Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie (made with Bobby Flay Throwdown Winning Red Velvet Cake Recipe)

Are these red velvet cake whoopie pies made with Bobby Flay's recipe?

Yes but not entirely!

If you Google the phrase, "Bobby Flay red velvet whoopie pie", you won't find any Bobby Flay recipe that makes red velvet whoopie pies. You can find lots of red velvet whoopie pies recipes but they are not Bobby Flay's recipes. If you keep scrolling, you will find a Bobby Flay's red velvet cake recipe at Cooking Channel or Food Network and this is the recipe that I'm using but it is never made as whoopie pies as you have searched and see...

For Cook like a Star with Bobby Flay theme, I really want to bake this Bobby Flay's Throwndown-winning red velvet cake recipe but the amount of total amount of butter and fat used to bake a complete 9-inch cake seems too much and scary to me! Imagine if I have baked this cake and feed my family with 555g of butter plus 3/4 cup of oil in this entire cake!!! Whoa! This amount of fat sounds really scary to me!!!

Why is there so much butter used in this recipe? Instead of cream cheese frosting, I have noticed that Bobby Flay uses milk roux and butter to make his frosting for his red velvet cake and this frosting recipe requires 375g of butter. I could have altered this original Bobby Flay's recipe to bake it into the form of cupcakes with a more traditional cream cheese frosting like these at but I'm still extremely keen and curious to experience the real winning taste of this Bobby Flay's Throwndown-winning red velvet cake recipe.

I've got an idea!!!

Let's make one-third of this recipe into whoopie pies. Yeah! I'm going to follow pretty much everything that is mentioned in Bobby Flay's recipe and the difference here is the portion size.

Now, should I say Whoopie or Yippee?!!! LOL!

red velvet Whoopie pie made with Bobby Flay recipe
Red Velvet Whoopie Pie (made with Bobby Flay's recipe)
Lumpy mixture? You have to keep beating to get this...
At this stage, I know that this cake batter is going to be good seeing that the mixture is so light and creamy.
I like to stick to the use of buttermilk for its nice and curdly texture.
I ate two of the plain cake rounds immediately after this photo shots. One was not enough!!!
Instead of using an electric mixer to beat the frosting, I have tried to use the wooden spoon...
See! I should have use my electric mixer but luckily, pressing the icing thru a sieve can fix my problem.
Assembling my whoopie pies
Ultimately good! Glad that I didn't have to eat 555g of butter to taste this winning cake.

Just judging the texture of the whoopie pie in my last picture, you can tell that these whoopie pies are very very very delicious. It was difficult for us to stop at one... I'm glad that I've made these treats with "health-conscious measures" and phew that we didn't have to eat the entire 555g of butter!!!

The red velvet cake on its own is so moist and fluffy! Initially, I thought that the floury frosting was a disappointment on its own but with the cake, it turns out to be wonderfully mild or not too greasy to eat. Clearly, I can see the winning factors of this recipe. I'm feeling so good that I bake this Bobby Flay's recipe! I would highly recommend this recipe to all bakers!!!

This is how I made these whoopie pies using this Bobby Flay's recipe that is mostly adapted from Food Network

Make 12 whoopie pies (with 24 pie rounds)

For the pie rounds:
185g all purpose Flour
15g Dutch processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
100g caster sugar (original was 150g and I reckon this amount is just right for me)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably rice bran oil
1 large eggs, at room temperature, roughly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/3 tbsp red food coloring or 1/2 tsp red Wilton colouring gel
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

For the vanilla cream filling:
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
25g all-purpose flour
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
50g icing sugar

For the pie rounds:
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan forced.. Line baking trays with baking paper or silicon mats.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together.

Cream butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. While beating, add egg gradually and beat until incorporated. While doing that, scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Then, beat in vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.

Sift in the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Spoon 1 tbsp of batter on the prepared tray and bake for 12 mins or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 10 mins before removing the pie rounds from the tray. Allow them to cool completely on wire rack before apply the vanilla cream filling.

For the vanilla cream filling:
Pour milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 mins. Please note that the original recipe mentioned that the paste has to be refrigerated until very cold, at least 2 hrs but I didn't do that.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla paste until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 mins. Add the cold paste, a few tbsp at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy. Please note that I didn't use an electric mixer to do this job and reckon that the frosting is lumpy and so I pressed the frosting thru a sieve and doing this fixed my problem.

To assemble:
Transfer the filling into a piping bag and pipe circles of filling onto 12 of the pie rounds. Place the other 12 rounds onto the ones with the filling. Allow the assembled whoopie pies to rest for an hr or two in the room temperature for the cream to absorb into the cake. Serve as soon as you like if you can't wait... LOL!

Happy Baking

This post is linked to Cook like a Star (Bobby Flay) organised by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Grace from Life can be simple.

Wanna cook or bake like Bobby Flay? To join, simply cook or bake his recipes from websites like Food Network or Bobby Flay's website or his cookbooks and link with us at this Zoe's, this Yen's or this Grace's post for the whole of November 2014.

To use this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Grace from Life can be simple Cheers! For more details, please see this.

