Wednesday 10 September 2008
I came across S’mores quite late in life. A Michael Recchiuti book. A tiny note at the bottom of a page.
A piece of chocolate and a marshmallow, sandwiched together in crisp graham crackers. After a quick moment in the oven, the chocolate and marshmallow melt into each others, making for the most delicious sweet sandwich ever.
As good as it may sound, I’ve never had the chance to taste S’mores – let alone graham crackers – in real life. And although I could have just made some myself, I simply didn’t find the time to.
But S’mores kept hauting me. Just like someone you’ve never kissed, and yet miss. A lot.
I even thought of making a S’more tart. Picture a crust of crushed homemade graham crackers, topped with a thin layer of dark ganache, and covered with a pile of fluffy Italian meringue. And then Deb did it. And it looked good.
But well, I eventually forgot about it. The tart, that is. S’mores still had their place in my dreams.
When I started thinking about all the cupcakes I could put together for this month’s SHF, you can guess what came first.
S’more cupcake. A graham cracker inspired cake – or at least a cake that tastes like graham crackers do, in my mind. A thick and smooth meringue. A deeply flavoured chocolate ganache coating.
The S’more cupcakes were born. Proving the world there is so much more than buttercream frosted cupcakes.
With a healthy dose of chocolate and fluffy marshmallow, those delicious cupcakes will make everyone happy.
The cake is fragrant with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla; and has that slight saltiness I suspect graham crackers have (or maybe, I just see graham crackers as English digestives).
The marshmallow cream is sweet but not overly so. I think it’d be terrific to add the seeds of one vanilla bean to it.
And well, the ganache… Deep, dark and smooth. You definitely don’t want the chocolate flavour to be overwhelming here, so aim for a thin coating.
You’ll have more gaanche than needed – but that’s only because you have to have enough to dip the cupcakes. I suggest you make plain truffles.
makes 6 jumbo cupcakes, or 9 small ones
for the cupcakes
3/4 tsp fleur de sel / maldon sea salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
60g butter, at room temperature
85g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat over to 170°C.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in egg, until fully incorporated; and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk.
Divide batter evenly among the paper cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack before frosting.
for the meringue
one egg white
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp water
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at slow speed until the foam throughout, gradually increase the speed to fast, and beat to soft peaks. Turn the machine to slow as you complete the sugar syrup.
Bring the sugar and water to 115°C.
Beating the egg whites at moderate speed, pour the boiling syrup into them. Increase the speed to high, and beat until the bowl is no longer hot (it should still feel slightly warm). Pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes and smooth it with a spatula to form a neat dome. Chill while you get on with the ganache.
for the ganache
150g double cream
150g dark chocolate
Bring the cream to a rolling boil. Mix in the chopped chocolate off the heat. Allow to stand for a minute, then mix until smooth.
Transfer to a small bowl and dip the cupcake tops.
And don’t forget. Sugar High Friday is running until the 26th of September. So put your aprons on. Get your wooden spoon and whisk. And make cupcakes!