Viola Goren, author
Viola Goren has studied cooking and baking at leading culinary institutions around the world. She graduated from The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and studied in several European institutions, including the Ewald Susan Notter School of Confectionery in Switzerland, The Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Belgium, and Fabbri & Fruibel in Italy. Her classroom training is complemented with hands-on experience in the pastry departments of leading bakeries and hotels. She prepared pies, pastries, cakes, and breads at the famed La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles, California, and prepared diverse desserts at The Regent Beverly Wilshire and the Hilton Tel Aviv. For more than a decade, Viola owned Sweet Dream, a popular Tel Aviv-based bakery that supplied baked goods to dozens of cafes and restaurants. Today, she is the owner of Viola Cafés, and teaches aspiring pastry-makers from all walks of life at the Estela Culinary School.
Read more about Viola Goren.
A Spoonful of Sugar
Whoopie Pies by Viola Green is a fabulous cookbook which shows you how to make over 80 varieties of pies. Those of us in Australia, haven't grown up with Whoopie Pies. However they seem to be growing in popularity and after looking at the book, I can see the attraction. A Whoopie Pie is essentially a sandwich made from two soft cookies with a creamy filling in between. According to Amish legend, Pennsylvanian women would bake the pies from left over cake batter as a lunchtime dessert. Baked for less than 10 minutes, the Whoopie Pie is a quick and easy to prepare treat.
The book includes a handy section on Whoopie Pie Essentials - covering all the basics, and giving tips and tricks to ensure success. The recipes are divided into: The Creamy Fillings, Fruit Delights, Chocolate Oasis, Savory Bites, The Classics Whoopie Style, and Holidays and Special Occasions.
The book is full of inspiring recipes and photographs. I love how you can combine the different cake batters and fillings to make such a wide range of pies - perfect for every occasion. For Christmas, I bought Sarah a Whoopie Pie Pan , with cavities to make the cake batter so that they form a perfect circle. I can't wait to try out some of these recipes.
Boldly proclaiming the Whoopie Pie as "the latest classic craze sweeping the culinary world," former pastry chef Goren offers up over 80 mix-and-match recipes for fanatics. Though her pies resemble the classic French macaron in appearance, they have the consistency of cakes, with bakers dropping the batter onto cookie sheets in dollops. Using this method, Goren offers a wealth of applications both sweet (Apple & Calvados, Chocolate Coconut, and Snickers & Vanilla Cream) and savory (Beet, Mushroom & Goat Cheese, and Zucchini with Feta Cheese). The sweet options are fairly predictable, while the more outlandish savory offerings (incorporating ingredients like anchovies or featuring cornbread with a whipped cream cheese filling) seem to do little besides increasing the recipe count. Considering that there are already seven other books dedicated to Whoopie Pies (four of which were published this year), the deck is seemingly stacked against Goren. In addition, the book's lack of a recipe list—with only a table of contents based on theme and an index based on ingredient—will frustrate readers trying to find particular recipes.
Page count: 144
9 x 8