7 March 2013

Indoor S'mores

If for whatever reason you can’t get out camping, or if camping appeals to you as much as sweet curdled egg white (we’ll get back to that in a minute), there is no reason you should have to miss out on the pure joy of campfire S’mores. I was lucky enough to grow up with an American mum who brought the S’more tradition to outback Australia, and to have a family who camped – a lot. Even when not camping we had a big open fireplace and would toast marshmallows on the end of sticks until the outside was charred and the middle oozing soft white goo, then carefully transfer it to a prepared granita biscuit with a square of milk chocolate. We always ended up happy with sticky hands and faces, and a trail of crumbs to our sleeping bags. Patience has never been a virtue of mine so instead of golden toasted marshmallows, I would jam mine right into the fire until it burst into flames, then wave it madly until it either went out or slipped off the stick into the ashes.

Your basic marshmallow is pretty straightforward and I had imagined marshmallow fluff would be much the same, I was wrong (although the method I have ended up with is very simple and effective so don’t worry). Take One: Soft ball sugar syrup – check; stiff peak eggwhites – check, incorporate slowly until glossy smooth peaks form… ummmm… did you say chunks of solidified toffee clumped to the beaters with scrambled semi cooked egg whites??? No? Fine, Take Two, soft ball – yes, yes done… will not try and photograph while pouring this time… eggwhites - beaten to perfection… husband on standby to photograph for me – check… and slowly pour in the syrup until beaters covered in syrup, eggwhites scrambled and flung across the kitchen... not willingly to waste anymore eggwhites to mastering this (nor willing to clean up anymore toffee eggwhite plastered across the wall) I modified the beautiful fluffy ‘7 minute icing’ recipe and technique with absolute success. Super soft fluffy marshmallow cream that sets well, toasts well and tastes perfect! All you need is a metal bowl over a pot with boiling water and some beaters, dump in all the ingredients and beat until you get fluff. It couldn’t be easier.
These individual pots of s’mores use a not too sweet dark chocolate mousse topped with marshmallow fluff as light as air, then brûlée toasted for that campfire finish (if not served in glass they also brown up nicely under the grill). The quantity below made 4 pots but they are very rich so would probably divide it into 6 serves in future… leaving you wanting s’more. In Australia use Granita biscuits, in America Graham Crackers and in England the Digestive biscuit. If you are making and serving them on the same day crush the biscuits and put them as a layer at the bottom of the pot then add the chocolate and marshmallow layers, if you are making them the day before and keeping them in the fridge I would just put a layer of chocolate mousse then the marshmallow layer and serve with a knife and a couple of biscuits next to it otherwise they lose their crunch. They taste just as good on the day or the day after but if left in the fridge for a few days the marshmallow will start to get a little grainy as the sugar recrystallises – it still tastes as good it just doesn’t have the fluffy smooth texture.
Ingredients (4 - 6 pots):
  • 8 - 12 granita biscuits (or graham crackers, or digestives)

For the chocolate layer:
  • 1 egg yolk (set the white aside for the marshmallow)
  • 60 grams good quality dark chocolate
  • 40 grams butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure cream, icy cold
  • 1/4 teaspoon gelatine (combined with 1 teaspoon hot water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the marshmallow fluff layer:
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons glucose syrup (light corn syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatine (combined with 2 tablespoons hot water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
You will also need electric beaters and a double boiler (or metal bowl over a pot of boiling water)

Start beating with electric beaters for approximately 7 minutes
Stop beating when the marshmallow is thick and glossy
  1. crush the granita biscuits into a textured crumb, divide evenly in the bottom of your pots, if you are using a glass pot make sure it is heatproof or you will not be able to brûlée the top easily without cracking the glass
  2. to make the chocolate mousse layer, melt the chocolate in the microwave, stopping to stir the chocolate every 20 seconds so it doesn't over cook and go hard
  3. add the egg yolk to the chocolate and whisk well to thoroughly combine, return to the microwave and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stopping every 15 seconds to whisk vigorously
  4. add the melted butter and whisk until combined, initially this will not want to combine but keep whisking until it is smooth and glossy
  5. dissolve the gelatine in the water and add to the chocolate mixture, whisk until combined
  6. in a separate clean bowl beat the cold cream, sugar and vanilla together with electric beaters until thickened and just stiff
  7. fold into the chocolate mix until combined
  8. spoon over the granita biscuits in your pots and put into the fridge while you make the marshmallow fluff
  9. clean your electric beaters before starting on the marshmallow fluff
  10. in the top of a double boiler (or metal bowl if using), combine egg white, caster sugar, glucose syrup and the dissolved gelatine/ water, beat for 1 minute with an electric beater to combine all the ingredients
  11. cook over rapidly boiling water (the water in the bottom pan should not touch the top pan/ bowl of the double boiler, instead it is the steam that is heating the bowl) and beat constantly for 7 minutes, or until stiff white glossy peaks form with the beater is slowly raised from the mixture
  12. remove from boiling water, add the vanilla and continue beating for a further 2 minutes
  13. blob the marshmallow on top of the chocolate layer in the pots  and put back in the fridge for at least two hours before serving (or up to 24 hours without the granita biscuit at the bottom)
  14. when time to serve, brûlée the tops of the marshmallow pots, being careful not to have the flame directly on the glass (you can always cover the edges of the glass with a damp clean tea towel while you brûlée); or put them under the grill for a short amount of time if using ceramice heatproof pots
  15. serve immediately after you brûlée, enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment