When Raymond posts his cake-of-the-week, usually sometime late Sunday afternoon, it's the equivalent of the announcer at the Kentucky Derby shouting, "And... they're off!" From then on, I click on the blog every few hours to see who has posted next and what their results were. We had about a 50% participation rate this week, and a few people (Hi Sugar Chef! Hi Jill! Hi Elaine! Hi Rozanne!) who have been on hiatus for a while are back to baking. This week it was especially fun to read everyone's story because people generally fell into two camps: those who had heard of Whoopie Pies and had a favorite bakery or recipe and those who had never heard of them and who were a little bewildered by the whole concept.
Raymond, for example, has known them as Scooter Pies (in Ohio), Chocolate Goobers (filled with whipped cream),Moon Pies (Tennessee), and Whoopie Pies (California). Rose's version sounds like pretty much the best he's had in his travels, although he says that next time he'll just fill them with whipped cream.
On the other hand, Faithy confesses that she had never heard of Whoopie Pies until she started baking and has been "wondering what the hype is all about." Faithy ended making only three, large "flat as a pancake" pies because she mis-read the instruction. (Imagine that!) She also decided she might as well just fill them with marshmallow cream instead of making fake marshmallow cream. Her verdict: she'd make the chocolate pies again, only as cupcakes, not as Whoopie Pies, because she just doesn't "get the novelty of it all."
In addition to the excitement about the Whoopies this week, there was also a lot of hoo-hah about Rose sightings. Rachelino's got a great photograph of Rose making the chocolate lacquer glaze at a bookstore in San Francisco. Inspired, Vicki and her granddaughter trekked to the same bookstore. Vicki has notes from Rose's talk that are fun reading.
The FEATURED BAKER this week was definitely no stranger to Whoopie Pies. Kristina has fond memories of going to the Goody Shop Bakery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where her dad taught engineering. The bakery was "owned and operated by the same ancient man" who also baked all the treats. While other people went to the Goody Shop for the hot dogs always available on the roller racks, Kristina went for the Whoopie Pies, and she's never lost her taste for them. In fact, the Whoopie Pies are Kristina's madeleines, inspiring in her the remembrance of things past. In addition to photos of the Heavenly Whoopie Pies, Kristina includes a recipe for the WPs her mother used to make--a recipe that she quite possibly managed to "wheedle out of the guy who ran the Goody Shop."
I'm going to Detroit this weekend to see my younger daughter, and so I made the coffee chiffonlets ahead of time. I encourage you to bake them. I used Maryann pans instead of mini angel food cake pans because that's what I had, and they are just lovely as individual cakes. You could also bake the cake as a regular-sized chiffon cake, in a regular-sized angel-food cake pan, but I don't think that would be as adorable. Also it wouldn't be a chiffonlet. It would just be a chiffon.
The Saint-Honore trifle is coming up after that. If you want to get the optional beeswax to make the spun sugar, you can apparently get it at a craft store or a sewing supply store. But Woody says you don't need it. After reading the directions a few times, I hereby absolve anyone--including myself--of feeling any guilt if they decide NOT to make the spun sugar. You can top this quite nicely with whipped cream, and you won't end up throwing melted caramelized sugar onto your ceiling. We'll get a break the following week with the Gateau Breton, which, despite its fancy-pants French name, is on the Quick and Easy list.