Betty Crocker Whoopie Pies Review
This week I have mostly been making Whoopie! Unfortunately that sentence isn't quite as exciting as it sounds. Although it isn't un-exciting either. What I've been doing is making whoopie pies. Specifically Betty Crocker Whoopie Pies (£2.15 from Tesco Direct).
You have been able to buy ready made Whoopie Pies before, or so I'm told. I've never actually heard of them myself. This is a new addition to the Betty Crocker line, with a mix that you make yourself.
The selling point is that it is a fun activity for you to do as a family. Well, both my son and I love cooking, but our baking is done from scratch. It would take a bit to sell me on using cake mix. Here's how I got on.
There are two flavours available. Both have chocolate cake but one has a chocolate cream filling and the other has a vanilla cream filling. You get two sachets in the box, one of which is labelled for the cream. I assume the other must be cake mix as there's nothing else.
To the cake mix you add vegetable oil. A bit American for me (they use oil in their baking all the time) but I did it. And an egg. It is really quite easy to mix it all up with a wooden spoon. At first it looks like there's far too much powder but as you mix it around it quickly goes gooey. Son was very impressed at that. And also with being able to make it by himself. This really isn't that much more difficult than making custard, which is the first food he learned to make on his own.
Then spoon 10 heaped teaspoons onto one lined baking sheet and 10 onto another. Perhaps they should be more specific about what constitutes a heaped teaspoon as I ended up with 14. However I didn't want to have to put it all back in the bowl and start again so I left them as is.
You can lick the bowl afterwards. I use good quality eggs, and am not worried about eating raw eggs in cake mix and cookie dough. Well I licked the bowl afterwards. Son wasn't interested - he didn't like it so much.
After 15 minutes in the oven I took them out to cool. I used a beater for the cream, and I think that's the way to go. It says 2 minutes of whisking by machine, but really it took 4 minutes to get it nice and stiff. So you'd need to double the time doing it by hand as well.
Then it was a fight with son to get the cream in between the chocolate cake sandwiches. Once I'd finished he ran off with the bowl to lick it clean. Five minutes later I had a chocolate covered six year old, a chocolate covered sofa (thankfully wipe clean leather) and a chocolate covered throw.
I taste tested a whoopie pie straight away. And I really didn't like it. The initial taste was fine, but the oil left a cloying taste in my mouth. And the cream tasted a bit too sickly. Of the two I definitely preferred the vanilla cream.
However, our second taster really enjoyed hers so it is just an individual thing. While we were tasting my son was in the kitchen licking the cream out of the rest of the cakes. I mention this because he does NOT normally like cream filling. He likes icing but always leaves the cream filling on other cakes. So a definite thumbs up here.
I rescued the remaining cakes, and put them to one side. Later after dinner I got them out for afters and found they were much nicer. The cream was more solid, and didn't actually taste as sickly. The cakes were crisp on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. It was a perfect dessert.
These do look fabulous and I think they'd be a huge hit with kids. I'm thinking a packet in the cupboard for cake emergencies would be a good idea. Like when you suddenly remember there's cake sale at school, or you have to send in a plate of treats for the end of year party. Also would look great on the table at a birthday party. For that I think I'd sift some icing sugar over them. The slightly beige organic icing sugar would look fabulous on the Double Chocolate whoopie pies.
And Finally ...
At just over £2 for a box, it isn't too bad a price for 20 little cakes. Especially ones that are as easy to make, and look as impressive, as these ones. I would recommend eating at least an hour after you've filled them with cream though, and if like me the taste of oil in your baking bothers you, then you might want to give them a miss.
Betty Crocker is lucky - my son's enthusiasm for the cream and my friend's liking of the cake pushed it up a point.
Overall Verdict: 8 out of 10.