Here are my blogging friends that have joined me cooking for this event. Please visit their blogs for more of their 5-stars cooking

What's next? Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and me from Bake for Happy Kids are cooking and baking a family feast to celebrate Christmas 2014. Join us and link your post with us if you are also cooking something special for your Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Epic Ice Blended Chocolate... that cost you less than a dollar!!! ... Plus a Giveaway!

Have you been spending at least USD or AUD$5 to drink one serve of ice blended chocolate or coffee at places like Starbucks, Gloria Jean's Coffees or Costa?

Yes? So, why am I not surprised?

After watching an old episode of Jamie Oliver's Christmas Special, I'm inspired to make my own ice blended chocolate using similar ingredients that Jamie used to make his own epic hot chocolate and so I this is what I have made...

Our epic iced blended chocolate

Believe it or not? Each serve of the ice blended chocolate that I made is costing me less than a dollar!!! All because the ingredients that I used are easily available in my pantry and it is costing me almost like nothing to assemble these drinks together.

To start, we need 30g CHOCOLATE to make one drink!!! I mean real chocolate with best quality that you like to eat or use for cooking or baking. Personally, I like to use Callebaut dark chocolate with either 55% or 70% cocoa.

Next, gather these ingredients from your pantry...

I always have these ingredients in my kitchen.

To sweeten your drinks, you can use either icing sugar, corn syrup (preferably fructose free) or Stevia. If you are using sweetened chocolate, you can choose to omit this addition. Please do not use caster, white or granulated sugar as they are harder to dissolve.

The real sugar vs Stevia the sugar substitution
Melt chocolate with half the milk and mix all other ingredients together.
Add ice and whiz until the ice are well blended and smooth.
This is real epic and it costs me less than a dollar!!!

Good quality chocolate $30 per kilogram
Good quality Dutch cocoa powder $30 per kilogram
Milk $1 a liter
Making an epic ice blended chocolate with real chocolate $1 per serve
Enjoying an epic drink - Priceless!

Depending on the type of chocolate and other ingredients that we use, each serve of this ice blended chocolate can varies from 250 to 400 calories but if you use 1g of Stevia (a natural sugar substitute) instead of icing sugar, you can consume 30 less calories from the one that you made with real sugar.

Having said that, I must admit that the addition of Stevia does give the drink a little bitter aftertaste but it is not easily delectable and also easily acceptable.

Stevia? It is a calorie-free sweetener extracted from the leaves of the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana. I like to strongly encourage people with diabetic and weight control problems to enjoy their food better with Stevia as the sweetness of 1g Stevia is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Pardon me and my nagging... Although I like the fact that Stevia is noncaloric, I like to emphasis that the consumption of Stevia should be in moderation as excessive consumption may cause some side effects for some people especially those with 1) ragweed allergies, 2) low blood pressure or 3) difficulty to control blood sugar levels. Personally, I think that pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid consuming sweeteners too... Well, this is my very very very personal opinion.

For me, I like to moderate everything that I consume and so I'm loving the benefits of both Stevia and sugar.

For you, I'm happy to announce that NuStevia, a company that specialized in Stevia products are giving away FOUR sets of their products as shown in this picture ...

Each set consists of 1) one bottle of Cherry Vanilla Stevia Liquid 2) one 50 pkt box of NuStevia White Stevia Powder 3) one bottle of zero calories cocoa syrup 4) one bottle of simple syrup. The total retail valve of these are USD$55 plus a free bonus product.

This giveaway is open to all international readers!!! Be quick!!! 
The submission ends on 7th Dec 2014, 11:59 Melbourne, Australia time.

To win, please submit your entries via this:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To claim your prizes, all winners will be notified via your Facebook or email account and have to provide his/her full name and shipping address and confirm his/her email address again so that we can advise the winners regarding the status of the shipments.

If you are interested to buy these products from Nunaturals, you may wish to take note of this 15% DISCOUNT CODE: BLG1214 and it is valid until 31st Dec 2014.

Before proceeding on to the recipe, I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid by Nunaturals to promote their products. I was given these samples to try and like to share my most honest opinions to my friends and all readers.
Good luck with this giveaway!

Here is my epic ice blended chocolate recipe that is mostly adapted from Jamie Oliver's Epic Hot Chocolate

Make one large serve, 300ml
30 g good-quality unsweetened dark chocolate, preferably Callebaut dark chocolate with 55% or 70% cocoa
1/2 cup (125ml) milk, divided into half
1 tbsp good quality cocoa, preferably Dutch processed cocoa powder like Valrhona
1 tbsp Milo or any malted drink
1 tbsp milk powder
3/4 tbsp icing sugar or 3/4 tbsp light corn syrup (preferably fructose free) or 1g Stevia powder or nothing if you don't mind the bitterness from the cocoa powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup (loosely pack) ice

Place chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.

Pour 1/4 cup milk into a small saucepan and bring it almost to the boil over a medium heat. When the milk is ready, pour it in the bowl of chocolate and allow the heat to melt the chocolate without stirring for about 1 min. Add cocoa powder, Milo, milk powder and icing sugar or syrup or Stevia into the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Mixture can be a little lumpy but it is ok. Stir in the rest of milk into the mixture.

Transfer mixture into a tall plastic cup that can be processed by a hand blender and add ice into it. Using a hand blender, process until the ice are well blended and smooth. Pour the blended drink into a serving cup and enjoy this epic drink immediately!