have first been made by Amish women and called hucklebucks, the pies were packed in their husbands’ lunch boxes. When they opened them, they were so happy to see the treats that they shouted “whoopie.”
There’s an annual Whoopie Pie Festival at the Hershey Farm and Inn in Strasburg, Pennsylvania with a whoopie pie eating contest and the coronation of the Whoopie Pie Queen. Maine, which also claims the pie hosts the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival each year too also with a whoopie pie eating contest but, to fight those bad effects, a 3K Run and Walk.
Sometimes called gobs as well, whoopie pies used to be found mostly in the eastern part of the U.S., encased in plastic and sitting next to the cash register. But over the last few years, they’ve become more upscale and even have their own cookbook “Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix ‘em, Match ‘em, Eat ‘em Recipes” by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell (Chronicle Books 2010; $16.95) which not only includes instructions on how to make the classic chocolate ones but also includes carrot cake, jalapeno cornbread, vegan and gluten free whoopies and even a rosewater cream filling.
Cake pops, also called cakesickles, are, according to Blum, smashed cake and frosting.
“There are two recipes and two methods of making cake pops that I know of” she says. “Both make a 1 to 2" ball and look about the same when done. Both can be made with a store bought cake mix ,or a cake made from scratch. But after trying both recipes out on my friends and family, I was told that there is one distinct difference -- sweetness.”
Blum describes the sweeter recipe as a "cake and frosting pop", since the interior contains both.
“It’s like a piece of birthday cake on a stick,” she says.
To order from Sue Blum, call 269-425-2762.
Sue Blum’s Cake and Frosting Pop
1- 9 x 13 cake made from scratch (see recipe below) or a mix
3 cups butter cream (Blum uses the Wilton brand) or cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)
White chocolate chips
Sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut and other decorative add-ons
Food coloring (Wilton Color paste or gel recommended)
Bake a cake of any flavor in a 9x13 cake pan. Cool cake completely. Break cake in half with your clean hands. Rub" the cake halves together over a large bowl, than break cake up with your fingers until you have small crumbs.
Add three cups of butter cream or cream cheese frosting) to cake crumbs and mix with a large spoon until all of the cake is coated. Cover mixture and refrigerate until firm. Mix can be made ahead and used the next day.
Prepare two cookie sheet pans by covering with either wax paper or parchment paper. To form cake "balls" or pops so that they are all the same size, use a scoop that holds one or two tablespoons. A larger melon baller, a small cookie scoop, or a rounded table spoon will work.
Next roll the ball in the palm of your hands to get the nice round shape. Place rolled cake pops on prepared sheets so they are not touching. Insert lollipop sticks about half way into formed cake pops, being careful not to poke all of the way through.
Put pans of pops with sticks in the freezer until hardened, about 30 minutes.
While pops are in freezers prepare coatings for outside of pops.
Place chocolate chips or chocolate almond bark in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high 30 seconds at a time, stirring until chocolate is melted. Chocolate will not look melted until the second or third 30 second heating, keep stirring.
When cake is hardened, take pops from freezer to dip in chocolate. (I only take a few out at a time so they don't all get too soft while I am dipping). Hold stick and dip so the whole pop is coated, but try not to keep pop in the hot chocolate too long, as it may come apart or slide off of the stick. Tap stick lightly on the side of the bowl, to remove any excess chocolate.
Roll in nuts, cocoanuts, sprinkles, etc before chocolate hardens.
Place dipped pop back onto cookie sheet to harden. Do not refrigerate these or the coating could weep or melt.
After pops are dry, the ones without sprinkles can be decorated using white chocolate that’s been colored. Blum recommends using Wilton Color paste or gel because liquid food coloring will make white chocolate harden too fast to work with.
Pour about 1/2 cup colored white chocolate into disposable decorating bags or sandwich baggies. If chocolate hardens in the bag, microwave it for about 15 seconds. Cut a tiny hole in the tip of filled bag. Doodle, swirl and dot or add any other decorative touches you want.
Sue Blum’s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 3/4 cups powdered cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven 350° F.
Grease or spray with pan spray one 9 x 13 baking pan. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed with mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water, making a thin batter will be thin.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Sue Blum’s Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
8 oz cream cheese room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
With electric mixer, mix butter and cream cheese together on medium, about 3 minutes until fluffy. Scrape bowl and add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and continue beating on high until fluffy.
S’more Whoopie Pies
From “Whoopie Pies” by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell
Graham Cracker Whoopie
1½ cup graham flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together both flours, baking powder, and salt.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, shortening, and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup, combine milk, baking soda, and vinegar. Add milk mixture to batter along with flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add vanilla and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until completely combined.
Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the baking sheets. Repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each or until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Spread with marshmallow cream and chocolate ganache, but if you’re in a hurry a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff and a square of chocolate will do the job.
1½ cup Marshmallow Fluff
1¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together Marshmallow Fluff and shortening, starting on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low, add confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or 8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
Put chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl.
Heat cream in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles. Pour cream over the chocolate in the bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes, until the chocolate is melted.
Stir until smooth. Allow the mixture to rest until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours. You may also refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes, until it is firm enough to spread, stirring every 10 minutes.
Bakerella’s Signature Cake Pops
From “Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats” by Angie Dudley.
9-by-13-inch Chocolate Cake for Cupcake Pops (see Blum’s recipe above)
2 cups Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (see Blum’s recipe above)
1 package chocolate coating bark
1 package white coating bark or pink candy melts
Sprinkles, for garnish
Candy-coated chocolates, such as M& M's, for garnish
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Trim about 1/2 inch from the perimeter of the cake. Working in batches, crumble cake into the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl and add frosting; blend together using the back of a spoon, until well combined, 5 to 10 minutes.
Roll mixture into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with parchment-paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours or to a freezer for about 10 minutes.
Begin to shape balls into cupcakes by rolling balls first into logs. Fit logs into a 1 1/4-by-3/4-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push cake mixture into the cutter halfway so that some of the cake mixture extends beyond the top of the cutter. Shape extended cake mixture into a cupcake-shaped top. Push cake from cutter to remove. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer until chilled, 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Remove cupcakes from freezer and dip the bottom of each cupcake into the chocolate; transfer, bottom-side up, to prepared baking sheet. To make lollipops, insert a lollipop stick into the bottom of each cupcake. Let chocolate set, 15 to 20 minutes.
Melt white chocolate or pink candy melts in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate and place right-side up on prepared baking sheet or stick lollipop sticks into a Styrofoam square. Place a candy-coated chocolate in the center of each and top with sprinkles. Let dry completely.