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 sandwich ever.
Yet, I’ve never had the chance to taste S’mores – let alone graham crackers. And that’s perhaps why they kept haunting me.
I 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 wonderful.
But well, I eventually forgot about it. The tart, that is. S’mores still had their place in my dreams.And 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 one that taste like I imagine graham crackers do. A thick dome of meringue. A dark chocolate ganache coating.
With a healthy dose of chocolate and fluffy meringue, these cupcakes will please almost everyone.
The cake is fragrant with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla; and has that slight saltiness I suspect graham crackers have.
The marshmallow cream is sweet but not overly so. Also, the seeds from one vanilla pod would work wonders here.
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 ganache than needed but it is necessary to be able to dip the cupcakes. The leftover ganache can be frozen in an ice-cube tray and is amazing in a cup of milk for an almost instant hot chocolate.
Just a quick note on the flour: although I havent tried, I’d be tempted to substitute the plain flour for 100 g plain flour and 60 g wholewheat or graham flour. Let me know if you do 🙂
Makes 9 small cupcakes.
For the cupcakes
160 g plain flour (read note above)
3/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
85 g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
160 g whole milk
For the meringue
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp water
1 egg white
a pinch of salt
For the ganache
150 g whipping cream 35%
150 g dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat over to 190°C/fan 170°C.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, until fully incorporated; and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk.
Divide the batter evenly among paper cups lined on a baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester inserted into centre of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Allow to cool on wire rack before frosting.
Make the meringue. Place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over medium heat to 115°C.
When the syrup reaches 110°C, start whisking the egg white and salt on low speed until stiff peaks form.
Wait for the syrup to stop bubbling – around 30 seconds or so – and pour over your meringue, whisking as you do so, along the sides of the bowl to avoid splashes. Once all the syrup as been incorporated, increase the speed to medium and keep on whisking until the meringue is around 50°C.
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.
Make the ganache. Bring the cream to a rolling boil. Pour onto the chocolate in three times, emulsifying well to create a glossy core.
Transfer to a small bowl and dip the cupcake tops.