No Campfire Required: 6 S’mores-Themed Desserts

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source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sinfullysweet/

‘Tis the season for s’mores. Once the warm air blows in, the craving for a toasted marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate sandwich sets up camp, and the hankering doesn’t go away until at least mid-September. Unfortunately, not everyone has a campfire and marshmallow tongs or pokers at the ready, but s’mores-lovers still should have no fear, because more s’mores-themed desserts are here. It’s safe to say the s’mores flavor combination is now the “it” combo this season, and recipe developers, bloggers, and chefs across the nation are coming up with their spin on the summer late-night snack. Just in case you want to get in on the action, here are 6 recipes for s’mores-themed desserts. In each one of them, chocolate and marshmallows are the star ingredients, and we promise that after trying at least one of these, your guests will be shouting something along the lines of “more s’mores!”

1. S’more Pudding Cake

First up is a S’more Pudding Cake highlighted by the food blog, What’s Gaby CookingThis decadent dessert takes three star ingredients — graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows — and combines them into one seriously indulgent cake. S’mores lovers will gobble up the idea of eating their favorite dessert with a fork, and the rich chocolate custard that covers this cake probably doesn’t hurt its cause either.

Ingredients:

For Pudding Cake:

  • 4 cups (1 batch) Rich Chocolate Custard (recipe below)
  • 4 sleeves graham crackers
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 (13-ounce) jar marshmallow crème

For the Rich Chocolate Custard

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Smear a thin layer of chocolate custard in the center of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover the bottom with a layer of graham crackers and spread 1/3 (about 1 1/4 cups) of the chocolate custard on top of the crackers. Sprinkle 1 cup of mini marshmallows over the custard, and torch them lightly with a kitchen torch, until soft and browned. (You can also put them under an oven broiler for 45 seconds.) Repeat two more times and top with a final layer of graham crackers. (There will be four full layers of crackers, and three of pudding).

Warm the marshmallow crème in the microwave or in a saucepan. Spread over the top of the icebox cake and spread while still warm. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the crackers have softened to a cakelike texture (test by inserting a thin knife along the side and bringing up a few crumbs). (This can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, but it is best consumed within a day or two, as it will get soggy if it sits too long.)

When ready to serve, brown the top of the cake until tan and toasty with a kitchen torch or under the broiler.

For chocolate custard:

Prepare the chocolate: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Make a cornstarch and egg slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Slowly whisk in the cream, making sure there are no lumps. (To be really sure, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps between your fingers.) Whisk in the egg yolks.

Warm the milk: In a 3-quart (2.8-L) saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar into the milk. Warm for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves, bubbles form around the edges, and the entire surface of the milk begins to quiver. Turn off the heat. Temper the slurry: Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of the hot milk into the bowl with the slurry, whisking constantly. The mixture should come together smoothly, with no lumps. If you see any, add a little more liquid and whisk them out. Pour it back into the pan, counting to 10 and whisking constantly as you pour.

Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently and vigorously, working all the angles of the pot and scraping the bottom. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the custard becomes very thick and starts to boil, with large bubbles that slowly pop up to the surface. Boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Flavor the pudding: Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Stir the chocolate into the pudding and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk gently until the pudding is smooth and glossy and has fully absorbed the chocolate.

Chill the pudding: Immediately pour the hot pudding into a shallow container. Place plastic wrap or buttered wax paper directly on the surface of the pudding (if you don’t like pudding skin). Cover and refrigerate.

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