My Mom is a gourmet cook, and used to spend hours (sometimes even days) preparing fancy birthday cakes for family members. There was of course the multi-step Black Forest Cake for my dad. Then there was the snake cake, per my sister's request....green fondant dyed different shades of green to look like the skin, a red fondant "tongue", and even black eyes. I have no idea why a little girl would want a cake shaped like a big green snake for their 5th birthday (or however old she was), but nonetheless my Mom made it. And then there was me. Me, who could have any fancy cake in the world, and what do I ask for? Dirt cake! Don't get me wrong, dirt cake is delicious, and I could eat buckets of it (which I'm sure I probably did), but looking back now I wonder what I was thinking choosing dirt cake....
It's been years since I had my last birthday dirt cake, but for some reason, when I was making sugared flowers last week, memories of crushed Oreos and layers of fluffy, creamy pudding came to my mind. Except this time, it was sans worms, with a dash of alcohol mixed in, and topped with pretty edible flowers.
GROWN-UP DIRT CAKE CUPS
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
Edible flowers, for garnish
If you haven't already, start by pureeing the chocolate wafers in a Cuisinart until they turn into fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Dust any extra cookie crumbs out of your Cuisinart, then add in the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugars and vanilla. Blend for a few seconds, until creamy.
In small glass cups or jars (or mini flower pots, if you want to be really authentic), begin layering the cookie crumbs and the cream mixture. I did one heaping tablespoon of cookie crumbs, then one heaping tablespoon of cream mixture, then repeated that, ending with the cream mixture on top. Finish the top off with a light dusting of cookie crumbs and an edible flower.
These can either be served immediately or stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours (although keep in mind, the cookie layer won't be quite as crunchy after several hours).
To make these really grown-up, simply replace the vanilla with the alcohol of your choice. My favorites are: Baileys, Kahlua, Amaretto, or Grand Marnier.