Saturday, 3 March 2012

Carrot Whoopie Pies (gluten free, vegan)


These pies contain carrot. That definitely makes them healthy. Ish.

I was going to re-write this because I’ve missed Valentine’s Day by at least two  weeks, but then I thought that you’d probably forgive me.  Let’s hope so...

It happened in about 1983. 

The day dawned and there – miraculously - was a Valentine’s Day card.  Cute teddy picture, beguiling question mark, no other clue.

It triggered a perfect storm of adolescent angst and romantic yearning that lasted for years.

WHO had sent me the card?

Joanna Ellis was convinced that it was the sexy guy from the yacht club who had made vaguely inappropriate comments about how pretty I was.  And what a ‘cracker’ I was going to be when I grew up.  That was in the days before grooming and feminism, so I was just happy that a sexy seventeen year old was commenting on my 12 year old ‘cracker’ status.

Sorry, the feminist in me is spluttering and needs to say something.  Cracker?? Seriously?  What does that even mean?  Something you pull, play with, get bored of and then discard when she asks you to help with chores around the house?  Something that looks pretty but is of no real use?

OK, hush, hush, it’s ok. 

Pause.

There, the feminist is back in the box and I’m again pretending that the times have really moved on and I did not get called ‘Darling’ twice last week. 

All back under control and I’m being nice again, although I have rather lost the thread of what I was saying.

Ah, the Valentine’s card. 

Reader, for years and years and years I wondered who had sent me that card and I harboured a fantasy that one day the card-bearer would come and sweep me off my feet.  (Where do girls get these mad ideas from?)

It was not to be.

I eventually found out that Mum sent me the card.

didn't know what to feel about that. 

Rage – obviously - that for bloody months she listened to me agonise about who could have sent me the card and said nothing. 

Sadness, because she died a few years after sending the card, so I couldn’t ever thank her for the sweet gesture.

And smug wisdom, because I knew better than my mother.  Namely that it is never, ever a good idea to send your children secret Valentine’s cards. It will provoke a maelstrom of agony and can never end well. 

So this year I baked whoopie pies for my darlings and also - because they were dirt cheap and rather cute – I bought them a mug each containing a small cuddly toy.  Which was much better than resorting to underhand Valentine’s cards.

Happy (late) Valentine’s Day.  

And if you foolishly sent your child a secret Valentine, ‘fess up now before you die.

Carrot Whoopie Pies
Note: This cake does not require eggs.  If you want to use wheat flour, substitute the gluten free flour for plain flour.

All versions:
175g grated carrots
1 medium apple
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
130g agave syrup (or 125g sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg (or a good grating of fresh nutmeg)
70ml vegetable oil
2 tbsps ground linseeds
3 tbsps rice milk

Egg free, dairy free, gluten free:
160g Doves Farm GF flour
1½ tsp GF baking powder


For the filling: (rough measurements, do rely on your taste buds)
150g dairy free margarine
175-200g icing sugar
¼-½tsp cream of tartar
squidge of vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder

  • Mix the linseeds with the rice milk and set aside
  • Grate the carrots and peel, core and finely grate the apple
  • Put the agave syrup or sugar, linseed mix and oil into a large mixing bowl and beat together using a wooden spoon
  • Add the apple and carrot and mix
  • Add the flour, baking powder and spices and mix
  • Place the mix into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  This will help thicken it up slightly
  • Heat the oven to 180˚ Celsius/Gas 4
  • Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper
  • Place small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. 
  • Cajole them into a vaguely round shape, but don’t worry too much
  • Repeat until you’ve used up all the mixture
  • Bake for about 12 minutes in the oven, they will turn slightly golden
  • Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack
For the filling:
  • Beat the margarine until it is soft.
  • Sieve in the icing sugar and mix it all together to make a paste.  Add the cream of tartar (helps hold it all together) and the squidge of vanilla bean paste
  • Place in the refrigerator and have a cup of tea (or write a Valentine’s card or something)
  • When your ‘pies’ are cold, spread one half with the icing then gently sandwich the two halves together. Yummy! Repeat until all the pies are matched up
  • If you manage not to sample one in the sandwiching process I’ll be really impressed.  I’m such a hog (oh, geddit?) I eat half a pie when it’s still warm and spread the icing over so that it melts.  And then you know when you take a bite and there’s some cake not covered by icing?  I add a bit of icing to that too. 
  • Good thing I just discovered an off-road bike trail this week, I’m going to have to do tons of exercise to atone for my whoopie pie guzzling.

 © Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

7 comments:

Natalie said...

They look amazing! Thank you do much for the recipe :D x

Iota said...

Maybe when he called you a cracker, he thought you were full of jokes.

I once received an anonymous chocolate heart. I did eat it (though hesitated - supposing it had been poisoned?), and to this day, I don't know who sent it. I don't think it was my mum, but you've planted a seed of doubt here.

Caroline said...

Yum yum. Reminds me of when I received a box of black magic aged 10 from Stephen Collier for valentines day. I gobbled them up (naturally) even though I didn't like him. A year later, he asked me for the money back because he didn't like me any more! What was even funnier was the cost - 50p! God how old do I feel now....

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I love the sound of these, I can imagine carrot cake-yness translates very well into the whoopie pie!

Love and Enterprise said...

Oh, Pig.
I'm pretty sure my mum has never done that because (a) she just wouldn't and (b) I haven't had a secret valentine since I was about 20, and I know that was from Drew with the flat top hair because he signed it "D" and then kept giving me meaningful looks over the uni canteen fried breakfast queue.
But thanks for the tip - I promise to never confuse my own children so.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Natalie, you are very welcome.

Iota, you ate an anonymous chocolate heart?! So trusting. And what a lovely thing to receive, I wonder if it WAS your mum...

Caroline, ahh you have taken me back there with your mention of Black Magic and did they really only cost 50p??! Why did I not just live on Black Magic? And bless Stephen Collier, I bet he is a banker now...

Sarah, yes carrot cake loves to make whoopie!

Love and Enterprise, ahh, how sweet Drew was! And I love the mention of a flat top, I remember those (I think I even wanted one at some point, weird). I hope your Valentine's Day went well!

Pig x

JoKnows said...

These look delicious. I am your newest follower!