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.
June 5, 2011 at 8:29 am
Hahah I happen to be all too familiar with fails in the kitchen 🙂
Nice save! The “pie” picture looks great and it was so smart of you to turn it into a parfait! I’ll bet everyone loved it! 🙂
June 5, 2011 at 8:43 am
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade…and that you did! Your parfaits look fabulous…my kiddos LOVE grasshopper pie, so I know anything in this arena would be a huge hit! Thanks for sharing…
June 5, 2011 at 8:44 am
The contents of that glass look like an extremely tasty fail to me, aka Fan No. 2.:) Katherine rolls her eyes when I wear a white T-shirt in the kitchen. Her favorite shirt ruining episode came when I managed to get squid’s ink on the shoulders of a shirt. Usually they just get spattered with marinara or salsa.
June 6, 2011 at 8:22 am
It’s much more fun to be a messy chef.
June 5, 2011 at 9:21 am
I am also a 24/7 klutz but it sounds like you really saved the day and the desserts!
June 5, 2011 at 11:01 am
Yum! I wish all of my failures would turn out to be so delicious! You reall took lemons and made lemonade 🙂 It looks so delicious.
June 5, 2011 at 11:49 am
You knew I was coming over to this blog because you featured chocolate lol. That fail created something so precious that I can’t wait to create this myself. This parfait is making me too excited now lol.
June 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm
this is by far my number one recipe on your blog! 🙂
June 6, 2011 at 8:19 am
Zoie LOVES It too. 🙂 I will have to make it for you guys when I get back.
June 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm
Your “fail” looks pretty tasty to me!!
June 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm
You know, I feel your pain. If I don’t blog every 2-3 days, I feel like folks will get bored. I only feel better when I know I have something in the works. I think your grasshopper pie parfait looks so tasty! I love mint!
June 6, 2011 at 12:40 am
Wow thats a bad kitchen disaster turned into a great creation.
June 6, 2011 at 12:41 am
I think you should patent your non-fail parfait. It looks superb!
June 6, 2011 at 6:22 am
Love it! What a great way to turn things around. Plus, who doesn’t love a parfait?
June 6, 2011 at 6:30 am
Geni, I so enjoy reading your posts! I think you’d be alot of fun to cook with; I’m sure we’d have lots of laughs! My fav quote is that it’s not about how many times you fall down, what matters is how many times you pick yourself up! I think your parfait is clever, fun and much better than serving pie!!
June 6, 2011 at 8:21 am
Thanks for reading them Linda. Your blog is one of my favorites!
June 6, 2011 at 10:05 am
Once, ok three times, I’ve turned an entire pizza upside down in my oven because I was too lazy to take it out properly, and dropped it. To say I was heartbroken (each and every time) would be an understatement. I also never bothered to clean all the melted cheese out of my oven. That was a mistake.
Your kitchen disaster turned out a lot better than mine do though. The parfait sounds incredible!
June 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm
Geni, I love your posts…always make me smile…you have such a nice humor 😉 At the end your parfait turned out beautiful. Hope you have a great week!
June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm
That is a real woman here! You still made something great out of it, and I would not call it a epic failure, it is just a little hiccup. It happens.
Also , when these things happen, when you walk away from the kitchen to calm down, keep a glass of wine handy! Helps a lot 🙂
June 7, 2011 at 2:59 am
I had a baking debacle this weekend also, in which I dropped an entire cheesecake on the floor. So not salvageable.
And honestly. This parfait looks better than the sum of its parts. I am such a sucker for anything mint chocolate!
June 7, 2011 at 9:27 am
Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds delicious!!
June 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Geni, I love this post. We have all been there..looks like you ended up with something even more divine! Nothing I love more than grasshopper pie, and those parfaits would not have lasted 5 minutes if I were around! Stunning and very elegant presentation!
June 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm
Geni, one would never know, I read this post with a big smile. 😀 Your parfait looks delicious.
June 8, 2011 at 5:01 am
this sounds so lovely Geni:) they look just yummy!!!
June 8, 2011 at 6:17 pm
oh DELICIOUS! I would love this any time of day!
June 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm
Found you on Rufus’ site today and glad I did. What a great idea to turn a failed pie into a parfait! So creative! Next time I have an epic fail (happen at least weekly) I’ll try and remember that! 🙂
June 9, 2011 at 9:27 am
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June 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm
What a brilliant way to save the cake–looks even more delicious in that glass! Great idea.
June 10, 2011 at 11:24 am
Ha ha ha …
Quite a story there and I can relate to it as my sister is quite a mess 24X7. But the best part is to being creative, and what amazing creativity. The dessert looks amazing and my mouth is watering.
July 6, 2011 at 2:14 pm
Looks so good! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
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