First, congratulations to my beloved friend Rena and Have the Cake on the blog's three year anniversary this month. Who among us knew three years ago that the blog would become this big, this popular (and that I would participate so little)? Sorry about that Rena!
But this month, with an open-ended challenge of anything chocolate, I found time to participate, went for it with gusto and made Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Ganache filling.
Whoopie Pies are not something I know much about, as this is not a food served much here in the Rocky Mountains, but we have some close friends who are natives of New Hampshire who did grow up with this treat. They recent gave me a book by Viola Goren, aptly titled "Whoopie Pies" and kindly told me that I was a good enough baker to be trusted to recreate them.
As with all sea-level baking recipes, I made a few high altitude adjustments in order to save myself the disappointment of sunken cavities in the centers of the cakes. 6,000 feet high in the Rockies is a wonderful place to live, but not to bake, unless you know how to fix sea-level recipes. The moisture (sugar, oil, eggs, etc.) must be reduced in a few places to allow for the lack of oxygen up here.
Below is the original recipe with my high-altitude adjustments noted:
Chocolate Chip Whoopie Pie
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 oz. butter (1 stick) at room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar (reduced to 1 cup for high altitude)
1 cup sour cream (reduced to 3/4 cup for high altitude)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet (or sheets) with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until light. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until well blended and then add sour cream and chocolate chips (I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips).
Drop the batter onto the previously prepared baking sheets, ensuring at least 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 7-10 minutes, testing for the cakes to spring back from a gentle finger touch in the center.
Allow to cool before filling.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
10 oz coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons butter
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat immediately. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter in a bowl and allow to stand for about 1 minute. Stir or whisk until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside or put in the refrigerator to cool and firm up until spreadable.
Spread the ganache on the flat bottom of one cake and press another on top to make sandwiches.