October 28, 2013

EAT: s'mores cupcakes with homemade graham cracker cake, chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallow frosting



Whoever invented s'mores is pretty much a genius in my book.  Graham crackers sandwiching sweet chocolate and a toasted marshmallow that melts it all together into warm, gooey, melty, crunchy goodness.  Droooooooool.  I wanted to translate this fun fireside treat into yummy cupcake form (perfect for a halloween treat!).  I made sure the cake part was the "graham cracker", and that it still had the melted chocolate element.  Most importantly, I wanted to incorporate the funnest part - toasted marshmallow!  

There are three different elements to this cupcake - (graham cracker cake, chocolate ganache drizzled over it, and finally a toasted marshmallow frosting) but trust me, the extra step is worth it!  DELICIOUSNESS.





Graham Cracker Cake (recipe via CruiseGourmet.com)

Ingredients:
3 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Break 8 graham crackers into blender container, cover and process to grind. Empty contents into mixing bowl and repeat with remaining graham crackers, add baking powder and salt.  
Put egg yolks, milk, shortening, sugar and vanilla into blender container, cover and process until smooth.  Add to cracker crumbs and mix well.  
Beat egg whites with mixer until stiff.  Fold into cracker mixture.  
Pour into cupcake papers and bake 18-22 minutes, or when toothpick comes out clean when poking the cake.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then finish cooling on a wire rack.  


Basic Chocolate Ganache (recipe via Chow.com)

Ingredients:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Instructions:
Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside
Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.  Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
Add butter and stir until smooth.  Let cool slightly before using.
Spoon the ganache over the top of the cupcakes to form a layer of chocolate on top.  You can repeat this step after the ganache sets if you'd like a thicker layer of chocolate.


Marshmallow Frosting (recipe via MarthaStewart.com)

Ingredients:
8 large egg whites
2 c. sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Piping bag for icing, or large sandwich bag
Kitchen torch (I got mine at World Market, $20 - most torches will also need butane)


Instructions:
Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer.  Set over a saucepan with simmering water.  Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add vanilla, and mix until combined. 
Place icing into your piping bag.  If you're using a sandwich bag, place the icing in and cut the tip of the bag to use.
Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes, starting from the outer edges going inwards and upwards.
Lightly torch the outside of the marshmallow frosting.






BOOGIDDY BOO!!
xoxo, NB

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