Which came first, the cupcake or the egg? Aja reveals

Photo By: Katie de Heras
Photo By: Katie de Heras
Photo By: Katie de Heras

When I sat down to make gooey chocolate cupcakes stuffed inside eggshells, I did not expect to end up bullying my friend into driving me all throughout Poughkeepsie on a Sunday evening in a vain attempt to find a box of unsalted butter, a dozen eggs and possibly the meaning to life.

Perhaps I am naive or had an unusual upbringing, but I went to high school in what I considered Catholic McCatholic Country, and I never had a problem finding an open grocery store on a holiday. First, Adam’s was closed. I suppose that was to be expected, but when we rolled into the empty parking lot of Stop and Shop, having missed their closing time by only an hour, I was furious.

I turned to my good friend and temporary chauffeur and demanded we go to the only place that should not be closed on Easter Sunday: the Poughkeepsie Galleria.

Fifteen minutes and a massive waste of gas later, we were turning around, cursing Christianity, Target and every other driver on the road.

We ended up walking out of the All Campus Dining Center after an impromptu second dinner with our pockets and takeaway containers bulging with ill-gotten eggs.

Those green takeaway boxes are, hands down, one of the best food-related investment I’ve made at Vassar. It’s all the pragmatism of stealing from the deece without the risk of student conduct violations. They are worth the cost in dining bucks and VCash

So, ingredients finally acquired and back in the familiarly horrible Jewett kitchen, with its broken microwaves and rotting chicken in the fridge, I set out to make these cupcakes and had one of the worst baking experiences of my life, bar none, including the time I got second-degree burns on my thumb.

The tutorial for emptying out the eggshells was clearly written by a blatant liar; stabbing eggs with a corkscrew is not easy, it is not pleasant, but it is disgustingly messy. With sticky, eggy fingers and yellow blotches of yolk down the front of my white shirt, I was not terribly excited about the prospects for this recipe.

I also managed to be heinously short on ingredients for the cake itself–thanks, Easter–and had to substitute a cup of soy milk for a cup of coffee.

Also, pro baking tip: do not try to cream butter and sugar with a spatula; just go bother your friend with a mixer. It’s not worth the effort, I promise.

I learned that one should never overfill eggs with cake batter, which is probably an important life skill for a very specific, and strange, group of people, but not one I ever expected to need to know. They did not explode, but they spilled over to a ridiculous degree, and now I have several chocolate-cake encrusted muffin tins, which I am not entirely amused about.

I also ended up having a not entirely playful argument with two of my friends about how much of a disaster this entire fiasco was that might have made a permanent mark on my relationships.

However, after several false starts, we ended up with cupcakes stuffed inside eggshells, which was the goal we began with. Never mind that the outside of the eggshells are stained with chocolate or that they taste–gasp–vegan, because they are unreasonably adorable. There is nothing cuter than cracking open what appears to be a hard-boiled egg and getting a chocolate cupcake, and I would stand by that under oath.


Recipie and Guide

Egg-Cleaning Tutorial
1. Rinse each egg thoroughly under running water.
2. Poke a small hole in the top of each egg. I used a corkscrew, put a clean thumbtack or pin would also work.
3. Open up the hole enough that a pastry piping tip can fit inside.
4. Using a small knife or the end of a corkscrew, break the yolk and scramble the egg within the shell.
5. Shake the scrambled mix of each egg into a bowl.
6. Wash eggs again and submerge in water for ten minutes.
7. Fill the eggs 1/2 full with batter of your choice.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 23 minutes.
9. Cry repeatedly

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