When life gives you lemons you make lemonade right? Well I say, when life gives you ugly chocolate cupcake you make trifle. I have conquered a lot (relatively speaking) as a home cook/baker, but for some reason chocolate cupcakes, not chocolate cake, but specifically CUPCAKES just seem to evade me.
This is not even the first time this is happened to me. In fact, I think all the chocolate trifles I have made are a result of a failed chocolate cupcake attempt, except maybe this trifle (be still my heart). I should learn better.
This year for my birthday I was really trying to be good, dessert-wise. I have been limiting my sugar and only eating sweets once a week so I thought cupcakes would the perfect little heavenly bite, just enough but not overdoing it. Then if I had too many leftover I could just give some away.
Oh but no, those sunken chocolate cupcakes stuck all over the pan had to rear their ugly faces. Really, I should learn. However, it actually turned out good; making the cupcakes into a trifle. I kept with the s'mores theme that I wanted (hello is it summer yet!!!) and I ended up taking them to a church barbecue, and brought home NO leftovers. Score!
You can thank me now for this, 'cause you'll have something to take to every gathering you attend throughout the summer.
1 13x9 pan of your favorite chocolate cake (from scratch or a box), baked and cooled
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 12-oz bag milk chocolate chips (good quality)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bag mini marshmallows
For the milk chocolate ganache, pour chocolate chips out into a small mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream to just a boil then pour it over the chocolate chips. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove cover and whisk until smooth.
To assemble trifle, layer about half of the cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top with 1-1 1/2 cups of the graham cracker crumbs and drizzle 1/2-3/4 cup of the ganache. Add about 1/3 of the bag of mini marshmallows. (You can toast the marshmallows if you want, I happened to use my kitchen torch but it isn't necessary.) Repeat layers with remaining cake, graham cracker crumbs, ganache and marshmallows. (Note: you may not want all of the graham cracker crumbs or ganache, you can use personal judgement there. I also reserved a tiny bit of crumbs and ganache to for garnish.)
To toast the top layer of marshmallows there are a few ways it can be done. The easiest way would be to use a kitchen torch. You could also put the whole bowl under the broiler (after you add the marshmallows) in the oven for about 3-4 minutes watching very closely; and you may have to take out the top rack as trifle bowls tend to be on the tall side. The last way you could toast the marshmallows would be to lay them out on a large baking sheet, put them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes then remove them from the oven, allow them to cool then transfer them to the trifle and garnish as desired.