made from over-filled cupcake tops.
started with a mistake ó more a careless disregard for the
principles of baking.
making chocolate cupcakes for a birthday dinner. Being a bit
lazy and a bit clumsy with the gloppy batter, I overfilled
the muffin tin cups. Everyone who bakes cupcakes knows you
donít do that. But I did. And the batter overran the cups,
creating ugly cupcakes with huge, spreading mushroom heads
ó which broke off right where the tops met the bodies when
I tried to get them out of the pan.
they were delicious, even unfrosted, thanks to the recipe
from baking guru Nick Malgieriís "Bake!" (Kyle
Books, $29.95). We ate a few to mark the birthday, leaving
me with more than a dozen ugly (but delicious),
to do with them? Frosting them seemed silly. What about
transforming them into something else? Like a trifle? Not
quite right. Too fussy. But then, inspired by a dessert the
next night at Fat Rice in Chicago, which layered ground-up
shortbread in a parfait, I had the answer: cupcake parfaits.
homemade chocolate pudding, whipped cream and the
decapitated cupcakes transformed a mistake into a new house
favorite. They were a big hit the next night at our weekly
"Top Chef" watching dinner. And have been
requested by friends again. Thereís something about
playing with the ubiquitous but still loved cupcake that
brings out the kid in us, makes us sit up in delight at the
idea. And makes us dig in.
We found the parfaits taste better if assembled one day
cup whipping cream, with 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to soft
tops off 6 cupcakes, slicing them crosswise just below where
the top meets the body.
6 glasses that are wide enough to accommodate the cupcake
tops. Instead of traditional parfait glasses, use a
straight-sided 10- to 12-ounce drinking glass.
about 1/4 cup chocolate pudding in the bottom of each glass.
the cupcake bottoms into the pudding, pushing in gently so
the pudding comes partway up the sides of the cupcakes.
each with a generous portion of whipped cream, pushing it
down around the sides of the cupcake and covering its top.
on a half-inch layer of pudding.
top with the cupcake tops.
with a dollop each of pudding and whipping cream. Shavings
of dark chocolate would be nice as well.
assembling the parfaits a day ahead, finish the top with the
pudding, but donít add the final dollop of whipped cream.
(Cover and chill the whipped cream.) Cover the parfaits and
chill. When ready to serve, re-fluff the whipped cream a bit
with a whisk. Dollop the whipped cream onto the parfaits and
Adapted from Foodandwine.com.
each: heavy cream, whole milk
cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
tablespoons each: unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch
tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Whisk the cream, milk and egg in a medium saucepan. In a
bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt;
add mixture to the saucepan. Heat to a boil, whisking
constantly, over moderately high heat. Strain the pudding
into a bowl. Stir in the butter and chocolate until melted.
Pour pudding into a glass bowl to cool. Press plastic wrap
directly on the surface of the pudding; refrigerate until
chilled, about 30 minutes.
serving: 521 calories, 41 g fat, 25 g saturated fat, 153 mg
cholesterol, 39 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 141 mg sodium,
3 g fiber.
18 to 20 cupcakes
Author Nick Malgieri outlines how to turn any of his cake
recipes in "Bake!" into cupcakes. This recipe
applies those guidelines to his chocolate butter cake.
Malgieri advises coating the top of the pans with cooking
spray or butter so that the cupcake tops donít stick if
they spread (and, remember, we want them to spread for the
parfaits to get broad tops). The directions are for a stand
mixer, but the batter can certainly be mixed with a hand
teaspoons baking powder
sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
large eggs, at room temperature
ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted, cooled
cup whole milk, at room temperature
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with 18-20
paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt
together in a bowl; set aside.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric
mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed
until well mixed. Increase the speed to medium; beat until
mixture is very light and pale in color, about 5 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each
addition. Beat in the melted chocolate. Scrape the bowl and
beater with a spatula.
Restart the mixer on low. Add a quarter of the flour
mixture; beat until absorbed. Increase speed to medium-low;
beat in ľ cup milk.
Repeat step 4, including the change of speed, two more
Stop and scrape; beat in the remaining flour mixture. Scrape
again. Increase the speed to medium; beat 3 minutes.
Divide the batter among the lined pans, filling the cups to
the top. Bake, 15-20 minutes. Cool before proceeding with
parfait. (Enjoy remaining cupcakes as you like.)
serving: 206 calories, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 47 mg
cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 128 mg sodium,
1 g fiber.