Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chef Megan Ketover's Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Cardamom Sauce

Last weekend I had the pleasure of tasting a seasonal specialty by Just Desserts 2 contestant Megan Ketover which she demo’d at the Cincinnati Chocolate Festival: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with brown sugar marshmallow buttercream and chocolate cardamom sauce. Megan graciously agreed to let me share her recipe with you, below.

I love chocolate with pumpkin, but a pro like Megan, of course, takes things to another level, all the while making it look easy.

Still, I came away with a couple of tips we home cooks could put to use.

1. For a filled dessert like a whoopie pie, Megan likes to add a “surprise” in the middle. She filled pipettes with her chocolate cardamom sauce so each of us at the demo could squeeze some of it into the interior of the confection. A simpler approach, she suggested, is to place some chocolate in the center, then pipe your buttercream around the edge of the whoopies before sandwiching them together. Your guests may be expecting marshmallow cream filling with their eyes, but then they discover the chocolate in the middle.

2. For extra dazzle – and texture – roll the buttercream edge of the whoopie pies in chocolate sprinkles, as Megan did with hers.

Megan also adorned hers with the logo of Cincinnati’s Netherland Plaza (the Hilton hotel where she is pastry chef for Orchids restaurant) in edible chocolate form, but that trick is probably best left to the professionals, who prepare trays of these things ahead :)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Brown Sugar Buttercream Recipe, by Chef Megan Ketover

Pumpkin whoopie pies

12 oz butter, softened, unsalted
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger, ground
2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add egg and mix until light and creamy. Add pumpkin and mix until combined. Add pumpkin and mix till combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, spices and baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pipe or scoop onto sheet pans. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and light golden brown. Allow to cool, and then fill with the brown sugar frosting, sandwiching two cookies together.

Brown sugar frosting

3 1/3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup pasteurized egg whites
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups unsalted butter, cubed and softened

Combine the brown sugar and egg whites over a double boiler and whisk together constantly until sugar dissolves, and mixture is warm, but not hot, about 8 minutes. Sugar will all be dissolved. Put mixture into the bowl of a standing mixture and whip until a stiff meringue forms and mixture is room temperature, about 10 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add one piece of the butter at a time. When all the butter is added, beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract. The icing should be refrigerated after filling whoopie pies.

I wish I had Megan’s recipe for her chocolate cardamom sauce, which was absolutely spectacular. For now I’m content with my new-found knowledge that, personally, I like chocolate better with cardamom than with too much cinnamon.

Thanks, Megan! And Happy Halloween to everyone from the team at All Top Chef!

Posted on

No comments: