By definition a whoopie pie is a sandwich of soft, chocolate cakes with a fluffy filling, usually containing marshmallow in some form. They remind me of the prepackaged variety like Suzy Q’s and Little Debbies that I liked as a child. Whoopie pies are more of a comfort treat than cupcakes to me, but I guess I am lucky that I can no longer eat those processed ones (since they probably taste better in my memory) because I have Celiac. Therefore, I have the opportunity to recreate gluten-free versions and make them much better than the mass-produced types.
While developing this recipe, I never realized there were so many types of chocolate cake, and ultimately decided that devil’s food cake was the best choice. To add depth to the chocolate, I used buckwheat and teff flours*, as well as a small amount of coffee. (I prefer to bake using weight in grams (g) for ease, differentiating densities of gluten-free flours, and guaranteed, fail-safe results.) Lately, I have been making marshmallows with maple syrup for the flavor complexity and to avoid the over-processed high fructose corn syrup. And after a few tests and trials, I created the ultimate gluten-free devil’s food cake that is moist, light, and fluffy.
For the gluten-free devil’s food cake:
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the work bowl (of a standing mixer) or a large mixing bowl, mix the following: tapioca, brown rice, teff, and buckwheat flours with guar gum, sugar, baking powder and soda, and the salt. Mix until uniform.
Add in the shortening and mix until mealy. In a cup, combine the buttermilk with the instant coffee and vanilla; mix with spoon until dissolved. Add about half of the buttermilk mixture to the batter, mix until incorporated. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate small bowl, melt the chocolate over a double boiler, or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted, constantly mixing. Once smooth, slowly add and mix in the remaining buttermilk mixture. Once completely smooth, add into main batter. Mix for about 2 minutes. Portion with a scooper (a good investment) giving ample space between on parchment paper. Gently smooth out into a round shape with the side of the scooper or a spoon. For 1-1 ½ ounce, bake for 12 minutes.
For the maple marshmallows:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup cold water; let stand to bloom for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons water, and salt. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Mix for 7 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. Use immediately to assemble whoopie pies as it sets up quickly.
To assemble, turn all of the cake-cookies upside-down. Using a scooper or spoon that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray, portion the marshmallow on the cake-cookie. Immediately take another cake-cookie right-side-up and gently press to make the whoopie pie. The marshmallow sets up quickly, so do this individually for best results. Allow to set for 1-2 hours. Store in an air-tight container.
(For the extra marshmallow, scoop onto a lightly sprayed wax paper/parchment. Allow to sit. Then toss with powdered sugar in plastic bag to store. Good on top of hot chocolate!)