Kabocha Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Kabocha Salted Caramel cupcakes

For some, it's a party when there's an open bar. For me, it's a party when there are cupcakes. Last night's joint book launch with Amanda Hesser (The Essential New York Times Cookbook) and Melissa Clark (In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite) brought together 20 NYC chefs to prepare bite-size nibbles of their favorite New York Times recipe (see full details here). There was caramel popcorn, apple creme brulee, and Valrhona chocolate in the gift bags... then suddenly the crowd parted, and I saw cupcakes.

Pichet Ong drew inspiration from a savory Kabocha Squash Pie recipe, referenced in his NYT interview with Melissa Clark, and turned it into a Mini Vanilla Cupcake with Kabocha frosting and Salted Caramel flakes for this occasion. It's not currently available at Spot Dessert Bar right now, but with enough demand (hint hint), this "Asian pumpkin" flavor could find its way onto the Fall menu.