I don’t image there’s anyone in the US who doesn’t know what S’Mores are but for everyone else, they’re a campfire treat consisting of a fat, toasted marshmallow, squished together with a square of milk chocolate between two graham cracker cookies (a sort of slightly inferior British digestive biscuit).
Traditionally, the chocolate used in S’Mores is a piece of Hershey’s, an American ‘chocolate’ candy that contains such minuscule amounts of actual chocolate, it doesn’t deserve the name. I’ll only eat the campfire version made with organic dark chocolate, preferably home made.
S’Mores are scrumptious and because I don’t see why we have to wait for warm summer nights and a campfire in order to enjoy them, I came up with a version that can be served in individual dessert bowls or ramekins. The ingredients are basically the same but I replaced the square of chocolate with a voluptuous chocolate ganache, laced with a splash of Godiva chocolate liqueur. Dark rum is also good but this works perfectly without any alcohol if you’d rather not.
They can be assembled ahead up to the point of sticking them under the broiler/grill to toast the marshmallows but it’s essential that you watch like a hawk, because it only takes a couple of seconds for the marshmallows to transform from puffy, golden loveliness into a blackened, smoking mass.
If you make them ahead, cover and chill them in the fridge but bring to room temperature before adding the marshmallows for toasting.
S’Mores are best eaten right away.
(Serves approx 8 -10)
Ingredients for the base:
1 & 1/2 cups (360ml measure) of graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs
1/4 cup (60ml measure) of sugar
1/3 cup (80ml measure) of melted butter
For the chocolate ganache layer:
½ pt (284ml) of whipping/single cream
8 oz (227g) of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Optional – 1 tablespoon of chocolate liqueur or dark rum (or whatever alcohol you have to hand that goes with chocolate)
A small bag of mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 375F / 190C.
Mix the crumbs, sugar and melted butter thoroughly and spread them on a baking tray in a thin layer. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden. Cool, then sprinkle half into the base of 8 (or more) small ramekins or glass dessert dishes.
To make the ganache, combine the cream (liqueur if using) and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water – stir until the chocolate melts (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water).
Once melted, place the bowl on a bed of ice in a larger bowl – this cools it quickly while you whisk the mixture into a foamy bulk.
Divide the mousse-like chocolate ganache between the individual dishes and sprinkle some of the remaining cookie crumbs on top. If you make them up to this point, just cover and chill but bring them back to room temperature at least one hour before serving.
To serve – heat up your grill/broiler. Top each dish with mini marshmallows – enough to cover completely in a single layer.
Arrange them on a baking tray about 6-8 inches (15-20mm) from the heat source and watch as the marshmallows puff up and turn golden; this usually takes less than a minute. Turn them around a bit to make sure they toast evenly and serve right away, or at least within 10 minutes.