So I needed a dairy-free cupcake to bring to a potluck. Something impressive enough to deserve a spot at my mother-in-law's buffet. Something that would survive in a Tupperware on the car trip. Something that required no messy frosting or fussy decorations. Something mini! The answer: Giada De Laurentiis' mini chocolate meringue cupcakes. Here's the link to her recipe:
Unlike fluffy chiffon cakes made with oil, begging for frosting, these cakes are satisfyingly rich unadorned. I even left out the drizzled chocolate at the end because it seemed like a shame to weigh these babies down with anything. When I serve these at home, I add a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Caution: If you decide to double the recipe, make sure you have two mini-muffin tins. Otherwise, by the time you bake the second batch, your meringue will have collapsed quite a bit. You should make these the day you plan to serve them, as they will be droopy if you make them the night before. I usually like to cut back a bit on the sugar in most recipes. In this case, I reduced the sugar that gets whipped into the egg whites from 1/3 cup to 1/6 cup. Don't forget to add the flour at the end. Once, I completely forgot the last step and the cupcakes did not hold their shape.