Life has its share of epic fails, and so does my kitchen unfortunately. Cakes can just flat out refuse to come out of their pans, omelets will stage a sit-in and end up as scrambled cheesy eggs, and sometimes, Grasshopper Pies turn into parfaits.
Someone really smart, although I can’t seem to remember who, said life isn’t about how you handle the good times, it’s how you handle the bad times that really says a lot about your character. It’s easy to smile through life and be as sweet as pie (or parfait) to everyone around you when things are going your way, but it’s a lot tougher to be a decent person through the crummy stuff.
Today, in my kitchen, was one of those epic fail days. I was planning to bring Chocolate Malt Cake to my mother’s house for dinner tonight. It was requested! On that post I instructed you to make this cake a day ahead or start very early. So that’s what I did…just like I was supposed to. I started EARLY. I went to the market at 6:00am, came home to prepare the cakes and popped them in the oven by 7:00am.
Ok…this next part is a little nutty. The problem was that I was preparing something that I had already posted previously, and it had been THREE WHOLE DAYS since my last post. I knew I had to make something else today for the fans (all three of you)….that is where the Grasshopper pie comes in. I figured it was a perfect match for my two dessert morning since it didn’t need baking.
My Kitchen Aid was on double duty. It was whirring and spinning away and before I knew it, the pie was whipped up, the cakes were smelling divine and I was whistling Dixie–very smugly I might add. My timer went off, and I pulled the first cake pan out of the oven…great! No crumbs on the toothpick, spongy to the touch, smells magnificent…perfect. This is where things are a bit of a blur. I went to pull out cake number two and somehow, graceful composed baker that I am NOT, I hit the pan on a pot on my stove, and it turned upside down! See?
Of course, this was the ONE TIME that I had properly floured and buttered my pans to perfection, and the cake just slid right out of there onto my stove, breaking apart into crumbles. How sad. I stood there totally frustrated. Unfortunately, these kind of klutzy occurrences are not a rare occasion for me. I wish I could tell you they were…I could lie…you would never know the difference, but I am honest to a fault I’m afraid. I am a total klutz 24/7.
Did I shout four letter words? Did I give up and throw in the towel? NO! I simply knew I could whip the batter right up and make a second cake. No problema! I am woman, hear me roar! In the meantime, my chocolate Grasshopper Pie looked fab, and I popped it in the fridge to “firm up”, as the recipe indicates, for five hours.
Everything was moving along. Second cake in the oven…check, frosting refrigerating…check, Grasshopper pie “firming up”…check. At this point my kitchen looks like there was a chocolate massacre (and so does my white t-shirt I might add), but things were happening and desserts were being completed.
Fast forward to five hours later, when I am serving up the pie to my daughter, and there was no firming up that happened what-so-ever. It was simply a mousse. It was a beautiful, delicious chocolate minty airy mousse, but it was a mousse all the same.
Another epic fail for the day, but I decided to turn the pie into beautiful little parfaits. I layered the crushed chocolate wafer crust on the bottom of the parfait cup, then the mousse, then more crumbs, then more mousse, squirted some whipped cream on top(YES SQUIRTED! Do you think I had the strength to turn on that darned stand mixer one more time?!) and sprinkled it with some chopped Andes chocolate mint candies. It looked good enough for the blog, tasted like a mint-chocolate creamy dream, and my daughter and I were as happy as clams.
Next time you have an epic fail in your kitchen, try to remain calm, step away from the sharp utensils and be creative.
—Oh, by the way, my cake turned out perfectly after the second try and all is well that ends well.
Chocolate Grasshopper Mousse Parfait
1 7 0z. jar of marshmallow creme
3/4 t. peppermint extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted
chopped Andes chocolate mint candies for garnish
whipped cream for topping (make your own or use the squirty kind)
Chocolate Cookie Crust
1/3 c. melted butter
1 1/4 c. finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
Mousse: Whip heavy cream on high speed of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Reserve whipped cream in another bowl. Put marshmallow creme and peppermint extract in the stand mixer bowl and use your paddle attachment to mix on medium speed. Pour in slightly cooled melted chocolate. Mix together on medium speed until well combined. Fold in whipped cream until combined and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
To make parfaits: Prepare crumbs by pulverizing wafer cookies in your food processor until they are fine. Mix crumbs with butter. Layer a scoop of crumbs on the bottom of the parfait glass, then dollop a scoop of the chocolate mint mousse, then the crumbs and the mousse again and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped candies for garnish. Serve immediately for best results or prepare ahead, but wait to dollop the whipped cream on until serving. The mousse will hold up fine in the refrigerator.