Cupcakes, muffins, scones, high tea, what do they all have in common? At some point they all came into our cafes, shops and delis and now they all have places in our culinary lives as much as Pavlova and fish and chips. There is however a new kid on the block - the Whoopie pie.
I had heard of these as a kid but I wasn’t completely sure what they were and I have noticed in the last year they have started hitting our shelves in places like Farro Fresh on Constellation Drive in Mairangi bay. In similar style to the ever more popular cupcake they can be served at dinner parties, as afternoon snacks or even as tiers on a wedding cake. They can come in any flavour you can imagine and there is endless potential for decorating with icing, colours and other baking paraphernalia. This is why I believe the Whoopie pie will be the next big thing in the baked goods industry.
So what is a Whoopie Pie? As with so many food inventions it is thought that they were originally made with baking leftovers. The story, true or not, goes that Amish women would make these for their husband’s lunch and upon seeing them they would shout “Whoopie!” They are round and look like a burger in a layered style with the creamy centre being “the filling” inside an extremely soft and luscious exterior. I had the pleasure of sampling a Whoopie pie at Taste of New Zealand, made by the Auckland based company simply known as “Whoopie”.
I spoke with Lucy Stuart, Owner of Whoopie to find out her reason for bringing this wonderful product to NZ. “I first saw and tried a Whoopie Pie when I was touring and working in the States a few years ago. It tasted pretty artificial but I really liked the concept and I loved the cute back story behind the name. I was looking for a new product to work with and noticed that Whoopie Pies weren't readily available in NZ and no one was really specializing in them either. I thought it would be the perfect sweet baked item for me to put my own spin on and introduce it to NZ. I wanted to use natural and fresh ingredients and create the tastiest hand held sweet treat”
Whoopie have only been operating since July 2011and the company are excited about the progress in selling into places like Farro and Dida’s food store as well as having the website fully up and running. An impressive website where you can see the colour and flavour variety of the treats on offer. Then when you can’t take looking at the delicious images anymore you can place your order on the site as well!
I have no doubt others will jump on the band wagon of the Whoopie pie and they will explode onto the scene, even I am looking at making them for my high tea! The best thing is that flavour combinations are endless. I love the Jaffa but flavours range from Whoopie range from banana, walnut and cardamom to a peanut butter Whoopie. They have even just released a Christmas range which includes a light fruit cake Whoopie with orange and brandy spiked filling. All of which can be ordered online at www.whoopie.co.nz/
I asked Lucy what here personal favourite was and she answered as any passionate food producer should answer “It sounds clichéd but I really do love them all! They are all really different, it depends on what you are in the mood for, something rich and chocolaty or lighter and fruity? “
My final question for Lucy was what makes the perfect Whoopie pie? “For me the perfect Whoopie Pie has to be fresh and moist, the filling needs to be smooth and have a lot of flavour. A good Whoopie can be slightly messy to eat but I guarantee the taste will be worth it!”
So bearing this in mind why not get online and try them out, they would be great for your next party or even just to treat yourself. How about the Christmas range, I for one will certainly be getting my teeth into these.
Move over cupcake the Whoopie pie has landed!