I know that my pumpkin spice chocolate truffles were kind of the perfect Halloween treat, but I couldn’t resist to the temptation of sharing another Halloween flavoured recipe for this special week.
Halloween around here means marathons of horror movies. Whenever we’re at home, there’s always an old Friday the 13th, Freddy or Halloween movie in the background. They’ve been playing in loop for about a week now. I love those movies, I’ve watched them countless times with my sisters as we were growing up, and surprisingly they bring back so many great memories.
I was browsing the web in search for ideas for a black and orange recipe I could share with you here. Something that would stand out. Something with a nice contrast. A treat (it’s Halloween after all), but made made healthier, of course. Then I stumbled upon this recipe for vegan whoopie pies over at Minimalist Baker. They were not black and orange, but I figured I could easily give them a pretty awesome Halloween makeover. So that’s exactly what I did.
Truth is, I didn’t actually know what a whoopie pie was. Whoopie pies are not a thing in Quebec, where I grew up. If they are, I’ve been living under a rock for the first 30 years of my life. The only thing I know that resemble whoopie pies are Jos Louis. Those I know very well. I’ve had my fair share of Jos Louis as a child. Knowing that I can replicate an old childhood favorite into a vegan and healthier version that actually tastes much better than the original is the quintessence of satisfaction to me. So making these was quite a delight. And oh boy the result is amazing.
The texture is incredibly fluffy. They’re chocolatey, but not overly sweet. They’re filled with a coconut and pumpkin filling that has just the right amount of spice. It’s like biting into a soft little cloud, that tastes like a chocolate pumpkin pie. Amazing.
I was pretty serious about these whoopie pies and really wanted them to be black. Halloween black.
So I used a special secret ingredient to make the entire batter turn completely black: activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has a long history of medicinal uses. It is sold in a capsule or powder form in health food stores. It is a highly absorbent compound, which makes it a wonderful detoxifier, as it binds to toxins (parasites, fungus, heavy metals, etc.) and helps to remove them out of the body. It’s a widely used antidote to detoxify from drugs, alcohol, poisons and chemicals. It also makes a great toothpaste, as it binds to bacteria. It helps keep the mouth clean and whiten the teeth.
Although activated charcoal is non-toxic, it is important no to take it within two hours of taking supplements or medications because it will keep the body from adsorbing them. Also, be careful when using charcoal powder as it can get very messy and stain surfaces when spilled.
Notes on the recipe: activated charcoal is optional and used here to make the whoopie pies black. If you don’t use it you’ll obtain a lighter, brownish chocolate color (as you would for a regular chocolate cake). For a gluten-free version of these whoopie pies, replace spelt flour by your favorite gluten-free flour blend and make sure to use gluten-free certified oats.
- ½ cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
- ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp freshly ground flax seeds + 5 tbsp water
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- 1½ tbsp activated charcoal powder (optional)
- ½ cup almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
- ¼ cup oat flour (finely ground from rolled oats)
- ¾ cup + 1 tbsp spelt flour
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk - chilled overnight in the refrigerator
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of sea salt
- Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or for at least 8-10 hours) to allow the cream to separate from the coconut water. Just before you make your whipped cream, place a mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes or so. You can also put the beaters in the freezer too. Remove the chilled can from fridge and flip it upside down. Open can and pour the liquid into a separate bowl or container (store this liquid in your fridge and use in your smoothies or soups). Now scoop out the remaining cream layer and place in your chilled bowl.
- With a hand mixer, whip the cream for about 1 minute or until fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, maple syrup, pumpkin spice and a pinch of sea salt and whip again.
- Transfer whipped cream to a large freezer bag (for piping) and set in the refrigerator to chill completely.
- Place almond or cashew milk in a bowl and add apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and baking soda and stir. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, prepare flax eggs by combining ground flax seeds and water. Place in the fridge and let rest for at least 5 minutes while you prepare your other ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup.
- Next add the flax mixture, pumpkin puree, vanilla and salt, and whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and whisk again until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
- Lastly, add baking powder, cacao powder, activated charcoal, almond meal, oat flour, and spelt flour, and mix well to combine, making sure no large clumps remain.
- Transfer batter to the refrigerator to chill/thicken for 20 minutes, and preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (if you don’t have two baking sheets, just use one and bake the cakes in 2 batches).
- Scoop out about 1 tbsp amount of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1-inch of room for spreading. Use your tablespoon to slightly spread them into a small disc. One standard baking sheet should fit about 16 cakes (or more if smaller). Repeat on second baking sheet until all batter is used up.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges appear dry. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Repeat this process with the second baking sheet
- Once the cakes are completely cooled to the touch, clip a small corner of the coconut and pumpkin whipped cream bag off and pipe a generous amount of whipped cream onto the under-side of half the cakes. Carefully top with another cake of similar size and shape and press down slightly.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days (I preferred mine served at room temperature).
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.