If you remember, a few months ago I posted a list of “6 New England Things To Try.” On the list, one of the things that I most wanted to try was the “Whoopie Pie,” a chocolate cookie sandwich with a fluffy cream interior. Shortly after I posted my list of things, I received a message on Twitter from one of the owners of Chococoa Baking Company in Newburyport, Mass. She invited me to her little shop in this seaside town to enjoy my first Whoopie Pie.
Owned by a husband and wife team, Chococoa Baking Company prides itself on using fresh, natural and organic ingredients in its Whoopies. (By the way, the name Whoopie Pie comes from when kids would yell “Whoopie” for the treat.)
Julie Ganong is a Maine native who remembers baking Whoopies with her grandmother and mother. Her husband, Alan Mons, is the genius behind all of the baking. He’s taken classes all over. The pair has even traveled to France to try the some of the world’s most decadent chocolates to find some of their Whoopie inspiration.
Before entering the baking world, Julie had a job in the financial industry and Alan worked as a salesman. But the two believed the Whoopie needed a makeover. So, they created a mini dessert treat made of three different chocolates, local free-range eggs and organic butter. It’s a far cry from the traditional Whoopie that is made with plain chocolate and a marshmallow or shortening filling.
Chococoa churns out about 8,000 Whoopies (that’s tops and bottoms) to make 4,000 of these mini-chocolate clouds each week. There are several different flavors including the original (chocolate with a vanilla cream), espresso cream, chocolate ganache and raspberry cream.
My favorite flavor would probably be the original (although they are all really good). The chocolate cake is moist and dense – it holds up really well with the smooth, velvety vanilla filling. If you’re taking these straight out of the fridge, wait a few minutes so they get closer to room temperature. The rich flavors come out better that way.
For the spring and summer months, you can get a lemon cream version of the Whoopie. It’s light and zingy made with real lemon flavoring. During the holiday season, you can get a pumpkin-ginger cream. Alan is always coming up with new creations. The team even has done Whoopies for weddings (say that five times fast.)
Because these Whoopies are made with a blend of premium chocolates (they can’t give out the secret recipe), they pair well with dessert wines. I think the Three Rivers’ Late Harvest Gewurztraminer from Walla Walla would pair perfectly with these, as would an ice wine. But really, a nice tall glass of milk is just as good as a fancy bottle of wine.
The cafe is small but they do sell logo items so you can show your Chococoa love when you’re out around town.
Chococoa also works as a co-op with other local bakers to sell items like muffins, scones and croissants. You also can get gluten-free desserts and vegan cupcakes made by area bakers. It’s a perfect stop on a Saturday morning to grab a cup of coffee, a muffin and enjoy the scenery. Then, pick up some Whoopies to-go.
Check out this video for a little more on our visit to Chococoa Baking Company.
Chococoa Baking Company is located in Newburyport, Mass., at 38 Washington St. The cafe is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sundays. If you can’t make it to their store, you can find the Whoopies at several stores in the area (check their website for locations), or you can order from the website and deliver anywhere in the US.
Be sure to tell them that All’s Fare Food Blog sent you!
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