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Daring Bakers: Hidden veggies in sweet bakes

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!
Being sneaky when it comes to food is always exciting – whether it's trying to fool children or cheating on your diet. I don't have children and I never diet (although I should refrain from eating too much of a good thing... Butter, mmmm) but this challenge is about creativity and that's always good.
I reviewed Harry Eastwood's Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache for work a couple of years ago and tried out the Sunken Apricot and Almond Cake (made with pumpkin), the Courgette and Camomile Cupcakes and the Heartache Chocolate Cake made with aubergine/eggplant (I read on the DB forum that a few others have also made this cake successfully). They all turned out well and produced very moist bakes.
I knew I wanted to make whoopie pies and I thought of using frozen spinach, but when I checked my freezer, I realised I had used it all up. I noticed there was a packet of edamame though (there are times when we all forget what we have in our freezers, don't we?). These beans are nutritionally rich, but more important, to me, is they are sweet and chewy, and they taste good even without seasoning. I had my veg. 
Springy and well-risen
The first thing that appealed to me about the cookies was their natural pastel green colour thanks to the edamame. I had kept some plain and had added a little chopped fresh mint and grated chocolate to another portion of the dough. Oddly, although I used the same amount of dough (with an ice cream scoop) for all the cookies, the mint-chocolate ones baked up larger!
To sandwich the cookies together, I used leftover cream cheese frosting that I had made for another cake – but with a few additions. To up the vegetable content, I added some mashed mung beans (another healthy food item), cocoa powder and a touch of wasabi since it goes well with  edamame.
I liked the whoopie pies, but I have to admit I couldn't taste the edamame – though that clearly fulfils the requirements of this challenge: hiding a vegetable in a sweet. The mung beans in the frosting, however, could be detected – mainly because I couldn't get them really smooth in my mini food processor. Mung beans are used in a lot of Asian sweet dishes anyway so I'm used to them. I actually liked the textural feel of the frosting.
Do stop by at The Daring Kitchen for a slideshow of other ways to sneak vegetables into sweets!
Fill 'em up
Edamame Whoopie Pies with Mung Bean Chocolate Frosting
Makes 8 whoopie pies

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine salt
Scant ¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup edamame purée*

Mint and Chocolate variation

1-1½ tbsp finely shredded (chiffonade) fresh mint
1-1½ tbsp grated or finely chopped chocolate

Mung Bean Chocolate Frosting
1 cup skinless split mung beans, soaked overnight
1 tbsp cocoa mixed with 2 tsp water into a paste
100g cream cheese, softened
50g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
¼ tsp wasabi paste, or to taste (optional)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and sugar together until blended. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is pale and light. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the dry ingredients, then the edamame purée. For the Mint and Chocolate variation, fold ingredients into the dough together with the edamame puréePlace dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Using a one-tablespoon capacity ice-cream scoop, place dollops of dough 5cm apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the cookies are risen and springy in the centre. 
Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before sandwiching two together with frosting.
Mung Bean Chocolate Frosting: Drain mung beans and steam until soft. The frosting uses ½ cup so purée enough in a blender or mini food processor and freeze the rest for another use.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together, then stir in the mung bean purée and cocoa paste. Beat in the icing sugar and wasabi until smooth and soft.
* To make edamame purée, steam about 200g of edamame bean pods until soft. Shell them and remove the skin from the beans. Place beans in a blender or mini food processor with about ½ tbsp of water. Pulse to purée. Add a little more water if necessary to get it smooth.


  1. Wow Jane, you always come up with the most unusual recipes! I had to look up edamame, I didn't know it. Your woopie pies are totally exotic to me! I'd love to try it!
    By the way, I would like to thank you for teaching me the tip about using cooked beetroot in the cake batter to keep it pink, it worked in my rainbow cake, and I mention you on my post :o)

  2. Yep pretty unusual stuff, mungbeans with chocolate and wasabi! hmmm....I wondered how that taste like?

  3. These look gorgeous - great job! An inspiring freezer find. Thanks so much for taking part this month

  4. Great job! I never ever would think to use edamame in whoopie pies! LOL! I love it! :)


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